Slaves of Robert Carter III, Virginia

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Virginia, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: slavery black_heritage
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Robert Carter,III was one of the largest landowners in early Virginia. He owned nearly 70,000 acres, an inheritance from his grandfather.[1]

He is perhaps most well-known for the largest manumission of slaves in the pre-Civil War American history. From the Encyclopedia of Virginia:[1]

"Robert Carter III‘s Deed of Gift was a legal document, signed on August 1, 1791, and presented in Northumberland District Court on September 5, that set out provisions to free 452 enslaved men and woman. By the time those provisions were fulfilled, more than three decades later, between 500 and 600 were freed, probably the largest emancipation by an individual in the United States before 1860."


These are his named properties as written on his manumission of 1791, along with their roman numeral designations which were then used throughout the document. Over time, these properties were further subdivided over time, as they were inherited by children and grandchildren.

  1. Nomini............I See: Nominee Hall Slave Legacy
  2. Aries.................II
  3. Old Ordinary....III
  4. Taurus........IV
  5. Gemini.... V
  6. Forrest Quarter.... VI
  7. Coles Point..... VII
  8. Cancer (in Richmond County)... VIII
  9. Aquarius..........IX
  10. Scorpio............X
  11. Capricorn.......XI
  12. Libra..............VII
  13. Virgo............XIII
  14. Sagittarius.....XIV
  15. Leo...............XV
  16. Cancer (in Prince William County) .....XVI
  17. W. John Perks..........XVII
  18. W. Robert Mitchell......XVIII

Surnames of Formerly Enslaved

A 1993 news article contained the surnames of some of the freed slaves. Historian John Barden traced a number of these families up to but not beyond the Civil War. He stated that his "strongest lead so far is a member of the Gaskins family of Faquier County". [2]

  • Allen, Arnold,
  • Banks, Brooke, Brutus, Burke, Burton
  • Cary, Colson, Conway, Cooper, Craft
  • Daley, Daniel, Dial, Dicher, Dickerson
  • Gaskins, Glascock, Greggs, Gumby
  • Hackney, Harris, Harrison, Henry, Hollady, Hubbard
  • Johnson, Johnston, Jones
  • Kenardy, Mitchell
  • Newgent, Newman
  • Peterson, Puss
  • Reid, Richards, Richardson, Robinson
  • Single, Smith, Spence
  • Taylor, Thomas, Thompson, Thornton, Tosspot, Tuckson
  • Walker, Weldon, Wells, Wilson, Wormley, Wyatt


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Deed of Gift, Robert Carter III’s". Encyclopedia of Virginia. Accessed 5 Feb 2022.Encyclopedia Entry
  2. Hochberg, Judith. "Seeking Progeny of Freed Slaves". 18 Apr 1993. "Daily Press".News article listing slave surnames and Archived Link

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