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List of Slaves
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This and three other statues of chained slaves, placed at the base of the Monument of the Four Moors at Livorno, Italy, might have been made with actual slaves as models, whose names and circumstances remain unknown
Slavery is a social-economic system under which persons are enslaved: deprived of personal freedom and forced to perform labor or services without compensation. These people are referred to as slaves.
The following is a list of historical people who were enslaved at some point during their lives, in alphabetical order by first name. Several names have been added under the letter representing the person's last name.
Afak, a Kipchak slave girl who was given by Fakhr al-Din Bahramshah, the ruler of Darband, to the poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141--1209). She became the dearly beloved wife of Ganjavi, considered the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, and the mother of his only son Mohammad. His grief at her premature death was expressed in still widely read poems. It is disputed whether "Afak" (meaning Horizon or Snow White) was her real name or a nickname. In the later case, her name remains unknown.
Ng Akew (died 1880), famous Chinese businesswoman and smuggler, originally a slave.
Alam al-Malika (died 1130), slave singer who was promoted to become the de facto prime minister, adviser and ruler of the principality of Zubayd in present-day Yemen.
Alexina Morrison, a fugitive slave in Louisiana who claimed to be a kidnapped white girl and sued her master for her freedom on that ground, arousing such popular feeling against him that a mob threatened to lynch him.
Amanda America Dickson, the daughter of white planter David Dickson and slave Julia Frances Lewis, who belonged to his mother. Although technically a slave until emancipation after the American Civil War, Amanda Dickson was raised as her father's favorite. At his death in 1885, she inherited his estate of $500,000.
Anna J. Cooper (1858-1964), author, educator, speaker and prominent African-American scholar.
Annika Svahn (fl. 1714), Finnish woman abducted by the Russians during the Great Northern War. The daughter of a vicar, she became the perhaps most well known victim of the abuse suffered by the civilian population in Finland during the Russian occupation Greater Wrath.
Anteia, a woman in ancient Greece described in Against Neaera as the property of Nicarete, who prostituted her c. 340 BC.
Anthony Burns (1834-1862), a preacher who escaped slavery to Boston only to be recaptured due to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, then had his freedom bought by those who opposed his recapture in Boston.
Antonio and Mundy, the presumed names of two 16th-century African slaves brought by Portuguese owners to Macau . They later managed to escape into China. A popular legend states that one of them was the first to teach Chinese to an Englishman.
Aurelia Philematium, a freedwoman whose tombstone glorifies her marriage with her fellow freedman, Lucius Aurelius Hermia.
Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701-1773), also known as Job ben Solomon, a Muslim of the Bundu state in West Africa who was enslaved for two years in Maryland, freed in 1734, and later wrote memoirs that were published as one of the earliest slave narratives.
Batteas, a black slave sold by the Choctaw chief Francimastabe to Benjamin James, and later stolen by Robert Welsh.
Benkos Biohó, born into an African royal family, abducted from the Bissagos Islands and enslaved. After transportation to what is now Colombia in South America, managed to escape, help many other slaves to escape and established the maroon community of San Basilio de Palenque. He was betrayed and hanged by the governor of Cartagena in 1621, but the community he founded survived in freedom and exists up to the present.
Billy, a 7-year-old black boy captured by Creek raiders in 1788; he passed through several hands before being sold at auction in Havana.
Billy (b. c. 1754), an enslaved man from Virginia who was charged with treason during the American Revolution. He was pardoned after arguing that, as a slave, he was not a citizen and thus could not commit treason against a government to which he owed no allegiance.
Cevri Kalfa, a Georgian slave girl at the Sultan's harem in Istanbul, who saved Mahmud II's life and was rewarded for her bravery and loyalty by being appointed haznedar usta, the chief treasurer of the imperial Harem.
C. Furius Cresimus, ancient Roman. As a freedman, he produced such crops from his small farm that he was accuse of witching away other people's crops, but when he produced his agricultural implements in court, he was acquitted. Pliny the Elder recounts his tale as evidence that hard work is what counts in farming.
Charles Ayres Brown, mixed-raced slave born in Buckingham County, Virginia around 1820 or 1821 and was a part of the contraband camp during the American Civil War in Corinth, Mississippi. He was in Company E. He was legally married to Minerva Brown in 1867 and they had six children.
Claudia Prepontis, a Roman freedwoman who erected in the 1st century AD a funerary altar to her freedman husband T. Claudius Dionysius; their clasped hands, depicted on it, show the legitimacy of their marriage, possible only once they obtained their freedom.
Cudjoe Lewis (c. 1840-1935), considered the last person born in Africa to have been enslaved in the United States.
Cuffy (died 1763), was an Akan man who was captured in his native West Africa, taken to work in the plantations of the Dutch colony of Berbice in present-day Guyana, and in 1763 led a revolt of more than 2,500 slaves against the colonial regime. Today, he is a national hero in Guyana.
Dred Scott, who lost a legal suit for his freedom in the United States Supreme Court in 1857
Danae, "the new maidservant of Capito", named in lead curse tablet from Republican Rome, which aimed to destroy Danae.
Dave Drake (c. 1801-1876), also known as Dave the Potter.
David George, a black man who fled a cruel Virginia master and was captured by Creeks and enslaved by Chief Blue Salt.
Denmark Vesey (c. 1767-1822), an African-American slave and later a freeman who planned what would have been one of the largest slave rebellions in the United States had word of the plans not been leaked.
Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761-1804), born into slavery as the natural daughter of Maria Belle, an enslaved African woman in the West Indies, and Sir John Lindsay, a British career naval officer. Lindsay took Belle with him when he returned to England in 1765, entrusting her raising to his uncle William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and his wife Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Mansfield. The Murrays educated Belle, bringing her up as a free gentlewoman at their Kenwood House, together with their niece, Lady Elizabeth Murray. Belle lived there for 30 years. In his will of 1793, Lord Mansfield confirmed her freedom and provided an outright sum and an annuity to her, making her an heiress.
Diondre Hammond, hailed from Africa, sent by British to colonial America, later escaped to what is now southern California.
Dinc?, the half-Roma slave and illegitimate child of a Cantacuzino boyar in the 19th-century Danubian Principalities (present-day Romania). Well-educated, working as a cook but not allowed to marry his French mistress and go free, which had led him to murder his lover and kill himself. The affair shocked public opinion and was one of the factors contributing to the abolition of slavery in Romania (see ).
Diocletian (244-312), Emperor of Rome, was by some sources born as the slave of Senator Anullinus. By other sources, it was Diocletian's father (whose own name is unknown) who was a slave, and was freed prior to the birth of his son, the future emperor.
Dred Scott (c. 1799-1858), an African-American slave in Missouri who attempted to sue for his freedom in a nationally publicized trial, Scott v. Sandford, that reached the United States Supreme Court in 1857.
Dufe the Old, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, was freed by his mistress Æthelgifu's will.
Ecceard the Smith, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".
Ecgferð Aldun's daughter, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".
Edmond Flint, a black enslaved among the Choctaw Nation who later described it as very like slavery among the whites.
Ediþ, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England who bought her freedom and that of her children.
Edward Mozingo, Sr., (c. 1649 - 1712), kidnapped from Africa when ~10 years old, sold into slavery in Jamestown, Virginia. After his master died, he sued for his freedom and won it. He married an impoverished white woman, Margaret Pierce Bayley (1645 - 1711) and together they, essentially, founded the Mozingo family line in North America.
Eliza Moore (1843-January 21, 1948), one of the last proven African-American former slaves living in the United States.
Elias Polk (1806 - December 30, 1886), a conservative political activist of the 19th century.
Elizabeth Key Grinstead (1630-after 1665), the first woman of African ancestry in the North American colonies to sue for her freedom and win. Key and her infant son, John Grinstead, were freed on July 21, 1656, in the colony of Virginia, based on the fact that her father was an Englishman and that she was a baptized Christian.
Elizabeth Freeman (c. 1742 - 1829), known as Bett and later Mum Bett, was among the first black slaves in Massachusetts to file a freedom suit and win in court under the 1780 constitution, with a ruling that slavery was illegal.
Ellen Craft (1826-1891), wife of William Craft, who escaped with him from Georgia to Philadelphia, by posing as a white woman and his owner, in a case that became famous.
Elsey Thompson, a white captive enslaved by a Creek. When trader John O'Reilly attempted to ransom her and Nancy Caffrey, he was told they were not taken captive to be allowed to go back, but to work.
Emiline (age 23); Nancy (20); Lewis, brother of Nancy (16); Edward, brother of Emiline (13); Lewis and Edward, sons of Nancy (7); Ann, daughter of Nancy (5); and Amanda, daughter of Emiline (2), were freed in the 1852 Lemmon v. New York court case after they were brought to New York by their Virginia slave owners.
Epunuel, a native of Chappaquidick who was taken captive by English explorers in the 1610s with twenty-nine others, and taken to London as a slave.
Estevanico (1500-1539), also known as Esteban the Moor. In principle he was a slave of the Portuguese to, later, be a servant of the Spaniards. He was one of only four survivors of the ill-fated Narváez expedition, later a guide in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Gold and possibly the first African person to arrive in Arizona and New Mexico.
Eucharis, a Greek born freedwoman of Roman Licinia, described in her epitath in the 1st century AD as fourteen when she died, a child actress and a professional dancer.
Exuperius and Zoe (died 127), 2nd-century Christian martyrs. They were a married couple who were slaves of a pagan in Pamphylia. They were killed along with their sons, Cyriacus and Theodolus, for refusing to participate in pagan rites when their son was born.
Fabia Arete, Ancient Roman actress and freedwoman who is referred to as an elite actress or archimima who enjoyed a highly successful career and likely belonged to the minority of female actors to perform speaking parts.
Francisco Menendez, a slave from South Carolina who escaped to Florida, where he served in the Spanish militia, leading the garrison established in 1738 at Fort Mose. This site was the first legal free black community in what is now the United States.
French John, a French fur trader captured by the Cherokee and enslaved by Old Hop, apparently making no effort for his freedom for many years, until he ran away when the British offered to buy him.
Glaumur, slave of the outlaw Grettir in early medieval Iceland (protagonist of "Grettis saga"). Glaumur is mentioned as loyally sharing his master's long exile on the lonely island of Drangey, off the northern tip of Iceland, though in the circumstances described in the saga he could have easily escaped.
Gosala, a sixth-century BC ascetic teacher of ancient India - a contemporary (and rival) of Gautama Buddha - was said to have been born into slavery, and became a naked ascetic after fleeing from his irate master, who managed to grab hold of Gosala's garment and disrobe him as he fled.
Gordon, also known as Whipped Peter, an African-American slave who escaped from a Louisiana plantation in 1863. The images of Gordon's scourged back taken during a medical examination were published in Harper's Weekly and provided Northerners visual evidence of the brutality of slavery. They inspired many free blacks to enlist in the Union Army.
Gryphus Ancient Roman slave. The epigraph of the slave boy Iucundus describes him as the son of Gryphus and Vitalis.
Hanna, a slave in Virginia, and grandmother of Jackey Wright, who sued for her freedom in Hudgins v. Wright (1806) on the grounds that three generations descended from Butterwood Nan, who was an American Indian, not a black. The Virginia Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision by George Wythe, that because of Jackey's and Hanna's appearance as mixed Indian and European, she was entitled to the presumption of freedom, given the limited nature of Indian slavery. St. George Tucker and Spencer Roane said that, as most Africans had been imported as slaves and blacks descended from slave mothers, a black would not have the same presumption of freedom.
Hafsa Sultan (died March 1534) was the wife of Selim I and the first valide sultan of the Ottoman Empire as the mother of Suleiman the Magnificent. Her background is disputed but some historians hold that she was a slave.
Hernado de Escalante Fontaneda, born in Cartagena, was enslaved at the age of 13 when the ship bearing him to Spain for education sank off Florida. A Calusa chief enslaved him and used him as a translator until he was ransomed at 30.
Hüma?ah Sultan (fl. 1647 - fl. 1672) was the wife of Sultan Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire.
?brahim Pasha (c. 1495 - 1536), Suleiman the Magnificent's first appointed Grand Vizier. Greek by birth, he was sold as a slave at the age of six to the Ottoman palace for future sultans; there he befriended Suleiman, who was of the same age.
Icelus Marcianus, a slave and later freedman of the Roman emperor Galba in the 1st century CE. He was one of three men said to completely control the emperor, increasing Galba's unpopularity.
Imma, a Northumbrian aristocrat who was knocked unconscious in battle and later pretended to have been a peasant who brought them food, so that his captors did not kill him. His manners and bearing soon betrayed him, and he was sold into slavery.
Isthmias, a woman in ancient Greece described in Against Neaera as the property of Nicarete, who prostituted her.
Iucundus, Ancient Roman slaveboy, described in his epitaph as the slave of Livia, the wife of Drusus Caesar, the son of Gryphus and Vitalis. It states he was seized and murdered by a witch, and warns parents to guard their children to prevent such a fate.
Jackey Wright, an American slave who sued for and won her freedom in the famous 1806 Virginia case of Hudgins v. Wright. However, the opinion of the Virginia Supreme Court relied on Wright appearing white and Native American, whereas the lower court under George Wythe had tried to establish a presumption of freedom for all people, of whatever race.
Jeffrey Hudson (1619 - c. 1682), an English courtier who spent 25 years as a slave in North Africa.
Jehu Grant (c. 1752--December 28, 1840), Revolutionary War veteran.
Jerry - see William Henry
Jim Cuff or Jim Crow was a crippled African slave, variously claimed to have resided in St. Louis, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh, whose song and dance supposedly inspired the blackface song and dance "Jump Jim Crow" by white comedian Thomas D. Rice. The great popularity of Rice's creation soon led to Jim Crow becoming a pejorative name for blacks, and later to the name being used for the segregationist Jim Crow Laws, a highly unfair posthumous memory of the original crippled slave.
John Axouch (1087-1150), a Seljuk Turk captured as a child by the Byzantines, freed and raised in the imperial household as the companion of the future Emperor John II Komnenos, and on his accession given command of the Empire's armies and remained the Emperor's only close personal friend and confidant.
John "Lit" Fleming, born a slave in Virginia but later moved to Edmundson, Arkansas with his parents and siblings. He would then move to Memphis, Tennessee and was part-owner of the newspaper The Memphis Free Speech with activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
John Munroe Brazealle and his mother were the subjects of Hinds v. Brazealle (1838), a case in the Supreme Court of Mississippi which denied the legality and inheritance rights in Mississippi of deeds of manumission executed by Elisha Brazealle, a Mississippi resident, in Ohio to free the pair.
John Ezzidio (c. 1810-1872), Nigerian slave who became a successful Sierra Leonean politician and businessman.
John Jea (born 1773), African-American slave best known for his 1811 autobiography, The Life, History, and Unparalleled Sufferings of John Jea, the African Preacher.
John Joyce born into slavery in Maryland, served in the United States Navy, held a variety of jobs after, and murdered a shopkeeper, Sarah Cross; his life and crime recounted in the murder literature of his day.
John Punch (fl. 1630s, living 1640), an African slave in the Virginia Colony in the 17th century. In July 1640, the Virginia Governor's Council sentenced him to serve for the remainder of his life as punishment for running away to Maryland. Many historians consider Punch the "first official slave in the English colonies," and his case as the "first legal sanctioning of lifelong slavery in the Chesapeake." Historians also consider this to be one of the first legal distinctions between Europeans and Africans made in the colony, and a key milestone in the development of the institution of slavery in the United States.
John Smith (1580-1631), English soldier, sailor, and author best known for his role in the survival of the Jamestown colony in Virginia. Smith was captured by Turks in 1602 while fighting in Wallachia, but escaped and returned to England by 1604. As Smith described it: "we all sold for slaves, like beasts in a market-place."
Jordan Anderson (1825-1907), best known for a letter sent to his former master in response to the latter's request that Jordan return to his service.
Kizzy Kinte, the supposed daughter of Kunta Kinte. As with her father, the existence of an historical Kizzy Kinte is disputed.
King Jaja of Opobo (1821-1891), sold at about the age of 12 as a slave in the Kingdom of Bonny in present-day Nigeria. Proving at an early age his aptitude for business, he not only earned his way out of slavery but also became a rich and powerful merchant prince and the founder of the Opobo city-state, his career eventually ended by the British colonizers whom he tried to defy.
Leo Africanus, (1494-1554), a Moor born in Granada who was taken by his family in 1498 to Morocco when expelled from Spain. As an adult he served on diplomatic missions. Captured by Crusaders while in the Middle East, he was enslaved in Rome and forced to convert to Christianity. He eventually regained his freedom and lived out his life in Tunis.
Leofgifu the dairy maid, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, named in her manumission.
Leoflaed, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, whose freedom was bought by a man who described her as a "kinswoman."
Leonor de Mendoza, a slave in colonial Mexico who tried to marry Tomás Ortega, a slave of another master; when her master imprisoned Tomás, she appealed to a church court for assistance, and it threatened excommunication for the master if he did not free Tomás.
Lilliam Williams, a Tennessee settler who was captured by the Creek while pregnant. The Creek adopted her daughter (whom she named Molly and they named Esnahatchee,); they kept the girl when Williams' freedom was arranged.
Lydia Carter, the "Little Osage Captive," captured and enslaved among the Cherokee. She was ransomed by Lydia Carter, who made her her namesake. The Osage attempted to reclaim her, but she took ill and died.
Mammy Lou (1804 - after 1918), a former slave who lived to extreme old age and became an actress in the 1918 silent filmThe Glorious Adventure.
Manes, a slave of Diogenes of Sinope. He ran away shortly after his master arrived in Athens, and Diogenes failed to pursue him on the grounds that if Manes could live without him, it would be disgraceful if he could not equally live without Manes.
Manjeok, Korean slave, leader of an abortive slave uprising.
Mann, the name of two slaves in Anglo-Saxon England, one a goldsmith, who were both freed by their mistress Æthelgifu's will. The wife of the Mann not a goldsmith was also freed.
Marcos Xiorro, a Puerto Rican slave who, in 1821, planned and conspired to lead a slave revolt against the sugar plantation owners and the Spanish colonial government in Puerto Rico. Though the conspiracy was unsuccessful, Xiorro achieved legendary status among the slaves and is part of Puerto Rico's folklore.
Marcius Agrippa (late 2nd and early 3rd century), a slave who was not only freed but eventually elevated to senatorial rank by the Roman emperor Macrinus.
Marcus Tullius Tiro (c. 103 - 4 BCE), Roman author, slave, and secretary of the Roman politician Cicero, later freed. He invented a long-lasting system of shorthand and wrote books that are now lost.
Margaret Garner (1835-1858), a slave in pre-Civil War America infamous for killing her own daughter rather than see the child returned to slavery.
Margaret Himfi (before 1380 - after 1408), a Hungarian noblewoman who was abducted and enslaved by Ottoman marauders in the late 14th century. She later became a slave mistress of a wealthy Venetian citizen of Crete, with whom she had two daughters. Margaret returned to Hungary in 1405.
Maria ter Meetelen (1704 - fl. 1751), Dutch writer of a slave narrative, taken as a slave by pirates and sold to the sultan of Morocco. Her biography is considered to be a valuable witness statement of the life of a former slave (1748).
Marguerite Scypion (c. 1770s - after 1836), an African-Natchez woman born into slavery in St. Louis who sued for and eventually won her freedom.
Maria al-Qibtiyya (died 637), also known as "Maria the Copt" (Arabic: ?) or, alternatively, Maria Qupthiya, a Coptic slave who was sent as a gift from Muqawqis, a Byzantine official, to the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 628, and became Muhammad's wife. She was the mother of Muhammad's son Ibrahim, who died in infancy. Her sister, Sirin, was also sent to Muhammad. Muhammad gave her to his follower Hassan ibn Thabit. Maria never remarried after Muhammad's death in 632, and died five years later.
Maria, (died 1716), the leader of a slave rebellion on Curaçao.
Maria Perkins, a slave from Virginia who wrote a letter to her husband in 1852 about their son being sold away.
Marie Thérèse Metoyer, a planter, and businesswoman at the colonial Louisiana outpost of Natchitoches after being freed.
Mark, Massachusetts slave of Captain John Codman. Mark's body was displayed in chains publicly near Charleston, Massachusetts for twenty years. The gruesome display of his body was so well known at the time, the site where Mark's body was displayed is mentioned by Paul Revere as a landmark, in his 1798 account of Revere's 1775 midnight ride.
The Master of Morton and the eldest son of the Chief of Clan Oliphant, two Scottish nobles who were exiled from Scotland after being implicated in the 1582 Raid of Ruthven. The ship in which they sailed was lost at sea, and it was rumoured that they had been caught by a Dutch ship. The last report was that they were slaves on a Turkish ship in the Mediterranean. A plaque to their memory was raised in the church in Algiers.
Michael Shiner (1805 -1880), enslaved laborer, painter entrepreneur, civic leader and diarist at the Washington Navy Yard.
Miguel Perez was the Spanish name of a boy of the Yojuane people who was among 149 Yojuane women and children taken captive in 1759, during an attack on their camp by an expedition of Spaniards and Apaches along the Red River in what is now northern Texas. Many of the captives died of smallpox while those who survived were made into slaves. The boy was sold to a Spanish soldier who bestowed the Spanish name on him. Perez became a Hispanicized Indian of San Antonio but he continued to maintain contact with the Yojuanes. In 1786, Perez was recruited to convince the Yojuanes and their Tonkawa allies to go to war with the Lipan Apache, which he did successfully.
Mikhail Matinsky (1750 - 1820), Russian serf scientist, dramatist, librettist and opera composer.
Hájí Mubárak, purchased at the age of 5 years old by Hájí Mírzá Abú'l-Qásím, the great-grandfather of Shoghi Effendi and brother-in-law of the Báb, Hájí Mubárak was sold to the Báb in 1842 at the age of 19 for fourteen tomans. Hájí Mubárak died at about the age of 40 and is buried in the grounds of the Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala, Iraq.
Muyahid ibn Yusuf ibn Ali, 11th-century leader of the Saqaliba (slaves of supposed Slavic origin) in Dénia, Spain (then part of Muslim Al Andalus). Taking advantage of the crumbling of the Caliphate of Córdoba, he and his followers rebelled, freed themselves, seized control of the city and established the Taifa of Dénia, a city-state which at its peak extended its reach as far as the island of Majorca.
Nancy Caffrey, a white captive enslaved by a Creek. When trader John O'Reilly attempted to ransom her and Elsey Thompson, he was told they were not taken captive to be allowed to go back, but to work.
Nathan McMillian, who as a freedman sued for the admission of his children to a local "Croatan Indian" school on the grounds that it was for all non-white children, and that his children had Croatan blood on their mother's side.
Neaera, a former slave and prostitute whom the Athenian Stephanus married against the law c. 340 BC, according to a speech of Demosthenes.
Ng Akew (died 1880), a Tanka slave in Hong Kong famed for a piracy scandal.
Nicarete, a woman in ancient Greece, described in Against Neaera the freedwoman of Charisius the Elean and the wife of his cook Hippias, and as owning and prostituting several women c. 340 BC.
Saint Nino (c. 280 - c. 332), a 4th-century Roman woman from Constantinople who is greatly venerated for having brought Christianity to Georgia. By some of the accounts of her life, she originally came to Georgia as a slave kidnapped from her homeland.
Oney Judge (1773-1848), enslaved by the family of Martha Washington, and then by the First Lady herself, Judge worked at Mount Vernon and elsewhere as a personal servant to Martha Washington until she escaped in 1796 to Portsmouth New Hampshire.
Owen Fitzpen, an English merchant who was taken captive by Barbary pirates in 1620 and subsequently escaped.
Paul Smith, a free black who accused the Cherokee headman Doublehead of kidnapping him and forcing him into bondage.
Peggy Margaret Titsworth, enslaved at 13 years for three years, after a Creek raid in 1794 on her Tennessee home.
Pete and Hannah Byrne, freed slaves of the Napoleon Bonaparte Byrne family which traveled from Missouri to California overland (a six-month journey) in 1859, leaving the farm in Missouri and bringing six adults (including Pete & Hannah), the four Byrne children and a herd of cattle and settling in Berkeley, California. Pete and Hannah are considered the first blacks living in Berkeley and among the first African-Americans in California.
Petronia Justa, a woman in Herculaneum who sued her master claiming to have been born after her mother's emanicipation; the records of the lawsuit were preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius.
Phaedo of Elis, captured in war, enslaved in Athens and forced into prostitution, became a pupil of Socrates who had him freed, gave his name to one of Plato's dialogues, Phaedo and became a famous philosopher in his own right.
Phillis, a Massachusetts slave of Captain John Codman. Convicted in the successful plot to poison her master as she and her fellow slaves "found the rigid discipline of their master unendurable", Phillis was burned to death in 1755.
Phoebe, a slave who sued for her freedom in Tennessee, along with her sons Davy and Tom, claiming to be the descendants of an enslaved Indian woman whose sister and other relatives had proven that they were wrongly enslaved.
Philocrates, slave of the 2nd-century BCE Roman reformer Gaius Gracchus. He remained at his master's side when Gracchus was fleeing from his enemies, forsaken by everybody else. Arriving at a grove sacred to the Furies, Philocrates first assisted Gracchus in his suicide before taking his own life, though some rumors held that Philocrates was only killed after he refused to let go of his master's body.
Phormion, an Athenian slave and banker. Late in life, he received the rare honor for a freedman of citizenship.
Pope Pius I, the Bishop of Rome from about 140 to about 154, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius. He was the brother of the freedman Hermas and therefore likely to have been a former slave himself, though that is not mentioned explicitly in the scant records of his life.
Polly, the subject of the 1820 Indiana Supreme Court case Polly v. Lasselle, which resulted in all slaves held within Indiana to be freed.
Politoria, the subject of a lead curse tablet in ancient Rome; it was a curse on Clodia Valeria Sophrone, that she should not get Politoria into her power. She appears to have been a slave-courtesan who feared being sent to the brothel.
Primus (1700-1791), enslaved to Daniel Fowle of Portsmouth New Hampshire. Primus operated the press for the New Hampshire Gazette which is the American newspaper in longest continuous print.
Prosper, a slave murdered in 1807 in Virgin Islands by his owner Arthur William Hodge, for which Hodge was tried and executed in 1811, the first (and virtually only) such case ever recorded.
A pregnant Thrall whose name is not preserved, who was fleeing for her life in 11th-century Oslo, was given refuge on the boat of Hallvard Vebjørnsson, who tried to shield her but was killed together with her by the attackers' arrows, for which he was canonised and became the patron saint of Oslo.
Publilius Syrus (fl. 85 - 43 BCE), a Latin writer best known for his sententiae. He was a Syrian who was brought as a slave to Italy.
Quock Walker, also known as Kwaku or Quok Walker, sued for and won his freedom in 1781 in a case citing language in the new Massachusetts Constitution (1780) that declared all men to be born free and equal.
Rachel of Kittery, Maine (died 1695), enslaved woman murdered by her master whose case set a legal precedent in New England.
Rachel Knight (died 1889), originally a slave owned by the grandfather of Newton Knight, the well-known Southern Unionist who during the American Civil War defied the Confederacy in the rebellion known as the Free State of Jones. After the war, Rachel was emancipated along with the other slaves. By the mid-1870s, Knight had separated from his wife, Serena, and married Rachel. In this period, Knight's grown son, Mat (from his first wife), married Rachel's grown daughter, Fannie, from a previous union. Knight's daughter, Molly, married Rachel's son, Jeff, making three interracial families in the community. Newton and Rachel Knight had several children before her death in 1889.
Rebecca Huger, a slave freed by General Benjamin F. Butler in New Orleans, and described in a Harper's Weekly article as being to all appearance white, and having come to a school for emancipated slaves in Philadelphia.
Robert Blake, earned the Medal of Honor as a sailor during the American Civil War, after becoming a "contraband" (i.e. a slave freed by Unionist forces) and enlisting.
Robert Drury (1687 - between 1743 and 1750), an English sailor who was shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar in 1702, and remained there as a slave until 1717.
Robert Smalls (1839-1915), led a boatload of slaves to freedom and was later a politician.
Robin and Polly Holmes, the plaintiffs in the 1853 Holmes v. Ford court case in the Oregon Territory that freed their children. The decision re-affirmed that slavery was illegal in the territory as outlined in the Organic Laws of Oregon that were continued once the region became a U.S. territory.
Rosina Downs, a slave freed by General Benjamin F. Butler in New Orleans, and described in a Harper's Weekly article as being to all appearance white, and having come to a school for emancipated slaves in Philadelphia.
Sabuktigin (c. 942 - 997), full name Abu Mansur Sabuktigin, captured and sold into slavery at a young age, rose to become a general and eventually a king and the founder of the Ghaznavid Empire in Medieval Iran.
Safiye Sultan (c. 1550 - c. 1619), an enslaved Venetian woman who was placed in the harem of the Ottoman Sultan Murad III and became the mother of Sultan Mehmed III.
Sara Forbes Bonetta (1843-1880), an Egbado princess of the Yoruba who was orphaned in intertribal warfare, sold into slavery as a child, was rescued by Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy and taken to the United Kingdom where she became a goddaughter to Queen Victoria.
Satrelanus, from Gaul, sold by Ermedruda to Toto in Milan in 725.
Scipio Vaughan (c. 1784 - c. 1840), was captured from his homeland in Africa at a young age and sold into slavery in the United States. He became a skilled artisan in Camden, South Carolina; gained his freedom and inspired a movement among some of his descendants.
Servius Tullius, ancient King of Rome said to have started life as a slave (though this was disputed, among both Romans and modern historians).
Solomon Bayley (1771-1839), wrote a book in 1825 about his life as a slave.
Solomon Northup (1807 - c. 1863), a farmer, professional violinist, and free-born black man from New York who was lured to Washington, D.C., where slavery was legal, kidnapped, and sold in the South. He remained enslaved in Louisiana from 1841 until he was rescued and liberated in 1853. Author of Twelve Years a Slave.
Spendius a Campanian escaped slave who served as a Carthaginian mercenary during the First Punic War and then as a general in the Mercenary War against Carthage.
Stephen Bishop (c. 1821 - 1857), a mixed-race slave in Kentucky known for being one of the first explorers and guides of Mammoth Cave.
Sue, a black slave of James Brown, who was captured along with several members of the Brown family and other slaves by Chickamaugas. When the warrior who had captured her threatened another captive, the other captor threatened to kill Sue in retribution. James' son Joseph later kidnapped Sue and her children and grandchildren--eight in all--in retribution for his captivity.
Sumayyah bint Khayyat (550-615), a woman slave in Mecca and one of the first seven converts to Islam made by the Prophet Muhammad in his early career. She was tortured and killed by the new faith's enemies, becoming the first Muslim Shahid.
Squanto (1585-1622), also known as Tisquantum, a Native American of what is now coastal Massachusetts who was captured by English pirates and sold as a slave. He was later freed and returned to New England, where he met the Pilgrims of the Mayflower in 1621.
Subh of Cordoba (940-999), a slave concubine of a Caliph and mother and regent of the next Caliph of Cordoba in the 10th century.
T. Aelius Dionysius, a freedman of the late Roman Empire, who created a stela for himself, his wife, and Aelius Perseus, his fellow freedman, and their freedman and those who came after them.
T. Claudius Dionysius, a freedman whose freedwoman wife Claudia Prepontis erected a funerary altar to him. Their clasped hands, depicted on it, show the legitimacy of their marriage, possible only once they obtained their freedom.
Terence (c. 195/185 - c. 159 BCE), full name Publius Terentius Afer, Roman playwright and comic poet who wrote before and possibly after his freedom.
Tomás Ortega, a slave in colonial Mexico who attempted to marry Leonor de Mendoza, a slave of another master. When her master imprisoned Tomás, Leonor appealed to a church court for assistance, and it threatened excommunication for the master if he did not free Tomás.
Turgut Reis (1485-1565), also known as Dragut, a well-known admiral of the Ottoman Navy of the 16th century who was captured by the Genoese at Corsica and forced to work as a galley slave for nearly four years. He was finally rescued by his fellow admiral Barbarossa, who laid siege to Genoa and secured Turgut Reis' release for the prodigious ransom of 3,500 gold ducats. Thereupon, Turgut Reis resumed his naval career (which included the enslavement of various other people).
Venture Smith (1729-1805), an African captured as a child and transported to the American colonies as a slave. When an adult, he purchased his freedom and that of his family - his wife Meg and their children Hannah, Solomon and Cuff. His history was documented and published by a schoolteacher, to whom he talked in his old age.
The Vestmenn ("West Men" in Old Norse, referring to the Irish) were a group of Irish slaves brought to Iceland by Hjörleifr Hróðmarsson, one of the early Norse settlers there. He treated them badly, and they killed him and escaped to a group of offshore islands. Ingólfur Arnarson, Hjörleifur's blood brother, tracked the escaped slaves and killed them all. Though their individual names are unknown, their memory lives on in Icelandic geography, the islands where they sought refuge being known up to the present as "Vestmannaeyjar": "Islands of the West Men" (i.e. of the Irish).
Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), a French priest who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. He was taken captive by Turkish pirates, sold into slavery, and freed in 1607.
Vindicius, an ancient Roman slave who discovered Tarquin's plot to regain power.
Vibia Calybeni, a freedwoman of the late Roman Empire who unusually named herself as a madam on her tombstone.
Virginia Boyd, an American slave woman whose letter to R.C. Ballard, pleading not to be sold with her children among strangers, has been preserved. Ballard had undertaken to have her sold at the request of Judge Samuel Boyd, the children's father, to hide her existence from his family.
Violet Ludlow, an American woman sold as a slave several times despite her claims to be a free white woman.
Vitalis, ancient Roman slave. The epigraph of the slave boy Iucundus describes him as the son of Gryphus and Vitalis.
Wulfstan, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, and his two sons and stepdaughter. They were freed by his mistress Æthelgifu's will.
Wu Rui (), a 15th-century enslaved eunuch in what is now Vietnam. He was the youngest of thirteen Chinese men from Wenchang whose ship was blown off course and who were subsequently enslaved by the Lê dynasty. As recorded in the Ming Shi-lu, his companions were made agricultural laborers while Wu Rui was castrated and became an attendant at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. After years of service, he was promoted at the death of the Vietnamese ruler in 1497 to a military position in northern Vietnam. A soldier told him of an escape route back to China and Wu Rui escaped to Longzhou. The local chief planned to sell him back to the Vietnamese, but Wu was rescued by the Pingxiang magistrate and then was sent to Beijing to work as a eunuch in the palace.
Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179-1229), an Arab biographer and geographer known for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. He was sold into slavery in 12th-century Syria and taken to Baghdad, but was provided with a good education by an enlightened owner and later freed.
Yas?r, a 7th-century Christian man who had been captured in a campaign of Khalid ibn al-Walid, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad. Yas?r was taken to Medina and became the slave of Qays ibn Makhrama ibn al-Mualib ibn ?Abd Man?f ibn Qu?ayy. He accepted Islam, was manumitted and became his mawl?, thus acquiring the nisbat al-Mualib?. He had three sons - M?s?, ?Abd al-Ra?m?n, and Isq. His grandson, Ibn Ishaq, became an important early Arab historian.
Zalmoxis, a Dacian who was a slave of Pythagoras on the island of Samos, according to Herodotus. Zalmoxis learned philosophy from his master and other wise Greeks. Eventually he was liberated, gathered huge wealth and went back to his homeland, where he converted the Thracians to his beliefs, was greatly venerated for his wisdom and in later generations became worshiped as a god.
Zayd ibn Haritha (c. 581-629), given to Muhammad's wife Khadijah, freed, adopted, and became known as Zayd ibn Muhammad.
Ziryab (789-857), also known as Abul-Hasan Alí Ibn Nafí, a Muslim singer, musician, and polymath known for introducing the crop asparagus to Europe.
Zumbi (1655-1695), a slave in 17th-century Brazil who escaped and joined the Quilombo dos Palmares, the largest ever settlement of escaped slaves in colonial Brazil, becoming its last and most famous leader.
^Afnan, Abul-Qasim (1999), Black Pearls: Servants in the Household of the Bab and Baha'u'llah, Kalimat Press, p. 27, ISBN1-890688-03-7
^Afnan, Abul-Qasim (1999), Black Pearls: Servants in the Household of the Bab and Baha'u'llah, Kalimat Press, p. 30, ISBN1-890688-03-7
^'Abdu'l-Baha (1982). Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by Abdu'l Baha during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Bahai Publishing Trust, 2nd Edition. p. 426. ISBN978-0877431725.