Slave Biographies


Louisiana Slave Database (GMH)

Principal Investigator: Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

Descriptions of all slaves and their manumissions found in documents of all kinds in all jurisdictions of French, Spanish, and early American Lower Louisiana. This updated version merges the originally separate slave database and the free database still downloadable separately from published with a limited search engine in 2001. These descriptions of slaves have been entered from many types of documents, but one-half involve sales of slaves and about one-third are from inventories of the estates of deceased masters. Names of slaves are linked with names of their changing owners. Testimony by slaves are mainly from recaptured runaways and those involved in conspiracies and revolts against slavery.

Geographic Coverage: All of Lower Louisiana

Time Period: 1719-1820  

Number of records (individual slaves): 104,729

Number of variables: 162

Source(s): Louisiana Historical Center of Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans Notarial Archives, Pointe Coupee Parish Courthouse, and many others.

Date of compilation: 1984-1999

Funding: National Endowment for the Humanities, Ministries of Culture of France and Spain, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Historic New Orleans Collection, Guggenheim Foundation

Documentation: Codebook | Short description and bibliography


SPSS: GMH.sav | Comma delimited:  GMH.csv

Maranhão Inventories Slave Database (MISD)

Principal Investigator: Walter Hawthorne

Information about the lives of about 8,500 slaves in Maranhāo from the mid-eighteenth century through the early nineteenth century.  Data was derived from inventories of slaveholders’ possessions that can be found in un-catalogued boxes in the Arquivo Judiciário do Estado do Maranhāo in São Luis, Brazil.

Geographic Coverage: Maranhāo (north-eastern state of Brazil)

Time Period: 1767-1831  

Number of records (individual slaves): 8,188

Number of variables: 20

Source: Arquivo Judiciário do Estado do Maranhāo in São Luis, Brazil

Date of compilation: 2005

Funding: Fulbright Hays Faculty Research Fellowship, and he received an NEH Faculty Fellowship in 2008-09


Excel: MISD.xlsx

Free Black Database (FBD)

Principal Investigator: Brian Mitchell

The "Free Blacks" dataset was created from The Mayor's Register of Free Blacks in the City of New Orleans from 1840 to 1864. All volumes were transcribed and translated from the first volumes of French text. The data was also isolated into fields to lead the user to a variety of other data sources in the city relating to the individuals within. For example, a user can look at the number of manumissions from the same notary or from the same time period. The database is a finding aid for those collections, it list specific notaries and dates of filing, specific baptism records, and has been correlated to specific emancipation records were applicable.

Geographic Coverage: City of New Orleans

Time Period: 1840-1864

Number of records (individual slaves): 2,818

Number of variables: 55

Source: Louisiana Division/City Archives and Special Collections at the New Orleans Public Library

Date of compilation: 2016

Funding: Research self funded by Brian Mitchell with special thanks to the University of Arkansas Little Rock


Excel: Free_Black_Database.xls