Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
Painted by John Hesselius
Little did I realize, not being a Marylander, that this next manumission was by one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer. He was a contemporary and friend of Benjamin Franklin and a very forward thinking gentleman.
This record is markedly different from the other manumissions I have shared because, while the other men were moving, Daniel’s actions were guided and “moved by the sentiment of christian Charity and humanity as well as by the Spirit of the declaration of rights that all men are born free.”
To all whom it may Concern know ye that I Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer moved by the Sentiments of christian Charity and humanity as well as by the Spirit of the declaration of Rights that all men are born free do by these presents manumit and set free from slavery
All the negroes herein after named to wit: Kate and her Children Moses, Tom, Jen, Dick, Phil, Fortune and little Kate, big Jane and her children Smith and Nance, little Jane and her child Syl, Peg and her daughter Henny Smith and Nance (sic) and their children Peg, Sal, Jane and John Ben Solomon Peter Short Nace Peter Goodrich Phil Charles John Bristol Sam Scougal also Jude, Bill Tom John George Molly and Anna being six children of the said Jude, great Kate and her three children Zack Henny and Sally, Let and her four children Margaret, Milley Anna and Betty, Isaac Joe Tom, Davy and Nell also all and every other the Children and Grand Children of negro Fortune deceased wife of Michael Stevengar, But Nevertheless pertaining (sic) the services of all the aforesaid slaves until the first day of January which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety six and no longer and that at the Expiration of the said term all and every of the slaves to be at liberty without the let or hindrance of any person
Whatsoever, Given under my hand and Seal this 14th of April Anno domini 1790 –
Signed, Sealed & delivered Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (seal)
In presence of –
The words “also all and every other On the back of the foregoing manumission the children and grand children of was thus endorsed
negro Fortune deceased wife of Michael Stevengar first interlined”
Chas. Steuart of Chas.
April 14th, 1790 Then personally appeared before me Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer party to the within Instrument of manumission and Acknowledged the same to be his Act & deed Agreeable to an act of assembly passed in the year 1752 –
Recorded 1st May 1790 Richd. Harwood junr.
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer lived for six more months, passing away on 16 November 1790.
Anne Arundel County, Maryland Deed Book: Liber NH, no. 5, page 187. FHL film #13, 218