Afrolumens Project  home pageslavery

PA County Index

Feature Articles

Tips on Using This Site

PA Enslavement FAQs

An African American man in colonial work clothing chops wood on a rural farm.

A series of pages exploring
various aspects of enslavement in Pennsylvania


Feature Articles

  • Buying a Slave
    Where did Pennsylvanians buy slaves?
  • Pennsylvania Slave Merchants
    Who were some of the professional dealers in slaves, in Pennsylvania?
  • Resistance by Enslaved Persons
    What are some of the ways enslaved persons resisted their bondage?
  • Slave Names
    How did enslaved persons get their names?
  • Agriculture and Slave Labor
    How were enslaved persons used on Pennsylvania farms? Did Pennsylvania have "plantations?"
  • Pennsylvania's Black Codes
    Read the harsh laws passed in colonial Pennsylvania to control free Blacks and enslaved persons.
  • Profiles of William Kelso and Sons by Fred Kelso
    The Kelso family operated a ferry and held enslaved persons in Dauphin, Cumberland and Erie counties. Included on this page are photographs by Fred Kelso of the July 4, 2000 re-enactment of the operation of the Kelso-Harris ferry. This re-enactment featured a replica of the original ferry craft used by the Kelso and Harris families.
  • An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery
    Full text of the original act, passed on March 1st, 1780.
  • A Comparison of Servitude Agreements
    Full text of separate servitude agreements for two young men, one white and one Black.
  • Images of Enslavement
    Scans of original newspaper advertisements offering enslaved persons for sale, registration documents and miscellaneous documents, and discussion of commercial images including Nathaniel Currier's Branding Slaves on the Coast of Africa. Also included are photographs of slave burial sites and histories of slave burials at local cemeteries.
About the AP | Contact AP | Mission Statement
The url of this page is