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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

Re: [NJ] Roberts-Doremus-Jones-Skidmore & Slavery

Yes, manumission was a legal way to free, emancipate, liberate a person held in bondage. It was important to document legally the change of status from slave to free person. Some states eventually passed laws making it difficult or illegal to manumit slaves. In some cases a person freed from bondage was required to leave the state, as free people of color were considered to be a threat or a burden to public welfare.

I have read that, due to New Jersey's policy of "gradual emancipation," there were still black people held in bondage (indentured or enslaved) when the Civil War began.

Our relative Sylvester Doremus of Westfield and Rahway, NJ was counted as a free farm laborer in 1860. Joseph Doremus in Passaic County and Nancy Doremus in Bergen County (who could be his parents) were also counted as free persons in 1860. They might be related to the Freeman-Doremus-Housman household in Newark, NJ--also counted as free in 1860.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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