The Attitude
of the
Society of friends Towards Slavery

THE ATTITUDE OF THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS TOWARDS SLAVERY is a pamphlet that was published by the Camden County Historical Society. It is derived from a paper written by William A. Cooper, with the intent of reading it at a Society meeting. Sadly, Mr. Cooper passed away before he had a chance to present it. His wife read the paper on January 15, 1929. The published version includes additional comments by Charles S. Boyer.

It is reprinted here in its entirety, with hyperlinks, in the hope that it will be of use to students and all others interested in the history of Camden NJ and the surrounding towns. 

Phil Cohen



Vol. 1.                                                No. 6









The following address was prepared by Mr. William A. Cooper  just before his death and was read before the Camden County Historical Society on Tuesday, January 15, 1929, by Mrs. William A. Cooper. Mr. Cooper did not have an opportunity to correct or ex­tend his statements and it is now published substantially as he had written it, except for a few minor corrections made by the Editor. -  C. S. B.

The Attitude of the Society of Friends Towards Slavery

By William A. Cooper

THIS will not attempt to be a history of human slavery, but will be confined to its relation to the Society of Friends in America. In the early history of this country the first negro slaves were said to be 20 negroes brought by Captain John Harkins in 1620 from the Coast of Guinea and landed at James­town, Virginia, and sold to the tobacco planters. From this be­ginning, the importation increased so rapidly that, in 1790, it is estimated that there were 300,000 negro slaves in the State of Virginia alone.

Slaves were very generally held, even amongst the members of the Society of Friends,—William Penn and others holding slaves. John Estaugh and Elizabeth holding at least one slave named "Primus," who is mentioned in New Jersey Archives as follows:

"Haddonfield April 26th 1773" "The day before yesterday about 5 o'clock in the afternoon a fire broke out in a shed adjoining the House of Primus Marsh an aged negroe who formerly belonged to John Estaugh and is now upwards of 90 years of age."

It may not be generally known to' you that even in this good City of Camden slaves were publicly sold as late as 1762.

(From The New York Mercury, August 3, 1761)


On board the Schooner 'Hannah,' lying in the River Delaware, very near Mr. Daniel Cooper's Ferry, West Jersey, opposite the City of Philadelphia, A Cargo of likely Negroes, just imported in said Schooner, directly from the Coast of Guinea."  


(From The Pennsylvania Journal, May 27, 1762)

"Just imported from the River Gambia, in the Schooner 'Sally' Barnard Badger, Master, and to be sold at the Upper-Ferry (called Benjamin Cooper's Ferry), opposite to this City, a Parcel of likely Men and Women Slaves, with some Boys and Girls of different Ages."

(From The Pennsylvania Gazette, August 19, 1762)

"To be Sold at Robert's Ferry, commonly known by the Name of Benjamin Cooper's Ferry, Cooper's Point, New Jersey:

A Parcel of choice healthy

Young Slaves,

Men, Women, Boys and Girls.

attendance will be given by Capt. Bruce, Master of
the Sloop Hester, in which they were imported from the
Windward Coast of Africa.

Being Negroes from the most established Ports of the
Coast of Africa, for being good House or Plantation

(From The Pennsylvania Gazette, August 19, 1762)

"Just imported, a Parcel of fine young Negroe Slaves,
Men, Women, Boys and Girls, to be sold at Daniel
Cooper's Ferry in the Jerseys, opposite Philadelphia, by


Merchant in Water Street. Attendance will be given from
Nine to Twelve in the Forenoon, and from Two to Five
in the Afternoon."

(From The Pennsylvania Journal, October 28, 1762)

"To Be Sold by JOHN IRLAND At Reese Meredith's:

A Negro Woman, a Negro Girl about 18 Years Old,
and a Negro Child about 6 Years Old, to be seen at
Daniel Cooper's at the Ferry, they were sold by Execution
in Barbados, not sent off for any Fault."

The first protest against holding negroes in slavery was made over 240 years ago, on the l8th day of the 2nd mo. 1688, by four German members of Germantown Meeting of Friends, by the names of Garret Hendricks, Derick up de Graeff, Francis Daniel Pastorius and Abraham up Den Graef. These men, to their eternal credit, wrote a very strong and vigorous protest, which they sent to the Dublin Monthly Meeting, who, to use a slang expression "passed the buck" by saying "We having inspected ye matter above mentioned and consider of it, we find it so weighty that we think it not expedient for us to meddle with it here, but do rather commit it to consideration of ye Quarterly Meeting; ye tenor of it being nearly related to ye truth."

The Quarterly Meeting, under date of the 4th of ye 4th mo, 1688 recommended it to the Yearly Meeting, saying "This above mentioned was read in our Quarterly Meeting, and was from thence recommended to the Yearly Meeting, and the above said Derick and other two mentioned therein, to present the same to ye above said meeting, it being a thing of too great a weight for this meeting to determine."

At the Yearly Meeting held at Burlington the 5th day of the 7th mo. 1688, the following minute was made: "A paper being here presented by some German Friends Concerning the Law­fulness and Unlawfulness of Buying and Keeping Negroes, it was adjudged not to be so proper for this Meeting to give a Positive Judgment in the Case, it having so General a Relation to many other Parts, and therefore at Present they forbear it."

From this it would seem that the holding of slaves amongst the members was so common, public sentiment not having been aroused as to the moral questions involved, that the meeting feared to take any decided action. The seeds had been planted and the agitation started, and on 7 mo. 23rd 1696 the Yearly Meeting, 8 years after the protest from' the Germantown friends, made the following minute, "Whereas several papers have been read, Relative to the Keeping & bringing in of Negroes which being duly considered, it is the advice of this meeting that Friends be careful not to encourage the bringing in of any more Negroes, and that such that have Negroes be careful of them, bringing them to Meetings, or have Meeting with them in their families and Restrain them from loose and Lewd living, as much as in them lies, and from Rambling about on First Days or other times." This was a general form of good advice.

On 7th mo. 1711, (15 years after), is the following minute, "Likewise they declare their dissatisfaction with Friends buying and encouraging the bringing in of Negroes and advise Friends to be careful," a little stronger advice.

On 7th mo. l8th 1715, Chester Quarterly Meeting sent a strong protest against the practice of importing, buying and selling Negro Slaves, and the Meeting adopted the following minute, "That some Friends be yet in the practice of importing, buying and selling of Negro Slaves, and the sense and Judgment is that Friends should not be concerned therein, and Friends who have or keep negroes do use and treat them with humanity and a Christian Spirit." The Chester Quarterly Meeting kept up this yearly protest for some 15 years, each year the protest getting stronger.

On 7th mo. i7th 1730, we find this minute, "Friends ought to be very cautious of making any such Purchases for the Future It being disagreeable to the sense of this Meeting." In 1754, the Yearly Meeting prepared an Epistle of Caution and advice Con­cerning the Buying and Keeping of Slaves, which was a very strong plea.

In 1758 (70 years after) the Meeting made a minute against Slavery and John Woolman, John Churchman, John Scarborough, John Sykes, and Daniel Stanton were ap­pointed to visit the members of Meeting who held slaves and try to get them freed.

 In 1759, the Committee reported they had made some progress and were continued and reported for several years. In 1776, the Committee appointed to labour and to obtain releasement &c. reported, "That in the course of our several visits on the occasion, we have found many who are possessed of these poor Captives, manifesting a Commendable willingness to comply with the advice and Judgment of the Yearly Meeting and by writings duly executed under their respective Hands and Seals, declare freedom and Liberty to 116 of them being blacks and Mulattoes of various ages. Those in their minority to be free at 21 years for the males and females at 18 years of age."

 In 1777, the Yearly Meeting reports "Yet sorrowful it is that there are some in membership with us, who notwithstanding all the advice and labour extended towards them persist in hold­ing these poor people in Bondage and Captivity."

 In the Women's Meeting records of Haddonfield Meeting, under date of 8 month of 1777, is the following,

 "28 slaves in the compass of Haddonfield Meeting freed, but, Jacob Jennings, Samuel Clement, William Cooper, Isaac Horner, Joseph Morgan, John Barton, Hannah Ladd, Elizabeth Mickle, not yet complied but appear uneasy on account of the Slavery of their negroes, Richard Matlack, Jacob Stokes, Marmaduke Cooper, Joseph Nicholson and Elizabeth Iredell seem not disposed to set theirs free."

In 3rd month of 1777, James Cooper and John Tatum were ap­pointed to visit those Friends within the compass of Woodbury and Haddonfield Meetings who held negroes in bondage. In the Meeting records it is recorded that the Committee reported, but with no detailed account of their report. At the home of James Cooper Griscom in Woodbury, which was formerly the home of James Cooper, is a copy of their report from which because it has considerable interest as showing the attitude of the members of Meeting at that time is quoted in part as follows :

"William Keis, had one Child which he manumitted at 18 years of age being a girl.
John Hilman, one child which he manumitted at 18 years of age being a girl.
Isaac Ward, one man which he manumitted at about 22 years of age,
Hannah Ladd, Mail & Femail who after much freedom on both sides respecting keeping them in bondage was used, consented to free them, upon which a day was appointed for that purpose, but when we went, she had altered her mind, so that the Negroes' liberty could not be obtained.
David Cooper, one bound till 21 years of age, which he thought from the circumstances of the Case he would keep her the full time, being a girl.
Elizabeth Mickle, had three, not disposed to free them as she had put them away in some sort to other persons.
Hepsiba Evans, all manumitted by her when requested.
John Hinchman, Mail & Femail not disposed to free them.
Jacob Jennings, Mail & Femail appeared in good disposi­tion & after some further
conversation another day had reason to think he would manumit his.
Isaac Ellis, five, and Freed them with pleasure from all that appeared.
Samuel Clement, Mail & Femail, not disposed to free them. 
Hannah Cooper, manumitted a man, being all she had.
James Kaighn ditto a lad when he arrived to ye age of 21 years.
William Cooper, a boy and girl not disposed to free them.
Joseph Morgan, a man thought best to consider of ye matter first—(worth probably $600.) 
Griffith Morgan, not at home, but his wife believed he would free his.
Isaac Horner, Mail & Femail not disposed to give them their liberty.
Elizabeth Fridle, a girl. Did not think was a people fit to be free.
Jacob Stoaks, Boy & Girl, who disapproved of keeping them as slaves, as he said, but from certain circumstances attending would not free them—
Marmaduke Cooper, several who for some reason was de­termined not to free them as he told us.
John Barton, a Girl & disposed to make her free, but as she was under an uncommon disorder, he was doubtful whether it would be best for her to be free—"

About every phase of human character crops out in this re­port.  Haddonfield Meeting minutes, 12 mo. 1779, reported Jacob Stoaks, Isaac Horner, Joseph Nicholsen, and Marmaduke Cooper, have not manumitted their slaves.

On 9th mo. 1780, Haddonfield Meeting disowned Marmaduke Cooper and Isaac Horner for not freeing their slaves and at the same meeting, "A Committeee was appointed to extend advice and assistance to free negroes, also put a sum of money under their care for schooling of their children and Joshua Evans was granted permission for a meeting of free negroes at his home next First day at 3 in the afternoon."

There is a record in the Court House at Woodbury that Mar­maduke Cooper in Tax duplicate for 1792 reported two slaves, and another record that in Dec. 1792 he freed his slaves. On 3rd mo. 1801, the estate of Marmaduke Cooper contributed $400 to the building of Newton Meeting House. This would seem to indicate that his heirs had no resentment against the Meeting for disowning Marmaduke. As Marmaduke freed his slaves in 1792, I thought that after doing so, he might have been reinstated as a member of Meeting but can find no such record.

On 2nd mo. 1779, the committee appointed by the Yearly Meeting recommended a subscription of 100 pounds for the schooling of negro children, the buying of books, &c. This was agreed upon.

John Hunt in his Journal says, "On 2nd mo. 1779, I attended a meeting at Haddonfield appointed by Friends, for the negroes. I believe not less than two hundred of them met, and John Reeves, James Cooper, Benjamin Swett and William Jones all spoke to them very notably and it was a favored opportunity."

On 9th mo. 1788, Haddonfield Meeting made a minute "No negroes held in bondage amongst us." Philadelphia Yearly Meet­ing was not so prompt. In 1790, this minute was made, "Clear of importing, purchasing, disposing of or holding mankind as slaves, excepting in some cases where the Mistress of some Families in which slaves are held remain in membership, and husbands are not. One quarter mentions some minors held under complicated circumstances, and another that some blacks have fallen to minors, and one instance appears of a Member holding a slave, which cases are under care." "Abington Meeting re­quests the sense and Judgment of the Yearly Meeting, whether it is consistent with our testimony to purchase a slave and after manumitting, to take an indenture till the purchase money is fully paid—The decision being it is not a Breach of our testimony." In 1795, the Meeting was able to say "No Slaves amongst us excepting one case of a member hiring a slave of his master. Care is taken for their religious and school education."

It took 107 years of persistent and active agitation to create a sentiment amongst the members, and bring about this result, but it was the wise course of action; if more active measures were taken, it would have resulted in a separation in the Society. It is a record of which the Friends should be justly proud, as it is as far as I know the first Religious Society to remonstrate against human Slavery and the first to prohibit its members from owning slaves. The Meetings not only insisted that all slaves held by its members be freed, but they immediately took measures to educate and help the freed slaves. Many of the members of the Meetings did not cease their efforts when their own Society was able to report that no slaves were held amongst them, but continued an active campaign against slavery until the Emancipa­tion Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln went into effect the first day of January, 1863. This was 175 years after the first German Friends of Germantown made their protest and sowed the seeds which did not fully mature for a century and three-quarters.

It would be impossible to enumerate, or do justice to all the members of the Society who took part in the movement, but amongst the more active workers were John Woolman, known to us all; Joshua Evans, another Jerseyman; Daniel Stanton, who, in his Journal, tells of his religious travels, 1769, and being in Newton "stopped that evening at Aquilla Jones's and had a sitting in the family where was a number of slaves, in which opportunity I took liberty to advise and caution all present;" Anthony Benezet, a French Hugenot, who, coming to Philadel­phia in 1731 and joining the Society of Friends, was very active in the Anti-Slavery Movement, and for the last two years of his life was engaged in conducting a school for the instruction of colored persons; Benjamin Lay, a deformed, eccentric character, who in his enthusiasm for the cause was led to do many erratic things and to use very strong language. In one of Lay's sermons, he took for his text, "Every good tree bringeth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth evil fruit," and continued "Is there any eviler Fruit in the world than slave keeping? Anything more devlish? It is of the very nature of Hell itself and is the Belly of Hell." He visited a friend in Philadelphia, and was asked to partake of a meal, but seeing a black servant in attendance he inquired of his master, "Is this negro a slave?" Being affirmatively answered, he said, "Then I will not share with the fruits of thy unrightfulness" and immediately departed from the house. The following facts will show some of the modes he adopted, to convince the Society of Friends, and others, of the impropriety of their conduct in keeping slaves. During the session of an annual meeting, held at Burlington in New Jersey, Lay proceeded to that city. Having previously prepared a sufficient quantity of the juice of pokeberry (Phytolacca decandra) to fill a bladder, he contrived to conceal it within the cover of a large folio volume, the leaves of which were removed. He then put on a military coat, and belted a small sword by his side; over the whole of this dress he threw his great coat, which was made in the most simple manner, and secured it upon himself with a single button. Thus equipped, he entered the meeting house and placed himself in a conspicuous situation, from which he addressed the audience in substance as follows:

 "Oh, all you negro masters who are contentedly holding your fellow creatures in a state of slavery during life, well knowing the cruel sufferings those innocent captives undergo in their state of bondage, both in these North American colonies, and in the West India Islands; you must know they are not made slaves by any direct law, but are held by an arbitrary and self-interested custom, in which you parti­cipate. And especially you who profess 'to do unto all men as ye would they should do unto you'—and yet in direct op­position to every principle of reason, humanity, and religion, you are forcibly retaining your fellow men, from one gen­eration to another, in a state of unconditional servitude. You might as well throw off the plain coat as I do (here he loosed the button, and the great coat falling behind him, his war­like appearance was exhibited to his astonished audience, and proceeded), "It would be as justifiable in the sight of the Almighty, who beholds and respects all nations and colours of men with an equal regard, if you should thrust a sword through their hearts as I do through this book." He then drew his sword and pierced the bladder, sprinkling its contents over those who sat near him."(1)

Isaac Tatem Hopper, born in Gloucester County, was a fear­less, outspoken advocate of anti-slavery, and frequently came into conflict with his meeting and the government, but could not be silenced.

Warner Mifflin, of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, in 1775 freed 37 slaves, old and young, whom he had inherited from his father. The day that he had fixed upon for their emancipation being come, he called them one after another into his room, and this was the conversation that passed with one of them: "Well, my friend James," said he, "how old art thou?" "I am 29 years old, Master." "Thou shouldst have been free as thy white brethren are at 21. Religion and humanity enjoin me this day to give thee thy liberty; and Justice requires me to pay thee for 8 years' service at the rate of £21 5 shillings per annum, including in it thy food and raiment, making altogether a sum of £95 12 shillings owing to thee. Thou hast now no master but God and the laws. Go into the next room, there thou wilt find thy late mistress and my nephew, they are engaged in writing thy manumission. May God bless thee James, be wise and in­dustrious." James replied, "Oh, my master, why do you give me liberty ? I have always had what I wanted; we have worked together in the field and eaten the same food and been clothed like you and we have gone together on foot to meeting. When we are sick, our good and tender Mistress comes to our bedside, always saying something consoling to us. Ah! my dear Master when I am free, where shall I go when I am sick?"

Lucretia Mott, of saintly memory, had a lovely personality, much grace and an apt way of replying which is shown in the following letter from Sarah Hopper Palmer, a daughter of Isaac T. Hopper, to her sister, Abby Hopper Gibbins. It also gives an insight into the feelings of the time: "About three weeks ago Lucretia Mott preached an excellent sermon. I thought one of the best I ever heard her utter. Rachel Bennett and Mary Biddle visited her on account of it. She asked what part of her discourse was offensive. They hesitated at first, but upon insisting, said they wished her not to speak of abolition either in meetings for Worship or Discipline. She told them there was more to say than had ever been heard on the subject. They told her it was inconsistent for her to attend the Convention where there was singing, and asked if there was not singing there. She re­plied that a person had set some of John Whittier's poetry to music and sung it, but it was more pleasing to hear than Mary Rowand or Amos Peaslee's singing." (The Amos Peaslee referred to was a minister of the Society of Friends, his discourses were delivered in a sing-song tone so common in the Society in those days).

There was a very interesting colored man, member of Mount Holly Meeting, named William Boen, who in early life was a slave, was freed and became a man of great integrity, and won the respect of all who came in contact with him; he died in 1824 in his 90th year.

There is much more that could be said on the subject, but I have no desire to tax your patience.*

* In my researches I found several items of interest:

1790—11,428 slaves in New Jersey 

1800—12,422 slaves in New Jersey 

1810—10,851 slaves in- New Jersey

1829— 7,557 slaves in New Jersey

1830— 2,254 slaves in New Jersey 

1840— 674 slaves in New Jersey 

1850— 236 slaves in New Jersey


(1)             From "Memoir of the Lives of Benjamin Lay and Ralph Sandiford," by Roberts Vaux; published at Philadelphia, Pa., 1813.


The following notes were originally prepared to continue the discussion of Mr. Cooper's paper on "The Attitude of the Society of Friends towards Slavery in New Jersey," but absence from the city prevented its delivery. Since it may help to clarify the conditions under which slaves were held in this State it is added to Mr. Cooper's paper. New Jersey, up to the time of the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment was, in a legal sense, a slave-holding State, no laws having been executed to abolish this servitude.

In 1713, the General Assembly passed a law providing that any master or executor under the will of a slave owner manumitting a slave must post a surety bond in the sum of £200 to pay to the negro an annuity of £20, otherwise the manumission was to be invalid.

In 1752, a law was passed by the General Assembly which prohibited tavern or inn-keepers from selling strong drink to slaves and also to prevent them from meeting in large companies, running about at nights or carrying a gun on the Lord's day.

In 1769, an act was passed laying a duty on the pur­chaser of slaves imported into the colony and restated the law relating to the freeing of slaves and provided that the owner must give a bond to the county or town when the manumission took place, to cover any charges which the freed slave might place on the county or town.

Beginning soon after the adoption of the State Constitu­tion (1776) there was a growing tendency to obtain the abolition of slavery, but progress was slow, first placing a large penalty for bringing into the State, slaves that had been imported from Africa since 1776, but it did not prevent those holding slaves in other states from bringing them into this State, during the time of residence therein. It was not until 1804 that a law for the gradual abolition of slavery was adopted. Up to the year 1826, a slave was not a com­petent witness in any court of the State, except where the case was against another slave. This restriction applied no matter how serious the charge might be.

Under the early New Jersey statutes a slave could not hold title to real estate and even the titles of free negroes were often questioned. Many of the Quakers on freeing a slave would deed a small tract of land to a trustee in order that he might maintain himself and his family. The following is a copy of such a rare and unrecorded deed, owned by the writer, for a small tract in Newton Township :

THIS INDENTURE Made this thirty first Day of Decem­ber One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven Between James Hurley and Rachel his wife and John Hurley and Jemima his Wife of the township of Newton County of Gloucester and State of New Jersey of the one part and James Cooper of Newton Creek in afforsaid Township and County of the other part. whereas David Hurley late of Newton affors11 Deceased was in his Life time and at his Death by good assurances in Law Duely had and Executed Legally Seized of and in Certain Lands lieing Joining to Newton Creek and the s4 David Hurley by his last Will and Testament Duely prov3 and Record bearing date the seventh day of January 1778 did Give and Devise the s'1 Land unto James Hurley and John Hurley partys to these presents and to their heirs and assigns forever Now this indenture Witnesseth that they the Said James Hurley and John Hurley for and in Consideration of the Sum of twenty Six pounds twelve Shillings and two pence Lawfull money of this State to them in hand pay'1 by the Said James Cooper at or before the Sealing and Delivery hereof the Receipt Whereof the Said James & John Hurley Do hereby acknowledge and them Selves to be there With Contented Satisfy* and pay* have granted bargained sold aliend Enfeoff'1 Convey'1 and Confirm'1 and by these presents Do grant bargain sell alien enfeoff Convey and Confirm unto the s'1 James Cooper his heirs and assigns forever For the use Servises & benefit of Black William (Who was former the property of Daniel Cooper) his heirs and assigns forever a Certain tract or parcel of Land in part of the above mentioned Land Bounded as follows

'BEGINNING at a forked Whiteoake tree Corner also James Hurleys other Land and Samuel Eastlacks Land (i) by Hurley North Eighty four degrees and a half East four Chains and forty Links to a Stake in John Hurleys Line (2) by the Same South Nine degrees East nine Chains & forty two Links to a Stake (3) by Black Ishmaels Land South Eighty nine degrees and forty minuits West ten Chains and thirty two Links to a Stake (4) by Eastlacks Land North twenty four degrees and forty five minuits East ten chains and two Links to the place of Beginning Containing Six acres two quarters and twenty five Square perch of Land TOGETHER with all and Singular the Ways Waters mines minerals Wood under Woods Rights mem­bers Rents Issues profits Commoditys Immunitys heriditaments and appurtinances thereunto belonging or in any Wise appertain­ing ALSO all the Estate Right title property Interest Claim and demand of them the Said James and John Hurley of in or to the S3' Six acres two quarters & twenty five perch of Land Ither in Law or Equity. TO HAVE AND TO HOLD all the s'1 Six acres two quarters and twenty five perch of Land and primisses With the hereditaments and Every of the appurtenances to him the Said James Cooper his heirs and Assigns forever To and for the only uses Servises benefits and profits of the Said black William his heirs and assigns forever TO AND FOR the s" James Cooper his heirs and Assigns forever for the Emolument Enjoyment possession and only use of the s'3 Black William his heirs assigns forever AND Lastly the s'1 James Hurley and John Hurley all the above Granted Six acres two quarters and twenty five perch of Land unto the s'1 James Cooper (for the use of the s3 black William) against them the Said James & John Hurley and against all and every other person or persons Claiming or to Claim any Law full Estate Right or title to the above Granted Land or any part thereof Shall and Will Warrant and forever Defend In Witness Whereas they the s11 James Hurley & Rachel his Wife & John Hurley & Jemima his Wife have hereunto Set their hands and Seals the day and year first above Written

Sealed and Delivered
in the presents of


Richard Davis
James Albertson (?) 

Received the Day and date of the
above Deed the full Sum of
Twenty six pounds twelve shillings
and two pence Lawfull money of
the above named James Cooper it
being in full of the above purchase
money received by us
James Hurley
Rachel Hurley  
John Hurley
Jemima Hurley

James Hurley
Rachel Hurley  

  In the early revenue laws provision was made for the listing of all slaves held by citizens of the Colony and State and a tax was levied against their owners in exactly the same manner as any other chattel.

The following is taken from the Tax Duplicates in the Public Record office at Trenton, N. J., showing the number of slaves owned by residents of Newton Township, Gloucester County, for the years indicated. Since there is some discrepancy between this list and the statements made in Mr. Cooper's paper the inference is that the individuals in some cases attempted to avoid taxation by omitting to report the slaves owned. This is particularly noticeable in the case of Marmaduke Cooper.

Census of Slaves in Newton Township, Old Gloucester County:

1779  1782  1783 1784 1785 1786  1789 1790 1791 1792 1795
Aquilla Jones 1
William Cooper 1 1
Joshua Cooper 1

Frenchman in  

James Kaighn 1
John Bisphan 1
Isaac Albertson 1 1 1 1 1
Deborah Albertson  1
James Cooper 1
Benjamin Graysbury 1
Charles Anthony amd Henrici Deboise 2
Samuel Clement 1 1 1
Buehlah Clement 1 1
Isaac Burrough 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 3 3
Marmaduke Cooper 1 1 2 2
Jacob Stokes 1 1 1 1 1 1
Edward Gibbs 1 1