New Jersey Cases Concerning Slavery and Manumission

New Jersey Laws on Slavery and Abolition

New Jersey Slave Law of 1714
New Jersey Slave Law of 1798
New Jersey Abolition Law of 1804
New Jersey Abolition Law of 1820

New Jersey Appellate Court Cases on Slavery, Freedom, and Manumission

Part I: Bloomfield's Manumission Cases - reprinted.

Cases adjudged in the Supreme Court of  New-Jersey; relative to the manumission of Negroes and others holden in bondage.  Edited by Joseph Bloomfield for the New Jersey Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (1794).  Reprint of full texts of cases from 1775 to 1793 from a 1794 pamphlet.

Part II: New Jersey Cases from New Jersey Law Reports

State v. Lyon (1789)
Court grants freedom on writ of habeas corpus to person held in slavery.
State v. Anderson (1790)
State v. Administratoris of Prall (1790)
State v. Frees (1794)
State v. Heddon (1795)
State v. M'Donald and Armstrong (1795)
State v. Emmons (1806)
State v. Quick (1807)
Gibbons v. Morse (1821)
The owner of a ferry charged with allowing a slave to escape to New York (in what may have been a kidnapping incident or collusive attempt illegally to sell the slave).  Court also rules that all blacks are presumed to be slaves.

Further References:     See Paul Axel-Lute's  The Law of Slavery in New Jersey: An Annotated Bibliography (2005), at


Graham Russell Hodges, Root & Branch: African Americans in New York & East Jersey, 1613-1863 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999).

Gary B. Nash and Jean R. Soderlund, Freedom by Degrees: Emancipation in Pennsylvania and Its Aftermath (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991)