Thousands of manumissions occurred across Virginia between 1782 and 1865. Many were individual slaves freed by individuals whose names are lost to history. However, there were also very notable historical figures who freed their slaves, some in large numbers, through wills or through deeds, often making financial provision for the formerly enslaved peoples. These examples show that the manumission movement was not relegated to a specific class, religious persuasion, or geographic area in Virginia.
George Washington - freed over 150 slaves through his will
Robert Carter III - freed over 450 slaves through deed
Thomas Jefferson - freed two slaves by deed and five slaves through his will
Richard Randolph - freed 90 slaves through his will
John Randolph of Roanoke - freed 383 slaves through his will
Robert Pleasants - freed 400 slaves following famous court battle.
Samuel Gist - freed over 350 slaves through his will
Col. Charles Lynch - freed five slaves through several deeds
John Lynch - freed 22 slaves through several deeds
Abner Early - freed 18 slaves through deed
Timothy Rogers - freed 32 slaves though his will
Charles Lambert - freed 36 slaves through his will
Nicholas Davies - freed 51 slaves through deeds