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List of slaves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This and three other statues of chained slaves, placed at the base of the Monument of the Four Moors at Livorno, Italy, might have been made with actual slaves as models, whose names and circumstances remain unknown

Slavery is a social-economic system under which people are enslaved: deprived of personal freedom and forced to perform labor or services without compensation. These people are referred to as slaves, or as enslaved people.

The following is a list of historical people who were enslaved at some point during their lives, in alphabetical order by first name. Several names have been added under the letter representing the person's last name.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • 25 Nations that Still Trade in Slaves
  • List of slaves | Wikipedia audio article
  • Unveiling the Dark Secrets: US Presidents who Owned Slaves
  • US Presidents Who Owned Slaves
  • Which member of Congress owned the most slaves?



Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Aesop in a Hellenistic statue claimed to be him, Art Collection of Villa Albani, Rome
Portrait of Andrey Voronikhin. Engraving by V. A. Bobrov from the beginning of the 19th century.
Abram Petrovich Gannibal, bust in Petrovskoe, Russia
  • Archibald Grimké (1849–1930), born into slavery, the son of a white father, became an American lawyer, intellectual, journalist, diplomat and community leader.
  • Aristocleia, a woman in ancient Greece described in Against Neaera as the property of Nicarete, who prostituted her c. 340 BC.
  • Arkil, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".[11]
  • Arthur Crumpler (c. 1835–1910), escaped slavery in Virginia, second husband of Dr. Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler.
  • Aster Ganno (c.1872–1964), a young Ethiopian woman was rescued by the Italian Navy from a slave ship crossing to Yemen. She went on to translate the Bible into the Oromo language. Also she prepared literacy materials and went on to spend the rest of her life as a school teacher.
  • Augustine Tolton (1854–1897), the first black priest in the United States.[28]
  • Aurelia Philematium, a freedwoman whose tombstone glorifies her marriage with her fellow freedman, Lucius Aurelius Hermia.[29]
Portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo by William Hoare (1733)


Saint Brigid of Kildare as depicted in Saint Non's chapel, St Davids, Wales


Charlotte Aïssé
Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasha bust at Mersin Naval Museum


Dred Scott, who lost a legal suit for his freedom in the United States Supreme Court in 1857
  • Dabitum, slave in Old Babylonia known for her letter concerning a miscarriage.[54][55]
  • Danae, "the new maidservant of Capito", named in lead curse tablet from Republican Rome, which aimed to destroy Danae.[56]
  • Daniel Bell (c. 1802–1877) who tried for decades to obtain lasting freedom for himself, his wife, and his children. He helped organize what was called "the single largest known escape attempt by enslaved Americans", called the Pearl incident in Washington, D.C., in 1848.
  • Dada Masiti (c. 1810s–15 July 1919) poet, mystic and Islamic scholar.
  • Dave Drake (c. 1801–1876), also known as Dave the Potter.
  • David George, a black man who fled a cruel Virginia master and was captured by Creeks and enslaved by Chief Blue Salt.[57]
  • Deborah Squash, with her husband Harvey escaped from George Washington's Mount Vernon, joined the British in New York during the American Revolutionary War, and were evacuated in 1783 as freedmen.[58]
  • Denmark Vesey (c. 1767–1822), an enslaved African-American man and later a freeman who planned what would have been one of the largest slave rebellions in the United States had word of the plans not been leaked.[59]
  • Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761–1804), born into slavery as the natural daughter of Maria Belle, an enslaved African woman in the West Indies, and Sir John Lindsay, a career Royal Navy officer. Lindsay took Belle with him when he returned to England in 1765, entrusting her raising to his uncle William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and his wife Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Mansfield. The Murrays educated Belle, bringing her up as a free gentlewoman at their Kenwood House, together with their niece, Lady Elizabeth Murray. Belle lived there for 30 years. In his will of 1793, Lord Mansfield confirmed her freedom and provided an outright sum and an annuity to her, making her an heiress.
  • Diego was a formerly-enslaved freedman closely associated with the Elizabethan English navigator Francis Drake. In March 1573, Drake raided Darien (in modern Panama), in which he was greatly aided by Maroons – Africans who had escaped from Spanish slave owners and were glad to help their English enemies. One of them was Diego, who proved a capable ship builder and accompanied Drake back to England. In 1577, when Queen Elizabeth sent Drake to start an expedition against the Spanish along the Pacific coast of the Americas – which eventually developed into Drake circumnavigating the world – Diego was once again employed under Drake; his fluency in Spanish and English would make him a useful interpreter when Spaniards or Spanish-speaking Portuguese were captured. He was employed as Drake's servant and was paid wages, just like the rest of the crew. Diego died while Drake's ship was crossing the Pacific, of wounds sustained earlier in the voyage. Drake was saddened at his death, Diego having become a good friend.[60]
  • Diogenes of Sinope (c. 412–323 BCE), Greek philosopher kidnapped by pirates and sold in Corinth.
  • Dincă, half-Roma man enslaved by his father, a Cantacuzino boyar in the 19th-century Danubian Principalities (present-day Romania). Well-educated, working as a cook but not allowed to marry his French mistress and go free, which had led him to murder his lover and kill himself. The affair shocked public opinion and was one of the factors contributing to the abolition of slavery in Romania.[61]
  • Diocletian (244–312), Emperor of Rome, was by some sources born as the slave of Senator Anullinus. By other sources, it was Diocletian's father (whose own name is unknown) who was a slave, and was freed prior to the birth of his son, the future emperor.[62]
  • Dionysius I (? – 1492), Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, previously enslaved by the Ottomans after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.
  • Dolly Johnson (born late 1820s, died after 1887), African-American woman from Tennessee, enslaved by President Andrew Johnson, later a small small-business owner.[63]
  • Dorota Sitańska (died after 1797), Polish serf and Royal Ballet Dancer, donated to the king of Poland by will and testament.[64]
  • Dragut (1485–1565) Ottoman commander, gally slave during his Italian captivity.
  • Dred Scott (c. 1799–1858), an enslaved African-American man in Missouri who sued for his freedom in a nationally publicized trial, Scott v. Sandford, that reached the United States Supreme Court in 1857.
  • Dufe the Old, a man enslaved in Anglo-Saxon England who was freed by his mistress Æthelgifu's will.[65]


Florence, Lady Baker c. 1875. A Romanian enslaved as an orphan, was bought by Samuel Baker, who married her.
  • Ecceard the Smith, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".[65]
  • Ecgferð Aldun's daughter, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".[65]
  • Edmond Flint, a black person enslaved by the Choctaw Nation who later described it as very like slavery among the whites.[66]
  • Ediþ, an enslaved woman in Anglo-Saxon England who bought her freedom and that of her children.[67]
  • Edward Mozingo, Sr., (c. 1649 – 1712), kidnapped from Africa when about 10 years old, sold into slavery in Jamestown, Virginia. After his owner died, he sued for his freedom and won it. He married an impoverished white woman, Margaret Pierce Bayley (1645–1711) and together they, essentially, founded the Mozingo family line in North America.[68]
  • Elijah Abel (1808–1884), born enslaved in Maryland and believed to have escaped slavery on the Underground Railroad into Canada. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its early days, was among the first blacks to receive its priesthood and the first black person to rise to the ranks of an elder and seventy.
  • Elizabeth Marsh (1735–1785) was an Englishwoman who was captured by corsairs and held in slavery in Morocco.
  • Edith Hern Fossett, a woman enslaved by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, was taught to cook by a French chef and created French cuisine at the White House and at Monticello.
  • Elias Polk (1806–1886), a conservative political activist of the 19th century.
  • Eliezer of Damascus, Abraham's slave and trusted manager of the Patriarch's household in the Hebrew Bible.
  • Elieser was a man enslaved by the family of Paulo de Pina, Portuguese Jews who moved to the Netherlands in 1610 to escape persecution and forced conversion in Portugal. He lived with the family in Amsterdam until his death in 1629 and was buried in the Beth Haim cemetery, oldest Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands. He appears to have been set free, either de jure or in practice, and to have been on near equal footing with the family that owned him back in Portugal – indicated by the fact that he attended the funeral of the wife of his master, Sara de Pina, and contributed to that occasion six stuivers, and that he was buried alongside his (former) owners and alongside Jacob Israel Belmonte, the community's richest businessman. Elieser must have been converted to Judaism and widely accepted as Jewish, otherwise he would not have been buried inside the Jewish cemetery; the name "Elieser" was likely bestowed on him at conversion, recalling Eliezer of Damascus. In recent years, Elieser's memory was taken up by members of the Surinamese community in the Netherlands, who erected a statue of him and hold an annual pilgrimage to his grave on what came to be known as Elieser Day.[69]
  • Elisenda de Sant Climent (1220–1275), enslaved during a slave raid on Mallorca and placed in the harem of the emir in Tunis.
  • Eliza Hopewell, a woman enslaved by Confederate spy Isabella Maria Boyd ("Belle Boyd"). In 1862 she aided her owner's espionage activities, carrying messages to the Confederate Army in a hollowed-out watch case.
  • Eliza Moore (1843–1948), one of the last proven African-American former slaves living in the United States.
  • Elizabeth Johnson Forby, mixed-race American woman enslaved by President Andrew Johnson, daughter of Dolly Johnson.[70]
  • Elizabeth Key Grinstead (1630–after 1665), the first woman of African ancestry in the North American colonies to sue for her freedom and win. Key and her infant son, John Grinstead, were freed on July 21, 1656, in the colony of Virginia, based on the fact that her father was an Englishman and that she was a baptized Christian.
  • Elizabeth Freeman (c. 1742 – 1829), known as Bett and later Mum Bett, was among the first enslaved black people in Massachusetts to file a freedom suit and win in court under the 1780 constitution, with a ruling that slavery was illegal.
  • Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (1818–1907), best known as the personal modiste and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, the First Lady of the United States. Keckley wrote and published an autobiography, Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868).
  • Ellen Craft (1826–1891), light-skinned wife of William Craft, who escaped with him from Georgia to Philadelphia, by posing as a white woman and her slave, in a case that became famous.
  • Ellen More, an enslaved woman brought to the royal Scottish court
  • Elsey Thompson, a white captive enslaved by a Creek. When trader John O'Reilly attempted to ransom her and Nancy Caffrey, he was told they were not taken captive to be allowed to go back, but to work.[71]
  • Emilia Soares de Patrocinio (1805–1886) was a Brazilian slave, slave owner and businesswoman.
  • Emiline (age 23); Nancy (20); Lewis, brother of Nancy (16); Edward, brother of Emiline (13); Lewis and Edward, sons of Nancy (7); Ann, daughter of Nancy (5); and Amanda, daughter of Emiline (2), were freed in the 1852 Lemmon v. New York court case after they were brought to New York by their Virginia owners.
  • Emily Edmonson (1835–1895), along with her sister Mary, joined an unsuccessful 1848 escape attempt known as the Pearl incident, but Henry Ward Beecher and his church raised the funds to free them.
  • Enrique of Malacca, also known as Henry the Black, slave and interpreter of Ferdinand Magellan and possibly the first man to circumnavigate the globe in Magellan's voyage of 1519–1521.
  • Epictetus (55 – c. 135), ancient Greek stoic philosopher.
  • Epunuel, a native of Chappaquiddick who was taken captive by English explorers in the 1610s with twenty-nine others, and taken to London as a slave.[72]
  • Estevanico (1500–1539), also known as Esteban the Moor. In principle he was a slave of the Portuguese to, later, be a servant of the Spaniards. He was one of only four survivors of the ill-fated Narváez expedition, later a guide in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Gold and possibly the first African person to arrive in what is now Arizona and New Mexico.
  • Eston Hemings (1808–1856), son of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.
  • Eucharis, a Greek born freedwoman of Roman Licinia, described in her epitaph in the 1st century AD as fourteen when she died, a child actress and a professional dancer.[73]
  • Eunus (died 132 BC), a Roman slave from Apamea in Syria, the leader of the slave uprising in the First Servile War in the Roman province of Sicily. Eunus rose to prominence in the movement through his reputation as a prophet and wonder-worker. He claimed to receive visions and communications from the goddess Atargatis, a prominent goddess in his homeland; he identified her with the Sicilian Demeter. Some of his prophecies were that the rebel slaves would successfully capture the city of Enna and that he would be a king some day.
  • Euphemia (died 520s), Empress of the Byzantine Empire by marriage to Justin I, originally a slave.
  • Euphraios, an Athenian slave and banker.[46]
  • Exuperius and Zoe (died 127), 2nd-century Christian martyrs. They were a married couple who were enslaved by a pagan in Pamphylia. They were killed along with their sons, Cyriacus and Theodolus, for refusing to participate in pagan rites when their son was born.[74]


Frederick Douglass, the foremost African-American abolitionist of the 19th century
Self-portrait by Fyodor Slavyansky (1850s, Russian museum)


Medical examination photo of Gordon showing his scourged back, widely distributed by abolitionists to expose the brutality of slavery
Portrait of Gülnuş Sultan


Hurrem Sultan, an Eastern European slave girl bought by Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, who married her.


İbrahim Pasha
Ivan Argunov. Self-portrait (late 1750s).


Jean Parisot de Valette
St. Josephine Margaret Bakhita, F.D.C.C.


Kösem Sultan (1589–1651), slave concubine like all other inmates of the Imperial Harem
  • King Jaja of Opobo (1821–1891), sold at about the age of 12 into slavery in the Kingdom of Bonny in present-day Nigeria. Proving at an early age his aptitude for business, he not only earned his way out of slavery but also became a rich and powerful merchant prince and the founder of the Opobo city-state, his career eventually ended by the British colonizers whom he tried to defy.
  • Anna Kingsley (1793–1870), enslaved woman and then a planter and slave owner herself.
  • Kunta Kinte (c. 1750 – c. 1822), a character from the 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family whom author Alex Haley was based on one of his actual ancestors. Kinte was a man of the Mandinka people who grew up in a small village called Juffure in what is now The Gambia and was raised as a Muslim before being captured and enslaved in Virginia.[122] The historical accuracy of Haley's story is disputed.[123]
  • Kizzy Kinte, the daughter of Kunta Kinte.[124] As with her father, the existence of an historical Kizzy Kinte is disputed.
  • John Knox (c. 1514 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish minister, galley slave in the French galleys, 1547–1549.
  • Kodjo (c. 1803–1833), a Surinamese slave who was burnt alive for starting the 1832 fire in Paramaribo, Dutch Suriname, possibly as an act of resistance.
  • Kösem Sultan (1589–1651), an Ottoman enslaved woman, later extremely powerful as wife, then mother and later grandmother of the Ottoman sultan during the 130-year period known as the Sultanate of Women.


Laurens de Graaf
  • Lalla Balqis (1670 – after 1721), an Englishwoman captured and enslaved by Corsairs and included in the harem of the Sultan of Morocco.
  • Lamhatty, a Tawasa Indian captured and enslaved by Creek; he escaped.[125]
  • Lampegia (died after 730), Aquitanian noblewoman, captured by Abd al-Rahman ibn Abd Allah al-Ghafiqi, who in 730 took the Llivia Fortress, executed her spouse Munuza and sent her as a slave to the harem of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik in Damascus.[126]
  • La Mulâtresse Solitude (1772–1802), a slave on the island of Guadeloupe freed in 1794 by the abolition of slavery during the French Revolution. She was executed after having fought for freedom when slavery was reintroduced by Napoleon in 1802.
  • Laurens de Graaf (c. 1653–1704), a Dutch pirate, mercenary, and naval officer, enslaved by Spanish slave traders when captured in what is now the Netherlands and transported to the Canary Islands to work on a plantation, prior to 1674.
  • Leo Africanus, (1494–1554), a Moor born in Granada who was taken by his family in 1498 to Morocco when expelled from Spain. As an adult he served on diplomatic missions. Captured by Crusaders while in the Middle East, he was enslaved in Rome and forced to convert to Christianity. He eventually regained his freedom and lived out his life in Tunis.
  • Leofgifu the dairy maid, an enslaved woman in Anglo-Saxon England, named in her manumission.[127]
  • Leoflaed, an enslaved woman in Anglo-Saxon England, whose freedom was bought by a man who described her as a "kinswoman."[128]
  • Leonor de Mendoza, an enslaved woman in colonial Mexico who tried to marry Tomás Ortega, a man enslaved by another master; when her master imprisoned Tomás she appealed to a church court for assistance, which threatened excommunication if he did not free Tomás.[129]
  • Letitia Munson (c. 1820 – after 1882), midwife and formerly enslaved, she was acquitted of performing an illegal abortion in Canada.
  • Lewis Adams (1842–1905), a formerly-enslaved man who co-founded the Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, in Alabama.
  • Lewis Hayden (1811–1889), African-American man born in Kentucky, later elected to the Massachusetts General Court.[130]
  • Lilliam Williams, a Tennessee settler who was captured by the Creek while pregnant. The Creek adopted her daughter (whom she named Molly and they named Esnahatchee,); they kept the girl when Williams' freedom was arranged.[131]
  • Liol, a Chinese man enslaved by Mongol bannerman Soosar. He was rewarded with semi-independent status, as a separate register dependent. In 1735, his son Fuji tried to claim that he and his brother were in fact Manchus and detached household bannermen, but failed.[132]
  • Lott Cary (c. 1780 – November 10, 1828), born an African-American slave in Virginia, bought his freedom c. 1813, emigrated to Liberia in 1822, where he later served as colonial administrator.[133]
  • Louis Hughes (1832–1913), African-American man who escaped slavery, author, and businessman[134]
  • Lovisa von Burghausen (1698–1733), Swedish writer who published an account of being enslaved in Russia after being taken prisoner during the Great Northern War.
  • Lucius Agermus, freedman of Agrippina the Elder.[135]
  • Lucius Aurelius Hermia, a freedman butcher whose tombstone glorifies his marriage with his fellow freedwoman Aurelia Philematium.[136]
  • Lucius Cancrius Primigenius, a freedman of Clemens in an inscription praising him for breaking spells against the city.[137]
  • Lucius of Campione, who lost a lawsuit in the 8th century over a man Toto's claimed ownership of him.[138]
  • Lucy, the black woman enslaved by John Lang. She was taken captive by the Creek when 12 years old and kept in slavery in Creek territory, where she had slave children and grandchildren.[139]
  • Lucy Ann (Berry) Delaney (1830–1891), formerly-enslaved woman, daughter of Polly Berry.
  • Lucy Higgs Nichols (1838–1915), escaped slavery, served as a nurse in the Civil War, member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
  • Luís Gama (1830–1882), born free in Brazil, illegally sold into slavery as a child, he regained liberty as an adult and became a lawyer who freed hundreds from slavery without asking for recompense, notably in the Netto Case.
  • Lunsford Lane (1803 – after 1870), an enslaved African-American man and entrepreneur from North Carolina who bought freedom for himself and his family. He also wrote a slave narrative.
  • Lyde, an enslaved woman freed by Roman empress Livia.[140]
  • Lydia, an enslaved woman who was shot and wounded by her captor when she struggled to escape a whipping. The action was ruled legal by the Supreme Court of North Carolina in 1830 (see North Carolina v. Mann).
  • Lydia Carter, the "Little Osage Captive," captured and enslaved among the Cherokee. She was ransomed by Lydia Carter, who made her her namesake. The Osage attempted to reclaim her, but she took ill and died.[141]
  • Lydia Polite, mother of Robert Smalls.


Mikhail Shchepkin



Omar ibn Said, a Senegalese Islamic scholar enslaved in North Carolina for more than 50 years, c. 1850


Portrait of Juan de Pareja by Diego Velázquez (c. 1650)
  • Harriet Evans Paine, (c. 1822–1917), Texas enslaved woman and later oral historian and storyteller.
  • Pallas, secretary to Roman emperor Claudius.
  • Juan de Pareja (1606–1670), man enslaved by Spanish artist Diego Velázquez. Velázquez trained him as a painter and freed him in 1650.
  • Pasion, an enslaved Athenian man and banker.[46] Late in life, he received the rare honor for a freedman of citizenship.[168]
  • Saint Patrick, abducted from Britain, enslaved in Ireland, escaped to Britain, returned to Ireland as a missionary.[169]
  • Patsey (born c. 1830), an enslaved African-American person who lived in the mid-1800s in South Carolina.
  • Paul Jennings (1799–1874), personal servant enslaved by President James Madison during and after his White House years, bought his freedom in 1845 from Daniel Webster. Noted for publishing the first White House memoir, 1865's A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison.[170]
  • Paul Smith, a free black who accused the Cherokee headman Doublehead of kidnapping him and forcing him into bondage.[171]
  • Pedro Camejo (1790-1821), Venezuelan soldier in the Venezuelan War of Independence.[172]
  • Peggy Margaret Titsworth, enslaved at 13 years for three years, after a Creek raid in 1794 on her Tennessee home.[159][173]
  • Pete and Hannah Byrne, freed slaves of the Napoleon Bonaparte Byrne family which traveled from Missouri to California overland (a six-month journey) in 1859, leaving the farm in Missouri and bringing six adults (including Pete & Hannah), the four Byrne children and a herd of cattle and settling in Berkeley, California. Pete and Hannah are considered the first blacks living in Berkeley and among the first African-Americans in California.[174][175]
  • Peter Salem (c. 1750–1816), African American born into slavery in Massachusetts, served as a soldier in the American Revolutionary War
  • Petronia Justa, a woman in Herculaneum who sued her owner claiming to have been born after her mother's emancipation; the records of the lawsuit were preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius.[176]
  • Phaedo of Elis, captured in war, enslaved in Athens and forced into prostitution,[177] became a pupil of Socrates who had him freed, gave his name to one of Plato's dialogues, Phaedo and became a famous philosopher in his own right.
  • Phaedrus (c. 15 BCE – c. 50 CE), Roman fabulist.
Praskovia Kovalyova-Zhemchugova in a scenic costume for Les mariages samnites by André Ernest Modeste Grétry
  • Phillis, a Massachusetts woman enslaved by Captain John Codman. Convicted in the successful plot to poison her owner as she and her fellow enslaved "found the rigid discipline of their master unendurable",[151] Phillis was burned to death in 1755.
  • Phillis Wheatley (1753–1784?), Colonial American poet, the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman.
  • Phoebe, an enslaved woman who sued for her freedom in Tennessee, along with her sons Davy and Tom, claiming to be the descendants of an enslaved Indian woman whose sister and other relatives had proven that they were wrongly enslaved.[178]
  • Philocrates, enslaved by 2nd-century BCE Roman reformer Gaius Gracchus. He remained at his master's side when Gracchus was fleeing from his enemies, forsaken by everybody else. Arriving at a grove sacred to the Furies, Philocrates first assisted Gracchus in his suicide before taking his own life, though some rumors held that Philocrates was only killed after he refused to let go of his master's body.
  • Phormion, an enslaved Athenian man and banker.[46] Late in life, he received the rare honor for a freedman of citizenship.[168]
  • Pierre d'Espagnac, sometimes Pierre d'Espagnal (1650–1689) was a French Jesuit missionary, enslaved by the Siamese.
  • Maria Guyomar de Pinha (1664–1728), Siamese royal chef of Japanese-Portuguese ancestry.
  • Pope Pius I, the Bishop of Rome from about 140 to about 154, during the reign of Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. He was the brother of the freedman Hermas and therefore likely to have been a former slave himself, though that is not mentioned explicitly in the scant records of his life.
  • Polly, the subject of the 1820 Indiana Supreme Court case Polly v. Lasselle, which resulted in all slaves held within Indiana to be freed.
  • Polly Berry, also known as Polly Crockett and Polly Wash, won an 1843 freedom suit in St. Louis, Missouri and also gained the freedom of her daughter Lucy Ann Berry.
  • Politoria, the subject of a lead curse tablet in ancient Rome; it was a curse on Clodia Valeria Sophrone, that she should not get Politoria into her power. She appears to have been a slave-courtesan who feared being sent to the brothel.[179]
  • Praskovia Kovalyova-Zhemchugova (1768–1803) was a Russian serf actress and soprano opera singer.
  • Primus (1700–1791), enslaved by Daniel Fowle of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Primus operated the press for the New Hampshire Gazette which is the American newspaper in longest continuous print.
  • Prince was the slave of a Choctaw man named Richard Harkins. Angered that his owner failed to give his slaves a Christmas celebration, Prince brutally murdered him and then unceremoniously dumped the body into the river in 1858.[180][181]
  • Prince Boston (born 1750), sued for and won his freedom in a 1773 U.S. jury trial
  • Prince Estabrook (1741–1830), enslaved by Benjamin Estabrook; fought in the Continental Army and was wounded at the Battle of Lexington and Concord
  • Prince Whipple (1750–1796), enslaved by American General William Whipple
  • Prosper, a slave murdered in 1807 in Virgin Islands by his owner Arthur William Hodge, for which Hodge was tried and executed in 1811, the first (and virtually only) such case ever recorded.
  • A pregnant Thrall whose name is not preserved, who was fleeing for her life in 11th-century Oslo, was given refuge on the boat of Hallvard Vebjørnsson, who tried to shield her but was killed together with her by the attackers' arrows, for which he was canonised and became the patron saint of Oslo.[182]
  • Publilius Syrus (fl. 85 – 43 BCE), a Latin writer best known for his sententiae. He was a Syrian who was brought as a slave to Italy.



Portrait of Roustam Raza, the mamluck of Napoleon by Horace Vernet (1810)


Solomon Northup from Twelve Years a Slave
  • Sabuktigin (c. 942 – 997), full name Abu Mansur Sabuktigin, captured and sold into slavery at a young age, rose to become a general and eventually a king and the founder of the Ghaznavid Empire in medieval Iran.
  • Safiye Sultan (c. 1550 – c. 1619), an enslaved Albanian woman who was placed in the harem of the Ottoman sultan Murad III and became the mother of sultan Mehmed III.
  • Salem Poor (1747–1802), an enslaved African-American man who purchased his freedom, and a war hero during the American Revolutionary War.
  • Sally Hemings (1773–1835), a mixed-race woman enslaved by Thomas Jefferson believed by many to have had six children with him, four of whom survived to adulthood.
  • Sally Miller or Salomé Müller (born c. 1814), an enslaved American woman whose freedom suit in Louisiana was based on her claimed status as a free German immigrant and indentured servant.[185]
  • Sally Seymour (died 1824), American pastry chef and restaurateur, an enslaved woman who was manumitted and became a slave owner herself.
  • Salonia the second wife of Cato the Elder
  • Salvius, also known as Tryphon, leader of the 104 BCE slave rebellion in Sicily known as the Second Servile War.
  • Sambo (died 1736), an enslaved boy who arrived at Sunderland Point, near Lancaster, England, around 1736 from the West Indies in the capacity of a servant a ship's captain. He is buried in an unconsecrated grave in a field near the small village of Sunderland Point, Lancashire, England.
  • Sambo, a black captive of Tiger King, a Lower Creek, who told the traveler William Bartram that Sambo was his family property.[186]
  • Samuel Benedict (1792–1854), born an African-American slave, later became free and emigrated to Liberia, where he became a politician and judge.[187]
  • Samuel Green (c. 1802 – 1877), an enslaved man who bought his freedom and freedom for his loved ones, was involved with the Underground Railroad, and was jailed in 1857 for carrying a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • Samuel Ringgold Ward (1817–c. 1866), African-American abolitionist and journalist.[188]
  • Sandy Jenkins, a slave mentioned by Frederick Douglass in his first autobiography.
  • Sanker, the enslaved manservant of Samuel R. Watkins, author of "Co. Aytch" (1882), which recounts Watkins’ life as a soldier in the 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
  • Sara Forbes Bonetta (1843–1880), an Egbado princess of the Yoruba who was orphaned in intertribal warfare, sold into slavery as a child, was rescued by Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy and taken to the United Kingdom where she became a goddaughter to Queen Victoria.
  • Sarah Johnson (1844–1920) whose life at the first president's plantation was published in the book Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon.
  • Satrelanus, from Gaul, sold by Ermedruda to Toto in Milan in 725.[189]
Silas Chandler (right) and his owner, Sergeant A.M. Chandler of the 44th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
The Death of Spartacus by Hermann Vogel (1882)


Taras Shevchenko
Tatyana Shlykova
Alleged portrait of Terence, from Codex Vaticanus Latinus 3868. Possibly copied from 3rd-century original.



Vasily Tropinin
Vincent de Paul
  • Vasily Tropinin (1776–1857), Russian serf painter.
  • Venture Smith (1729–1805), an African captured as a child and transported to the American colonies as a slave. When an adult, he purchased his freedom and that of his family – his wife Meg and their children Hannah, Solomon and Cuff. His history was documented and published by a schoolteacher, to whom he talked in his old age.
  • The Vestmenn ("West Men" in Old Norse, referring to the Irish) were a group of Irish slaves brought to Iceland by Hjörleifr Hróðmarsson, one of the early Norse settlers there. He treated them badly, and they killed him and escaped to a group of offshore islands. Ingólfur Arnarson, Hjörleifur's blood brother, tracked the escaped slaves and killed them all. Though their individual names are unknown, their memory lives on in Icelandic geography, the islands where they sought refuge being known up to the present as "Vestmannaeyjar": "Islands of the West Men" (i.e. of the Irish).
  • Vincent de Paul (1581–1660), a French priest who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. He was taken captive by Turkish pirates, sold into slavery, and freed in 1607.[202]
  • Vindicius, an ancient Roman slave who discovered Tarquin's plot to regain power.
  • Vibia Calybeni, a freedwoman of the late Roman Empire who unusually named herself as a madam on her tombstone.[203]
  • Virginia Boyd, an enslaved American woman whose letter to R.C. Ballard, pleading not to be sold with her children among strangers, has been preserved. Ballard had undertaken to have her sold at the request of Judge Samuel Boyd, the children's father, to hide her existence from his family.
  • Violet Ludlow, an American woman sold into slavery several times despite her claims to be a free white woman.[49]
  • Virginia Demetricia (1842–after 1867), an enslaved Aruban known as a heroin of resistance against enslavement.
  • Vitalis, ancient Roman slave. An epigraph describes an enslaved boy, Iucundus, as the son of Gryphus and Vitalis.[82]
  • Volumnia Cytheris, an enslaved and later freedwoman in ancient Rome. An actress and courtesan, her lovers included Brutus, Mark Antony, and Cornelius Gallus; her rejection of Gallus provided the theme for Virgil's tenth Eclogue.[204]


Photograph of Wes Brady, ex-slave, taken in Marshall, Texas, in 1937 as part of the Federal Writers' Project Slave Narrative Collection


  • Xenon, an enslaved Athenian man and banker.[46]
  • Xing was the primary primary spouse of Gaozong, the brother of Qinzong, Chinese Emperor of the Song Dynasty. In 1127, the capital of Kaifeng was captured by the Jurchen during the Jin–Song Wars, and Xing was among more than 3000 people captured and exiled to Manchuria in what was called the Jingkang Incident. Xing was among The Imperial consorts, concubines, palace women and eunuchs who were captured, and distributed among the Jurchen as slaves.[212] Xing's husband Gaozong, who avoided capture, became the new Emperor and declared Xing Empress in absentia, but was unable to get her free. She remained in captivity where she was coveted by her captors, attempted suicide to escape abuse but failed, and she died in captivity in 1139.[213]


  • Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179–1229), an Arab biographer and geographer known for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. He was sold into slavery in 12th-century Syria and taken to Baghdad, but was provided with a good education and later freed.
  • Yasār, a 7th-century Christian man who had been captured in a campaign of Khalid ibn al-Walid, a companion of Muhammad. Yasār was taken to Medina and became the slave of Qays ibn Makhrama ibn al-Muṭṭalib ibn ʿAbd Manāf ibn Quṣayy. He accepted Islam, was manumitted and became his mawlā, thus acquiring the nisbat al-Muṭṭalibī. He had three sons – Mūsā, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, and Isḥāq. His grandson, Ibn Ishaq, became an important early Arab historian.
  • Yasuke, a 16th century African man who travelled to Japan in the service of Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano. Given to Oda Nobunaga, Yasuke became a confident of the daimyō and given official status as a trusted retainer.
  • York (1770–before 1832), an African-American man enslaved by William Clark, who was part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.


Zofia Potocka
  • Zalmoxis, a Dacian who was enslaved by Pythagoras on the island of Samos, according to Herodotus. Zalmoxis learned philosophy from his owner and other wise Greeks. Eventually he was liberated, gathered huge wealth and went back to his homeland, where he converted the Thracians to his beliefs, was greatly venerated for his wisdom and in later generations became worshiped as a god.[214]
  • Zayd ibn Haritha (c. 581–629), given to Muhammad's wife Khadijah, freed, adopted, and became known as Zayd ibn Muhammad.
  • Ziryab (789–857), also known as Abul-Hasan Alí Ibn Nafí, a Muslim singer, musician, and polymath known for introducing the crop asparagus to Europe.
  • Zoe, a Christian martyr.
  • Zofia Potocka (1760–1822), a Greek-Ottoman enslaved courtesan who ended up as a Polish countess by marriage.
  • Zumbi (1655–1695), enslaved in Portuguese Brazil, he escaped and joined the Quilombo dos Palmares, the largest ever settlement of escaped slaves in colonial Brazil, becoming its last and most famous leader.
  • Zunairah al-Rumiya (Arabic: زنيرة الرومية, Zaneerah the Roman) (other transliterations include Zaneera, Zannirah, Zanira or in some sources Zinra or Zinnirah) was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad.

See also


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