List of slave owners

The following is a list of slave owners, for which there is a consensus of historical evidence of slave ownership, in alphabetical order by last name.


  • Adelicia Acklen (1817–1887), at one time the wealthiest woman in Tennessee, she inherited 750 enslaved people from her husband, Isaac Franklin.[1]
  • Stair Agnew (1757–1821), land owner, judge and political figure in New Brunswick, he enslaved people and participated in court cases testing the legality of slavery in the colony.[2]
  • William Aiken (1779–1831), founder and president of the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company, enslaved hundreds on his rice plantation.[3]
  • William Aiken Jr. (1806–1887), 61st Governor of South Carolina, state legislator and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, recorded in the 1850 census as enslaving 878 people.[4]
  • Isaac Allen (1741–1806), New Brunswick judge, he dissented in an unsuccessful 1799 case challenging slavery (R v Jones), freeing his own slaves a short time later.[5]
  • Joseph R. Anderson (1813–1892), civil engineer, he enslaved hundreds to operate his Tredegar Iron Works.[6]
  • John Armfield (1797–1871), Virginia co-founder of "the largest slave trading firm" in the United States, and a rapist.[7][8]
  • David Rice Atchison (1807–1883), U.S. Senator from Missouri, slave owner, prominent pro-slavery activist, and violent opponent of abolitionism.[9]
  • William Atherton (1742–1803), English owner of Jamaican sugar plantations.[10]
  • John James Audubon (1785–1851), nine enslaved people worked for the Audubons in Henderson, Ky. When he needed money, he sold them.[11]


1856 lithograph of Preston Brooks attacking Charles Sumner, who had spoken against slavery two days earlier.
  • Jacques Baby (1731–1789), French Canadian fur trader, slaveholder, and father of James Baby.[12]
  • James Baby (1763–1833), prominent landowner, slaveholder, and official in Upper Canada.[13]
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (1971–2019), self-proclaimed Caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), he kept several sex slaves.[14]
  • Adriana Bake (1724–1787), wife of the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, her foster children freed her slaves after her death.[15]
  • Vasco Núñez de Balboa (1475–1519), Spanish explorer and conquistador, he enslaved the indigenous people he encountered in Central America.[16]
  • Emanoil Băleanu (c.1793–1862), Wallachian politician, he enslaved Romani people on his estates.[17] In 1856 he signed a letter protesting the abolition of slavery in Wallachia.[18]
  • Elizabeth Swain Bannister (c.1785–1828), free woman of colour who owned 76 slaves in Berbice.[19]
  • Hayreddin Barbarossa (1478–1546), Ottoman corsair and admiral who enslaved the population of Corfu.[20]
  • William Barksdale (1821–1863), U.S. Representative and white supremacist, he enslaved 36 people by 1860 and vigorously defended the institution of slavery.[21]
  • Alexander Barrow (1801–1846), U.S. Senator and Louisiana planter.[22]
  • George Washington Barrow (1807–1866), Congressman and U.S. minister to Portugal, who purchased 112 enslaved people in Louisiana.[23]
  • Robert Ruffin Barrow (1798–1875), American plantation owner who owned more than 450 slaves and a dozen plantations.[24]
  • William Beckford (1709–1770), politician and twice Lord Mayor of London. He inherited about 3,000 enslaved people from his brother Peter.[25]
  • William Thomas Beckford) (1760–1844), writer and collector. He inherited about 3,000 enslaved people from his father.[25]
  • Benjamin Belcher (1743–1802), Nova Scotia politician and militia leader, he enslaved at least 7 people.[26]
  • Zabeau Bellanton (fl.1782), free woman of color and slave trader in Saint Domingue.[27]
  • Judah P. Benjamin (1811–1884), Secretary of State for the Confederate States of America, a U.S. Senator from Louisiana, and a vocal supporter of slavery.[28]
  • Thomas H. Benton (1782–1858), American senator from Missouri.[29][30]
  • George Berkeley (1685–1753), Anglo-Irish philosopher who purchased several enslaved Africans to work on his plantation in Rhode Island.[31]
  • John M. Berrien (1781–1856), U.S. Senator from Georgia who argued that slavery "lay at the foundation of the Constitution" and that slaves "constitute the very foundation of your union".[32]
  • Antoine Bestel (1766–1852), lawyer from France who migrated to Mauritius where he owned at least 122 slaves.[33][34]
  • James G. Birney (1792–1857), an attorney and planter who freed his slaves and became an abolitionist.
  • James Blair (c.1788–1841), British MP who owned sugar plantations in Demerara.[35]
  • Simón Bolívar (1783–1830), wealthy slave owner who became a Latin American independence leader and eventually an abolitionist.[36]
  • Shadrach Bond (1773–1832), 1st Governor of Illinois, he enslaved people on his farm in Monroe County.[37]
  • Joseph Boucher de Niverville (1715–1804), military officer in New France, he enslaved a Cree woman named Marie.[38]
  • James Bowie (c.1796–1836), namesake of the Bowie knife, soldier at the Alamo, and slave trader.[39]
  • Benjamin Boyd (1801–1851), Scottish entrepreneur and slave trader thought to be Australia's first "blackbirder".[40]
  • John C. Breckinridge (1821–1875), 14th Vice President of the United States and Confederate Secretary of War. He enslaved people until at least 1857.[41]
  • Simone Brocard (fl.1784), a "free colored" woman of Saint-Domingue, a slave trader, and one of the wealthiest women of that French colony.[42]
  • Preston Brooks (1819–1857), veteran of the Mexican–American War and U.S. Congressman from South Carolina. A slaveholder, he beat abolitionist senator Charles Sumner nearly to death after the latter spoke against slavery in the Senate.[43]
  • James Brown (1766–1835), U.S. Minister to France, U.S. Senator, and sugarcane planter, some of whose slaves were involved in the 1811 German Coast uprising in what is now Louisiana.[44]
  • Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–1874), Siamese twins who became successful entertainers in the United States.[45]
  • John Burbidge (c.1718–1812), Nova Scotia soldier, land owner, judge and politician, he freed his slaves in 1790.[46]
  • Pierce Butler (1744–1822), U.S. Founding Father and plantation owner.[47]
  • William Orlando Butler (1791–1880), American general and politician, he advocated for gradual emancipation and enslaved people himself.[48]


The reputation of Edward Colston, long praised for philanthropy, has been reassessed as his connections to slave-trading were uncovered. Protestors toppled his statue in Bristol in 2020.


A slave cabin on the grounds of the home of Sam Davis in Smyrna, Tennessee.
  • Sir Robert Davers, 2nd Baronet (c.1653–1722), English politician and landowner, he enslaved some 200 people on his plantation in Barbados.[76]
  • Jefferson Davis (1807–1889), President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. He enslaved as many as 113 people on his Mississippi plantation.[77]
  • Joseph Davis (1784–1870), eldest brother of Jefferson Davis and one of the wealthiest antebellum planters in Mississippi, he enslaved at least 345 people on his Hurricane Plantation.[78]
  • Sam Davis (1842–1863), Confederate soldier executed by Union forces. He came from a family of slave owners and, as a child, was gifted an enslaved person.[79]
  • Francisco Paulo de Almeida, Baron of Guaraciaba (1826–1901), Afro-Brazilian landowner, businessman, and nobleman. He owned several coffee plantations as well as around a thousand of slaves.[80]
  • James De Lancey (1703–1760), judge and politician in colonial New York. His own slave, Othello, was accused of attending a meeting related to the Conspiracy of 1741 and De Lancey sentenced him and other suspected enslaved conspirators to death.[81]
  • James De Lancey (1746–1804), colonial American and leader of a loyalist brigade. When he fled to Nova Scotia after the War of Independence, he took six enslaved people with him.[82]
  • Abraham de Peyster (1657–1728), 20th mayor of New York City, he purchased two enslaved people in 1797.[83]
  • Demosthenes (384–322 BCE), Athenian statesman and orator who inherited at least 14 slaves from his father.[84]
  • Henry Denny Denson (c.1715–1780), Irish-born soldier and politician in Nova Scotia, he enslaved at least five people.[85]
  • Jean Noël Destréhan (1754–1823), Louisiana plantation owner whose slaves rebelled during the 1811 German Coast Uprising.[86]
  • Thomas Roderick Dew (1802–1846), president of the College of William & Mary; he was an influential pro-slavery advocate, owning one enslaved person himself.[87]
  • John Dickinson (1732–1808), a Founding Father of the United States. Largest slaveholder in Philadelphia in 1766, he freed them in 1777.[88]
  • Henry Dodge (1782–1867), 1st and 4th Governor of the Wisconsin Territory. In 1827, defying the Northwest Ordinance's prohibition of slavery in the territory, Dodge brought five Black slaves from Missouri to work his lead mines.[89]
  • Thomas Dorland (1759–1832), Quaker, farmer and politician in Upper Canada, he enslaved as many as 20 people.[90]
  • Stephen A. Douglas (1813–1861), U.S. Senator from Illinois and 1860 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate. He inherited a Mississippi plantation and 100 slaves from his father-in-law.[91] Historians continue to debate whether he opposed slavery.[92]
  • Richard Duncan (died 1819), politician in Upper Canada and slave owner.[12]
  • Stephen Duncan (1787–1867), originally from Pennsylvania, he became the wealthiest Southern cotton planter before the American Civil War with 14 plantations where he enslaved 2200 people.[93]
  • Robley Dunglison (1798–1869), English-American physician, medical educator and author—purchased slaves from Thomas Jefferson while teaching at University of Virginia.[94]



Senator Rebecca Latimer Felton, the last U.S. Congressmember to have enslaved people.
  • Mary Faber (1798–fl.1857), Guinean slave trader known for her conflict with the West Africa Squadron.[105]
  • Peter Faneuil (1700–1743), Colonial American slave trader and owner, and namesake of Boston's Faneuil Hall.[106]
  • Rebecca Latimer Felton (1835–1930), suffragist, white supremacist, and Senator for Georgia, she was the last member of the U.S. Congress to have been a slave owner.[107]
  • Eliza Fenwick (1767–1840), British author, she used slave labor in her Barbados schoolhouse.[108]
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), American statesman and philosopher, who owned as many as seven slaves before becoming a "cautious abolitionist".[109]
  • Isaac Franklin (1789–1846), owner of more than 600 slaves, partner in the largest U.S. slave trading firm Franklin and Armfield, and rapist.[110]
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821–1877), Confederate general, slave trader, and Ku Klux Klan leader.[111]
  • John Forsyth (1780–1841), congressman, senator, Secretary of State, and 33rd Governor of Georgia. He supported slavery and was a slaveholder.[112]


  • Ana Gallum (or Nansi Wiggins; fl.1811), was an African Senegalese slave who was freed and married the white Florida planter Don Joseph "Job" Wiggins, in 1801 succeeding in having his will, leaving her his plantation and slaves, recognized as legal.[113]
  • Horatio Gates (1727–1806), American general during the American Revolutionary War. Seven years later, he sold his plantation, freed his slaves, and moved north to New York.[114]
  • Sir John Gladstone (1764–1851), British politician, owner of plantations in Jamaica and Guyana, and recipient of the single largest payment from the Slave Compensation Commission.[115][116]
  • Estêvão Gomes (c.1483–1538), Portuguese explorer, in 1525 he kidnapped at least 58 indigenous people from what is now Maine or Nova Scotia, taking them to Spain where he attempted to sell them as slaves.[117]
  • Antão Gonçalves (15th-century), Portuguese explorer and, in 1441, the first to enslave captive Africans and bring them to Portugal for sale.[118]
  • Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), Union general and 18th President of the United States, who acquired slaves through his wife and father-in-law.[119] On March 29, 1859, Grant freed his slave William Jones, making Jones the last person to have been enslaved by a person who later served as U.S. president.[120]
  • Robert Isaac Dey Gray (c.1772–1804), Canadian politician and slave owner. In 1798 he voted against a proposal to expand slavery in Upper Canada.[121]
  • Curtis Grubb (c.1730–1789), Pennsylvania iron master and one of the state's largest enslavers at the time of U.S. independence.[122]


  • James Henry Hammond (1807–1864), U.S. Senator and South Carolina governor, defender of slavery, and owner of more than 300 slaves.[123]
  • Wade Hampton I (c.1752 – 1835), American general, Congressman, and planter. One of the largest slave-holders in the country, he was alleged to have conducted experiments on the people he enslaved.[124][125]
  • Wade Hampton II (1791–1858), American soldier and planter with land holdings in three states. He held a total of 335 slaves in Mississippi by 1860.[126]
  • Wade Hampton III (1818–1902), U.S. Senator, governor of South Carolina, Confederate lieutenant general, planter, slave owner, white supremacist, and proponent of the Lost Cause.[127]
  • John Hancock (1737–1793), American statesman. He inherited several household slaves who were eventually freed through the terms of his uncle's will; there is no evidence that he ever bought or sold slaves himself.[128]
  • Benjamin Harrison IV (1693–1745), American planter and politician. Upon his death his each of his ten surviving children inherited slaves from his estate.[129]
  • Benjamin Harrison V (1726–1791), American politician, United States Declaration of Independence signatory, he inherited a plantation and the people enslaved upon it from his father.[130]
  • William Henry Harrison (1773–1841), 9th President of the United States, he owned eleven slaves.[131]
  • Patrick Henry (1736–1799), American statesman and orator. He wrote in 1773, "I am the master of slaves of my own purchase. I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living here without them. I will not, I cannot justify it."[132]
  • Thomas Heyward Jr. (1746–1809), South Carolina judge, planter, and signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. He impregnated at least one of the women he enslaved, making him the grandfather of Thomas E. Miller, one of only five African Americans elected to Congress from the South in the 1890s.[133]
  • George Hibbert (1757–1837), English merchant, politician, and ship-owner. A leading member of the pro-slavery lobby, he was awarded £16,000 in compensation after Britain abolished slavery.[134]
  • Thomas Hibbert (1710–1780), English merchant, he became rich from slave labor on his Jamaican plantations.[135]
  • Eufrosina Hinard (born 1777), a free black woman in New Orleans, she owned slaves and leased them to others.[136]
  • Thomas C. Hindman (1828–1868), American politician and Confederate general. During the Civil War he rented two enslaved families to the Medical Director of the Army of Tennessee.[137]
  • Arthur William Hodge (1763–1811), British Virgin Islands planter, the first, and likely only, British subject executed for the murder of his own slave.[138]
  • Jean-François Hodoul (1765–1835), captain, corsair, merchant and plantation owner who moved from France and settled in Mauritius and Seychelles.[139]
  • Johns Hopkins (1795–1873), philanthropist who donated seed money for the creation of Johns Hopkins University.[140]
  • Sam Houston (1793–1863), U.S. Senator, President of the Republic of Texas, 6th Governor of Tennessee, and 7th Governor of Texas; he enslaved twelve people.[141]
  • Hjörleifr Hróðmarsson (9th century), early settler of Iceland whose thralls (slaves) rebelled and killed him.[142]
  • Abijah Hunt (1762–1811), planter and merchant in the Natchez District in Mississippi. In 1808, he sold one of his plantations, complete with 60 or 61 slaves.[143]
  • David Hunt (1779–1861), wealthy planter in the Natchez District of Mississippi and the largest benefactor of Oakland College, he enslaved nearly 1,700 people.[144]
  • Margaret Hutton (1727–1797), largest enslaver in Pennsylvania at the time of the first federal census.[145]


  • Ibn Battuta (1304 – c.1368), Muslim Berber Moroccan scholar and explorer. He enslaved girls and women in his harem.[146]


In 1769 Thomas Jefferson placed an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette offering a reward for an escaped slave named Sandy.


  • William King (1812–1895), he enslaved as many as 15 people before becoming an abolitionist and establishing the Elgin settlement, a community of former slaves in southwestern Ontario.[154]
  • Anna Kingsley (1793–1870), African-born, when she was thirteen Zephaniah Kingsley bought her to be his wife; she later owned slaves in her own right.[155]
  • Zephaniah Kingsley (1765–1843), planter and slave trader, defender of slavery and of what then was called "amalgamation", interracial marriage.[156]
  • James Knight (c.1640c.1721), English explorer and Hudson's Bay Company director, he enslaved indigenous women, including Thanadelthur.[157]


Toussaint Louverture was born into slavery, then owned slaves, and eventually liberated Haiti's slaves.
  • James Ladson (1753–1812), lieutenant governor of South Carolina, he enslaved over 100 people in that state.[158]
  • James H. Ladson (1795–1868), businessman and South Carolina planter.[159]
  • Henry Laurens (1724–1792), 5th President of the Continental Congress, his company, Austin and Laurens, was the largest slave-trader in North America.[160]
  • Delphine LaLaurie (1787–1849), New Orleans socialite and serial killer, infamous for torturing and murdering slaves in her household.[161]
  • John Lamont (1782–1850), Scottish emigrant who enslaved people on his Trinidad sugar plantations.[162]
  • Marie Laveau (1801–1881), Louisiana Voodoo practitioner, she enslaved at least seven people.[163]
  • Fenda Lawrence (born 1742), slave trader based in Saloum. She visited the Thirteen Colonies as a free black woman.[164]
  • Richard Bland Lee (1761–1827), American politician, he inherited a Virginia plantation and 29 slaves in 1787.[165]
  • William Lenoir (1751–1839), American Revolutionary War officer and prominent statesman, he was the largest slave-holder in the history of Wilkes County, North Carolina.[166]
  • William Ballard Lenoir (1775–1852), mill-owner and Tennessee politician, he used both paid and forced labor in his mills.[167]
  • Francis Lieber (1800–1872), Jewish German-American jurist and political philosopher who authored the Lieber Code during the American Civil War. He enslaved people in South Carolina before he moved north to New York.[168][169]
  • Edward Long (1734–1813), English colonial administrator and planter in Jamaica. He was a slave-owner and polemic defender of slavery.[170]
  • George Long (1800–1879), English classical scholar. Long acquired a slave named Jacob while teaching at the University of Virginia and brought him back to England, where he was listed in the census as a manservant.[171]
  • Toussaint Louverture (1743–1803), a former slave, he enslaved a dozen people himself before becoming a general and a leader of the Haitian Revolution.[172]
  • George Duncan Ludlow (1734–1808), colonial lawyer. He was a slave owner and, in 1800 as Chief Justice of New Brunswick, he supported slavery in defiance of British practice at the time.[173]
  • David Lynd (c.1745–1802), seigneur and politician in Lower Canada. He enslaved at least two people and voted against abolition in 1793.[174]


General Marion Inviting a British Officer to Share His Meal (c.1835); his slave Oscar Marion kneels at the left of the group.
Mansa Musa, accompanied by thousands of slaves, traveling to Mecca.


John Newton captained slave ships and was enslaved himself in Sierra Leone. He became an abolitionist, calling the African slave trade "this stain of our National character".
  • John Newton (1725–1807), British slave trader and later abolitionist.[204]
  • Nicias (c.470–413 BCE), Athenian politician and general. Plutarch recorded that he enslaved more than 1,000 people in his silver mines.[205]
  • Nikarete of Corinth (fl.5th and 4th century BC), she bought young girls from the Corinthian slave market and trained them as hetaera.[206]


  • Susannah Ostrehan (died 1809), Barbadian businesswoman, herself a freed slave, she bought some slaves (including her own family) in order to free them, but kept others to labor on her properties.[207]
  • James Owen (1784–1865), American politician, planter, major-general and businessman, he owned the enslaved scholar Omar ibn Said.[208]


  • John Page (1628–1692), Virginia merchant and agent for the slave-trading Royal African Company.[209]
  • Suzanne Amomba Paillé (c.1673–1755), African-Guianan slave, slave owner and planter.[210]
  • Charles Nicholas Pallmer (1772–1848) British Member of Parliament and Jamaican plantation owner.[211]
  • George Palmer (1772–1853), English businessman and politician. As a slave owner, he received compensation when slavery was abolished in Grenada.[212]
  • William Penn (1644–1718), founder of Pennsylvania, he owned many slaves.[213]
  • Richard Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn (1737–1808), owned six sugar plantations in Jamaica and was an outspoken anti-abolitionist.[214]
  • John J. Pettus (1813–1867), 20th and 23rd Governor of Mississippi, enslaved 24 people on his farm.[215]
  • Thomas Phillips, (1760–1851) founder of Llandovery College and a slave owner.[216]
  • John Pinney (1740–1818), a British merchant, he inherited a sugar plantation on Nevis at age 22 and bought dozens of enslaved people to work it.[217][218]
  • Plato, (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BCE), Athenian philosopher, reported to have owned several slaves.[219]
  • Susanna du Plessis (1739–1795), planter in Dutch Surinam, legendary for her cruelty.[220]
  • Vedius Pollio (died 15 BCE), a Roman aristocrat remembered for being exceedingly cruel to his slaves.[221]
  • James K. Polk (1795–1849), 11th President of the United States, he owned slaves most of his adult life.[222]
  • Leonidas Polk (1806–1864), Episcopal bishop and Confederate general, he enslaved people on his Tennessee plantation.[223]
  • Samuel Polk (1772–1827), father of President James K. Polk.[224]
  • Rachael Pringle Polgreen (1753–1791) Afro-Barbadian hotelier and brothel owner. Emancipated herself, she had a violent temper and abused her own slaves.[225]



"The slaves of Buenos Aires praising their noble liberator." In fact, de Rosas revived the slave trade and owned slaves himself.


1895 illustration depicting the c.1655 slave-auction organized by Peter Stuyvesant.
  • Elisabeth Samson (1715–1771), Surinamese plantation owner and daughter of a formerly enslaved woman.[239]
  • Ana Joaquina dos Santos e Silva (1788–1859), Afro-Portuguese slave trader in Angola.[240]
  • Sally Seymour (died 1824), American pastry chef and restaurateur, formerly a slave.[241][242]
  • J. Marion Sims (1813–1883), physician, founder of gynecology. He performed medical experiments on enslaved women whom he bought or rented.[243]
  • Ashbel Smith (1805–1886), physician, diplomat, slave owner, Republic of Texas official, Confederate officer and first President of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas. An anti-abolitionist, he helped lead efforts to keep Texas a Republic and slave state.
  • Emilia Soares de Patrocinio (1805–1886) was a Brazilian slave, slave owner and businesswoman.[244]
  • Hernando de Soto (c.1500–1542), explorer and conquistador, he enslaved many of the indigenous people he encountered in North America. At the time of his death he owned four enslaved people.[245]
  • D. H. Starbuck (1818–1887), North Carolina lawyer, judge, and United States Attorney, he owned at least one enslaved person.[246]
  • Alexander H. Stephens (1812–1883), Vice President of the Confederate States of America and proponent for the expansion of slavery.[247]
  • Charles Stewart (fl.1740s–1770s), Scottish-American customs officer who enslaved James Somerset. In 1772, while in England, Somerset successfully sued for his freedom. The judgment in Somerset v Stewart effectively ended slavery in Britain.[248]
  • J. E. B. Stuart (1833–1864), Confederate general. He and his wife enslaved two people.[249]
  • John Stuart (1740–1811) was an American Anglican minister who later practiced in Kingston, Upper Canada.[250]
  • Peter Stuyvesant (c.1592–1672), director-general of New Netherland, he organized Manhattan's first slave-auction and enslaved 40 African people himself.[251]
  • Thomas Sumter (1734–1832), South Carolina planter and general, in the Revolutionary War he gifted slaves to new recruits as an incentive to enlist.[252]
  • Mary Surratt (1823–1865), convicted conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the first woman executed by the U.S. federal government. She and her husband were slaveholders.[253]


Robert Toombs (left) and one of the men he enslaved, Bishop Wesley John Gaines (right).
  • Clemente Tabone (c.1575–1665), Maltese landowner who owned at least two slaves.[254]
  • Lawrence Taliaferro (1794–1871), Indian agent who officiated the wedding between his slave, Harriet Robinson, and Dred Scott.[255] The largest slaveholder in present-day Minnesota, Taliaferro leased them out to officers at Fort Snelling.[256]
  • Roger Taney (1777–1864), 5th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, as a young man he inherited slaves from his father but quickly emancipated them.[257]
  • John Tayloe II (1721–1779), Virginia planter and politician, he enslaved approximately 250 people.[258]
  • George Taylor (c.1716–1781), Pennsylvania ironmaster and signer of the Declaration of Independence, he enslaved two men who, upon his death, were sold to settle his debts.[259]
  • Zachary Taylor (1784–1850), 12th President of the United States, he enslaved as many as 200 people on his Cypress Grove Plantation.[260]
  • Edward Telfair (1735–1807), 19th Governor of Georgia and a slave owner.[261]
  • Thomas Thistlewood (1721–1786), British planter in Jamaica, he recorded torturing and raping slaves in his diary.[262]
  • George Henry Thomas (1816–1870), Union General in the American Civil War, he owned slaves during much of his life.[263]
  • Madam Tinubu (1810–1887), Nigerian aristocrat and slave trader.[264]
  • Tippu Tip (1832–1905), Zanzabari slave trader.[265]
  • Tiradentes (1746–1792), Brazilian revolutionary.[266]
  • Alex Tizon (1959–2017), Pulitzer Prize winner and author of "My Family's Slave".[267]
  • Robert Toombs (1810–1885), U.S. Congressman, 1st Confederate Secretary of State, and brigadier general in the Confederate Army. He owned many slaves on his plantations, including Garland H. White, William Gaines and Wesley John Gaines.[268]
  • George Trenholm (1807–1876), American financier, he enslaved hundreds of people on his plantations and in his household.[269]
  • Homaidan Al-Turki (born 1969), Colorado resident convicted in 2006 of enslaving and abusing his housekeeper.[270]
  • John Tyler (1790–1862), 10th President of the United States, was 23 when he inherited his father's Virginia plantation and 13 slaves.[271]



Life of George Washington: The Farmer (1851); his slaves harvest grain behind him.
  • Joshua John Ward (1800–1853), Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina and "the king of the rice planters", whose estate was once the largest slaveholder in the United States (1,130 slaves).[278]
  • Robert Wash (1790–1856), Missouri Supreme Court Justice. A slave-owner himself, he dissented in several important freedom suits.[279][280]
  • Augustine Washington (1694–1743), father of George Washington. At the time of his death he owned 64 people.[281]
  • George Washington (1732–1799), 1st President of the United States, who owned as many as 300 people.[282] In his last will and testament he set all his slaves free.
  • Martha Washington (1731–1802), 1st U.S. First Lady, inherited slaves upon the death of her first husband and later gave slaves to her grandchildren as wedding gifts.[283]
  • John Wayles (1715–1773), English slave trader and father-in-law of Thomas Jefferson.[284]
  • James Moore Wayne (1790–1867), U.S. Congressman and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court who owned slaves and had three children by an enslaved woman.[285]
  • Thomas H. Watts (1819–1892), 18th Governor of Alabama and slave owner.[286]
  • John Wedderburn of Ballindean (1729–1803), Scottish landowner whose slave, Joseph Knight, successfully sued for his freedom.[287]
  • Richard Wenman (c.1712–1781). Nova Scotia politician and brewer. One of his slaves, Cato, attempted to escape in 1778.[288]
  • John H. Wheeler (1806–1882), U.S. Cabinet official and North Carolina planter. In separate, well-publicized incidents, two women he enslaved, Jane Johnson and Hannah Bond, escaped from him and both gained their freedom.[289][290]
  • William Whipple (1730–1785), American general and politician, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and slave trader.[291]
  • George Whitefield (1714–1770), English Methodist preacher who successfully campaigned to legalize slavery in Georgia.[292]
  • James Matthew Whyte (c.1788–1843), Canadian banker, he enslaved at least a dozen people on a plantation in Jamaica.[293]
  • James Beckford Wildman (1789–1867), English MP and owner of Jamaican plantations.[294]
  • John Witherspoon (1723–1794), Scottish-American Presbyterian minister, Founding Father of the United States, president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). At the time of his death, he owned "two slaves...valued at a hundred dollars each".[295]
  • John Winthrop (1587/88–1649), one of the leading figures in founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the 3rd Governor of Massachusetts. He enslaved two Pequot people.[296]
  • Joseph Wragg (1698–1751), British-American merchant and politician. He and his partner Benjamin Savage were among the first colonial merchants and ship owners to specialize in the slave trade.[297]
  • Wynflaed (died c.950/960), an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman, she bequeathed a male cook named Aelfsige to her granddaughter Eadgifu.[298][299]
  • George Wythe (1726–1807), American legal scholar, U.S. Declaration of Independence signatory. He freed his slaves late in his life.[300]


  • William Lowndes Yancey (1814–1863), American secessionist leader, he was gifted 36 people as a dowry and established a plantation where he forced them to work.[301]
  • Marie-Marguerite d'Youville (1701–1771), the first person born in Canada to be declared a saint and "one of Montreal's more prominent slaveholders".[302]
  • David Levy Yulee (1810–1886), American politician and attorney, he forced enslaved people to work his Florida sugarcane plantation and later to build a railroad.[303]


  • Juan de Zaldívar (1514–1570), Spanish official and explorer, he enslaved many people on his farms and mines in New Spain.[304]

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