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Slavery and the Making of AmericaPhoto of a slave family on a plantation in Georgia
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

The Slave Experience: Family
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Original Documents The Family

The diary of Michael Shiner
1833
Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society


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Photo of a page from the diary of Michael Shiner
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Michael Shiner was a slave hired out to work at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. In his diary, Shiner recounts how he rescued his wife and children who had been sold to slave dealers in Virginia after the death of their mutual master. Aided by several whites, Shiner was able to come up with enough money to purchase the freedom of his entire family.


The 5 day June 1833 on Wednesday my Wife and Children Philis Skiner wher sold to couple of gentleman Mr Franklin and Mr John Winfield and wher carried down to Alexandria on the six day of June 1833 on Thursday the 7 of June 1833 on Friday I went to Alexandria 3 times in one day over the long Bridge and I wher in great distress. But never the less with the assistance of god I got my wife and children clear.
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