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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Leathes, William (fl. 1708) [Last will and testament freeing a slave]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09102 Author/Creator: Leathes, William (fl. 1708) Place Written: s.l. Type: Manuscript document signed Date: 26 April 1708 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: "In the name of God Amen I William Leaths of the City and province of New York Sadler being very Sick and weak in Body but of perfect mind & memory...ordaine this my last Will and Testament...I give & bequeath unto my Servant Wan the Spanish Indian boy now living with me his freedom provided he serve my Loving wife. Seven years after my Decease." Includes the signatures of witnesses and sealed with red wax bearing the imprint of a skull and crossbones.


Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763

Keywords/Subjects: Religion, Death, American Indian History, Manumission, Latin and South America, Slavery

Sub Era: Slavery