Ledgers, journals, daybooks, and related records of Pennsylvania turnpike, canal, and railroad companies, iron forges and furnaces, etc. The following volumes contain references to African Americans:


Anonymous, 1789-1793

Time and Coal Book, Rents, July 4-June 4, 1793. On page 1, under the heading "Sundry Grains and Threshing," an entry dated July 30, 1791 reads, "threshed by John Epply and Black George." Under "Contra Accounts" appears an entry for September 3, 1790 recording "Cash paid Negro Cyrus, Cash paid-Negro George"; for March 9, 1791, "Cash paid Black George"; for May 26, 1792, Mulatto "George paid him when he went to fair"; and for May 26, 1792: "Nancy Mulatto-paid her."

Cash and Pig Book, 1789, May 7-June 1, 1793. Under the heading "List of Working Hands" for 1793 are listed "Negro George," "Mulatto Nancy," and "Negro Cyrus."

Berkshire Furnace, Berks County

Journals, 1767-1826. The Journal for September-October 1767 contains references to a "Negro Dan," "Negro Perow," "Negro Jack," and "Mulatto Jo."

Berkshire Furnace and Charming Forge

Ledgers. 1748-1898. For 1753 there are accounts for "Black Tom" and "Mulatto Jo," for 1766-67 references to "Negro Cato," "Mulatto David," and "Mulatto Solomon," for 1785-1787 references to "Negro Robin" and "Negro Ish," and for 1789-1791 references to "Negro Robin" and "Negro Ish." One account shows that "Negro Robin and spouse" owed for a pair of shoes.

Elizabeth Furnace and Speedwell Forge, Brickerville,
Lancaster County, 1764, 1829-1839

Day Book, 1764, 1829-1836. Documents store and individual accounts of workmen and slaves employed at Elizabeth Furnace and nearby Speedwell Forge. Among the slaves mentioned are Andrew Jack and Edward Jack. Book also includes mention of "a visit of George Washington, the slave," as well as other furnace and forge workmen and "negro" slaves.

Laurel Furnace, Mount Braddock, Fayette County, 1804-1812

Day Book, 1804-1812. Included in this book is a monthly record of employee reimbursement. Among the names listed are "Black Peter" and "Black Ben."

Robesonia Iron Company, Robesonia, Berks County, 1898-1912

Ledger, 1898-1913. Employee accounts for Hiester Filbert’s Store are found for the following African Americans: Matthew Carter, Henry Roberts, Warick Umbel, Charles Walker, Noah Gordon, Adeson Payne, Lewis Rector, and John Walker. The names were verified as being African Americans by a living descendant, Floyd J. Umbles of Reading, in 1996.

Return to Index | PHMC Home | State Archives |