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Mrs Phillis Shiner
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Birth: 1808
Loudoun County
Virginia, USA
Death: 1848
Washington City
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Phillis Shiner, born enslaved in Loudoun Virginia in 1808. She was purchased by James Pumphrey in 1817, and most likely worked as a domestic servant in the Pumphrey family household. James Pumphrey is enumerated on the 1820 U.S. Census for the District of Columbia, as a slaveholder, possessing, five enslaved individuals, three males and two female. One of the females is enumerated as being under fourteen years of age, while the second female is listed as over fourteen and under twenty six years of age. The first young person is most likely, Phillis, who in the year 1820 would have been 12 years of age. About 1828, Phillis married enslaved Washington Navy Yard worker and diarist Michael Shiner who was probably enslaved to James Pumphrey too. The evidence that Michael Shiner also belonged to Pumphrey is inferred from his references to the Pumphrey family, see pages 1, 47 and 53 and Shiner's mention of the anniversary of his sale to Thomas Howard p.36. In 1820, the Howard and Pumphrey family lived close to each other in Ward 5, and Michael and Phillis would have seen each other often, see 1820 census. . Michael was sold to Thomas Howard in 1828. Howard Clerk of the Washington Navy Yard lived close to the Pumphrey and Phillis and Michael were apparently allowed to continue living together.

James Pumphrey's death, on 3 March 1832, led his heirs to sell Phillis and her children to settle estate debts. The family was sold to the notorious slave dealers; John Armfeild and Isaac Franklin. On 5 June 1833, Phillis and her children were abducted off a street near their home in the District and held in the firms slave prison, at Alexandria. For the dramatic story of their families harrowing abduction, imprisonment and her 11 June 1833 manumission from slavery see The Diary of Michael Shiner, and his entries for 1832 -1833.

Sometime after her manumission, the Shiners were able to purchase their own house. Thomas Howard, Michael Shiner's master's early death on December 4, 1832, triggered more uncertainty for the whole Shiner family since Shiner and Howard had an agreement allowing Shiner to purchase his freedom. Fortunately Howard's widow, Nancy, faithfully complied with her husband's directive and Shiner was duly manumitted. The United States Census for the District of Columbia dated 1 June 1840, confirms his manumission as all the Shiner family are enumerated as "free colored."

Michael and Phillis Shiner both attended Ebenezer Methodist Church. Phillis took part in the church school adult classes. The couple had the following children: Ann, born 1829, Harriet, born 1830, Mary Ann, born 1833, Joseph, born 1836, Sarah, born 1838 and Isaac M., born 1845. Phillis died about 1848, probably in childbirth.

Transcription of the Manumission of Phillis Shiner
Levi Pumphrey }
To }
Phillis Shiner} Recorded 13 June 1833

Know all men by these presents that I Levi Pumphrey of the city of Washington in the District of Columbia for divers good and sufficient causes me thereunto moving have manumitted emancipated set free and released from Slavery, a negro woman named Philis and her three children named Ann, Harriet and Mary Ann purchased by me at a sale of my fathers property - the said Philis being at this time aged about twenty five years and her three children aged as follows, Ann about four years - Harriet three years and Mary Ann, about four months the Said Negro women Philis is in good health and entirely competent to obtain a livelyhood for herself and children by her labor - And that I do by these presents manumit emancipate & set free and discharge from Labor & Slavery the said Philis and her three children the witness whereof I have subscribed my name and affixed my seal hereto this 11th day of June in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and thirty three -
Signed Sealed & delivered Levi Pumphrey {SEAL}
in the presence of us
Family links: 
  Michael G. Shiner (1805 - 1880)*
*Calculated relationship
Beckelts Cemetery (Defunct)
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Created by: John & Gene Sharp
Record added: Jul 03, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54431819
Mrs Phillis Shiner
Added by: John & Gene Sharp
Mrs Phillis Shiner
Added by: John & Gene Sharp
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- Earth Visitor
 Added: Oct. 10, 2012

 Added: Jan. 30, 2011

- nancy murray
 Added: Sep. 8, 2010
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