John Inglis was a founder, trustee, and held numerous positions in public office including city councilman and deputy collector for the port of Philadelphia. Inglis’s biography on the University Archives page names Samuel McCall Jr., Inglis’ brother-in-law, and fellow university trustee, as a partner in a ‘business of trade.’ Inglis and McCall’s ‘business’ involved investing in slaving voyages to the West Indies and the Carolinas. The pair and additional members of McCall’s side of the family invested in over a dozen slaving voyages. Inglis sold these slaves and British indentured servants throughout the greater Philadelphia Area.
He placed advertisements in The Pennsylvania Gazette to announce the sale of ‘A Likely young Negro woman, who can Wash, Iron and cook well; also a young Negro Girl, about 14 Years of Age,’ in 1739, and an additional advertisement in 1742 to sell a ‘Negro woman and her daughter.’ (pictured below)
Pennsylvania, Tax and Exoneration Records from 1774 proved that John Inglis owned 8 slaves but he died in 1775 before the state could collect additional taxes. Two of his sons, Samuel and John, attended the University of Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania Tax and Exoneration Records, Samuel owned a slave in 1782.
An advertisement from the Pennsylvania Gazette and Pennsylvania Tax & Exoneration records serve as further proof that John Inglis sold and owned enslaved people: