Using previously unexploited data, this paper explores the ages at which slaves were manumitted. OLS estimates reveal that mixed-race slaves, slaves in the tobacco-producing Piedmont, and female slaves of female slave owners were manumitted at younger ages. Weibull proportional hazards estimates imply that the same groups were more likely to be manumitted. The results also reveal a markedly diminishing likelihood of manumission after Nat Turner’s 1831 insurrection in south-central Virginia. The results are consistent with a principal–agent model in which slave owners contracted with slaves over consumption and future manumission to elicit effort and control shirking or other unproductive activities.