Original manuscript document signed, one page, 8×10, Washington County, District of Columbia, January 15, 1822. Fine condition, with some age wear.
This is The Natchez Weekly Courier from September 24, 1856. It is a four-page weekly that is COMPLETE and in fine condition. There are nine different slave advertisements with two of them illustrated; four of the slave ads are relating to runaways. One of the slave ads is for Lewis, a 26-year-old runaway with the horrific statement, “…a scar under his left eye, and he has been badly whipped.” I have never seen a more haunting statement in a runaway slave advertisement. Click for six more photos… Continue reading
This March 13, 1855 edition of the New York Tribune includes an article about an advertisement for “Negro Dogs.” It states, “I would inform the citizens of Holmes County that i still have my NEGRO DOGS and that they are in good training and ready to attend to all calls of hunting and catching RUNAWAY NEGROES at the following rates. For hunting per day, five dollars Continue reading
This August 30, 1828 edition of the National Intelligencer has 7 slave ads. One advertises a FORTY DOLLARS REWARD for a 17 or 18-year-old named William. “He is of a bright yellow complexion…his hair nearly straight; is an excellent house servant and waiter, and unusually smart and intelligent for one of his color.” Another advertises FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD for SYE. “When he left home had a swollen face and a cut finger occasioned from an attack made by him on his overseer a few days before he absconded. His wife is living in Washington City, with Mr. John Baker, who hires Continue reading
This September 6, 1828 edition of The National Intelligencer (Washington D.C.) has a total of 5 slave ads. The first offers “FORTY DOLLARS REWARD” for “my Negro Woman, LETTY BROWN, taking with her, her two children, Bob and Dave…she is about 35 or 40 years of age. Bob is about 7 years of age…and carries his head on one side. Dave is about two years of age, of a yellow complexion…he has, also, a scar on the right or left arm, just above the elbow, occasioned by a burn which he received a few days before he was taken from my residence. The said woman and her children were taken off on Sunday night…by a yellow man of George Calvert’s, living near Bladensburgh, who calls himself Tarlton Brown, and who owns her as his wife.” Continue reading
This May 1, 1828 edition of the National Intelligencer includes a runaway slave advertisement stating, “NEGRO LEWIS absconded from the employment of a neighboring farmer sometime in the month of January last, and has not been seen by his employer since. He is about 22 years of age, remarkably stout, and nearly six feet high. Lewis is a fine looking fellow, very cunning, and can look dull, heavy, or sprightly, when he pleases. He will no doubt obtain a forged pass, and make for Pennsylvania. I have been recently informed that his sweetheart is a slave, belonging to Continue reading
This December 11, 1821 edition of the General Advertiser features 14 slave advertisements, 13 of them are runaway ads. Photos for all of them are listed below, but one of them involves a runaway child who is 3 feet four inches high. This newspaper was delivered to and owned by John Quincy Adams when he was Secretary of State in the James Monroe administration. His name “John Q Adams, Esq” is written (not by Adams) in the top left hand blank margin of the front page, and served as a sort of 19th century address label.
This September 6th, 1825 edition of the National Intelligencer (in Washington DC) contains 3 particularly heartbreaking runaway slave ads. The first is a “$100 DOLLARS REWARD” for BEN, and states “He can write a pretty good hand, and no doubt has copied the papers of some free man; and I have reason to believe he stole the Stafford County seal and attached the impression of it to his papers. He carried with him three of his daughters, the property of my neighbor, Moses Kendall, and a Negro Man, the husband of one of Continue reading
This is the December 29,1825 edition of The Virginian. There are a total of 8 slave ads, 2 of them are runaway slave notices. The most disturbing of the ads states, “WANTED the ensuing year, a NEGRO MAN of steady habits to remain about a House and Lot–one that is a little advanced in years, and without a wife would be preferred–also a small girl about 8 or 10 years of age. Apply at this office.” Continue reading
This is the July 14, 1840 edition of the Richmond Enquirer and contains 3 runaway slave advertisements. The first slave as states $225 REWARD–Ran away from the undersigned, about the 1st of January last, a negro woman named SCINDA–Since she has departed, I have every reason to believe she has for a long time been engaged with others in the use of poisonous medicants in the family, and suspicion rested on her previously. She is of common stature, dark skin, rather large and prominent nose, austere countenance, –about 27 years of age…” Also, $25 for CRITTY, a negro woman aged about 52 or 3. –Also, $75 for the apprehension of the two Thieves, and their conviction to the Penitentiary, who stole her from my kitchen a few nights ago. These two thieves came armed as Banditti, in the dead time of night and stole her off. She is of low stature and dark skin. She will make herself known on enquiry, as she is attached to the family, and came home after being dragged off by such a Banditti once before.”Continue reading
“Negroes Wanted” and “200 Negroes Wanted” advertisements. COMPLETE front section of the Daily National Intelligencer, Washington D.C. Wednesday, January 30, 1833. First ad: “The subscriber wishes to purchase from forty to fifty Negroes of both sexes, form the age of twelve years to twenty-five. He will exchange two 2 story brick Houses…for Negroes, or give the highest cash price.” Second ad: “Two Hundred Negroes of both sexes from twelve to twenty-five years old, field hands or mechanics…determined to give higher prices for slaves than any purchaser who is now, or may hereafter come into this market.” Continue reading
These 1839 runaway slaves from the COMPLETE front section of the Charleston Courier are described with incredible detail in these heartbreaking advertisements. In fact, I don’t see how someone can read these ads and not feel compassion for the men that must have been panic-stricken while on the run during the publication of this newspaper. From the 1st ad: “The above reward will be given on proof of being harbored by a white person ($300), or One Hundred Dollars for any or each of them, or Thirty Dollars for each, if proved to be harbored by a colored person, or Twenty-five Dollars for each of them being lodged in any Jail or Workhouse, so that I can get them.
“If they will return of their own accord, they will not be punished. Masters of vessels and others are particularly cautioned against employing or carrying them away, as the law will be strictly enforced.”
Interestingly, there is one ad seeking the conviction of a white person harboring a slave…”FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD for conviction of a White Person, who may have harbored my slave Billy…$200 for the conviction of a free person of color….$20 for proof of his having been harbored by a slave…” PLEASE SEE OTHER PHOTOS BELOW.
This is the April 30, 1810 edition of the National Intelligencer. It has a total of 5 runaway slave ads and 2 other slave sale ads. The first runaway slave ad says, “….One Negro Boy named JACK, about 17 or 18 years of age, 5 feet 2 inches high; appears to be a Frenchman by birth…” Continue reading
This is the May 5, 1845 Lynchburg Virginian containing four slave advertisements and 1 runaway ad. Continue reading
This is the full front section from the May 4th, 1838 Daily National Intelligencer. It includes one runaway and three slave purchase advertisements. First ad: “FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD.-Eloped from my residence ELOIZA, a young negress of ordinary stature and size, but strongly made, about 22 years old, color of a chestnut or brown, long thick wooly hair, which is commonly neatly combed, parted before, and tucked with combs. Her clothing consists of several calico frocks, white cotton aprons and collars, and a black bombasin dress. She has had from her birth a very singular mark, resembling the dashing on the skin of coffee grounds or some black substance. This mark, to the best of my recollection, commences on the neck or collar bone, and covers part of her breasts, body, and limbs, and when her neck and arms are uncovered is very perceptable. I understand that she calls herself Louisa, and has been frequently seen east and south of the Capitol square, and harbored by ill-