Runaway Slave Advertisements
slave advertisement for LESTER, CAESAR, ISAAC, and MINGO placed by
William Bull, New York
THE 18th Instant at Night from the Subscriber, in the City of Ney-York, four Negro Men, Viz. LESTER, about 40 Years of Age, had on a white Flannel Jacket and Drawers, Duck Trowsers and Home-spun Shirt. CAESAR, about 18 Years of Age, clothed in the same Manner. ISAAC, aged 17 Years cloathed in the same Manner, except that his Breeches were Leather; and MINGO, 15 Years of Age, with the same Clothing as the 2 first, all of them of a middling Size, Whoever delivers either of the said Negroes to the Subscribe, shall receive TWENTY SHILLINGS Reward for each beside all reasonable Charges. If any person can give Intelligences of their being harbour'd, a reward of TEN POUNDS will be paid upon conviction of the Offender. All Masters of Vessels and others are forwarn'd not to Transport them from the City, as I am resolved to prosecute as far as the Law will allow.
N.B. If the Negroes return, they shall be pardon'd.
slave advertisement for BOOD placed by Wilson Hunt, New York
THIRTY DOLLARS REWARD
RUN-AWAY from the Subscriber, the 16th of September last, a Negro Man named BOOD, about 38 Years old, 5 Feet 10 Inches high, yellow Complexion, thin Visage, has had the Small Pox; his great Toes have been froze, and have only little Pieces of Nails on them: He is much addicted to strong Liquor, and when drunk very noisy and troublesome. Whoever takes up said Slave, and bring him home, or secures him in Gaol, so that his Master may get him again, shall be intitled to the above Reward of THIRTY DOLLARS, paid by
Any Person who takes up said Negro, is cautioned to be particularly careful that he does not make his Escape, as he is a remarkable stout, cunning, artful Fellow.
slave advertisement for SANDY placed by Thomas Jefferson, Virginia
RUN away from the subscriber in Albemarle, a Mulatto slave called
Sandy, about 35 years of age, his stature is rather low, inclining to
corpulence, and his complexion light; he is a shoemaker by trade, in
which he uses his left hand principally, can do coarse carpenters
work, and is something of a horse jockey; he is greatly addicted to
drink, and when drunk is insolent and disorderly, in his conversation
he swears much, and in his behaviour is artful and knavish. He took
with him a white horse, much scarred with traces, of which it is
expected he will endeavour to dispose; he also carried his shoemakers
tools, and will probably endeavour to get employment that way. Whoever
conveys the said slave to me, in Albemarle, shall have 40 s. reward,
if taken up within the county, 4 l. if elsewhere within the colony,
and 10 l. if in any other colony, from
slave advertisement for TOM placed by James Jordan,
January 16 1775.
RAN away from the subscriber, living in St. Mary's county, Maryland, on the 4th of November last, a mulatto man slave, named Tom, about fifty years of age, five feet nine or ten inches high, by trade a carpenter and cooper; he formerly did belong to Philip Key, Esq; at which time he resided chiefly at Beed's creek, and it is supposed that he is now harboured somewhere in that neighborhood; one of his knees is swelled, which causes him to limp. He has lost the fore finger of his left hand, it was cut off some years ago: had with him many good cloaths of different sorts, and a set of carpenter's tools; he is an artful deceitful villain, and may endeavour to pass for a free man. Whoever secures him in such a manner that I may have him again, shall receive six dollars reward, and if brought home, reasonable charges paid, by
slave advertisement for JAMES MASON placed by Walter Beall, Maryland
FIVE POUNDS REWARD,
RAN away from the subscriber, living in Frederick county, near Bladensburgh, a likely mulatto fellow named James Mason. He is about 5 feet nine or 10 inches high, has short black hair curled behind, and is a straight well made active fellow, of about twenty-seven years of age. He understands a little of the blacksmith's business, and is a tolerable good waggoner: he had on, when he went away, a brown cloth coat, an old double breasted jacket, a pair of white [ ] or fustian breeches, a white shirt, a new hat with a white band and loop, and a pair of  buckles in his shoes. As he is a sensible, artful fellow, it is probable he may have a forged pass, or a discharged indenture from some of his acquaintances, and may endeavour to pass as a freeman. Whoever takes up the said slave, and secures him in any jail so as I may get him again, shall have the above reward, and if brought home, their travelling expenses, paid by
slave advertisement for SAM LOCKER placed by Benjamin Brookes,
SIX DOLLARS REWARD
RAN away from the subscriber, living in Prince George's county, near Upper-Marlborough, on Sunday the 26th of March, a negro man, named Sam, but generally called and known by the name of Sam Locker; he is a thin clean made fellow, between thirty and forty years of age, has rather long hair, being of the East-India breed; he formerly belonged to Mr. Isaac Simmons near Pig-Point, in Anne-Arundel county, the said Simmons now lives near Calvert county court-house, and I suppose the fellow may endeavor to get down to his old master's; as he took with him sundry cloaths, it is impossible to describe his dress with certainty; he had on when he went away, a new searnought coat, lightish colour, blue cloth breeches, osnabrig shirt, felt hat almost new, white yarn stockings, and good shoes, (the soles nailed) has a wife at Mr. Walter Bowie's, near the Forest chapel, is a talkative artful fellow, and will endeavour to impose himself as a free man. Whoever takes up and secures said runaway, so as his master gets him again shall receive the above reward, from
slave advertisement for PEIRCE BURN (Irish servant) and NANCY BANNAKER (slave) placed by Abidnigo
|RAN away from the
subscriber, living in Frederick county, on the 15th of April last, an
Irish servant named Peter Kelly, but has changed his name to Peirce
Burn, and has a pass for that purpose; he is about 5 feet 8 inches
high, has dark brown hair, and of a dark complexion, and down look,
this apparel is a light coloured country cloth coat, 1 Holland shirt,
2 osnabrigs ditto, blue yarn stockings with shoes and buckles, a felt
hat bound with black worsted binding, striped linen trousers; also
went with him a lusty negro woman named Rhoad, now goes by the name of
Nancy Bannaker, her apparel a white humhums gown, her other clothing
such as is common for slaves. Whoever takes up said servant and slave,
and secures them, so that their master gets them again, shall if taken
in this province, be intitled to 20 dollars reward, and if out, the
sum of ten pounds, including what the law allows, paid by
slave advertisement for TOM placed by John Ashton,
SIX POUNDS REWARD
RAN away from the subscriber, living near Bellair, on Patuxent, in Prince George's county, Maryland, a mulatto fellow called Tom, a shoemaker by trade: he is about one and twenty years old, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, stoops naturally, he is fair, but has a remarkable beard when he lets it grow; he has the look of a rogue when sharply spoken to, and discovers a great deal of assurances and impudence in his conversation. As he has always lived in the neighbourhood of Queen Anne's, the Governor's Bridge, and Bellair, and has been acquainted with the priests of this province, his conversation may easily discover him: It is likely he may call himself free, and have a forged pass under another name, or he may probably be concealed and kept at his trade in Annapolis, or in the neighbourhood of Bellair, on Patuxent, where he lived, by some white people, who make to familiar with my slaves to my great prejudice, and whom I hereby forewarn from having any dealings with them, either in the shoemaking business, or in any other way, without my express consent. Whoever secures the above fellow in jail, or brings him home to me, will be entitled to the above reward, from
slave advertisement for TOM and MILBEY placed by Roger Johnson
June 18, 1777
FIVE POUNDS REWARD
RAN Away last Monday morning, from Bush Creek Forge, near Frederick-Town, two NEGRO men, viz.
TOM, a country born fellow, about 33 or 34 years of age, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high; thin faced, he formerly belonged to Mr. Thomas Johnson, late of Leonard's-Creek, in Calvert county; had on and with him two felt hats, country linen shirt and trousers, a blue jacket without sleeves, figured with white.
MILBEY, about 23 years of age, 2 feet 9 or 10 inches high, not very black, was lately purchased on Mr. Samuel Wilkins, of Princess-Anne, in Somerset county; had on a country linen shirt, old country cloth breeches, shoes lately soaled;
There were both seen at Mansfield's, on their way, as supposed, to Annapolis or Calvert county, though they may probably separate, and each make for the place he came from.
Five pounds for taking up and securing them, or fifty shillings for either.
slave advertisement for SARAH placed by George Somerville
TEN POUNDS REWARD
January 24. 1778
RAN away, on the evening of the 14th instant, from George Fox's plantation, near Dr. Stevenson's copper mine, in Frederick county, a likely molatto wench, named SARAH; she took with her a molatto boy, about 6 or 7 years old; she also stole and carried off a man's surtout coat, and a straight bodied ditto, both light colour'd, three mens white shirts, a sum of money, a bed and beding, and many other articles -- She went off in the company of Valentine Lind, by trade a taylor, who had been employed in that neighbourhood; 'tis supposed they have one or more horses with them, and may possibly attempt to pass for man and wife.-- She is a lusty wench, speaks good English and Dutch, has plenty of good clothes with her, and a large sum of money.----Whoever apprehends said woman and boy, and brings them to the copper mine, or to the subscriber in Baltimore, shall have the above reward, and all reasonable charges, paid by
slave advertisement for DAVID placed by Basil Roberts
TEN DOLLARS REWARD
March 16, 1778.
RAN away, on Sunday morning the 1st of February last,
from the subscriber, living in Montgomery County, at Mr. Dawden's
tavern, on the main road that leads from Frederick Town to
George-Town, a likely Negro man, named DAVID, about 30 years of age, 6
feet high, is country born, speaks very slow, and seems by his
discourse as if he would not tell a lye, and will be apt to say he is
free, as he has often before told strangers; he has a large scar on
his throat, and another on the side of his mouth; he has one or two
teeth out before. It is needless mentioning his clothes, because, if
he is at camp, I expect he has changed them ere this, tho' had on when
he went away, a soldier's old blue coat, with linsey sleeves, old
leather breeches, grey yarn stockings, old shoes, country linen shirt,
and a new felt hat, with a yellow button.--
slave advertisement for PEG, her child, and her husband ABRAHAM placed
by John Chapple
TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD
Patapsco Neck, Feb. 19, 1779
RAN away, last Monday morning, from the subscriber, a young tall Negro Wench, named Peg, about 17 years of age. Had on when she went away, a black and white kersey jacket, a course white linsey petticoat, yarn stockings, and shoes worn down at the heels. She carried with her a young child, a boy, with very bad sore eyes, of whom she had been brought to bed near five weeks; the child had on an old linsey frock, very fine, and she had with her, besides, an old striped linsey petticoat, and an old spotted rug.------Likewise ran away, the same day, her husband, who was sent to bring her home; he is a short well-set black fellow, about 5 feet 6 inches high, a big full mouth, down look, named Abraham, has an impediment in his speech when questioned or frightened, is about 25 years of age, and a very artful fellow; he formerly belonged to Alexander Lawson, Esq; and well known about Baltimore-Town----- Whoever takes up and secures said Negroes, so that their master may get them again, shall be intitled to the above reward, or Ten Dollars for either, with reasonable charges, if brought home,
slave advertisement for NED BARNES placed by John Hanson
THIRTY HARD DOLLARS REWARD.
Frederick Town, July 2, 1781
RAN away from the subscriber, living in Frederick-town Maryland, on the first instant, a negro man named NED BARNES, a likely sensible fellow, a shoemaker, about 35 years of age, about 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high; he carried with him a good deal of valuable cloathing, among which are a new light blue cloth coat and waistcoat, a pair of leather breeches, a pair of boots, a pair of neat shoes with silver buckles; it is probably he may have a pass and intends to join the British troops; it is suspected he went off on a likely roan horse. The above reward will be paid to any person bringing home or securing him in any goal; it is requested he may be searched and the money about him secured.
slave advertisement for CAESAR placed by Richard Cowman
ONE HUNDRED SPANISH DOLLARS REWARD.
RAN away from the subscriber's plantation, in Montgomery county, the 6th day of February last, a NEGRO MAN, named CAESAR, about thirty years of age, five feet five or six inches high, and well made, of a yellow complexion; he is an artful designing fellow, and I expect he will endeavor to impose himself on strangers as a free man, and probably may have got a pass as such. He understands something of the carpenters and coopers business. I apprehend his design was, when he ran away, to join, as a recruit, either the enemy or the American army. Had on, when he went away, a cotton jacket and breeches, tow linen shirt, coarse shoes and stockings, and a tolerable good hat. Whoever takes up the said negro, and delivers him to me, at West-river, in Anne-Arundel county, near Annapolis, or secures him so that I may get him again shall, if taken up and secured in this state, receive fifty dollars, and if out of the state of Maryland the above reward, paid by
slave advertisement for PHILLIS placed by Ignatius Hardy
RAN away, the 29th of July 1783, from the subscriber, living in
Prince-George's county, near the Woodyard, a short thick mulatto wench
named PHILLIS, thirty years of age, hath a large scar on one of her
cheeks; had on, when she went away, an old shift, old white linsey
petticoat, and short gown, with a black stripe round the back; I bought
her of Mr. Robert Darnall, and she may pass for his property, may change
her name and cloaths, and pass for a free woman. Two years ago she ran
away and hired herself to Mr. John Wynn, of Prince George's county, as a
free woman, by the name of Charity Maginnis, and likewise to Mr. Samuel
Beary, of Charles county, by the name of Charity Swan. Whoever will
deliver the said wench to me, shall receive four hard dollars if taken in
this county; if in Charles or St. Mary's counties eight dollars; if a
further distance a reasonable satisfaction, paid by me
N.B. This same wench was sold for running away, and hath been very troublesome to me; she is a great liar and a rogue, and artful in passing with many idle tales in her own neighbourhood, pretending to be sent about my business, and at the same time is run away. She hath made away with several articles of my property for her own; they are too tedious to mention; therefore I desire all manner of persons to have no manner of dealings with her, nor to harbour her one hour except my note from this date hereafter, but take her and deliver her to me, and they shall receive the above reward.
N.B. I do hereby certify, that the said wench is a slave.
slave advertisement for BILLY placed by John Horrell
May 14, 1785
RAN away from the subscriber, living in St. Mary's county, near the Queen-tree, a negro man slave named BILLY, about five feet ten inches high, a lusty well made fellow, when he walks his right knee bends pretty much towards his left, and his wool grows very low down on his temples; about twenty three years of age; had on when he went away, a striped country cloth jacket and breeches, but as he has been absent from August last, probably he may have got other cloaths; he has frequented the Head of Clement's bay, in St. Mary's county, and was seen last fall in Calvert county, in the neighbourhood of Leonard's creek, he has acquaintances all along up Patuxent river, and a father living at captain William Bowie's, in Prince George's county, where he has been heard today he would go; he has a mother living in Alexandria, in Virginia, with a Mr. Wilton, who formerly kept tavern in Piscataway, where he may possibly endeavour to harbour. Whoever will secure the said fellow, in any goal in this state, so that I get him again, shall receive a reward of eight dollars, and if out of state five pounds, including what the law allows, and reasonable charges if brought home, paid by
slave advertisement for SAMUEL JOHNSON placed by Peregrine Thorn
TWENTY POUNDS REWARD.
Charles county, near Newport, July 18, 1785.
RAN away from the subscriber, the 14th instant, a likely negro named SAM, alias SAMUEL JOHNSON, and has frequently passed under the names of James Willis and Samuel Perkins, by the latter he had a pass by a person in Baltimore, under the appeliation of a magistrate. Sam is about 23 years old, near 6 feet high, of a yellowish complexion, has a down impudent look, is pitted with the small-pox, and has a remarkable cut with an ax on one of his legs, which may not yet be well; had on when he went off, an old pair of trousers, asnabrig shirt worn through at the elbows, and old short blue jacket without sleeves, and an old hat; he is an artful rogue, born on the eastern shore, and is well known there and in Baltimore, where he ran away from his master in time of the war, was taken up in Philadelphia, after making several voyages to the West-Indies, has been latterly sent to Baltimore for sale, he then made his escape for several days, but was luckily apprehended, and is now, I understand, making for that place, and it is more probable will pass by many other names, as he has informed sever, since gone, that he is free, and others that he has a master in Baltimore, and is going to inform him of his being wrecked down the bay, carrying him a parcel of goods. Whoever takes up the said negro, and brings him to me, shall receive the above reward, by
slave advertisement for MATTHEW BUTLER placed by Basil Edelin
SIXTEEN DOLLARS REWARD
WENT away last October, from Mr. Queens, Eastern Branch a yellow negro fellow, of the Butler breed, named MATTHEW, about nineteen or twenty years of age, five feet 7 or 8 inches hight; when examined speaks soft, and has a down look. He formerly belonged to Edward Newport, of Charles county; he was seen at Annapolis about three or four weeks before Christmas, and it is supposed he went from there to Baltimore about that time. His father and mother belong to one Mrs. Bradford, near Bladensburg, and he may perhaps be lurking about there. Whoever will secure the said fellow, so that I get him again, shall receive the above reward, and if brought home all reasonable charges, paid by
N. B. I do not recollect his apparel; he probably may change his name, and endeavour to pass for a free man.
slave advertisement for BOB placed by Henry Boone
|Prince-George's county, June
RAN away from the subscriber, a negro man named BOB, a criminal who got from the constable as he was carrying with him to prison on the 15th instant, he was brought home by one of the neighbours the evening before, and made an attempt to kill one of my sons by twice stabbing him with a knife; he is a middle sized fellow, about five feet five or six inches high, flat visage, talks pretty quick, and has thick lips; had on when he went away an old white country cloth jacket, with a green lining to the cape, and under jacket of brown cloth without sleeves, an old hat and breeches. Whoever takes up the said negro and secures him in gaol, or brings him to the subscriber, near Upper Marlborough, so that he may be brought to justice, shall receive if taken within ten miles of home six dollars, if twenty miles ten dollars, and if only three or four miles five dollars reward, paid by
slave advertisement for WILL placed by Henry Plummer
August 25, 1786.
RAN away from the subscriber, on Saturday the 12th instant, a negro man named WILL, about twenty-five years old, four feet nine or ten inches high, he is well made for his height, is bow legged, and very hollow-backed, has a smiling countenance; had on when he went away, an osnabrig shirt and trousers, a blue and white mixed country cloth jacket, and a felt hat; he was taken up on Saturday last and made his escape, and was seen to pass through Bladensburg on Sunday as a free man. Whoever takes up said negro, and secures him so that the owner may get him again, shall receive six dollars reward, and if brought home eight dollars, besides what the law allows, and reasonable charges, paid by
HENRY PLUMMER, near
slave advertisement for GEORGE placed by Samuel Hanson
|Charles County, October 24,
RAN away from the subscriber, a tall slim negro named GEORGE, about 27 years old; his dress a blue coat and breeches, a shirt and hat, all old, his usual walks were at Major Jenifer's quarter's, and in that neighborhood, near Port Tobacco, but may make for Baltimore as he once before attempted. Reward for bringing him home fifteen shillings, with an addition of six-pence a mile after the first ten miles.
slave advertisement for SAM placed by John Parnham
SIX DOLLARS REWARD.
June 5, 1787.
RAN away from the subscriber, living in Charles county, near Newport, on the 30th day of May last, a young negro man by the name of SAM, five feet eight or nine inches high, slender made, of a yellowish complexion, and rather a silly countenance; had on and took with him an old parsons grey country milled coat, trimmed with black, an old country wove jacket and breeches, a pair of yellow cotton overalls or trousers, two new osnabrig shirts, an old Irish linen ditto, and a flopped hat; he formerly belonged to Mr. Gilbert Hamilton Smith, of Anne-Arundel county, and may have probably directed his course to that neighbourhood, or, as he has been used to going by water, may attempt to pass for a free man and get on board some vessel. Whoever will apprehend him and lodge him safe in gaol shall be entitled to the above reward, and to reasonable charges if brought home.
slave advertisement for unidentified slaves placed by William
|RAN away from the subscriber,
living in Charles county, four negroes, two men and two women; the men
about five feet eight inches high, each tolerably black, one about
thirty-five years of age and the other about nineteen, each of them
had on a white drillen coat, one a red waistcoat black breeches, and a
pair of boots; the women are of a tolerable yellow complexion; one of
them had on a red mantle and a black hat, the other a white mantle and
gray hat, and had with them two forged passes, signed by one John
Townsend Eaten, one of them on brown paper, badly wrote and spelt.
Whoever will take up the said negroes, and confine them in gaol, shall
receive twenty-five shillings each, paid by
slave advertisement for NACE placed by Samuel
TWENTY DOLLARS Reward.
RAN away from the subscriber, living in Saint Mary's county, and state of Maryland, a negro man named NACE, about twenty five years of age, of a dark complexion, about 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high; his cloaths uncertain, as he had many, and very likely may shift them. The above negro formerly belonged to my brother Robert Abell, who lately removed to Kentucky, and believe he ran away on account of his unwillingness to go out with him, although I purchased him some time before, he thinking it was a sham sale, in order to keep him until my brother set off, and then that he was to be confined and carried out with him. The above reward will be paid to any one securing the said negro in any gaol so that I may get him again, and if brought home the above reward and all reasonable traveling charges, including what the law allows.
SAMUEL ABELL, Youngest
slave advertisement for BESS and JERE placed by Henry
|St. Mary's county, Queen-Tree,
Aug. 21, 1789.
RAN away from the subscriber, on the 3d inst. a mulatto wench and fellow; the wench named BESS, is about fifty years of age, a bright mulatto colour, and mother to the fellow, who is called JERE, is about sixteen years of age, and lighter than his mother; as to their cloaths it is uncertain; it is supposed that they will make for Annapolis, as they pretend to be descendants of the famous NELL BUTLER. Whoever will take them up and secure them, so that their matter can get them again, shall receive, besides what the law allows, four dollars for each, paid by me
HENRY HILL, 3d
All persons are forewarned hiring the above-mentioned slaves.
Democratic Ideas of the 1776 Maryland Constitution From UMBC Center for History Education, Teaching American History Lesson Plans.
Freedom for All? The Contradictions of Slavery and Freedom in the Maryland Constitution From UMBC Center for History Education, Teaching American History Lesson Plans.
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Runaway Slaves: From the Revolution to the New Republic. From UMBC Center for History Education, Teaching American History Lesson Plans.
Freedom Fire. From PBS TeachersSource
Political Symbols. From PBS TeachersSource
Explorations: Indentured Servitude and Slavery. From Digital History
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the Runaways: Self-Fashioning, Print Culture, and Confidence in Slavery in the
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44300 Sotterley Lane
Hollywood, MD 20636
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