May 26

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

May 26 - 5:26:1768 New-York Journal
New-York Journal (May 26, 1768).

“FAULKNER’S BOTTLED ALE.”

William Faulkner, a brewer, incorporated several marketing strategies into the advertisement he placed in the May 26, 1768, edition of the New-York Journal. Like other colonists who peddled goods and services, he made appeals to price and quality. However, he did not merely resort to the formulaic language that appeared in countless newspaper advertisements. Instead, he offered additional commentary to convince prospective customers to purchase his product.

Faulkner could have simply stated that “he continues to supply the public with the best of liquor on the most reasonable terms.” Such appeals to price and quality, however, were not sufficient for promoting his “country brew’d ALE” that was only recently ready for the marketplace. Not only was his ale “now fit for use,” but “in the opinion of good judges, equal in quality to any imported.” Faulkner did not reveal the identities of these “good judges,” but he did suggest to potential customers that others had indeed endorsed his product. For those still skeptical, he advanced another strategy for encouraging them to take a chance on his “country brew’d ALE.” He stated that the public had already expressed desire “for bottled Beer of this sort” and then invoked “the laudable encouragement given to our own manufactures at this period.” Faulkner did not rehearse the ongoing dispute between Parliament and the colonies. He did not need to do so. Prospective customers were already well aware of the Townshend Act that went into effect six months earlier as well as the calls for increased production and consumption of goods in the colonies as a means of decreasing dependence on imports. With a single turn of phrase, Faulkner imbued purchasing his ale with political meaning.

He also offered a discount of sorts to return customers, pricing his ale at “10s. per dozen” but noting “3s. per dozen allowed to those who return the bottles.” In other words, customers who brought back their empty bottles paid only seven shillings for a dozen full bottles. Faulkner kept his own production costs down through this design. Of the many choices available to them, the brewer encouraged colonists to enjoy “FAULKNER’S BOTTLED ALE” over any alternatives, especially imported ales. He offered assurances about quality in addition to providing pricing and political considerations to persuade consumers to choose his ale.

Summary of Slavery Advertisements Published May 20-26, 1768

These tables indicate how many advertisements for slaves appeared in colonial American newspapers during the week of May 20-26, 1768.

Note:  These tables are as comprehensive as currently digitized sources permit, but they may not be an exhaustive account.  They includes all newspapers that have been digitized and made available via Accessible Archives, Colonial Williamsburg’s Digital Library, and Readex’s America’s Historical Newspapers.  There are several reasons some newspapers may not have been consulted:

  • Issues that are no longer extant;
  • Issues that are extant but have not yet been digitized (including the Pennsylvania Journal); and
  • Newspapers published in a language other than English (including the Wochentliche Philadelphische Staatsbote).

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Slavery Advertisements Published May 20-26, 1768:  By Date

Slavery Adverts Tables 1768 By Date May 20

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Slavery Advertisements Published May 20-26, 1768:  By Region

Slavery Adverts Tables 1768 By Region May 20

Slavery Advertisements Published May 26, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

May 26 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - New-York Journal Slavery 2
New-York Journal (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - New-York Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the New-York Journal (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Gazette (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (May 26, 1768).

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May 26 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (May 26, 1768).

May 25

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

May 25 - 5:25:1768 Georgia Gazette
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

“MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM WARES, daily expected from Bristol.”

In an advertisement they placed in the May 25, 1768, edition of the Georgia Gazette, merchants Inglis and Hall promoted merchandise they already had on hand. In addition, they attempted to stoke anticipation for inventory that would be available soon but had not yet arrived at their store in Savannah.

Inglis and Hall proclaimed that they “have just imported” an assortment of goods “from London.” They named the ships and captains that had transported that “QUANTITY of EUROPEAN and EAST-INDIA GOODS” across the Atlantic so readers could consult the shipping news or their own memories to confirm that they did indeed sell wares that had recently arrived in the colony.

At the same time, Inglis and Hall reported that they had ordered a “GENERAL ASSORTMENT of LINENS, WOOLENS, MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM WARES” that they expected to add to their stock soon since the vessel carrying them was “daily expected from Bristol.” Given that the Georgia Gazette, like every other newspaper published in the American colonies in 1768, appeared only once a week, it was quite possible that Inglis and Hall would make those goods available for sale before the next issue scheduled for publication on June 1. Previewing the merchandise might have drawn customers into the store for an initial visit to see what was available as well as a return visit to check for new arrivals, increasing foot traffic and potential sales.

This strategy also conditioned some prospective customers to read the weekly list of ships “ENTERED INWARDS at the CUSTOM-HOUSE” printed elsewhere in the Georgia Gazette as an extension of Inglis and Hall’s advertisement. The merchants created the possibility that anyone reading that a vessel had arrived from Bristol would associate that news with their advertisement trumpeting a much more extensive inventory. Although they did not have any authority over the other content in the newspaper, Inglis and Hall harnessed the shipping news as an auxiliary component of their own advertisement.

Slavery Advertisements Published May 25, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

May 25 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 1
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

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May 25 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 2
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

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May 25 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 3
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

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May 25 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 4
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

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May 25 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 5
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

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May 25 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 6
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

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May 25 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 7
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

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May 25 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 8
Georgia Gazette (May 25, 1768).

May 24

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

May 24 - 5:24:1768 South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

“A CARGO of DRY GOODS … never yet exposed to SALE.”

In the spring of 1768 Samuel Prioleau, Jr., and Company placed an advertisement in the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal that announced their plans to auction “A CARGO of DRY GOODS” just imported from Liverpool. They provided a short list highlighting some of the merchandise, including “cotton and silk hollands,” “Scotch osnaburgs,” and “Drogheda linen,” but also promised “sundry other articles” too numerous to name in their notice.

Prioleau and Company proclaimed that their wares had “never yet been exposed to SALE.” In so doing, they assured potential buyers – retailers and end-use consumers alike – that this was not merely a cargo of castoffs that merchants and shopkeepers on the other side of the Atlantic had been unable to sell and then attempted to pawn off on distant colonists who did not have easy access to the newest and most fashionable goods. Colonial consumers sometimes complained that they were expected to be content with just such merchandise, which explains why so many eighteenth-century advertisers made a point of stressing that they stocked the newest fashions. This was not necessary for the “Irish linen” or “Scotch osnaburgs,” a coarse fabric often used to clothe slaves, but likely made a difference for “men and boys hats” and some of the higher end textiles that Prioleau and Company listed. They also indicated that this cargo had been “Just imported in the Ship Nanny, David Perry, Master, from Liverpool,” signaling to prospective customers that the textiles had not first been offered for sale in local warehouses or shops. According to the shipping news in the South-Carolina Gazette published the previous day, the Nanny was still in port. To underscore that these goods had “never yet been exposed to SALE,” the advertisers concluded by stating that they were “all bought at the manufactory.” Coming directly from the place of production, these items had not previously sat on shelves where they had been pawed and passed over by other prospective customers. Instead, colonists in Charleston had first shot at acquiring this assortment of fabrics.

Slavery Advertisements Published May 24, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

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May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

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May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

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May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

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May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

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May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

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May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

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May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).

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May 24 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 4
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (May 24, 1768).