Slavery Advertisements Published September 23, 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.

Sep 23 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (September 23, 1768).

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Sep 23 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (September 23, 1768).

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Sep 23 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (September 23, 1768).

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Sep 23 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (September 23, 1768).

September 22

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

Sep 22 - 9:22:1768 Pennsylvania Gazette
Pennsylvania Gazette (September 22, 1768).

“All the branches of the American stocking manufacture.”

On the first day of fall in 1768 Thomas Bond, Jr., took to the pages of the Pennsylvania Gazette to promote the “STOCKING MANUFACTORY” he operated “at his house in Second-street.” He informed prospective customers that he “carries on all the branches of the American stocking manufacture.” In that regard, his advertisement differed from most others for consumer goods that appeared in the September 22 issue. Many advertisers sought to entice readers to purchase their imported wares, including several whose notices appeared in the same column. Williams and Elridge, for instance, advertised that they stocked “A NEAT and general Assortment of DRY GOODS” imported from London. Jonathan Browne, William and Andrew Caldwell, Maise and Miller, and Randle Mitchell similarly noted that they received their extensive inventories via ships from London and other English ports. Most of those advertisements occupied only half as much space as Bond’s notice.

To compete with merchants and shopkeepers who stocked so many imported goods, Bond purchased additional space in the advertising pages of the Pennsylvania Gazette to convince prospective customers that he offered a selection of stockings and caps that rivaled what they would find in other shops. Bond had “now on hand, a quantity of excellent worsted, cotton, thread, milled yarn, and milled worsted stockings, of various colours and sizes.” In their advertisements, retailers often underscored that they offered a vast array of merchandise to their customers. Appeals to consumer choice became one of the most popular marketing strategies in eighteenth-century newspaper advertisements. Bond applied that strategy to his own “domestic manufactures” as he attempted to carve out his own spot in the local market. Although he did not carry the same “LARGE assortment of Goods” as other retailers, he did offer ample choices among the items that were his specialty. In advancing this claim, he encouraged colonists to conceive of the products of “the American stocking manufacture” as just as appealing as those that came from distant ports in England. He did not belabor the point, perhaps believing that current discourse in newspapers and in the streets already primed prospective customers to think about the advantages of purchasing goods produced in the colonies.

Slavery Advertisements Published September 22, 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.

Sep 22 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - New-York Journal Slavery 2
New-York Journal (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Pennsylvania Gazette Postscript Slavery 1
Postscript to the Pennsylvania Gazette (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Gazette (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 9
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 10
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 11
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 9
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 10
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 11
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 12
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 13
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 14
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

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Sep 22 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 15
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (September 22, 1768).

September 21

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

Sep 21 - 9:21:1768 Georgia Gazette
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

“Whoever is inclinable to purchase the said sloop may treat with Mrs. Germain at her house in Savannah.”

The September 21, 1768, edition of the Georgia Gazette included several estate notices. The executors of Robert Adams’s estate informed readers about the sale of “ALL THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS” scheduled to take place at the end of October. Similarly, the executors of James Love’s estate announced an auction of “A LARGE QUANTITY of MAHOGANY, RED BAY, and WALNUT PLANK, an ASSORTMENT of CABINET-MAKERS and JOINERS TOOLS, and SOME HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE” to be held in early November at the shop he formerly occupied. Another estate notice described a “SLOOP called the BUTTERFLY, lately the property of Mr. Michael Germain, deceased.”

Each of these estate notices identified a female executor. “ANN ADAMS, Administratrix,” was presumably the widow of Robert Adams, given that the notice advised that the sale would take place “at the house of Mrs. Adams in Savannah.” The notice concerning the Butterfly did not formally specify that Michael Germain’s widow was an executor, but it did advise that “Whoever is inclinable to purchase the said sloop may treat with Mrs. Germain at her house in Savannah.” The notice concerning James Love’s estate does not reveal the relationship connecting “ELIZABETH WHITEFILED, Executrix,” and the deceased cabinetmaker, but she may have been a daughter or sister. In each instance, a woman assumed important legal and financial responsibilities and turned to the public prints to carry them out.

Yet they did not do so alone. “ANN ADAMS, Administratrix,” fulfilled her duties in coordination with “JAMES HERIOT, Administrator.” “ELIZABETH WHITEFIELD, Executrix,” worked with “PETER BLYTH, Executor” to settle Love’s estate. Mrs. Germain had a male counterpart as well. Those interested in purchasing the Butterfly had the option of negotiating “with Hugh Ross” instead of the widow. None of these advertisements reveal the division of labor undertaken by the executors, but they do demonstrate that colonial women were not excluded from these important duties. Their male counterparts may have provided oversight, but wives and other female relations likely possessed more knowledge about family finances and the commercial activities of deceased men than just about anybody else. Even when adult sons or former business partners also served as executors, women made invaluable contributions in the process of settling estates.

Slavery Advertisements Published September 21, 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.

Sep 21 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 1
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

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Sep 21 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 2
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

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Sep 21 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 3
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

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Sep 21 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 4
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

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Sep 21 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 5
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

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Sep 21 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 6
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

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Sep 21 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 7
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

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Sep 21 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 8
Georgia Gazette (September 21, 1768).

September 20

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

Sep 20 - 9:20:1768 Essex Gazette
Essex Gazette (September 20, 1768).

TO BE SOLD … A Likely, strong, and remarkably healthy Negro Girl.”

The Essex Gazette commenced publication in Salem, Massachusetts, on August 2, 1768. The colophon at the bottom of the final page advised readers that it was “Printed by SAMUEL HALL, at his Printing-Office a few Doors above the Town-House; where SUBSCRIPTIONS, (at Six Shillings and Eight Pence per Annum) ADVERTISEMENTS, &c. are received for this Paper.” The first issue included half a dozen advertisements that Hall apparently solicited in advance of publication. Hall certainly included those advertisers in the message he addressed “To the PUBLICK” in the inaugural issue. He “return[ed] my sincere Thanks to every Gentleman, who has, in any Manner, patronized and encouraged my Undertaking.” Those first advertisers included an apothecary, a tailor, a shopkeeper, and a tavernkeeper. Each offered consumer goods and services to the residents of Salem and its environs.

Readers were accustomed to seeing those sorts of advertisements in the several newspapers published in nearby Boston as well as other newspapers that circulated in New England. They were also accustomed to seeing other sorts of paid notices, those that offered enslaved men, women, and children for sale or announced rewards for the capture and return of runaways slaves. It did not take long for advertisements for people reduced to commodities to find their way into the Essex Gazette. In issue “NUMB. 8,” only seven weeks after Hall distributed the first issue of the Essex Gazette, the first advertisement mentioning a slave appeared in the new publication, one of only six paid notices in that issue. In it, James Lee announced that he sought to sell a “Likely, strong, and remarkably healthy Negro Girl, between 11 and 12 Years of Age.” She would make a good domestic servant, already being “well acquainted with the Business of a Family” and knowing how to knit, spin, and sew.

Practically from the start of this new endeavor printer Samuel Hall was enmeshed in the business of human bondage. The success and continued publication of the Essex Gazette depended on those who “patronized and encouraged” the venture, including those who placed advertisements that generated revenue that sustained the newspaper. Even as the news items printed elsewhere in the Essex Gazette addressed questions concerning the “invaluable Rights and Privileges, civil and religious” of the colonists, advertisements contributed to the perpetuation of slavery in Massachusetts during the era of the American Revolution.

Slavery Advertisements Published September 20, 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.

Sep 20 - Essex Gazette Slavery 1
Essex Gazette (September 20, 1768).

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Sep 20 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 20, 1768).

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Sep 20 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 20, 1768).

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Sep 20 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 20, 1768).

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Sep 20 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 20, 1768).

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Sep 20 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 20, 1768).