Slavery Advertisements Published June 25, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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.

From compiling an archive of digitized eighteenth-century newspapers to identifying advertisements about enslaved men, women, and children in those newspapers to preparing images of each advertisement to posting this daily digest, Jenna Smith served as guest curator for this entry. Working on this project fulfilled her senior capstone requirement for completing the major in History at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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

Jun 25 - Boston Evening-Post Slavery 1
Boston Evening-Post (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Boston Evening-Post Slavery 2
Boston Evening-Post (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Boston Evening-Post Slavery 3
Boston Evening-Post (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Boston Evening-Post Supplement Slavery 1
Boston Evening-Post (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Boston Evening-Post Supplement Slavery 2
Boston Evening-Post (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Boston Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
Boston Gazette and Country Journal (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Boston Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
Boston Gazette and Country Journal (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Boston Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Boston Gazette and Country Journal (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Boston Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 2
Boston Gazette and Country Journal (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 2
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 3
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 4
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 1
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 2
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser (June 25, 1770).

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Jun 25 - Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser (June 25, 1770).

June 24

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

Jun 24 - 6:21:1770 Pennsylvania Gazette
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 21, 1770).

“Large quantities of sickles, stamped S. PACHALL, in imitation … of my stamp.”

For several months in the spring and summer of 1770, Stephen Paschall ran an advertisement for scythes, sickles, knives, and similar items in the Pennsylvania Gazette.  Paschall made all of his wares and sold them, appropriately enough, “at the sign of the Scythe and Sickle” on Market Street in Philadelphia.  Paschall was confident in his skill, declaring that the products of his workshop “will prove as good as any made elsewhere.”

Others apparently shared this assessment, so much so that for several years counterfeit sickles attributed to Paschall circulated in Philadelphia.  He devoted half of his advertisement to describing the fraud and instructing prospective customers how to recognize authentic Paschall sickles.  He lamented that “some merchants of this city have … imported from Great Britain … and sold great quantities” of sickles “stamped S. PACHALL.”  Paschall marked his own sickles with his name, “S. PASCHALL.”  The difference could be easy to overlook:  “the letter S, between the A and C, is left out in the stamp on the English sickle.”  He deplored the unscrupulous purveyors of the counterfeit sickles for profiting off of his name and reputation when selling inferior goods, “many of which have been brought to me by farmers to alter.”  To add insult to injury, Paschall often found himself in the position of repairing sickles after farmers purchased them because they had been duped by the counterfeit mark.  He experienced some chagrin that those farmers confided that they “bought them for my make” only to discover “the workmanship is by no means equal to those formerly made by me.”

In addition to rehabilitating his own reputation, Paschall considered it important to bring this deception to public notice because he was in the process of “establishing my son in the same business (who is an apprentice to me).”  He defended his work not only for his own benefit but to safeguard the prospects of the next generation following the family business.

Labels, stamps, and other means of marking goods played an important role in marketing some products in the eighteenth century, but they could also be abused, adapted, and deployed to confuse consumers.  Paschall and others used newspaper advertisements to inform the public of this trickery, simultaneously protecting their own business interests and providing a service to unsuspecting consumers.

June 23

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

Jun 23 - 6:23:1770 Providence Gazette
Providence Gazette (June 23, 1770).

“Supplied with genuine Medicines, very cheap.”

In the summer of 1770, Amos Throop sold a “compleat Assortment of MEDICINES” at his shop in Providence, appropriately identified by “the Sign of the Golden Pestle and Mortar.”  His inventory included a variety of popular patent medicines imported from London, including “Hooper’s, Lockyer’s, and Anderson’s genuine Pills,” “Stoughton’s Elixir,” and “Hill’s Balsam of Honey.”

In an advertisement in the Providence Gazette, the apothecary addressed different sorts of prospective customers.  He informed “Country Practitioners” that he could fill their orders “as cheap as they can be served in Boston, or elsewhere.”  Throop competed in a regional market; druggists in other port towns also imported medicines from London.  Prospective customers could send away to Boston, Newport, or even New York if they anticipated bargain prices, but Throop sought to assure them that they did not need to do so.  Throop may have anticipated particular benefits from cultivating this clientele.  “Country Practitioners” were more likely than others to purchase by volume.  Their patronage indirectly testified to the efficacy of Throop’s medicines and his standing as a trusted apothecary.

Those factors may have helped him attract other customers who did not practice medicine.  Throop also invited “Families in Town and Country” to shop at the Golden Pestle and Mortar.  He promised them low prices, but he also emphasized customer service, stating that they “may depend on being used in the best Manner.”  In addition, he also attempted to allay concerns about purchasing counterfeit remedies.  Throop pledged to supply his customers “with genuine Medicines,” putting his own reputation on the line as a bulwark against bogus elixirs and nostrums.  When it came to patent medicines, the fear of forgeries merited reiterating that his inventory was “genuine” when he listed the choices available at his shop.

The neighborhood pharmacy is ubiquitous in the twenty-first century, but that was not the kind of business that Throop operated in Providence in the eighteenth century.  Instead, he served both local residents and “Country Practitioners” and “Families in Town and Country,” competing with apothecaries in Boston and other towns.  To do so effectively, he had to depict the many advantages of choosing the Golden Pestle and Mortar, from low prices to authentic medicines to good customer service.

June 22

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

Jun 22 - 6:22:1770 New-Hampshire Gazette
New-Hampshire Gazette (June 22, 1770).

“His Clocks with both Hands gives the Lye,
His Tongue ne’er speaks the Truth.”

After placing an advertisement in which he compared his rival to a rat, watchmaker John Simnet did not bother to wait for a response from Nathaniel Sheaff Griffith before escalating their feud once again.  In the June 15, 1770, edition of the New-Hampshire Gazette, Simnet placed an advertisement with two parts.  The first portion included the rat metaphor and the second portion a copy of a bill that Griffith issued to one of his customers.  Simnet called on “Judges” to insect the watch and assess whether the bill was reasonable before Griffith’s customer paid for the repairs and reclaimed his watch.

In the next edition, Simnet once again placed an advertisement in two parts.  The first reiterated the rat metaphor and a reference to Griffith as a “rough Clockmaker.”  The second portion was new; Simnet found new ways to denigrate Griffith in a short poem:

Near Portsmouth Stocks SHEEP G—ffi—h lives
(A Turkey legged Youth,)
His Clocks with both Hands gives the Lye,
His Tongue ne’er speaks the Truth,
Stand off, ye Pettyfogging Knaves;
This can you all out do,
Long NAT, can Filch us of our Time;
And of our Money too.

Although the poem was no great work of literature, it did include a couple of clever turns of phrase that simultaneously invoked measuring time and deficiencies in both Griffith’s character and skills as a watchmaker.  According to Simnet, Griffith’s clocks did not keep accurate time, yet another way that the supposed liar deceived his clients; nobody could expect Griffith to deliver the truth via any means, not in conversation nor on the dial of his clocks.  Simnet also accused Griffith of stealing from his clients in multiple ways.  He stole their money when demanding payment for inferior work.  He also stole their time in more than one fashion, through depriving them of knowing the correct time and also through wasting their time in dealing with him at all.

For his part, Griffith had not yet submitted a new advertisement for publication in the New-Hampshire Gazette.  Instead, his notice that called Simnet a mountebank and a novice who “cruely butchered” watches ran once again.  Throughout their feud in the public prints, Griffith had been the more measured in his approach.

In the era of the imperial crisis that ultimately became the American Revolution, some colonists expressed their political views in advertisements that promoted their business endeavors.  By paying to insert their notices in newspapers, they gained some level of editorial authority.  Simnet and Griffith, however, did not leverage that authority to address current events.  Instead, they used it to engage in a dispute that repeatedly unfolded before the eyes of readers of the New-Hampshire Gazette.  Purchasing advertising space allowed colonists to express their views and have conversations … or engage in arguments … seemingly with little editorial intervention from the printers.

Slavery Advertisements Published June 22, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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.

From compiling an archive of digitized eighteenth-century newspapers to identifying advertisements about enslaved men, women, and children in those newspapers to preparing images of each advertisement to posting this daily digest, Jenna Smith served as guest curator for this entry. Working on this project fulfilled her senior capstone requirement for completing the major in History at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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

Jun 22 - New-London Gazette Slavery 1
New-London Gazette (June 22, 1770).

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Jun 22 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 22, 1770).

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Jun 22 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 22, 1770).

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Jun 22 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 22, 1770).

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Jun 22 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 22, 1770).

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Jun 22 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 22, 1770).

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Jun 22 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 22, 1770).

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Jun 22 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 22, 1770).

 

 

June 21

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

Jun 21 - 6:21:1770 Boston Chronicle
Boston Chronicle (June 21, 1770).

“Desires that all Persons, who have any Accounts open with him, will settle them.”

This is the last advertisement from the Boston Chronicle that will be featured by the Adverts 250 Project.  Regular readers may remember that last month the project noted its final advertisement from the Georgia Gazette, a publication no longer included because copies of that newspaper printed after May 1770 have not survived.  In contrast, the Boston Chronicle, the first newspaper published twice a week in New England, will no longer be featured because it ceased publication on Monday, June 25, 1770.  The America’s Historical Newspapers database does not include that final edition.  Instead, it ends with the penultimate issue from Thursday, June 21.

John Mein and John Fleeming (as their names appeared in the colophon) commenced publication of the Boston Chronicle in December 1767.  In his monumental History of Printing in America (1810), Isaiah Thomas remarks that during the newspaper’s first year of publication it “grew daily into reputation, and had a handsome list of subscribers.”[1]  Thomas also described the decline and demise of the Boston Chronicle:

“Before the close of the second year of publication, its publisher, Mein, engaged in a political warfare with those who were in opposition to the measures of the British administration.  In the Chronicle he abused numbers of the most respectable whigs in Boston; and he was charged with insulting the populace.  To avoid the effects of popular resentment, it became necessary for him to leave the country.  Fleming continued the Chronicle during the absence of Mein, in the name of the firm; but it had fallen into disrepute, and its subscribers in rapid succession withdrew their names.  Many supposed that Mein was privately assisted by the agents of government, and several circumstances rendered this opinion probable.  But when the paper lost its subscribers it could neither be profitable to its publishers, nor answer the design of its supporters.”[2]

In addition to noting that subscribers “withdrew their names,” Thomas could have also reported that advertisers did not place notices in the publication.  The Boston Chronicle competed with four other newspapers published in the city at the time; all of those ran significant advertising content, sometimes so much that they distributed supplements devoted entirely to paid notices.  Many advertisers inserted notices in two, three, or four newspapers simultaneously, usually excluding the Boston Chronicle.  In comparison to its rivals, the Boston Chronicle ran relatively few advertisements. Notices placed by its printers accounted for a disproportionate number of those that did appear within its pages.  The dearth of advertising in a newspaper published in a bustling port city suggested that prospective advertisers did not consider placing their own advertisements in the Boston Chronicle a sound investment.  They may have worried about how many readers would encounter their notice or they may not have desired to have their names and businesses associated with the Boston Chronicle and its reputation.

Only two advertisements appeared in the penultimate issue.  John Bernard placed a notice calling on “all Persons, who have any Accounts open with him” to settle before he departed for England in the fall.  The other announced an auction of “Sundry unserviceable Ordnance Stores” along with timber and stones to be auctioned in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in August.  Compared to other newspapers printed in the city, the Boston Chronicle has received less notice from the Adverts 250 Project.  That reflects attitudes toward the newspaper in its final years of publication.  Advertisers certainly did not publish notices in the Boston Chronicle to the same extent they did in its competitors.

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[1] Isaiah Thomas, The History of Printing in America: With a Biography of Printers and an Account of Newspapers (1810; New York: Weathervane Books, 1970), 264.

[2] Thomas, History of Printing, 264.

Slavery Advertisements Published June 21, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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.

From compiling an archive of digitized eighteenth-century newspapers to identifying advertisements about enslaved men, women, and children in those newspapers to preparing images of each advertisement to posting this daily digest, Jenna Smith served as guest curator for this entry. Working on this project fulfilled her senior capstone requirement for completing the major in History at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago.

Jun 21 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 1
Maryland Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 2
Maryland Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 3
Maryland Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 4
Maryland Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 5
Maryland Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - New-York Journal Slavery 2
New-York Journal (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 4
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 5
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Journal (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Journal (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Journal (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 4
Pennsylvania Journal (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 5
Pennsylvania Journal (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 8
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 9
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 10
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 11
South-Carolina Gazette (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 21, 1770).

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Jun 21 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 21, 1770).

June 20

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

Jun 20 - 6:18:1770 New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (June 18, 1770).

“She has been approved of by several Gentlemen of the Profession.”

When Mrs. Fisher, a midwife, moved to a new residence in the summer of 1770, she place an advertisement in the New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy to let the public know where to find her.  She advised that she “is removed from the House at White-hall, to a House in Broad-Street, two Doors above Mr. Deane’s, Coach-Maker, and right opposite to Mr. Charles Philips’s.”  Although that information was important, Fisher may not have considered her location the most significant detail she included in her advertisement.  After all, she concluded her notice with a description of where to find her, but she first established her experience and other credentials.

Fisher commenced her advertisement by noting that she “has practiced MIDWIFERY in this City for several Years,” a reminder to “former Friends” who availed themselves of her services as well as an introduction to any readers not yet familiar with her reputation.  Yet Fisher realized that her extensive experience might not have been sufficient to convince prospective clients to hire her.  To enhance her standing, especially in the eyes of readers skeptical of women practicing any sort of medicine, even midwifery, Fisher declared that “she has been approved of by several Gentlemen of the Profession.”  Medicine became increasingly professionalized throughout the eighteenth century; in the process, women who had traditionally prepared and administered remedies for various ailments and provided other services, including midwifery, found themselves pushed to the margins, displaced by men who claimed greater expertise based on formal training.  Fisher may not have considered any of those “Gentlemen of the Profession” more capable of delivering children and caring for mothers throughout the process, but her advertisement suggests that she suspected prospective clients would at least feel reassured by an imprint of masculine authority.  In presenting her services to the public for consideration, Fisher conformed to some of the expectations she believed would yield more clients as she faced greater competition from the “Gentlemen of the Profession.”

June 19

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

Jun 19 - 6:19:1770 South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

“A Discount of 5 per Cent. at least.”

In the summer of 1770, David Baty and Company advertised a variety of liquors available at their store in Charleston.  Their notice in the supplement to the June 19 edition of the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal listed “RUM of different Qualities,” brandy, Madeira, claret, port, and “a Variety of other WINES.”  Customers could select the quantity they desired.  For rum and brandy, that meant by the hogshead, quarter cask, or “smaller Quantity,” but not less than three gallons.  For the wines, they could select among pipes, casks, and bottles.

Baty and Company encouraged customers to make larger purchases.  To that end, they offered “a Discount of 5 per Cent. at least” for buying “any considerable Amount,” suggesting that they applied even more significant discounts as customers increased their orders.  The partners did not list any prices to capture the attention of prospective customers; instead, they asked them to imagine a different kind of bargain available at their store.

They also provided a discount to customers who paid cash rather than made their purchases on credit.  The same issue of the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal included several notices calling on customers and others to settle overdue accounts.  Some of those advertisements included threats to place delinquent “Accounts in the Hands of a Lawyer.”  Baty and Company sought to avoid the hassle and expense of chasing down customers for payment at a later date, so they offered an incentive for paying with “Ready Money” at the time of sale.

Purveyors of goods and services frequently trumpeted their low prices in eighteenth-century newspaper advertisements.  Baty and Company took a different approach.  The partners asked prospective customers to consider how they could play a role in bringing down prices by ordering “any considerable Amount” or paying in cash, actions that provided even greater benefits to Baty and Company than simply making a sale.

Slavery Advertisements Published June 19, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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.

From compiling an archive of digitized eighteenth-century newspapers to identifying advertisements about enslaved men, women, and children in those newspapers to preparing images of each advertisement to posting this daily digest, Jenna Smith served as guest curator for this entry. Working on this project fulfilled her senior capstone requirement for completing the major in History at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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

Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).

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Jun 19 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 19, 1770).