Slavery Advertisements Published October 26, 1770

GUEST CURATOR:  Katherine Hammer

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.

Oct 26 1770 - New-Hampshire Gazette Slavery 1
New-Hampshire Gazette (October 26, 1770).

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Oct 26 1770 - New-London Gazette Slavery 1
New-London Gazette (October 26, 1770).

 

October 25

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

Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (October 25, 1770).

“A Sermon occasion’d by the sudden and much lamented Death of the Rev. GEORGE WHITEFIELD.”

In the wake of George Whitefield’s death on September 30, 1770, printers, booksellers, and others quickly sought to capitalize on the event by publishing and selling commemorative items dedicated to the memory of one of the most prominent ministers associated with the religious revivals now known as the Great Awakening.  This commodification included producing new broadsides with images, poems, and hymns as well as marketing books originally published years earlier that were already in stock but gained new resonance.  Throughout the past month, the Adverts 250 Project has been tracking many of those publications to demonstrate the extent of the simultaneous commemoration and commodification that took place in the weeks after colonists learned of Whitefield’s death.  Advertisements hawking Whitefield memorabilia ran in newspapers published in Boston, New York, Portsmouth, and Salem almost as soon as the news appeared in the public prints.

A notice for yet another item, Heaven the Residence of the Saints, ran in the October 25, 1770, edition of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter.  The advertisement, reiterating the lengthy title, explained that this pamphlet was a “Sermon occasion’d by the sudden and much lamented Death of the Rev. GEORGE WHITEFIELD.”  Ebenezer Pemberton, “Pastor of a Church in Boston,” delivered the sermon on October 11.  Just two weeks later, Joseph Edwards informed consumers that they could purchase copies of the sermon from him.  Daniel Kneeland printed that first edition for Edwards, but other printers recognized the prospective market for the pamphlet.  It did not take long for Hugh Gaine to reprint his own edition in New York or for E. and C. Dilly to commission a London edition, that one also featuring the “Elegiac Poem” composed by Phillis Wheatley, the enslaved poet, and frequently advertised and sold separately in the colonies.

New coverage of Whitefield’s death continued in the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter with a short article about Whitefield’s “PATRIOTISM” taken from the October 19, 1770, edition of the New-Hampshire Gazette.  Such articles, however, were not the sole extent of news about the minister.  Advertisements for commemorative items served as an alternative means of marking current events … and purchasing memorabilia gave consumers an opportunity to be part of those events as they joined others in mourning the death of Whitefield and celebrating his life.

Slavery Advertisements Published October 25, 1770

GUEST CURATOR:  Katherine Hammer

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.

Oct 25 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 1
Maryland Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 2
Maryland Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 3
Maryland Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 4
Maryland Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter Slavery 1
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter Slavery 2
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Journal (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Journal (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Journal (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (October 25, 1770).

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Oct 25 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (October 25, 1770).

Welcome, Guest Curator Katherine Hammer

Katherine Hammer is a senior at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts, but she is from New York originally. She is a double major in History and Secondary Education, actively teaching at schools in the Worcester school districts as part of her coursework. Her interests in history include wars that shaped the world, early colonization of America, and German history. Outside of the classroom, Katherine is a goalkeeper on the Assumption women’s soccer team and enjoys volunteering with her team at various shelters in Worcester. Back at home, she works with students with intellectual and emotional disabilities, teaching them different social skills along with providing them a safe and caring environment to go to school. In the future, Katherine hopes to have a classroom of her own and build students’ passions for history, just like her teachers and professors have done for her.  She conducted the research for her current contributions as guest curator for the Slavery Adverts 250 Project when she was enrolled in HIS 400 – Research Methods: Vast Early America in Spring 2020.

Welcome, guest curator Katherine Hammer.

October 24

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

New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (October 22, 1770).

“THE two First PARTS of the LIFE of the late Rev. Mr. GEORGE WHITEFIELD.”

News of George Whitefield’s death in Newburyport, Massachusetts, on September 30, 1770, quickly spread.  Articles about the passing of one of the most famous and influential ministers associated with the religious revivals now known as the Great Awakening appeared in several newspapers published in Boston the following day.  Coverage then radiated out to newspapers published in other towns in New England and then beyond.  A little over three weeks later, newspapers printed in Charleston delivered the news to residents of South Carolina, reprinting articles that first appeared in Boston’s newspapers.

Coverage of Whitefield’s death was not limited to news articles.  Printers inserted poems in memory of the minister as well as advertisements for commemorative items, broadsides featuring images, hymns, and verses that celebrated Whitefield.  Such commodification commenced almost immediately in New England.  An article in the October 4, 1770, edition of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter ended with a notice of a “FUNERAL HYMN” written by Whitefield with the intention that it would be “sung over his Corpse by the Orphans belonging to his Tabernacle in London, had he died there” was on sale at Green and Russell’s printing office.  All five newspapers published in Boston as well as the Essex Gazette in Salem and the New-Hampshire Gazette in Portsmouth soon ran advertisements for various commemorative broadsides.

Yet the rapid commodification of Whitefield’s death was not confined to New England.  Two newspapers, the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury and the New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy, broke the news on October 8, just a week after it first appeared in Boston’s newspapers.  Both publications reprinted items from other newspapers and inserted extracts of letters received from correspondents in Massachusetts.  In its next issue, the New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy included its first advertisement that sought to capitalize on the minister’s death.  Garrat Noel, a bookseller who frequently advertised his wares, placed a notice that highlighted two publications related to Whitefield before listing various other titles he offered for sale.  He informed prospective customers that he carried “THE two First PARTS of the LIFE of the late Rev. Mr. GEORGE WHITEFIELD, written by himself,” works originally published three decades earlier that now resonated with consumers in new ways in the wake of the minister’s passing.  Noel also had in stock “Mr. WHITEFIELD’S Collection of HYMNS, The Thirteenth Edition.”  Whitefield’s death allowed for new marketing opportunities for popular items already in the bookseller’s inventory.

Noel’s advertisements ran for several weeks, coinciding with continued coverage of Whitefield’s death as all three newspapers in New York continued to reprint items from other newspapers to give their subscribers and other readers more information about the minister’s death and funeral.  Noel almost certainly hoped that those news articles would help to incite interest in the books he offered for sale, coverage of current events buttressing his marketing efforts.  It was hardly a coincidence that he began highlighting books related to Whitefield so soon after such momentous news about the minister arrived in New York and appeared in the public prints.

October 23

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

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

“The newest and most fashionable Taste.”

In the fall of 1770, John Brown, a hairdresser, informed “the Ladies in particular” and “the Gentlemen” as well as that he had set up shop in Charleston.  In an advertisement that ran in the South-Carolina and American General Gazette, he announced that he had “Just arrived from LONDON.”  This was a common marketing strategy among advertisers from a variety of occupations, from doctors to artisans to tailors to hairdressers.  They listed their place of origin as part of their credentials, suggesting to colonists that those who had trained and worked in the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the empire possessed greater skill and a better understanding of taste and fashion than their counterparts from the colonies.

Brown stated that he “was regularly bred to the Business,” invoking a common phrase that indicated extensive training, but he also made the claim to superior circumstances more explicit by clarifying that he learned his trade “in one of the genteelest Shops in London.”  Unlike other hairdressers in Charleston, Brown had not yet established a reputation among current and prospective clients.  As an alternative, he used his connections to the urban sophistication of London to encourage residents of Charleston to associate additional cachet with his services.

Brown also emphasized his recent arrival in South Carolina.  Many advertisers deployed the phrase “from London” in their notices, some after living and working in the colonies for years.  That made it significant for Brown to proclaim that he “Just arrived from LONDON.”  His experience working in one of those “genteelest Shops” was recent.  He possessed a familiarity with tastes and trends in the metropole that was current.  Other hairdressers relied on travelers and correspondents to keep them apprised of new styles, but Brown brought that knowledge with him when he crossed the Atlantic and set up his own shop in Charleston.  He pledged to dress hair according to “the newest and most fashionable Taste,” a common appeal that had greater resonance when deployed by a coiffeur who had “Just arrived from LONDON.”

Slavery Advertisements Published October 23, 1770

GUEST CURATOR:  Bryant Halpin

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.

Oct 23 1770 - Essex Gazette Slavery 1
Essex Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - Essex Gazette Slavery 2
Essex Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 8
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 9
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 10
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 7
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 8
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 9
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 10
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 11
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 12
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 13
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

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Oct 23 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 14
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 23, 1770).

October 22

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

New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (October 22, 1770).

All Sorts of Gold, Silver, and Silk.”

Barnaby Andrews, an “IMBROIDERER,” placed a notice in the October 22, 1770, edition of the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury to advertise his many services.  He described four different branches of his business to attract prospective customers.  Andrews commenced with the most obvious, proclaiming that he “MAKES all Sorts of Gold, Silver, and Silk for Men and Womens Ware” as well as “Pulpit Cloths, Tassels and Fringes.”  As a related service, he informed the public that he “cleans all Sorts of Gold and Silver Lace.”  These were the types of work expected of embroiderers.

Yet Andrews provided two other services beyond making and maintaining embroidery.  He offered to impart his skills to “Any Lady” who wished to take lessons.  When it came to leisure activities and household production, after all, embroidery was predominantly a feminine pastime.  Prospective pupils had two option when it came to the location for their lessons.  They could choose to have Andrews visit them at home, certainly a convenience, but they could also opt for the embroiderer’s lodgings on Broad Street.  Either way, the advertisement suggested that they would receive more personalized attention from Andrews than they would from schoolmistresses who included sewing and simple embroidery in their curriculum for girls and young women.

In addition to embroidery, Andrews also made “all Sort of Paper Work” and “Hat, Patch and Bonnet Boxes” for storing some of the items that women used to adorn their faces and heads.  Madeline Siefke Estill explains that patch boxes were “indices of gentility” similar to snuff boxes and tobacco boxes.  Patches were made from “a wide range of materials – black silk, velvet, paper, or red leather – and cut into a variety of shapes and sizes” to be “applied to the face or bosom with mastic.”  Patches served several purposed, including lending “an impression of formal distinction and enhanc[ing] one’s beauty and desirability.”  While patches could be used to disguise blemishes, women also wore them to “appear younger and more fashionable.”  Andrews asserted that he made his boxes “in the neatest and best Fashion,” suitable accouterments for genteel women to collect, display, or even give as gifts.

Andrews aimed his advertisement primarily at the local gentry, those who had the means to acquire silks and lace as well as the leisure time to learn embroidery as a diversion.  Like many other artisans, he provided the means for his clients to perform gentility though he could not claim admission to the ranks of the genteel himself.

Slavery Advertisements Published October 22, 1770

GUEST CURATOR:  Bryant Halpin

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.

Oct 22 1770 - Boston Evening-Post Slavery 1
Boston Evening-Post (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Boston Evening-Post Slavery 2
Boston Evening-Post (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 1
Boston-Gazette (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 2
Boston-Gazette (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 3
Boston-Gazette (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 4
Boston-Gazette (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy Slavery 1
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy Slavery 2
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy Slavery 3
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy Slavery 4
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy Slavery 5
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 2
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 3
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 6a
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 4
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 5
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 1
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (October 22, 1770).

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Oct 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Chronicle Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Chronicle (October 22, 1770).

October 21

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

New-York Journal (October 18, 1770).

“The Medley of Goods Sold by G DUYCKINCK.”

Few visual images adorned advertisements published in eighteenth-century newspapers.  Most of those that did appear depicted ships at sea (for freight and passage or imported goods), houses (for real estate), horses (for breeding), enslaved people (for sale or fleeing from bondage), or indentured servants (running away before their contracts expired).  These stock images, which belonged to the printers, were used interchangeably with any advertisement from the appropriate genre.  Far fewer advertisements featured unique images created expressly to represent a particular business, depicting particular merchandise or the shop sign that marked the location.  In those cases, advertisers commissioned the woodcuts and retained exclusive use of them.  Most were fairly modest, making Gerardus Duyckinck’s large and elaborate woodcut all the more notable and memorable.

Duyckinck operated a shop known as the “UNIVERSAL STORE” for its broad assortment of merchandise available to consumers.  He also referred to his inventory as “The Medley of Goods.”  Located at the “Sign of the Looking Glass & Druggist Pot” in New York, Duyckinck sold his wares “Wholesale and Retail.”  His woodcut featured an intricate rococo border that enclosed most of the copy for his advertisements, though he usually inserted a couple of lines of introductory material above it.  The copy within the border changed regularly.  A “Druggist Pot” sat at the top of the border and a “Looking Glass” with an ornate frame took up one-third of the space within the border, those two items replicating the shop sign that alerted prospective customers they had reached their destination.  The graphic design resembled the borders and other images that decorated trade cards distributed frequently by merchants, shopkeepers, and artisans in London and less often by their counterparts in the American colonies.  The image testified to taste and gentility, suggesting that these qualities were transferable to consumers who purchased goods from Duyckinck.

This ornate border and the lists of goods it enclosed appeared in the New-York Journal regularly in the late 1760s and into the 1770s.  Duyckinck first published it on October 29, 1767.  Three years later, it became a familiar sight to subscribers and other readers of the New-York Journal.  Even as other advertisements cycled through that newspaper, many running for the standard four weeks specified in the colophon before being discontinued, Duyckinck’s rococo border was present for weeks and months, the copy updated but the visual image remaining the same.  Other advertisers, such as staymaker Richard Norris and shopkeeper John Keating, invested in advertising campaigns that extended over months rather than weeks.  Their notices often ran on the same page as Duyckinck’s advertisement, as was the case in the October 18, 1770, edition, but they did not have visual elements that made them instantly recognizable.  No matter which other advertisements appeared alongside Duyckinck’s notice, his attracted attention due its striking image.  Prospective customers did not have to read the advertisement to know that Duyckinck made an assortment of goods available for purchase.  The repetition of such a memorable woodcut over the course of several years was a marketing strategy in and of itself.