June 24

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

Boston Evening-Post (June 24, 1771).

“Jackson’s Variety Store.”

William Jackson competed with many merchants and shopkeepers in his efforts to sell a “large & elegant Assortment of European, India and Hard Ware Goods.”  In an advertisement in the June 24, 1771, edition of the Boston Evening-Post, he made appeals to price and consumer choice, but he also incorporated two marketing strategies not as frequently deployed by advertisers in eighteenth-century America.

The first enhanced his appeal to consumer choice.  Rather than his name serving as the only headline, the first line declared, “Jackson’s Variety Store.”  Most wholesalers and retailers identified their stores and shops only by their own names, though many displayed signs that became synonymous with the businesses they marked.  Among other merchants and shopkeepers who placed advertisements in the same issue of the Boston Evening-Post, for instance, John Barrett and Sons, Edward Church, Henry Leddel, Richard Salter, and William Smith associated only their names with their shops.  Jackson mentioned his shop sign, the Brazen Head, in his advertisement, but made his marketing even more distinctive by giving his store a second name, one not associated with the icon that marked its location.  In so doing, he replicated the example of Gerardus Duyckinck, who for some time had been advertising his “Universal Store, Or The Medley of Goods … At the Sign of the Looking Glass, AND Druggist Pot” in New York.  Duyckinck’s advertisements appeared regularly in the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury in the late 1760s and early 1770s, including once again in the advertising supplement for June 24, 1771.   Whether the “Universal Store, Or The Medley of Goods” or “Jackson’s Variety Store,” these advertisers encouraged prospective customers to associate names with their businesses, names that testified to the choices the proprietors made available to consumers.

Jackson’s other marketing strategy enhanced his appeal to price.  He reported that “he has his Goods upon as good Terms as any Merchant in the Town” and passed along low prices to his customers.  He was able to do so because he “has been in England himself the last Winter, and has visited most of the manufacturing Towns.”  Jackson did not need to rely on correspondence with faraway merchants and manufacturers in placing his orders and acquiring his inventory.  Instead, he visited the sites of production himself and negotiated prices in an efficient manner not possible via letters transported across the Atlantic.  That also gave him an opportunity to inspect his wares for quality before arranging for shipment to Boston.  Most other merchants and shopkeepers in the city could not claim to have undertaken that part of the business in person, giving Jackson an advantage to promote in his advertisement.

In giving his store a different kind of name, one not associated with the image on the sign that marked its location, and stating that he had visited the manufacturers himself in the process of acquiring his goods, Jackson refined two popular marketing strategies.  Naming his business “Jackson’s Variety Store” underscored consumer choice, sending an even more powerful message if consumers took the cue and referred to the store by that name.  Noting that he recently visited “most of the manufacturing Towns” in England allowed him to make claims to prices that matched or beat those of his competitors who merely sent away for goods.

Slavery Advertisements Published June 24, 1771

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 about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – 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 purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. 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 enslavers rather than enslaved people 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.

Newport Mercury (June 24, 1771).

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New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 24, 1771).

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New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 24, 1771).

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New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 24, 1771).

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Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 24, 1771).

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Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 24, 1771).

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Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

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South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 24, 1771).

June 23

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

Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (June 20, 1771).

Those who advertise in this Paper … are requested to send them … on Wednesdays.”

Richard Draper, printer of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter, made a last-minute addition to the June 20, 1771, edition before taking it to press.  In a brief note, he declared, “Those who advertise in this Paper which circulates so extensively, are requested to send them in Season on Wednesdays:  whereby the Paper may be published earlier on Thursdays.  See SUPPLEMENT.”  The supplement that accompanied that issue did not include additional instructions for submitting advertisements.  It did contain several notices that did not appear in the standard issue as well as news items from New York, Hartford, Newport, and Providence.

The printer’s note to advertisers ran in the right margin of the third page of the June 20 edition, marking it as something inserted only after preparation of the rest of the issue had been completed.  Like other colonial newspapers, the Boston Weekly News-Letter consisted of four pages created by printing two pages on each side of a broadsheet and then folding it in half.  The printer began with the first and fourth pages, placing news and advertisements received in advance on those pages.  That left space for recent news and other advertisements on the second and third pages, printed only after the ink on the first and fourth pages dried.  For instance, the second and third pages of the June 20 edition of the Boston Weekly News-Letter included multiple items from Boston and Cambridge dated that day.  Draper’s note to advertisers in the margin almost certainly was the last type set for the standard issue, perhaps in exasperation that some advertisers submitted their notices so late as to delay distribution of the newest edition while Draper and others who worked in the printing office produced the supplement to accompany it.

Draper tended to the interests of his subscribers and other readers in his note.  He aimed to make the newspaper available as early in the day as possible.  This also served his own interests since Isaiah Thomas published the Massachusetts Spy, a competing newspaper, on the same day.  He also angled for additional advertising, even as he clarified the right time to submit advertisements.  In asserting that the Boston Weekly News-Lettercirculates so extensively,” he not only testified to the time required for printing each edition but also assured prospective advertisers that significant numbers of readers would see their notices.  The success of his newspaper depended on attracting sufficient subscribers and advertisers.  Draper attempted to cultivate positive relationships with both constituencies, in the process offering instructions intended to facilitate the production of the newspaper while simultaneously attracting more business.

June 22

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

Providence Gazette (June 22, 1771).

“ADVERTISEMENTS of a moderate Length (accompanied with the Pay) are inserted in this Paper three Weeks for Four Shillings Lawful Money.”

Today marks two thousand days of production for the Adverts 250 Project.  Every day for two thousand consecutive days, I have examined an advertisement originally published in an eighteenth-century newspaper.  Students enrolled in my Colonial America, Revolutionary America, Public History, and Research Methods classes at Assumption University have also contributed to the Adverts 250 Project as guest curators.

This milestone seems like a good opportunity to address two of the questions I most commonly encounter.  How much did a subscription to an eighteenth-century newspaper cost?  How much did an advertisement cost?  Most printers did not regularly publish subscription rates or advertising rates in their newspapers, but some did include that information in the colophon at the bottom of the final page.  Of the twenty-two newspapers published during the week of Sunday, June 16 through Saturday, June 22, 1771, that have been digitized and made available for scholars and other readers, seven listed subscription rates and six indicated advertising rates.  Four of those, the Essex Gazette, the Maryland Gazette, Purdie and Dixon’s Virginia Gazette, and Rind’s Virginia Gazette, included both subscription rates and advertising rates in the colophon. That nearly as many identified advertising rates as the cost of subscriptions testifies to the importance of advertising for generating revenue.

Here is an overview of subscription rates and advertising rates inserted in the colophons of colonial newspapers during the last week of spring in 1771.

SUBSCRIPTION RATES:

  • Essex Gazette (June 18): “THIS GAZETTE may be had for Six Shillings and Eight Pence per Annum, (exclusive of Postage) 3s. 4d. (or 3s. 6d. if sent by Post) to be paid at Entrance.”
  • Maryland Gazette (June 20): “Persons may be supplied with this GAZETTE, at 12s. 6d. a Year.”
  • Massachusetts Spy (June 20): “Persons may be supplied with this paper at Six Shillings and Eight Pence, Lawful Money, per Annum.”
  • Pennsylvania Chronicle (June 17): “Subscriptions, (at TEN SHILLINGS per Annum) Advertisements, Articles and Letters of Intelligence are gratefully received for this Paper.”
  • Pennsylvania Journal (June 20): “Persons may be supplied with this Paper at Ten Shillings a Year.”
  • Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20): “ALL Persons may be supplied with this PAPER at 12s. 6d. a Year.”
  • Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 20): “All Persons may be supplied with this GAZETTE at 12s6 per Year.”

ADVERTISING RATES:

  • Essex Gazette (June 18): “ADVERTISEMENTS not exceeding eight or ten Lines are inserted for Three Shillings.”
  • Maryland Gazette (June 20): “ADVERTISEMENTS, of a moderate Length, are inserted for the First Time, for 5s. and 1s. for each Week’s Continuance.  Long Ones in Proportion to their Number of Lines.”
  • New-York Journal (June 20): “Advertisements of no more Length than Breadth are inserted for Five Shillings, four Weeks, and One Shilling for each Week after, and larger Advertisements in the same Proportion.”
  • Providence Gazette (June 22): “ADVERTISEMENTS of a moderate Length (accompanied with the Pay) are inserted in this Paper three Weeks for Four Shillings Lawful Money.”
  • Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20): “ALL Persons may … have ADVERTISEMENTS (of a moderate Length) inserted in it for 3s. the first Week, and 2s. each Week after.”
  • Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 20): “ADVERTISEMENTS of a moderate Length are inserted for 3s. the First Week, and 2s. each Time after; and long ones in Proportion.”

Those newspapers that specified both subscription rates and advertising rates demonstrate the potential for generating significant revenue by publishing advertisements.  The competing newspapers in Williamsburg, Virginia, each charged twelve shillings and six pence per year for a subscription and collected three shillings for the first insertion of an advertisement and two shillings for every subsequent insertion.  William Rind declared that he set rates “in Proportion” for longer advertisements.  An advertisement that ran for six weeks cost more than an annual subscription.  Anne Catherine Green set the same price, twelve shillings and six pence, for a subscription to the Maryland Gazette, but charged five shillings the first time an advertisement ran.  Samuel Hall charged six shillings and eight pence for a subscription to the Essex Gazette and three shillings for each appearance of an advertisement of “eight or ten Lines.”  Some significantly exceeded that length, costing as much as a subscription for a single insertion.  Other printers presumable set similar rates, a pricing structure that meant that advertising played a substantial role in funding the dissemination of the news even in the colonial era.

Slavery Advertisements Published June 22, 1771

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 about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – 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 purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. 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 enslavers rather than enslaved people 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.

Providence Gazette (June 22, 1771).

June 21

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

New-Hampshire Gazette (June 21, 1771).

For other new Advertisements, see Supplement.”

Most colonial newspapers consisted of four pages published once a week, though a few printers experimented with publishing multiple issues each week or regularly providing an additional half sheet that expanded an issue to six pages.  Even printers who did not regularly supply additional pages sometimes found themselves in the position of doing so, calling them supplements, postscripts, continuations, additions, and extraordinaries.  Those various sorts of supplements sometimes contained news, sometimes advertising, and sometimes both.  They usually accompanied the standard issue, but sometimes appeared in the middle of the week, especially when printers received word of events that merited immediate coverage.  The repeal of the Stamp Act, for instance, occasioned midweek supplements in several cities and towns.  Most often, however, supplements did not carry such momentous news.  Instead, advertising dominated.

Daniel Fowle and Robert Fowle, printers of the New-Hampshire Gazette, were among those who rarely distributed supplements.  By varying the font sizes for both news and advertising, they usually managed to fit all of their content within the four pages of their weekly standard issue.  That was not the case, however, for the June 21, 1771, edition of the New-Hampshire Gazette.  Immediately below Mendum Janvrin’s advertisement for rum, sugar, and other commodities, the Fowles inserted a short note that instructed, “For other new Advertisements, see Supplement.”  That note appeared two-thirds of the way down the final column on the third page, some of the last type set for that issue since printers typically prepared the first and fourth pages, printed on the same side of a broadsheet, and then the second and third, printed on the other.  By the time the Fowles got nearly to the end of that last column, they knew that they did not have space for all of the paid notices intended for the June 21 edition.  Presumably, the supplement accompanied the standard issue for the convenience of subscribers and other readers.

No supplement for the June 21 edition has been digitized and included in America’s Historical Newspapers.  The Fowles may have been more ambitious in planning for a supplement than time and other resources allowed.  They might not have printed the supplement at all.  In this case, however, it appears that they instead delayed publication of the supplement by a week, dating it June 28, and distributed it with the standard edition for June 28.  The Fowles used only the amount of paper necessary, printing solely paid notices that generated revenue and eschewing any additional news items.  They selected a smaller sheet, one that accommodated only two columns per page instead of the usual three.  In making those choices, they fulfilled their commitments to their advertisers, but minimized their own expenses for publishing the supplement.  Some advertisers had to wait a week for their notices to appear in print because the savvy printers avoided driving up the costs of producing the additional sheet.

Supplement to the New-Hampshire Gazette (June 28, 1771).

Slavery Advertisements Published June 21, 1771

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 about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – 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 purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. 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 enslavers rather than enslaved people 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.

Connecticut Journal (June 21, 1771).

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New-London Gazette (June 21, 1771).

June 20

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

Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (June 20, 1771).

“At his Shop near LIBERTY-TREE, A General Assortment of English Goods.”

A certain tension existed in the opening lines of John Greenlaw’s advertisement in the June 20, 1771, edition of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter.  “JUST Imported in the last Ships from LONDON,” the shopkeeper proclaimed, “And to be Sold by John Greenlaw, At his Shop near LIBERTY-TREE, A General Assortment of English Goods.”  Greenlaw used the Liberty Tree as a landmark to direct prospective customers to the location where he sold merchandise that twice in the past six years had been the subject of nonimportation agreements, first in response to the Stamp Act and later to protest duties on certain imported goods imposed by the Townshend Acts.  The Liberty Tree served as an enduring reminder of colonists defending their rights against abuses perpetrated by Parliament, while the “General Assortment of English Goods” testified to the extent that consumers valued their ties to British commerce and culture.

While the most recent nonimportation agreement remained in effect, advertisers in Boston frequently promoted goods produced in the colonies or underscored that they acquired their inventory prior to a particular date.  In so doing, they associated politics with buying and selling goods, giving their merchandise and their role as purveyors of goods additional layers of meaning for readers and consumers.  Such appeals tapered off and mostly disappeared when Parliament repealed most of the duties and merchants and shopkeepers eagerly resumed trade.  “JUST Imported” became a standard part of advertisements once again as fewer and fewer advertisers incorporated politics into their notices.  Greenlaw and a few others, however, continued giving directions that included the Liberty Tree.  Whether they intended to make political statements or merely chose a convenient landmark, they reminded readers of a complicated relationship with the mother country, one made all the more fraught by the quartering of troops in the city and the Boston Massacre.  Participating in the marketplace, such advertisements asserted, was part of larger web of interactions between the colonies and Britain.

Slavery Advertisements Published June 20, 1771

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 about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – 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 purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. 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 enslavers rather than enslaved people 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.

Maryland Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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Maryland Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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Pennsylvania Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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Pennsylvania Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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South-Carolina Gazette (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 20, 1771).

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Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 20, 1771).

June 19

Who was the subject of an advertisement in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago this week?

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 17, 1771).

“RUN away … a Negro Fellow named WILL.”

“RUN away … the six following NEGROES, viz. Cudjoe, Jemmy, Long Jemmy, Rynah, Venus, and her daughter Dye.”

“RUN away … SARAH … carried a negro boy with her named HECTOR.”

“RUN away … a NEGRO MAN named Hector.”

Colonial newspapers regularly carried accounts of Black resistance to enslavement in the form of “runaway” advertisements, documenting the courage and fortitude of enslaved men, women, and children who liberated themselves.  Enslavers certainly did not place those advertisements to celebrate the perseverance of enslaved people who seized their liberty.  Instead, enslavers appealed to readers to engage in surveillance of Black people to determine if they encountered anyone matching the descriptions in the advertisements.  They offered rewards for the capture and return of each fugitive seeking freedom.  In the process, those enslavers and the printers who aided them created an extensive archive of stories of Black resistance before, during, and after the American Revolution.  Such advertisements appeared almost as soon as the Boston News-Letter commenced publication in 1704 and continued to appear in American newspapers for more than 150 years as countless Black people liberated themselves from those who attempted to hold them in bondage.

Some of those stories appeared in the June 17, 1771, edition of the South-Carolina and American Gazette.  Eight advertisements reported on sixteen Black people who “ABSENTED” themselves from those who purported to be their masters.  Some departed for freedom on their own, but others went in the company of a companion or small group.  Will, for instance, made his escape from James Witter on his own, though friends who remained behind may have provided assistance.  James Sinkler certainly suspected that Hector received aid from others, reporting he was likely “harboured at Mr. Boone’s plantation in Christ Church parish, where his father and mother reside.”  Sarah, a “very artful and sensible” woman who was “well known in town and country,” took Hector, a thirteen-year-old boy, with her.  Their enslaver, Stephen Miller, stated that Hector “had then irons on,” creating an even greater challenge for Sarah and the boy.  Cudjoe, “an elderly fellow,” led five others to freedom.  When he departed from Peter Sinkler and James Sinkler’s plantation, Jemmy, Long Jemmy, Rynah, and Venus went with him, as did Venus’s twelve-year-old daughter, Dye.  The Sinklers could not conceive of the others taking this action on their own, claiming that the “very artful” Cudjoe “enticed the others away.”  Even if Cudjoe provided the initial inspiration, the others desired freedom so much that they joined their elder in seizing it for themselves.

Today the nation commemorates Juneteenth, the first time doing so as a federal holiday.  This new designation should encourage contemplation of the long road to liberation and the work that remains to be done to create the fair and just society envisioned in the ideals expressed at the time of the founding but unevenly applied and incompletely enacted.  That contemplation should include a more complete accounting of American history, including the stories of courageous Black men, women, and children who liberated themselves or assisted others in achieving freedom.  Cudjoe, Sarah, Hector, and so many others made history, their stories strands of a much larger tapestry of American history.