February 23

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

Feb 23 - 2:23:1770 New-London Gazette
New-London Gazette (February 23, 1770).

“(Advertisements omitted will be in our next.)”

The February 23, 1770, edition of the New-London Gazette concluded with two brief notices from the printer: “(Advertisements omitted will be in our next.)” and “The Eastern Post not returned.”  Both of these concerned the production of the newspaper, especially the contents that appeared and those delayed.

In compiling the news and editorials that appeared in their newspapers, eighteenth-century printers liberally appropriated material from other newspapers that they received through networks of exchange with their counterparts in other cities and towns.  Quite simply, they literally reprinted items from one newspaper to another, often, but not always, with an attribution to either the original source or the source in which they encountered it.  The February 23 edition of the New-London Gazette, for instance, included a lengthy essay by “Junius” drawn “From the LONDON Evening-Post, Dec. 19.”  That issue also contained a letter “To the FREEHOLDERS, FREEMEN, and INHABITANTS of the Colony of New-York; and to all the Friends of LIBERTY in North-America” from Alexander McDougall who was confined in “the New Gaol [Jail] in New-York.”  The printer did not indicate how he came into possession of the letter, whether he reprinted it from another newspaper.  That edition of the New-London Gazette did not feature news from Boston, one of the centers of patriot activism, that the printer might have chosen if the “Eastern Post” had returned with newspapers and letters.  As in any other colonial newspaper, the news items presented to readers were contingent on which sources the printer recently received.

In contrast, printers sometimes made decisions to exclude advertisements, even advertisements with type already set.  To accommodate the two lengthy items in the February 23 edition of the New-London Gazette (together they accounted for eleven of the twelve columns), the printer opted to delay publication of some of the advertisements that might otherwise have appeared.  The notice about “Advertisements omitted” invited readers to consult the next issue for the information contained in legal notices, advertisements promoting consumer goods and services, and notices about servants and slaves who escaped, but it also served as a communication to the advertisers that their notices had not been overlooked or forgotten.  Such notices appeared fairly regularly in eighteenth-century newspapers, suggesting that advertisers generally did not make contracts for their advertisements to appear in specific issues.  Most expected that their notices would run for a set number of weeks (as the issue numbers at the end of advertisements in some newspapers indicate), but also anticipated some fluidity in the printer delivering on this service.  Although some advertisements were time sensitive, in most instances advertisers appear not to have specified particular dates but instead the number of weeks that their advertisements should run.  Printers exercised their own discretion in terms of when newspaper advertisements appeared in print.

Slavery Advertisements Published February 23, 1770

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.

Feb 23 1770 - New-Hampshire Gazette Slavery 1
New-Hampshire Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 8
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 9
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 10
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 11
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

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Feb 23 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 12
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 23, 1770).

February 22

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

Feb 22 - 2:22:1770 Maryland Gazette
Maryland Gazette (February 22, 1770).

“He has engaged Two exceeding good Workmen.”

While eighteenth-century artisans frequently promoted their own training and other credentials, relatively few devoted space in their newspaper advertisements to acknowledging the skill and experience of subordinates who worked in their shops.  William Faris, a clock- and watchmaker in Annapolis, however, incorporated several employees into the advertisement he placed in the February 22, 1770, edition of the Maryland Gazette.  Indeed, he said little about his own contributions to the business in favor of convincing prospective customers that he hired skilled artisans capable of executing their orders.

Faris opened his advertisement by announcing that “he has engaged Two exceeding good Workmen.”  He noted that one “has been a Finisher several Years to the celebrated Mr. Allen,” expecting that name to resonate with consumers familiar with clock- and watchmakers.  Faris leveraged the reputation of another artisan, perhaps even a competitor, to enhance the standing of his own business.  Having competent workmen in the shop allowed Faris to branch out.  He informed prospective customers that he also “executes any Orders he may be favoured with for Chair Work,” an endeavor made possible by hiring “a good Workman” who has produced “several Dozens of very neat black Walnut Chairs.”

In the midst of acquainting the public with his skilled staff, Faris also noted, though briefly, that “he still carries on” activities closely aligned with making clocks and watches.  He pursued the “Gold, Silversmiths and Jewellers Businesses,” doing that work “in the neatest and Best Manner.”  His own skill and experience made him qualified to assess the abilities of the workmen he employed.  By listing the several tradesmen who worked alongside him, Faris conjured images of a busy and bustling shop, one where customers could depend on the proprietor having sufficient assistance to see to their orders “faithfully” and “with the utmost Dispatch.”  At the same time, Faris assured them that they did not have to worry about inferior work undertaken by those he employed.  He vouched for their skill and experience.  Many colonial artisans disguised labor done by others in their shops when they advertised, but Faris sought to mobilize his workmen to his advantage when wooing prospective customers.

Slavery Advertisements Published February 22, 1770

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.

Feb 22 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter Slavery 1
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly Mercury (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter Slavery 2
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly Mercury (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter Slavery 3
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly Mercury (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - New-York Journal Slavery 2
New-York Journal (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Gazette (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Journal (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Journal (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Journal (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 4
Pennsylvania Journal (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 5
Pennsylvania Journal (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (February 22, 1770).

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Feb 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (February 22, 1770).

February 21

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

Feb 21 - 2:21:1770 Georgia Gazette
Georgia Gazette (February 21, 1770).

“The Taylor’s Business is carried on in all its branches.”

When Jonathan Remington, a tailor, moved to a new location early in 1770, he placed an advertisement in the Georgia Gazette so prospective clients would know where to find him.  Although he devoted much of the notice to giving directions, he also incorporated, though briefly, several marketing appeals.  “The Taylor’s Business,” he proclaimed, “is carried on in all its branches, in the genteelest manner, and with the utmost dispatch.”  Remington deployed formulaic language, though its familiarity to consumers may have been an asset.  Such brevity may have also allowed the tailor to keep down the costs of advertising while still promoting several aspects of his services.

In that single sentence, he communicated that he possessed a range of skills associated with his trade, declaring that he was qualified to pursue “all its branches.”  Prospective clients need not worry that they might present him with requests too difficult or beyond his experience.  He also made a nod to fashion, asserting that he did his work “in the genteelest manner.”  That appeal also implied the quality of his work.  Prospective customers would not look as though they had visited a second-rate tailor.  They could don his garments and confidently go about their daily interactions with other colonists without fearing that careful observation resulted in damaging judgments.  Remington’s pledge to tend to clients “with the utmost dispatch” testified to the customer service he provided.

Remington also attempted to attract new customers by leveraging his former customers as evidence of his abilities.  He expressed gratitude to “his friends and good customers for their past favours, and hopes for the continuance of them.”  In making that acknowledgment, Remington sought to maintain his current clientele while implicitly extending an invitation to new customers to visit him at his new location.  He reported that his services were already in demand, hoping to incite additional demand among readers of the Georgia Gazette who had not previously employed his services.  He played on consumer psychology that demand, or even the appearance of demand, could create additional demand.

Although not extensive, Remington’s advertisement delivered several marketing appeals intended to make his services attractive to prospective clients.  He relied on standardized language that allowed him to deliver messages grounded in the consumer culture of the period in relatively few words.

Slavery Advertisements Published February 21, 1770

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.

Feb 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 1
Georgia Gazette (February 21, 1770).

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Feb 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 2
Georgia Gazette (February 21, 1770).

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Feb 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 3
Georgia Gazette (February 21, 1770).

February 20

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

Feb 20 - 2:20:1770 South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

“The said Wines are still in the Possession of Captain Livingston.”

The “NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS” in the February 20, 1770, edition of the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journalcommenced with a notice placed by the “GENERAL COMMITTEE” responsible for overseeing adherence to the nonimportation agreement adopted in protest of duties that Parliament levied on certain imported goods via the Townshend Acts.  The committee noted that Patrick Muir had imported some goods from Scotland and “refused to store or re-ship” them.  The bulk of the advertisement, however, concerned a “Parcel of Wines” from Tenerife on the Hope, captained by Alexander Livingston.

That was a much more convoluted story.  The committee became aware of an “industriously spread” rumor that John Tuke ordered the wine at the behest of Wilson, Coram, Wayne, and Company despite the fact that those merchants were “Subscribers to the Resolutions” who had pledged to support the nonimportation agreement.  In response, Tuke made a statement in which he declared “the above Report is absolutely false, having never made use of those Gentlemen’s Names.”  He did acknowledge, however, that “the Wines were bought on my own Account” even though he was also “a Subscriber to the General Resolutions.”  Tuke assumed responsibility and expressed his “utmost Concern” that the wine had been shipped to Charleston.  A nota bene inserted by the committee reported that the wine was “still in the Possession of Captain Livingston.”  Tuke had not taken possession of it or attempted to sell it.

Did Tuke profess “utmost Concern” because a misunderstanding resulted in the wine being delivered by mistake or because he had been caught and now realized the error of his ways?  His statement did not make that clear, but it did attempt to unequivocally clear Wilson, Coram, Wayne, and Company.  As Tuke worked to ameliorate any damage done to his own standing in the community, he also sought to restore the reputations of prominent merchants who had been pulled into the controversy.  It was bad enough to find his dealings under so much scrutiny; he did not need to alienate himself from Wilson, Coram, Wayne, and Company by continuing to call unwarranted attention to them.  Instead, he did what he could to exonerate those merchants and shift the focus solely to himself.

Relatively little local news appeared in colonial newspapers, in part because most were published once a week so anything of consequence spread via word of mouth before it could appear in print.  In some instances, however, advertisements carried news and supplemented coverage that ran elsewhere in the newspaper.

Slavery Advertisements Published February 20, 1770

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.

Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 8
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 7
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 6
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 5
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 4
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 10
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 9
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 8
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 7
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

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Feb 20 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (February 20, 1770).

February 19

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

Feb 19 - 2:19:1770 Boston-Gazette
Boston-Gazette (February 19, 1770).

“List of Commissioners and other Officers of the Revenue, WITH THEIR SALARIES!”

In the third week of February 1770, many printers continued to advertise almanacs, hoping to relieve themselves of surplus copies that counted against any profits they might earn on the venture.  In contrast, Benjamin Edes and John Gill, printers of the Boston-Gazette, advertised that they had plans within the next few days to publish their “North-AmericanALMANACK, AND Massachusetts REGISTER, For the Year 1770.”  They either identified demand, even that far into February of the new year, or believed that they could incite sufficient demand to merit the expense of pursuing the project.

In presenting this edition of their almanac to the public, Edes and Gill focused on the contents of the “REGISTER.”  They listed the contents, including useful reference material from tables of colonial currencies to descriptions of “Public Raods, with the best Stages or Houses to put up at” to dates of “Feasts and Fasts of the Church of England.”  Many of the contents had a decidedly political tone, making it clear that Edes and Gill marketed this almanac and register to supporters of the patriot cause.  The printers led the list of contents with “A Prospective View of the Town of Boston the Capital of New-England; and the Landing of – Troops in the Year 1768, in Consequence of Letters from Gov. Bernard, the Commissioners, &c. to the British Ministry.”  This woodcut, fashioned by Paul Revere, depicted eight British warships delivering troops to be quartered in Boston.  In addition to that frontispiece, the almanac and register also contained an overview of many of the other sources of tension between the colonies and Britain, including a “List of the Importers and Resolves of the Merchants &c. of Boston” and a “List of Commissioners and other Officers of the Revenue, WITH THEIR SALARIES!”  More than just a handy register of practical information, this was a primer in patriot politics.  Even items intended for amusement had a political flair, such as “Liberty Song” and “A New Song, to the Tune of the British Grenadier, by a SON OF LIBERTY.”

It was rather late in the year for Edes and Gill to publish an almanac, but they apparently considered it a good time to disseminate patriot propaganda.  The “Judgment of the Weather, Suns and Moon’s Rising and Setting,” and other material commonly contained in almanacs did not receive much notice in their advertisement.  Instead, they emphasized contents related to colonial grievances, presenting consumers with new opportunities to participate in acts of resistance by purchasing items that documented the events unfolding around them.  By bringing those narratives into their homes, colonists would become better informed and perhaps even more politicized in favor of the patriot cause.

Slavery Advertisements Published February 19, 1770

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.

Feb 19 1770 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 1
Boston-Gazette (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 2
Boston-Gazette (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy Slavery 1
Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 2
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 3
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 4
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 5
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 6
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 7
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 1
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 2
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - Newport Mercury Slavery 1
Newport Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - Newport Mercury Slavery 2
Newport Mercury (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (February 19, 1770).

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Feb 19 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette Extraordinary Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette Extraordinary (February 19, 1770).