December 5

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

Dec 5 - 12:5:1768 Pennsylvania Chronicle
Pennsylvania Chronicle (December 5, 1768).

“To be sold by SARAH GODDARD.”

Even after retiring and relocating from Providence to Philadelphia, it did not take long for Sarah Goddard to appear among the advertisers in the Pennsylvania Chronicle. The final advertisement in the December 5, 1768, announced that the former printer of the Providence Gazette sold books “in Chestnut Street, between Second and Third Streets.” Just a month earlier she published a farewell address in the Providence Gazette, the newspaper that she had published for more than two years. In that notices she turned over operations to John Carter, her partner at the printing office for more than a year, and announced that she planned “in a few days to embark for Philadelphia.” She regretted leaving Providence, stating that “in her advanced age” only the “endearing Ties of Nature which exist between a Parent and an only Son, who is now settled in the City of Philadelphia” prompted her departure. Indeed, William Goddard ran “the NEW PRINTING-OFFICE in Market-Street” in Philadelphia, where he had been publishing the Pennsylvania Chronicle for nearly two years.

It did not take long after her arrival in Philadelphia for Goddard to make her entrepreneurial spirit known, though her advertisement does not indicate the scope of her activities. It listed nine books for sale, but did not indicate whether Goddard offered a single copy of each. She may have been reducing the size of her own library, placing an advertisement for secondhand goods like many other colonists who were not shopkeepers. The “&c.” (an eighteenth-century abbreviation for et cetera) that concluded her list of available titles suggested that she also sold other books. Perhaps Goddard ran a small shop to generate some supplemental income in her retirement, an enterprise significantly smaller than the printing office in Providence. To help her get established in a new city, her son may have inserted her notice gratis in his newspaper. Whatever the extent of her bookselling business, Goddard did not remain in (partial) retirement for long. William was frequently absent and did not provide effective management of the Pennsylvania Chronicle, so Sarah once again found herself overseeing a printing office in 1769. Her advertisement from December 1768 previewed the visibility she would achieve as a printer and entrepreneur in the largest urban port in the colonies.

Slavery Advertisements Published December 5, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

During the week of December 2-8, 2018, the Slavery Adverts 250 Project is guest curated by Gregory Patient (2019), a History major at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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

Dec 5 - Boston Evening-Post Slavery 1
Boston Evening-Post (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 1
Boston-Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - Connecticut Courant Slavery 1
Connecticut Courant (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - Massachusetts Gazette Green and Russell Slavery 1
Massachusetts Gazette [Green & Russell] (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - Massachusetts Gazette Green and Russell Slavery 2
Massachusetts Gazette [Green & Russell] (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Slavery 2
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Slavery 3
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Supplement (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 2
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Supplement (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - New-York Gazette Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 1
New-York Gazette; Or, the Weekly Post-Boy (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - Newport Mercury Slavery 1
Newport Mercury (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - Pennsylvania Chronicle Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 5, 1768).

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Dec 5 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 8
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 5, 1768).

 

 

December 4

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

Dec 4 - 12:1:1768 Pennsylvania Gazette
Pennsylvania Gazette (December 1, 1768).

“David Nelson returns his sincere thanks to the PUBLIC.”

When David Nelson opened “his new STORE, next door but one to the Rose and Crown, in High-street, Wilmington,” he placed an advertisement in the Pennsylvania Gazette. Although published in Philadelphia, that newspaper served both local and regional audiences. Colonists in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and cities and town in Pennsylvania beyond the busy port read the Pennsylvania Gazette and inserted advertisements in it. Nelson most likely did not anticipate gaining any customers from Philadelphia, but he knew that the Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the newspapers that residents of Wilmington and the surrounding area regularly read, in the absence of any printed locally.

Like many other merchants and shopkeepers, Nelson provided a short list of merchandise he sold. His “VARIETY OF GOODS” included textiles (“velvets and velverets, serges, flannels, camblets, shaloons, tammies, durants, calimancoes,” and others), adorments (“knee and shoe buckles, mohair and metal buttons”), and groceries (“sugar and melasses”). Yet Nelson offered only a preview of his inventory, enticing prospective customers with a promise that he also stocked “a variety of other GOODS, too tedious to enumerate.” Those who visited his store would encounter many other wonders.

In addition to promoting his wares, Nelson inserted a nota bene that expressed his appreciation for those who had already patronized his new store. He “returns his sincere thanks to the PUBLIC, for the encouragement he has already had, and hopes for their further favours.” Many colonial merchants and shopkeepers acknowledged their customers in their advertisements. Doing so served two purposes. It encouraged those who had already made purchases to return, but it also communicated to others that their friends and neighbors shopped at that store. Especially since Nelson operated a “new STORE,” providing early indications of its success may have helped to convince other prospective customers to make a visit and examine the goods on offer. Even if Nelson had not yet done much business at that location, he attempted to make his store seem popular to the public. His expression of gratitude suggested that customers already appreciated the “variety of GOODS, too tedious to enumerate,” that he “sold at the lowest prices.”

December 3

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

Dec 3 - 12:3:1768 Providence Gazette
Providence Gazette (December 3, 1768).

“My Son, ELISHA BROWN, has undertaken to tend my Grist-Mill in Providence.”

Elisha Brown operated a family business. Late in 1768 he placed an advertisement in the Providence Gazette to inform residents of the city and its surroundings that his son, also named Elisha Brown, “has undertaken to tend my Grist-Mill.” Rather than the younger Brown advertise on his own behalf, the elder Brown realized that perhaps he possessed more authority to convince prospective clients to patronize the mill.

To that end, the elder Brown acknowledged that readers may not have had much knowledge of the new mill operation and, as a result, might be hesitant to entrust processing their grain to him. “Those who are unacquainted with his Character,” the father proclaimed, “may satisfy themselves by enquiring of the Neighbourhood up Street, where he used to live, or of DANIEL JENCKES and JAMES ANGELL, Esquires, down Street.” Rather than take the elder Brown’s word that the son was a fair dealer, potential clients were encouraged to speak with others familiar with “his Character.”

Realizing that this might not be enough to overcome the hesitation of some, the elder Brown also underscored that he continued to oversee the business, but only when necessary. “In case of any just Reason for Complain, either of bad Meal, Loss of Part, or Change of Bags,” he explained, unsatisfied clients “first are desired to apply to the Miller.” The younger Brown was a responsible entrepreneur who would remedy any concerns. However, just in case anyone had lingering doubts or required more security, the elder Brown did present the option that if his son “fail[ed] to give Satisfaction, it shall be given by applying to me.” Prospective clients continued to have recourse to the more established and more experienced miller, if circumstances warranted.

When he took a significant step in passing along the family business to the next generation, the elder Brown not only trained his son in its operations but also cultivated the community of prospective clients who might avail themselves of the mill’s services. His advertisement provided assurances that anyone who sent their grain to the mill would be well served.

December 2

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

Dec 2 - 12:2:1768 New-Hampshire Gazette
New-Hampshire Gazette (December 2, 1768).

“AMES’s Almanack will be publish’d in a few Days.”

Daniel Fowle and Robert Fowle, printers of the New-Hampshire Gazette, frequently inserted advertisements for books, pamphlets, stationery, and other items they sold. In the December 2, 1768, edition, they ran a short notice to encourage readers to purchase almanacs: “JUST PUBLISHED, And to be Sold at the Printing-Office, in Portsmouth; Bickerstaff’s & West’s Almanacks for the Year 1769.” Like other printers and booksellers, they offered several titles, realizing that customers developed loyalties for their favorites.

In addition to listing the two almanacs they already stocked, the Fowles concluded with a nota bene about another that would soon be available: “N.B. AMES’s Almanack will be publish’d in a few Days.” They did not provide any additional information about this almanac. Readers who also perused any of the newspapers from Boston that week may have known about an altercation among printers who sold Ames’s almanac. William McAlpine published legitimate copies, but Richard Draper, Edes and Gill, and T. and J. Fleet collaborated to print, market, and sell a pirated edition. Their marketing efforts included inserting notices in the newspapers they published – the Boston Weekly News-Letter, the Boston-Gazette, and the Boston Evening-Post, respectively – that had the appearance of news items warning consumers against purchasing a “counterfeit Ames’s ALMANACK” that contained “above twenty Errors in the Sittings of the Courts” and bore William McAlpine’s name in the imprint.

What about the almanac advertised and sold by the Fowles? According to the American Antiquarian Society’s catalog, the Fowles sold copies that bore these imprints: “Printed for, and sold by, D. and R. Fowle, at Portsmouth, New-Hampshire” and “Printed by William M‘Alpine, for D. and R. Fowle, at Portsmouth.” Both were typographically identical with those having an imprint stating “Printed and sold by William M‘Alpine.” The Fowles had not launched their own pirated edition to compete with the printers in Boston, nor had they joined the cabal that printed and distributed the actual counterfeit. Instead, they cooperated with McAlpine to distribute legitimate editions in their own market.

Slavery Advertisements Published December 2, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

During the week of December 2-8, 2018, the Slavery Adverts 250 Project is guest curated by Gregory Patient (2019), a History major at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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

Dec 2 - New-Hampshire Gazette Slavery 1
New-Hampshire Gazette (December 2, 1768).

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Dec 2 - New-London Gazette Slavery 1
New-London Gazette (December 2, 1768).

December 1

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

Dec 1 - 12:1:1768 South-Carolina Gazette
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (December 1, 1768).

“EUROPEAN GOODS”

Two days after their advertisement for “A LARGE AND COMPLEAT ASSORTMENT OF EUROPEAN GOODS” dominated the front page of the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Webb and Doughty inserted the same advertisement in the December 1, 1768, edition of the South-Carolina Gazette. The advertisements featured identical copy but variations in typography. The most significant aspect of the advertisement’s format, however, carried over from one newspaper to the other. Webb and Doughty’s advertisement spanned two columns, distinguishing it from all others on the same page.

For most eighteenth-century newspaper notices the advertiser wrote the copy but the compositor determined the format. Some advertisers placed the same notice, at least as far as the copy was concerned, in multiple newspapers, but those notices varied in appearance as the result of decisions made by compositors. Advertisements that retained particular features across multiple publications, such as the decorative border that enclosed Jolley Allen’s advertisements, testify to explicit instructions given by advertisers. Most advertisers seemed content to entrust the graphic design to the printing office, but it was possible for advertisers to exert more control over the appearance of notices they paid to insert in colonial newspapers.

It appears that Webb and Doughty did offer instructions to the compositors at the South-Carolina Gazette and the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal. It seems unlikely that the two would have independently made the same decision to create advertisements that spanned two columns. (Unfortunately, Webb and Doughty did not place the same advertisement in the South-Carolina and American General Gazette. Perhaps they tried but the printer rejected any special instructions.) The compositors still exercised the discretion to make other decisions about the format of Webb and Doughty’s advertisement. The list of goods appeared as a paragraph in the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, but as three narrow columns in the South-Carolina Gazette. The names of the merchants appeared in the largest font in the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, but “EUROPEAN GOODS” appeared as the most prominent headline in the South-Carolina Gazette.

Although Webb and Doughty’s advertisement was the only one that spanned two columns on its page, two notices on the front page also spanned two columns. One for “SALES by the Provost-Marshal” was a somewhat regular feature. The headline enclosed in a decorative border occasionally graced advertisements of various lengths. The other, an advertisement for “A COMPLEAT ASSORTMENT OF GOODS” placed by Mansell, Corbett, and Roberts,” had the same format as Webb and Doughty’s advertisement. It spanned two columns. The list of goods was organized into three columns. What explains its appearance? Did Mansell, Corbett, and Roberts see Webb and Doughty’s advertisement in the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal and choose to adopt its format themselves? Or did the compositor at the South-Carolina Gazette decide to experiment with that format in other advertisements of sufficient length?

Slavery Advertisements Published December 1, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

During the week of November 25 – December 1, 2018, the Slavery Adverts 250 Project is guest curated by Ceara Morse (2019), a History major at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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

Dec 1 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 4
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 8
South-Carolina Gazette (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 9
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 10
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 9
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 10
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 11
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 12
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 13
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

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Dec 1 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 14
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (December 1, 1768).

November 30

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

Nov 30 - 11:30:1768 Georgia Gazette
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).

“The Sago Powder will be of great utility at seas as well as on shore.”

At the end of November 1768, Samuel Bowen placed an advertisement promoting the “SAGO POWDER, SOY, and VERMICELLI” he cultivated and produced on several tracts of land near Savannah. He divided his advertisement into several parts, each with its own purpose. First, the prominent entrepreneur touted the accolades his products had earned. Next he described the use of sago powder. Then he offered a recipe for preparing “Sago Jelly.” Finally, after enticing prospective customers to purchase his products, he informed them of the prices and where to buy them.

By the time he placed this advertisement Bowen was a noted entrepreneur. In 1758, he traveled to India and China aboard vessels belonging to the East India Company. Little is known of the four years he spent in China beyond vague comments made by Bowen himself. He claimed to have been imprisoned for nearly four years, during which time he was moved from place to place in the interior of the country. He reappeared in London in late 1763, before heading to Georgia in 1764. Upon arriving in the colony he purchased tracts of land and commenced farming. Running short of land of his own to cultivate, he convinced Henry Yonge, the colony’s Surveyor General, to plant seeds Bowen had brought from China. That was the introduction of soybean cultivation in America.

Bowen traveled to London in the spring of 1766 and returned in the fall. His prominence as an entrepreneur increased, having received a gold medal from the Society of Arts, Manufacturers, and Commerce in London as well as present of two hundred guineas from George III. Bowen referenced these honors in his advertisement, perhaps considering them particularly important in promoting crops and products not native to Georgia and perhaps unfamiliar to many colonial consumers. He also noted these laurels as evidence that his sago powder, soy, and vermicelli were indeed “equal in goodness to those articles usually imported into Great-Britain by the East-India Company.”

In this advertisement, Bowen focused primarily on marketing sago powder. He did not, however, cultivate sago palms but instead substituted sweet potatoes. Despite his best efforts to promote his sago powder as a “wholesome nourishing food,” T. Hymowitz and J.R. Harlan report that it was more likely used “as packing material for the export of Wedgwood china from London to India.” Bowen’s product found a place in the consumer economy, but not the one he intended.

Still, some readers of the Georgia Gazette may have acquired Bowen’s sago powder with the intention of making the “Sago Jelly” from the recipe in the advertisement or otherwise using it for the purposes Bowen prescribed. He noted that the “light and nourishing substance” was “proper for fluxes and other disorders in the bowels, also in consumptive and ma[n]y other cases.” Bowen’s sago powder, soy, and vermicelli were “Sold at the Collector’s.” Eighteenth-century readers knew this referred to William Spencer, the Collector of Customs in Savannah. Spence also happened to be Bowen’s father-in-law.

This overview of Bowen’s entrepreneurial activities draws from an article by Hymowitz and Harlan. For more on Bowen, see T. Hymowitz and J.R. Harlan, “Introduction of Soybean to North America by Samuel Bown in 1765,” Economic Botany 37, no. 4 (October-December 1983): 371-379.

Slavery Advertisements Published November 30, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

During the week of November 25 – December 1, 2018, the Slavery Adverts 250 Project is guest curated by Ceara Morse (2019), a History major at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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

Nov 30 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 1
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).

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Nov 30 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 2
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).

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Nov 30 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 3
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).

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Nov 30 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 4
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).

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Nov 30 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 5
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).

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Nov 30 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 6
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).

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Nov 30 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 7
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).

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Nov 30 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 8
Georgia Gazette (November 30, 1768).