October 17

GUEST CURATOR: Daniel Carito

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

Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (October 17, 1771).
“A likely Negro Fellow named PRINCE … he is a Spaniard.”

In the fall of 1771, Robert Donald, an enslaver in Virginia, advertised a reward of forty shillings for Prince, “a likely Negro fellow” who liberated himself by running away.  The advertisement sparked my interest because Donald mentioned that not only did Prince come from Spanish descent but also was “an excellent swimmer, and dives remarkably well” and labeled as a “water Negro.”  My interest grew even further because in “Eighteenth Century ‘Prize Negroes’: From Britain to America,” Charles R. Foy explains how many Black sailors on Spanish vessels were captured by British and North American mariners, labeled as commodities and sold into slavery: “Between 1721 and 1748 at least one hundred and thirty-five black mariners were condemned as prize goods…  Overall, the number of Prize Negroes in North America from 1713 to1783 is estimated to exceed 500.”[1] Also, Foy argues that enslaved Black mariners were sometimes the main instigators when it came to revolting against their enslavers: “Spanish Prize Negroes often were leaders in resisting slavery in British North America.”[2]

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY:  Carl Robert Keyes

Enslaved men and women who liberated themselves often left few traces in the archival record.  The advertisements that encouraged colonists to engage in surveillance of Black people to determine if they matched descriptions of runaways in the newspapers and offered rewards for the capture and return of enslaved people may have been the only documents that recorded any aspect of their lives.  In such instances, enslaved people seeking freedom did not tell their own stories, but instead had their experiences mediated through the perspectives of the enslavers who composed the advertisements.

If Prince, as he was called by his enslaver, were indeed a Spanish “Prize Negro” then other kinds of documents may have recorded some of his experiences.  Additional archival work might uncover additional traces of Prince’s life before he arrived in Virginia.  Even if we managed to locate Prince in other sources, his wife and children would likely remain elusive, their stories even more fragmented and obscured than that of their husband and father.  Donald suspected that Prince “took the Road to Charles City, where he had a Wife and Children at Mr. Acrill’s.”  That brief reference to Prince’s family raises more questions than it answers.  How long had Prince and his wife been a couple?  How many children did they have?  How old were the children at the time?  How long had it been since the rest of the family had seen Prince?  Were his wife and children still in Charles City?

Donald recorded several characteristics to identify Prince, including his height, his clothing, and his manner of speaking (“fast and thick”).  The enslaver described Prince as an “excellent Swimmer” and diver who “had on such Clothes as Watermen generally wear.”  Prince’s wife and children in Charles City were just one more detail to Donald and colonists who read the advertisement, but they were not just another detail to Prince or his family.  Donald’s brief narrative about Prince certainly did not match how the enslaved man would have described himself or the most important people in his life.

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[1] Charles R. Foy, “Eighteenth Century ‘Prize Negroes’: From Britain to America,” Slavery and Abolition 31, no. 3(September 2010): 381.

[2] Foy, “Eighteenth Century ‘Prize Negroes,’” 384.

October 3

GUEST CURATOR:  Katerina Barbas

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

New-York Journal (October 3, 1771).

“A Woman of good character … may hear of a place by inquiring of the Printer hereof.”

This advertisement highlights traditional gender roles for European colonists in colonial America. European gender roles constituted that the ideal family was led by a man who was in charge of his family and represented it beyond the home, while a woman performed domestic work and ran the household. These European gender roles were brought to the colonies in the new world. According to an article on National Geographic’s website, white women in colonial America had responsibilities within the household such as cooking, cleaning, sewing, making soap and candles, and caring for and educating children, which was their primary role. Seeking a “woman of a good character” required that the woman be an exceptional role model, because she would be supporting the emotional and moral development of the children and prepare them for adulthood. A woman who responded to this advertisement would have been responsible for teaching young girls in the family how to perform household tasks in order to prepare them for the traditional role as wife and mother.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY:  Carl Robert Keyes

Among the many legal notices and advertisements for consumer goods and services that colonists paid to insert in the New-York Journal, a variety of employment advertisements appeared as well.  Many of them featured labor undertaken by women.  In the advertisement Katerina chose to feature today, an unnamed advertiser sought a woman willing to move fourteen miles from the busy port to serve as a “nursery maid” for a family in the countryside.  In another advertisement in the October 3, 1771, edition, another anonymous advertiser offered work for a “Careful woman who understands washing, cooking … and is willing to do all work in a middling family.”  That advertisement concluded with a nota bene proclaiming that “None need apply without being able to produce a good character from reputable people.”  In other words, candidates needed to produce references before entering the household.  The family in the countryside seeking a nursery maid also likely requested similar assurances.

In both instances, the prospective employers relied on John Holt, the printer of the New-York Journal, to act as a broker.  The family in the countryside informed prospective nursery maids that they “may hear of a place by inquiring of the Printer hereof.”  Similarly, the “middling family” instructed women with appropriate references that they “may hear of employment by applying to the printer.”  Holt disseminated some information in print, but, at the request of advertisers, reserved some details only for readers who contacted the printing office.  That was also the case for a “likely healthy Negro” woman offered for sale.  An unnamed enslaver described the woman as “an excellent thorough Cook” who could “pickle and preserve.”  The advertisement did not say much else about the woman except that she was “about 24 Years of Age.”  Like so many other advertisements, it declared, “for Particulars, inquire of the Printer.”  In this instance, Holt became not only an information broker but also a broker of enslaved labor.  He actively facilitated the slave trade, first by running the advertisement in his newspaper and then by collaborating with enslavers who bought and sold the “likely healthy Negro” woman.

Colonists turned to the public prints as a clearinghouse for acquiring workers, female as well as male.  Advertisements offering employment to women maintained expectations about the roles they fulfilled within families, like cooking, cleaning, and caring for children.  Some of those advertisements offered women new opportunities with employers of their choosing, but others merely perpetuated the enslavement of Black women.  Gender played an important part in shaping the experiences of women who applied to the advertisement Katerina selected for today, but it was not the only factor that defined their role in New York and other colonies.

October 1

GUEST CURATOR:  Carl Allard

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

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 1, 1771).

“RUN-AWAY … a negro man named JACK.”

One part of the mission of the Slavery Adverts 250 Project is to understand the lives of enslaved people through information gathered from “RUN-AWAY” advertisements. In late September 1771, an enslaved man named Jack liberated himself by running away from Meyer Moses, a colonist who bore the name of the biblical figure who liberated the enslaved Israelites yet ironically sought to return Jack to bondage. This advertisement not only details the fascinating biography of Jack, but also remains a testimony to hope. Jack’s escape, a struggle against immense opposition, runs parallel to what we know of his medical history. The ad states Jack was, “much pitted in the face with the small pox, one of his feet frost-bitten.” According to Elizabeth Fenn, medical data from that era suggests the mortality rate of smallpox was quite high; if the hemorrhaging pustules overlapped, one stood a 60 percent chance of dying.  Certainly, Jack’s self-liberation was just the latest in a series of struggles that he had overcome. The advertisement reveals that Jack “speaks good English.” This skill, as David Waldstreicher notes, might have been a powerful tool to secure passage on a ship, as the advertisement stated Jack planned on doing.[1] Waldstreicher also observes that self-liberated people, such as Jack, were often self-fashioning. Clothing choice, such as the “soldier’s coat” Jack wore, was central to the success of enslaved people pursuing freedom, allowing them to try to blend in as free.[2]

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY:  Carl Robert Keyes

For the next three months, the Adverts 250 Project and the Slavery Adverts 250 Project will feature work undertaken by students who enrolled in my Research Methods: Vast Early America course at Assumption University in Spring 2021.  Required of all History majors in the spring of their junior year to prepare them to pursue their own projects under the direction of a faculty mentor in the capstone seminar in the fall of their senior year, Research Methods focuses on important skills:  accessing and interpreting primary sources and understanding and evaluating secondary sources.  Students complete an historiographical essay for their final project in Research Methods, but throughout the semester they complete smaller projects that help them develop their skills.

To that end, I invite my students to serve as guest curators for the digital humanities projects I have created.  As guest curator, Carl Allard, the author of today’s entry, was responsible for navigating four databases of digitized eighteenth-century American newspapers to create an archive of issues originally published between September 26 and October 2, 1771.  From there, he selected an advertisement to feature on the Adverts 250 Project.  He conducted research to identify secondary sources beyond those we examined in class and then drafted a short entry.  I reviewed that draft and offered suggestions for revisions.  Carl then set about editing and resubmitting his entry.  As he worked on his entry, he also made contributions to the Slavery Adverts 250 Project, composing the tweets to accompany the advertisements that appear on the project this week.  He selected a key quotation from each advertisement and inserted a citation that included the name of the newspaper and publication date.  Throughout the process, he adhered to filename conventions and other methodologies not usually visible to readers and followers but imperative for the behind-the-scenes production of the Adverts 250 Project and the Slavery Adverts 250 Project.  As a result, his classmates, my research assistant, and I could all easily access and consult data Carl contributed to the projects as we each completed our own duties in presenting them to the public.

Each student whose work will be featured in the next three months developed the same skills and made similar contributions.  In that regard they were not merely students but junior colleagues who assumed significant responsibilities in the ongoing production of these digital humanities projects.  They did not simply learn about the past; instead, they spent the semester “doing history” as they prepared to once again “do history” this semester in their capstone seminar.  I very much appreciate the hard work and dedication of each of the guest curators from my Research Methods class.

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[1] David Waldstreicher, “Reading the Runaways: Self-Fashioning, Print Culture, and Confidence in Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 56, no. 2 (April 1999): 259-260.

[2] David Waldstreicher, “Reading the Runaways,” 253.

Slavery Advertisements Published June 26, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 26 - Essex Gazette Slavery 1
Essex Gazette (June 26, 1770).

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Jun 26 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 26, 1770).

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Jun 26 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 26, 1770).

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Jun 26 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 26, 1770).

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Jun 26 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 26, 1770).

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Jun 26 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 26, 1770).

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Jun 26 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 26, 1770).

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Jun 26 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 7
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 26, 1770).

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Jun 26 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 8
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (June 26, 1770).

Slavery Advertisements Published June 25, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slavery Advertisements Published June 22, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Slavery Advertisements Published June 21, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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

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

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

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

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slavery Advertisements Published June 19, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Slavery Advertisements Published June 18, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 18 - Boston Evening-Post Slavery 1
Boston Evening-Post (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - Boston Evening-Post Slavery 2
Boston Evening-Post (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - Boston Evening-Post Supplement Slavery 1
Boston Evening-Post (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - Boston Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Boston Gazette and Country Journal (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - Boston Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 2
Boston Gazette and Country Journal (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - Boston Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 3
Boston Gazette and Country Journal (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - New-York Gazette and the Weekly Mercury Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - New-York Gazette and the Weekly Mercury Slavery 2
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 1
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser (June 18, 1770).

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Jun 18 - Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser (June 18, 1770).

Slavery Advertisements Published June 15, 1770

Guest Curator: Jenna Smith

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 15 - New Hampshire Gazette Slavery 1
New-Hampshire Gazette (June 15, 1770).

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Jun 15 - New-London Gazette Slavery 1
New-London Gazette (June 15, 1770).

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Jun 15 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 15, 1770).

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Jun 15 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 15, 1770).

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Jun 15 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 15, 1770).

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Jun 15 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 15, 1770).

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Jun 15 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 15, 1770).

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Jun 15 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (June 15, 1770).