Welcome Back, Guest Curator Julia Tardugno

Julia Tardugno, Summer Scholar, D’Amour College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Assumption University.

Julia Tardugno is a junior double majoring in History and Secondary Education at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is from Methuen, Massachusetts, where she discovered a passion for teaching and history. Her interests in history include World War II and the impact of social justice issues around the world.

On campus, Julia is an active member of the Assumption community. She serves as a resident assistant, executive member of the Student Government Association as the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Orientation Family Leader Executive. She is also a Light the Way Scholar.  Julia successfully applied to the Assumption University Education Program in the spring of her junior year, officially accepted in July 2022. In the future, Julia hopes to pursue a career as a teacher or college professor with a goal of passing on her love for learning to her students.

Julia previously contributed to the Adverts 250 Project and the Slavery Adverts 250 Project when enrolled in HIS 359 – Revolutionary America, 1763-1815, in Fall 2021.  In Spring 2022, she was selected for the inaugural cohort for the D’Amour College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Summer Scholars Program.  That program provided funding for Julia to work on the Slavery Adverts 250 Project under the mentorship of Prof. Carl Robert Keyes during the summer of 2022.  Her various contributions include researching and preparing the daily digests of advertisements about enslaved people for September 11 through October 22, 1772.  Publication of those daily digests begins today and will continue for the next six weeks.

Welcome back, guest curator Julia Tardugno!

Slavery Advertisements Published August 29, 1772

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonizers 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. Colonizers who did not purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

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

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

Pennsylvania Chronicle (August 29, 1772).

**********

Pennsylvania Chronicle (August 29, 1772).

**********

Pennsylvania Chronicle (August 29, 1772).

Welcome, Guest Curator Joseph Vanacore

Joseph Vanacore is a sophomore in the Honors Program at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is double majoring in History and Political Science. He is also a member of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Scholars Group as well as its accompanying Model Senate. Joseph plans to attend law school and hopes to one day have a political career. A self-described “history nerd,” Joseph has always had a passion for history of all periods, though Revolutionary America is one of his favorite eras. Growing up in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, Joseph always felt a local connection to important historical events like the American Revolution and King Philip’s War, and he values the importance of preserving, sharing, and understanding these historical narratives.  Joseph made his contributions to the Adverts 250 Project and the Slavery Adverts 250 Project while enrolled in HIS 359 Revolutionary America, 1763-1815, in Fall 2021.

Welcome, guest curator Joseph Vanacore!

Welcome, Guest Curator Molly Torres

Molly Torres is a junior at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is a Psychology major with a minor in Women’s Studies. Molly takes pride in advocating for women’s rights and the rights of others. She hopes to pursue a career in social work, specializing in women’s mental health and wellbeing. Molly is on academic scholarship for singing. She is a member of the university’s chorus, the university’s honor ensemble VOCE, and Worcester’s Salisbury Singers. She is currently studying opera and classical performance privately, and performed at the Providence Preforming Arts Center and Symphony Hall in Boston with the Massachusetts All State Choir in 2019.  Molly made her contributions to the Adverts 250 Project when enrolled in Revolutionary America, 1763-1815, in Fall 2021.

Welcome, guest curator Molly Torres!

Slavery Advertisements Published December 31, 1771

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonizers 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. Colonizers who did not purport to own enslaved people were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing enslaved men, women, and children or assisting in the capture of so-called “runaways” who sought to free themselves from bondage. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

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

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

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina and American General Gazette (December 31, 1771).

October 15

GUEST CURATOR:  Colleen Barrett

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

Essex Gazette (October 15, 1771).

“Apothecary’s SHOP, AT THE Head of Hippocrates.”

On October 15, 1771, Nathanael Dabney advertised his apothecary shop in the Essex Gazette. Dabney sold “Drugs, Medicines, AND Groceries” in Salem, Massachusetts. This is one of many examples of advertisements for medicines in the newspapers of the period. Dabney sold medicines and other items imported from London, including “Patent Medicines of every sort from Dicey & Okell’s Original Wholesale Warehouse.”  According to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, patent medicines, like those mentioned in the advertisement, “are named after the ‘letters patent’ granted by the English crown.” Furthermore, the maker of any of these medicines had “a monopoly over his particular formula. The term ‘patent medicine’ came to describe all prepackaged medicines sold ‘over-the-counter’ without a doctor’s prescription” in later years.  Dabney also mentioned the services he provided at his shop, letting customers know that he “will wait on them at all Hours of the Day and Night.”

**********

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY:  Carl Robert Keyes

As Colleen notes, customer service was an important element of Nathanael Dabney’s marketing efforts.  He concluded his advertisement with a note that “Family Prescriptions” were “carefully put up, and Orders from the Country punctually obeyed.”  A manicule helped to draw attention to these services.  That Dabney “put up” prescriptions suggests that he was an apothecary who compounded medications at his shop rather than merely a shopkeeper who specialized in patent medicines.  He likely possessed a greater degree of expertise about the drugs and medicines he sold than retailers who included patent medicines among a wide array of imported goods.

Prospective customers did not need to visit Dabney’s shop “AT THE Head of Hippocrates” in Salem.  Instead, the apothecary offered the eighteenth-century equivalent of mail order service for clients who resided outside of town.  He assured them that they did not have to worry about receiving less attention than those who came into his apothecary shop.  Instead, he “punctually obeyed” their orders, echoing the sentiments of other advertisers who provided similar services.

In addition to customer service, Dabney attempted to entice potential customers with promises of quality, declaring that he imported his drugs “from the best House in LONDON.”  He made a point of mentioning that he received “Patent Medicines of every Sort from Dicey & Okell’s Original Wholesale Warehouse,” an establishment well known in London and the English provinces.  According to P.S. Brown, newspaper advertisements published in Bath in 1770 referred to “Dicey and Okell’s great original Elixir Warehouse.”[1]  Dabney may have hoped to benefit from name recognition when he included his supplier in his advertisement.

The apothecary promised low prices, stating that he sold his wares “at the cheapest rate,” but he devoted much more of his advertisement to quality and customer service.  He waited on customers whenever they needed him “at all Hours of the Day and Night,” compounded medications, and promptly dispatched orders to the countryside, providing a level of care that consumers did not necessarily receive from shopkeepers who happened to carry patent medicines.

**********

[1] P.S. Brown, “Medicines Advertised in Eighteenth-Century Bath Newspapers,” Medical History 20, no. 2 (April 1976):  153.

Slavery Advertisements Published September 3, 1771

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

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

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

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

Essex Gazette (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

**********

Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (September 3, 1771).

Slavery Advertisements Published November 13, 1770

GUEST CURATOR:  Conor Meehan

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements about enslaved people – for sale as individuals or in groups, wanted to purchase or for hire for short periods, runaways who liberated themselves, and those who were subsequently captured and confined in jails and workhouses – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

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

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

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

Nov 13 1770 - Essex Gazette Slavery 1
Essex Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 8
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 9
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 10
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Continuation Slavery 1
Continuation to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Continuation Slavery 2
Continuation to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Continuation Slavery 3
Continuation to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Continuation Slavery 4
Continuation to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Continuation Slavery 5
Continuation to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

**********

Nov 13 1770 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Supplement Slavery 4
Supplement to the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (November 13, 1770).

 

October 30

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

South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (October 30, 1770).

“Said Report is FALSE.”

In late October 1770, Richard Clark, a watch- and clockmaker, took to the pages of the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal to address a rumor circulating in Charleston.  “[I]t hath been reported by some MALICIOUS PERSONS,” Clark lamented, “That I was going to leave the Province.”  That was not the case at all.  “I therefore acquaint the PUBLIC,” he continued, “that said report is FALSE, as I never had such an Intention.”

Why would others have traded in such gossip?  Was it an attempt by a competitor to undermine Clark’s business by pulling away customers who thought he was leaving the colony?  Did disgruntled acquaintances seek to cause him financial difficulty if Clark’s associates demanded that he pay his debts in advance of his departure?  Did something else occur?  Clark did not speculate beyond ascribing the false reports to “MALICIOUS PERSONS” responsible for the mischief, though that does not mean that he did not have suspicious that he left unspoken.

The watchmaker took the opportunity to promote his business at the same time he corrected the record.  He “return[ed] Thanks to all those who have been pleased to favour me with their Custom,” establishing that he had a clientele who availed themselves of his services.  He invited them and others to visit his shop on King Street, where he cleaned and repaired watches and clocks “in the neatest Manner, and greatest Dispatch.”  He promised quality and efficiency to his customers, two standard appeals in newspaper advertisements placed by artisans.

Clark competed for customers in a crowded marketplace, one sometimes shaped in part by innuendo and rumor that appeared in print or passed from person to person by word of mouth.  For more than a year and a half, clock- and watchmakers John Simnet and Nathaniel Sheaff Griffith engaged in vicious sparring matches in their advertisements in the New-Hampshire Gazette.  Even if it was not a competitor who spread the false reports of Clark’s supposed plans to leave the colony, the watchmaker had to deal with the consequences of gossip that could damage his livelihood.  He turned to the public prints to address the calumnious reports and provide reassurances that he remained in business.

October 9

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

Essex Gazette (October 9, 1770).

“A Hymn composed by the Rev. Mr. WHITEFIELD, and intended to be sung over his Corps.”

George Whitefield, one of the most influential ministers associated with the eighteenth-century religious revivals known as the Great Awakening, was a celebrity known throughout the American colonies.  Following his death in Newburyport, Massachusetts, on September 30, 1770, newspaper coverage radiated out from Boston.  The first reports appeared in the Boston Evening-Post, the Boston-Gazette, and the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy the following day.  The Massachusetts Spy, published in Boston, and the Essex Gazette, published in Salem, printed the news on October 2.  Two days later, the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter reported Whitefield’s death and the Massachusetts Spy became the first newspaper to disseminate information about the event in more than one issue.  Coverage continued in other newspapers, many of them reprinting articles that first appeared in Boston’s newspapers.  On October 5, the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy, the New-Hampshire Gazette, and the New-London Gazette all carried the news, as did the Providence Gazette on October 6.  All three Boston newspapers that broke the story on October 1 expanded their coverage on October 8.  The same day, the Newport Mercury reprinted news that ran in the Boston-Gazette a week earlier.  The news also appeared in newspaper published outside New England for the first time.  The New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury and the New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy reprinted items from Boston’s newspapers.

On October 9, the Connecticut Courant, published in Hartford, carried news for the first time, while the Essex Gazetteand the Massachusetts Spy continued coverage.  In addition to news items about Whitefield’s death, the Essex Gazette ran an advertisement for “A Hymn composed by the Rev. Mr. WHITEFIELD, and intended to be sung over his Corps, if he had died in England, by a Number or Orphans.”  That hymn was collected together with “some Verses on the Death of that great Man,” perhaps gathered from the various newspapers that honored Whitefield with poetry in addition to news articles.  The advertisement informed readers that the hymn and verses “will be printed on a Half Sheet, and sold at the Printing-Office To-Morrow.”  Samuel Hall, the printer of the Essex Gazette, participated in the commodification of Whitefield’s death.  He simultaneously sought to honor the revered minister and profit from his demise.

Even though Hall was the first to publish an advertisement, he was not the first to introduce the commodification of Whitefield’s death to the public.  Coverage in the October 4, 1770, edition of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter included a short note about a similar (or perhaps the same) broadside:  “A FUNERAL HYMN, wrote by the Rev’d Mr. Whitefield:  Said to be designed to have been sung over his Corpse by the Orphans belonging to his Tabernacle in London, had he died there.  Sold at Green & Russell’s.”  This announcement appeared as part of an original news item about Whitefield’s death dated October 4, following a reprinted news item about his death dated October 1, and immediately before verses honoring the minister.  It was not separated from the coverage of Whitefield’s death as a distinct item, nor did it appear among the advertisements that ran elsewhere in that issue.  It was fully integrated into the reporting about Whitefield.  Just four days after the minister’s death, printers were already hawking memorabilia.  Not long after that, notices about commemorative items began appearing as advertisements rather than as part of the news coverage, underscoring the possibilities for generating revenue inherent in the commodification of Whitefield’s death.  Hall may have sold a broadside he printed or the one printed by Green and Russell, but either way he aimed to profit by leveraging the Whitefield’s celebrity and death.  Hall and other printers used current events to promote sales of commemorative items.