Slavery Advertisements Published July 7, 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.

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

Jul 7 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Gazette (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Pennsylvania Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Journal (July 7, 1768).

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

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Jul 7 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (July 7, 1768).

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Jul 7 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (July 7, 1768).

Slavery Advertisements Published July 6, 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.

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

Jul 6 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 1
Georgia Gazette (July 6, 1768).

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Jul 6 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 2
Georgia Gazette (July 6, 1768).

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Jul 6 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 3
Georgia Gazette (July 6, 1768).

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Jul 6 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 4
Georgia Gazette (July 6, 1768).

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Jul 6 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 5
Georgia Gazette (July 6, 1768).

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Jul 6 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 6
Georgia Gazette (July 6, 1768).

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Jul 6 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 7
Georgia Gazette (July 6, 1768).

Slavery Advertisements Published June 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.

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

Jun 30 - Boston Weekly News-Letter Postscript Slavery 1
Postscript to the Boston Weekly News-Letter (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Massachusetts Gazette Draper Slavery 1
Massachusetts Gazette [Draper] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - New-York Journal Slavery 2
New-York Journal (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - New-York Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the New-York Journal (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 4
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 4
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Journal (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 9
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 10
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 11
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 30, 1768).

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Jun 30 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 30, 1768).

Slavery Advertisements Published June 23, 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.

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

Jun 23 - Boston Weekly News-Letter Slavery 1
Boston Weekly News-Letter (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - New-York Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the New-York Journal (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 4
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 4
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 5
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Journal (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 23, 1768).

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Jun 23 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 23, 1768).

Slavery Advertisements Published June 9, 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.

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

Jun 9 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - New-York Journal Slavery 2
New-York Journal (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 4
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Journal (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Journal (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Journal (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 4
Pennsylvania Journal (June 9, 1768).

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

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Jun 9 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 9, 1768).

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Jun 9 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 9, 1768).

Slavery Advertisements Published April 14, 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.

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

Apr 14 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - New-York Journal Slavery 2
New-York Journal (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - New-York Journal Slavery 3
New-York Journal (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 2
Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 3
Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 4
Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 5
Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 6
Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 7
Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Journal (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Rind Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Virginia Gazette [Rind] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Rind Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Virginia Gazette [Rind] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Rind Supplement Slavery 3
Supplement to the Virginia Gazette [Rind] (April 14, 1768).

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Apr 14 - Virginia Gazette Rind Supplement Slavery 4
Supplement to the Virginia Gazette [Rind] (April 14, 1768).

June 29

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

Jun 29 - 6:29:1767 Newport Mercury
Newport Mercury (June 29, 1767).

“Those Persons who will send their Victuals, ready prepared, may depend upon being well served.”

John Jent, a baker in Newport, sold pies that he made, but that was not the primary purpose of the advertisement he placed in the Newport Mercury in June 1767. Jent informed local residents that he had a “good Oven” for baking “any Sort of Victuals” delivered to him “ready prepared.” The baker heated his oven twice daily to accommodate midday and evening meals.

Like many other advertisers, Jent promised good service and low prices, but that was not the extent of the benefits he afforded his customers. He also provided convenience, though he did not elaborate on that quality of his business. In the 1760s various advertisers played with the idea of convenience without fully developing the concept. They hinted at it, anticipating larger scale articulations that emerged as marketing evolved.

Some shopkeepers, for instance, published lengthy lists of merchandise. Most emphasized consumer choice, but a few began to suggest that large inventories meant customers could enjoy one-stop shopping rather than traipsing from one shop to another. To that end, Thompson and Arnold asserted that “they have been at great Cost and Pains to supply themselves with as great a Variety of articles as can be found in any one Store in New-England.” Lest potential customers miss their meaning, the partners explicitly stated, “As their Assortment is so large they hope to save their Customers the Trouble of going through the Town to supply themselves with the Necessaries they may want.” Others emphasized the locations of their shops, noting that patrons could visit them more easily and expend less time and energy than traveling to other shops. Such was the case when James Brown and Benoni Pearce informed readers of the Providence Gazette that “Customers coming form the Westward may save both Time and Shoe-Leather by calling at their aforesaid Shops” rather than crossing the Great Bridge to the other side of the city. Some advertisers invited customers to send orders by mail. Peter Roberts, who sold imported “Drugs & Medicines,” advertised in the Boston-Gazette that “Orders by Letters from Practitioners and others, in Town or Country, will be as faithfully complied with as if they were present.”

John Jent provided another form of convenience to customers, sparing them the time and resources necessary to bake “Pies, Puddings, &c.” on their own. Instead, they could go about the rest of their daily business and pick up meals ready to eat at times that fit their own schedules.

Slavery Advertisements Published May 8, 1767

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.  Daily updates also available on Twitter:  @SlaveAdverts250.

May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 8A
South- Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).
May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 8B
Continuation of previous advertisement from South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 9
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 10
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 11
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

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May 8 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 12
South-Carolina and American General Gazette (May 8, 1767).

 

March 25

GUEST CURATOR: Ceara Morse

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

Mar 25 - 3:25:1767 Georgia Gazette
Georgia Gazette (March 25, 1767).

“HENRY SNOW, Distiller from London, MAKES and SELLS … FINE Georgia Geneva.”

Henry Snow distilled many different spirits, including “Georgia Geneva,” “Orange Shrub,” and “Mulberry Brandy.” Many of the spirits he distilled could probably be found in local taverns.

Taverns were very important gathering places in colonial and Revolutionary America. An article about the Queen’s Head Tavern (now more commonly known as Fraunces Tavern) in New York City states, “Taverns were centers of community in the 18th century.” They were where people came to stay as well as just come in for a drink and learn of what was going on in the area. Imported spirits sometimes did not come fast enough to keep up with their popularity in taverns and households, thus American produced spirits were needed to help provide taverns and other consumers with the alcoholic beverages they desired. That’s where American products, like Henry Snow’s spirits, came into play. Because it was expensive to even import these goods, the domestic products were that much better.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

Henry Snow walked a fine line in his advertisement for a variety of spirits “Distilled and sold at his shop” in Savannah. As Ceara notes, he produced an array of cordials, brandies, and other liquor to compete with imports at affordable prices. Yet he wanted to assure potential customers of the quality of the spirits he distilled. To do so, he adopted a strategy deployed by many artisans who placed advertisements in eighteenth-century newspapers: he indicated his place of origin along with his occupation.

In this case, Snow was not merely a distiller but instead a “Distiller from London.” This imbued him and his products with greater cachet by suggesting connections to the cosmopolitan center of the empire and perhaps even specialized training compared to his local competitors. It also served as a recommendation for the dozen or so different types of spirits he distilled, suggesting that they were among the most popular among consumers in the metropole. Just as tailors implied their familiarity with the latest fashions by stating they were “from London,” Snow hinted that he distilled spirits currently in vogue rather than backwater alternatives to the beverages enjoyed by “gentlemen” on the other side of the Atlantic.

Doing so also meant making assurances about the quality of his locally produced liquors, describing some of them as “fine” or “superfine.” (The layout of the advertisement suggests that the distiller may have intended for “FINE” to describe all of the spirits in the first column and all or most in the second.) As far as Snow’s brandy was concerned, “Any gentlemen who may be pleased to favour him with their orders” could depend on it being “equal to French” brandy. His usquebaugh, however, was an exception. It was merely “little inferior to Irish.” It appears that Henry Snow knew better than to suggest that his whiskey was equal or superior to any produced and imported from Ireland. “Little inferior to Irish” was exceptionally high praise indeed!

October 15

GUEST CURATOR: Jordan Russo

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

oct-15-10151766-georgia-gazette
Georgia Gazette (October 15, 1766).

“Goods, suitable for the season.”

Cowper and Telfairs’ store had just received a large assortment of items imported from London. After the lengthy list of items that they sold, the partners added that “they shortly expect other articles from England and Scotland to make a complete assortment of goods for this country and season.” It was good to add that they would be receiving other items so customers would come back and purchase more from their store.

This advertisement was in the newspaper in October; colonists would soon need items for the winter that was coming, even if it would not be as cold as in New England or even Virginia. The advertisement states the supplies and clothing were “suitable for the season,” making potential buyers aware that this store had goods that would help them get through the winter. Throughout the colonies, settlers made preparations. According to David Robinson, “Mothers taught daughters how to card wool and coax soft fibers from the hard stems of flax; how to spin fibers into threads; how to stitch and mend the heavy coats and hooded cloaks that soon must ward off the biting winds.” Cowper and Telfairs’ store had “a variety of other ready-made cloaths” that colonists could purchase as well as an assortment of textiles they could use to make coats, cloaks, and warmer clothing that they would need for winter weather, even if winter in Georgia was not as extreme as in colonies further north.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

Not long ago guest curator Nicholas Commesso examined an advertisement from the Massachusetts Gazette in which William Palfrey marketed “Articles suitable for the approaching Season.” He noted that colonists in Boston and its hinterland needed to take into account that fall had commenced and winter would arrive soon. Palfrey attempted to sell his goods by reminding colonists that it was time to start making preparations.

In my additional commentary I noted that “suitable to the season” was a stock phrase deployed in newspaper advertisements in Philadelphia and, more generally, in New England the Middle Atlantic colonies. I have not worked as extensively with advertisements from the Chesapeake or the Lower South, so I was uncertain if that was the case in those locales or if regional differences existed. I suggested that this merited further investigation.

Jordan turned her eye to that question today, identifying the same language in an advertisement from a newspaper printed in the Georgia Gazette. While one advertisement does not demonstrate a pattern or widespread usage of “suitable for the season,” it does indicate that the phrase was not unknown in the area. Cowper and Telfairs likely meant something a bit different – or had somewhat different merchandise in mind – than William Palfrey did when they described their wares as “suitable for the season.” Each advertiser would have taken into account local conditions.

As Jordan notes, the shopkeepers concluded by describing the items “from England and Scotland” they intended to have in stock soon as “goods for this country and season.” In addition to attempting to lure customers back to their store for subsequent visits, Cowper and Telfairs also signaled that they knew exactly what kind of merchandise would be arriving on ships expected in port soon. Most likely they had negotiated with their contacts on the other side of the Atlantic and placed orders for specific goods. London merchants sometimes tried to pawn off surplus inventory, expecting colonial retailers to accept and sell whatever was sent to them, but Cowper and Telfairs suggested that their customers would be pleased with the selection they offered because their wares had been chosen with Georgia and its climate in mind.