Even as a boring researcher who spends days on end in dusty old archives, every now and again something shocks you. I came across this ad not long into my research regarding runaway slaves in Eastern North Carolina. [The full size image can be found below the page break].

Runaway Slave Ad
Why is an old advertisement so shocking and interesting? The above advertisement’s five simple (although surprisingly verbose) paragraphs are short hand for a much larger and even more interesting tale. Their story includes enslavement, betrayal, yearning for freedom, fatherhood, rebellion, courage, anger, and half a dozen other compelling emotional angles that should perk the ears and tug at the heart.

Beyond that, the characters are laid out in a detailed manner (considering the space allowed for an advertisement), but in such a way that you are left desiring to know more about them.

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The JPEG files below are JPEG versions of Excel charts based on runaway slave advertisements from 1818-1824.  I converted the Excel file I posted yesterday into JPEG files so those without Excel could still view the information. Now all you have to do is use the image enhancer Icon (the little magnifying glass with a + sign inside that appears when you click on these JPEGS) to blow them up to full size.

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Runaway Slave List Page 1

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Runaway Slave List 2

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Runaway Slave List 3

So tell me what you think. Did these newspaper ads for runaway slaves include anything that shocked or surprised you? What did you learn?

By Monday I will publish a post on the contents of these ads and what they tells us about slavery in North Carolina during that period (1818-1824). Hope to have plenty of comments by then.

The below link will take you to a downloadable Excel file of Runaway slaves in Eastern North Carolina broken down by slave name, owner’s name, location of owner, description, reward, suspected location, runaway date, and advertisement date. The list is limited to owners who advertised for runaway slaves in several Eastern North Carolina newspapers, including: New Bern’s [Craven County] Carolina Centinel, Washington’s [Beaufort County] American Reporter, Wilmington’s [New Hanover County] Cape Fear Recorder, and the Edenton [Chowan County] Gazette.

Runaway Slave List

[Since WordPress doesn’t allow you to upload Excel files, all supporting data can be found at the above link]…

Before I comment, take a look at the file and tell me what you think.  I am curious to know what you all think.  I will comment on the chart sometime tomorrow or the next day.

During the course of researching my thesis (2004-2006) I collected thousands of pages of documents- copies of originals held in the North Carolina State Archives collection.  My collection of copied documents includes newspaper articles, petitions, court records, letters, etc.  Some of these documents had not been seen for quite some time before I opened the dusty old folders that served as their well organized abode.

I hope you enjoy these left-overs of my historical labors.  What is coming up this week?  Over the next few days I will publish a few posts about runaway slaves, the interstate slave trade, and concealed weapon laws in the early twentieth century.

I will also be posting copies of papers I am currently working on (for publication) as well as old graduate school papers.

So sit back, come prepared to think, and please share any comments, questions, or rants that these posts might inspire.

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