Runaway Slave Advertisements

The following are Runaway Slave Advertisements from a variety of Colonial Newspapers as they appeared in print.

The Boston Newsletter, July 23, 1716.

This is to give notice that on the 16th of July, 1716, Runaway from his Master, David Lyell, an Indian Man named Nim, he lately belonged to Mr. James Moore, he is about one and twenty years of Age and is short broad shouldered Fellow his hair hath lately been cut off, he has a swelling on the back of his right hand, and can do something in the Carpenters trade, he hath with him two new shirts, a new waistcoat, and breeches of white course linen, and the same blew striped; a homespun Coat, wears a Hat, Shoes, Stockings. ‘Tis believed he endeavours to get on board some Vessel. Whoever takes up the said Indian in the Jerseys, and brings him to his said master shall have forty shillings and charges and if in any other government Five pounds if they give but notice where he is, so that his Master may have him again. Direct to David Lyell in New York or at Amboy in New Jersey.

The American Weekly Mercury, November 15, 1722.

Runaway from William Yard of Trenton in West-Jersey, the Fifth Day of this Instant November, a Negroe Man named Fransh Manuel, but commonly called Manuel, of a pretty tall stature, and speaks indifferent english. He wears a dark coloured homespun coat, an Ozenbrig Jacket, old Leather breeches, Sheep-russet Stockings, new Shoes and an old Beveret hat. He pretended formerly to be a Freeman and had passes; but he did belong to one John Raymond of Fairfield in New England and I bought him of said Raymond. And the said Negro boy has told since he has run away, That he found a quantity of ore for his master, and that his master had given him Free. Whoever takes up the said Negroe, secures him and brings him to Mr. William Bradford of New York, or to Mr. William Burge of Philadelphia or to his said Master at Trenton, shall have forty shillings reward, beside all reasonable charges, paid by me, William Yard.

The American Weekly Mercury, August 1, 1723.

Runaway about the 15th of June last, from Gabriel Stelle of Shresbury, an Negro Man named Jack, of small stature, he had on an Osenbrigs shirt and a woolen shirt, a pair of Leather Breeches, a dark homespun Jacket, a dark Cloase bodied fashionable Coat with brown Kersey Great-Coat, an Old Beaver hat, a pair of square toed shoes with wooden heels, he is a Madagascar Negro. Whoever takes up the said Negro and brings him back to his said master or to Issac Stelle in Allens Town, shall have two Pistols as a Reward besides Reasonable charges.

The American Weekly Mercury, July 9, 1724.

Runaway on the 9th instant from Alexander Morgan Pensawkin Creek, in the County of Glouster in West New Jersey, a servant lad named Richard Boon, a well set full Fac’d short brown Hair, aged 18 years, also a negroe boy named Ceasar, Aged about 10 years, they took a Wherry with two Sailes, the White Boy has on a homespun brown Kersey Coat, a felt Hat, and a Leather Jacket. Whosoever shall take up the said Lads and secure them, so that their Master may have them again, shall have 40 Shillings as a Reward for each and Reasonable charges.


The American Weekly Mercury, September 17, 1724.

Runaway from the plantation of Cornelius Van Horne on Rariton River a Malisgasco Negroe Man, named Tom, he is a black likely fellow, pretty tall, a grave look, has on a Homespun brown jacket, and lined the same, has brass Buttons.

Whoever takes up the said Negroe and delivers him to his said Master Cornelius Van Horne, in New York or in Amboy goal, Shall have Three Pounds as a reward plus reasonable charges.

The American Weekly Mercury, July 14, 1726 .

Notice is hereby given, That there is come to the house of John Leonards at south River Bridge, near Amboy, in the Eastern Division of the Province New Jersey, a negroe Man, who was forced to the said house for want of Sustenance; he is a middle sized Man, talks no English or feigns that he cannot, calls himself PoPaw, his teeth seem to be Fill’d or Whet Sharp; he will nat tell his Masters Name. Whoever Ownes the said Negroe may have him from the said Leonard on coming or sending for, paying according to Reward (if any be) or if not, according to the Laws of this Province and also reasonably for his diet till fetched.

The American Weekly Mercury, April 6, 1727.

There is in custody of William Nichols, Esq; High Sheriff of the County of Monmouth, a likely young Negroe man about 24 years old; he calls himself James, speaks little English and can give no account where he came from or who he belongs to. Any person who owns said Negroe paying Charges may have him.

The American Weekly Mercury, June 1, 1727.

Run away on the 21st day of May last, from James Leonard of Somerset in New Jersey, a Negroe man named Will, aged about 26 years and has with him an old Lightish coloured Great Coat and Leather Breeches, and two shirts and old pair of black and white Stockings and ‘tis supposed that he has a gun with him, he speaks good English. Whoever takes up the said Negroe and secures him so that his said Master may have him shall be rewarded, by the said James Leonard.

The American Weekly Mercury, May 1, 1729.

These are to be given notice that on the first day of this instant May, 1729, was taken up a Negroe man, about forty-three years of age and put into the goal at Burlington, for stealing from several persons sundry sorts of goods; the Negroe man saith he belongs to one Roger Mathews living in Baltimore County in Maryland, brother in law to one Edward Hall.

N.B. The said negroe man formerly belonged to Governeur Markham and was sold down at Maryland by Mr.Reneir, Attorney at Law.

The American Weekly Mercury, October 16, 1729.

Burlington, October 20, 1729. Broke out of the Gaol at Burlington, the 20th day of October, Two Men. One named Aristobus Christopher, about Thirty years of age, of a swarthy complexion, thick Brown Hair, about five feet and eight inches high, Shipwright by Trade.

The other a Mulato and goes by the name of Mulato John, about forty years of age about six feet and two inches high and well set, and smooth fac’d, short Brown Hair, he pretends to be a housecarpenter by Trade. Whoesoever takes up the said persons or either of them and bring them to Burlington shall have Forty Shillings reward for each and reasonable charges paid by Thomas Hunlock.

The New-York Gazette, May 18, 1730.

Ran Away, a Negro Man named Quash, from his master Cornelius DePeyster of New York City. The said negro has thick lips, and has lost a foretooth. Whoever can take up said Negro man and bring him to his master, or secure him and give Notice, so that this master can get him again, shall have forty shillings reward and all reasonable Charges.

The New-York Gazette, May 25, 1730.

Run away from Solomon Bates of Elizabeth-town a Negroe man named Clause, aged about 27 years old, has got with him a Homespun Coat of Linen and Wool, with Brass Buttons, an Ozenbrig vest with Black Buttons and Buttonholes, and and old striped vest, leather breeches, new Homespun Worsted Stockings, black shoes with Buckles, he has a hat and Cap and he can play upon the Fiddle and speaks English and Dutch. Whoever can take up the said Negroe and bring him to his said master, or secure him and give notice, so that his master can have him again, shall have reasonable satisfaction besides all reasonable charges.

The New-York Gazette, August 31, 1730.

Run Away last Tuesday two Negro men, both branded RN on their shoulders; one remarkedly scarrified over the forehead, clothed with trousers, The other with a coat and trousers. Whoever brings the said negroes to Jason Vaughn in New-York, shall have thirty shillings and all reasonable charges paid.

The New-York Gazette, January 30, 1732.

Run away about 10 o’clock on Thursday last, from John Cannon, New York City, three negroes with a sloop belonging to said Cannon, burthen about 35 tons. Whoever takes up and returns said Negroe men and the sloop shall receive Twenty Pounds and all reasonable Charges from John Cannon.

The New-York Gazette, November 13, 1732.

Ran away from Joseph Reade of New York City, merchant, the 14th of November, 1732, a likely mulatto servant woman named Sarah. She is about 24 years of age, and she has taken with her a calico suit of cloathes, a striped Satteen silk Wastecoat, Two Homespun waste-Coates and Petty-coat; she is a handy Wench, can do all sorts of housework, speaks good English and some Dutch. Whoever takes up the said Servant, and will bring her to her late Master shall have five pounds as Reward and all reasonable Charges Paid.

The New-York Gazette, October 8, 1733.

Ran away from Robert Pierson of Notingham near Trentown, a negro Man, named Jack, a lusty stout well set Fellow, a little pock broken, aged 30 years: He had on when he went away, a dark brown straight bodied Coat with Brass Buttons, a light coloured Great Coat, Two homespun Tow Shirts, two pairs of Drawers, a pair of orange coloured Stockings and indifferent pair of shoes, a good felt hat. Whoever shall take up the said Negro Man, and secure him or bring him to his said mater, or give notice to Mr. Samuel Baynard in New York, shall pay Forty Shillings reward, besides all reasonable charges, per me. Pierson.

The New-York Weekly Journal, June 10, 1734.

Run out of the Goal of the County of Bergin last night, one Jacob Powelse of Hackingsack, aged 40 Years or thereabouts, middle stature, Mulatto Man, lame in one of his finger, he had on when he went away a yellow coat with old Buttons, and homespun Holland Wastecoat and Bretches. Whoever takes up and secures the said Jacob Powelse so that he may be brought back to the Goal at Hackingsack shall have 3 Pounds reward paid by me.

Par. Parmyter, Sheriff

The New-York Gazette, June 24, 1734.

Runaway last Wednesday from Judith Vincent in Monmouth County in New Jersey an Indian Man named Stoffels , speaks good English, about Forty years of age, he is a House carpenter, a Cooper, a Wheelwright and is a good butcher also. There is also two others gone along with him, one being half Indian and half Negro and the other a Mulatto about 30 years of age & plays upon the violin and has it with him. Whoever takes up & secures said fellow so that he may be had again shall have forty shillings as a reward and all reasonable charges paid by the said Judith Vincent.

N.B. It is supposed’d they are all going together in a canow towards Connecticut or Rhode Island.


American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), October 24, 1734.

Run away the 26 of June last, from Samuel Leonard of Perth Amboy in New Jersey, a thick short Fellow, having but one Eye, he is half Indian half Negro tho’s black as most Negros; he had on when he went away a blue coat; his name is Wan, he plays on the fiddle and speaks good English and this country Indian. Any person bringing this said Fellow to his master shall have three Pounds Reward with Reasonable Charges paid by Samuel Leonard.

The New-York Gazette, October 27, 1735.

Ran away from Zebulon Stout of Somerset County, a negro man named Tom, He is about thirty-five years old, and is a well set Fellow, but of a thin visage. He speaks good English; he went away in a brown homespun Vest lined with orange coloured Shulane, an old Beaver hat, gray yarn Stockins and new shoes. This Negro is well known in Woodbridge and Elizabeth-town. Whoever takes up the said Negro and gives notice to his master, so that he can have him again, shall have Twenty Shillings Reward and all Reasonable Charges paid them. Zebulon Stout.

The New-York Gazette, December 19, 1737.

Ran away from John Bell, of New York City, a carpenter, one Negro woman named Jenney, 14-15 years, born in New York, speaks English and some Dutch. She has a flat nose, thick lips, and full faced; had on when she went away, a Bird’s Eyed Waistcoat and Pettycoat of a darkish colour, and a calico waistcoat with a large Red Flower, and a broad stripe, a calico pettycoat with small stripes and small red flowers. Whoever shall take up this said Negro Wench and bring her to said John Bell, or secure her and give Notice, so that he can have her again, shall have three pounds as a Reward, and all reasonable Charges.

The New-York Gazette, Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy, November 21, 1748.

Run away from Luykas John Wyngard of this city, merchant, a certain Negro Man, Simon, of a middle stature, a slender spry Fellow, has a handsome smooth face, and thick Legs, speaks very good English. Had on when he went away a blue cloth Great Coat. Whoever takes up the said Negro, and brings him to his master, or to Mr. John Livingston, at New York, shall receive Three Pounds, New York money, and all reasonable Costs and Charges, paid by John Livingston.

The New-York Gazette, Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy, May29, 1749.

Run away on Monday the 15th instant May, from Jores Ramson, of New-York, a likely Negro Fellow named York, about 17 years of age, of middling Stature, speaks good English; had on when he went away, a blue and white streaked Woolen Jacket, coarse Ozenbrigs shirt, an old Hat, and a pair of coarse Ozenbrigs Breeches. Whoever takes up the said Negro, and brings him home, or secures him so his Master may have him again, shall have a Reward of Twenty Shillings, and all reasonable Charges paid by me Jores Ramson.

The New-York Gazette, Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy, July 3, 1749.

Run away on the 26th of June last, from Mr. John Zabriskie at Hacinsack, a Negroe Man named Robin, about 20 Years of Age and of a yellow complexion: had on when he went away, a Linnen Jacket, short Trousers and Leather Hat: This is therefore to forewarn all Masters of Vessels to take the said fellow on board. And if any person takes said Negro and brings him to the work house, they shall have Twenty Shilling Reward and all Reasonable Charges paid by John Zabriskie

The New-York Gazette, Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy, July 10, 1749.

Run away the 21st Instant from William and Benjamin Hawxhurst, of Oyster-Bay on Long-Island, a negro Man named Tom, a middle sized Fellow and is pretty well cloath’d: Took with him a black Horse with a white Snip or Spot on his Nose. Whoever takes up and secures the said Negro and Horse, shall have a reasonable Reward paid by William and Benjamin Hawxhurst.

The New-York Gazette, Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy, September 25, 1749.

Run away about two months ago, from James Mills od this city, a Negro Man named Bolton, a short ill looking Fellow, about 30 years of Age, flat Nose, and Teeth blac with Tobacco, he is a chimney sweeper, and had but very ordinary clothes on when he went away. Whoever takes up the said Negro Man, and brings him to his Master, shall have three pounds Reward, and all Reasonable Charges paid by James Mills.

The New-York Gazette, Revived in the Weely Post-Boy, October 2, 1749.

Run away on the 25th of September last, from George Marple of Goshen Neck, Burlington County, in New-Jersey, a Spanish Mulatto Fellow named George, about 26 Years of Age, middling stature, well set, no Hair, speaks but indifferent English: Had on when he went away, a green Cloth Jacket about Half-worn, a Beaver Hat, Check Shirt and trousers, light coloured worsted Stockings, and old shoes new soal’d, with large Brass Buckles, and is a Shoemaker by trade: Took with him anther Check Shirt and two Silk handerchiefs; he formerly belonged to Charles Reade, Esq; and has been a privateering; and tis likely may endeavor to get on board some Vessel; for which Reason all Masters are forewarned taking him on board at their Peril. Whoever takes up and secures said Fellow, so that his master may have him again, shall have forty shillings Reward, and all reasonable Charges paid by George Marple.


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