Runaway Slave

Runaway Slave Notices in the South Carolina Gazette

The South Carolina Gazette (1732–1775)  was South Carolina’s first successful newspaper was begun in 1732 by Thomas Whitemarsh in Charles Town, and released its final issue in December, 1775. A “middle of the road” paper, the Gazette printed news of Europe, what the royalty had worn at the last formal event, news of the colony, notices of births, deaths, marriages and estate auctions, and advertisements, including those for runaway slaves.

These runaway slave notices appeared on October 7, 1756:

Runaway Run away, a yellow Wench named Sue, Bermuda born, (belonging to Louis Outerbridge) about 32 years of age, of a middle size, estimable to be fair, with a pretty large scar on the right side of her neck; she took all her clothes with her, amongst which were a red petticoat, striped jacket and gown, and an oznabrug glow; and it is supposed she signs privately to get on board some vessel bound to Bermuda. Whoever delivers her to the warden of the work house, shall have a reward of 20 pounds and whoever will prove by whom she is or has been harboured, shall receive the like reward.

Run away from the subscriber,a negro fellow named Winter, about 30 years,of age, formerly belonging to Mr. Samuel Wainwright,and is supported to conceal himself aboutGoose-Creek. Whoever delivers him to me, or the warden of the work house shall have 10 pounds reward, and reasonable charges.

Run away from the Subscriber’s plantation near Ponpon, on the 20 of December, a negro fellow named Prince, about 5 feet 10 inches high, well made. A very foul countenance, and has lost one joint of the middle finger of his right hand; had on when he went away an iron upon each leg. Whoever taken up and delivers the said fellow to the subscriber at Ponpon, or the warden of the work house, shall have 10 pounts reward if taken within this province, and 20 pounds if out of it.

RunawayRun away from Mr. Thomas Bonny’s plantation at Ponpon, a negro man Pompy, a cooper by trade he is of a middle size and about 40 years, speaks good English, and a sensible fellow; he is supposed to be harboured about Charles Town, Any person that takes him up, and delivers him to the overseer on the said plantation, or to me, shall have 5 pounds reward.

Run away from the subscriber’s plantation at Stone, on the 19th of August a young Indian fellow named Tom, about 5 feet and a half high, bow legged, and has a down look, supposed to be gone to John’s Island or Port-Royal. Whoever takes up the said fellow, and delivers him at my plantation, or to me in Charles Town, shall have 5 pounds reward.

RunawayRun away form the Subscriber’s plantation at Goose Greek, a few months ago. A fellow named Stipury, formerly belonging to John Sanders at Ponpon: he is an artful sensible follow:and can very readily invent a pitiable tale if questioned. Low of stature and pretty slim, is well acquainted in most of the parishes of this province, and was not long ago apprehended at Santre and at Dorchester. Whoever delivers him to me in Charles-Town, or to either of my plantations, shall receive reward.

These and other announcements are common in the newspapers found in Accessible Archive’s South Carolina Newspapers collection.  The classified ads in these 18th century newspapers shed a great deal of light on day to day live in the southern colonies in ways that regular newspaper articles cannot.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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