Runaway Slave Ads

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Below is a database of collected notices of runaway and captured slave ads. These ads were placed in various newspapers when a slave ran away, was stolen, or captured. The ads could be extremely detailed as to appearance, clothing, and mannerism - these can give valuable insight to African-American ancestors of this period.

March 1824 Ads from Daily National Intelligencer, Washington D.C.

March 1824 - Owner Joshua WARFIELD - Slave Joseph - "Was committed to the jail of Frederick County, on the 22nd day of June, a negro man who calls himself JOSEPH, and says he is the property of JOSHUA WARFIELD, near the Poplar Springs, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, says he is aged about 24 years, five feet six and a half inches high, blind of the left eye, his small finger on the left hand crooked. Had on when committed an old blue coat and an old white fur hat, coarse linen pantaloons, a coarse shirt, coarse shoes and stockings, striped vest, much worn. The owner of the above described negro is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be otherwise discharged according to the law"

March 1824 - Owner Ann CADLE - Slave Horace Henry - "FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD - Strayed or Stolen - On the night of the first of February last, from the widow ANN CADLE's stable, a large Bay Horse, with one white hind foot and one white fore foot, in poor condition, shod all around, also a three year old colt, gray color, with a mark on its thigh, and a saddle mark on the back. Also missing a stout black boy named HORACE HENRY, about 19 years old; he wore a blue roundabout, cotton shirt, greyish pantaloons, patched with blue, and an old hat. It is probable his clothes may be changed. It is believed that the above property has been taken away in the direction of Alexandria, and as it belongs to a poor widow, its restoration, or any information of it, will be gratefully received by ANN CADLE, living near the Navy Yard, Washington. All persons are hereby forewarned harboring any part of the above property. Mrs. C. has good grounds to suspect that FRANCIS HARE, of middle size, dark hair, and dark blue eyes, about 40 years of age, has taken away the above property, which if he will restore, without delay, he may escape legal punishment. Ten dollars will be paid for the above Boy, if taken anywhere in the District of Columbia, or if in the adjoining counties of Virginia and Maryland, twenty dollars; And the above reward if taken out of either of the above states." March 18, 1824

March 1824 - Owner J. A. SOMMERS - Slave Sarah - "TEN DOLLARS REWARD - Ran away from the subscriber on Wednesday, the 18th ult, a mulatto girl named SARAH, about 21 years of age, slender made, narrow visage, her under jaw projects out, and has a long under lip; she wore away a yellow linsey frock; she may change her dress as she is an artful girl; she has a small impediment in her speech when spoken to fiercely. She has a mother (a black woman who calls herself Maria Simpson) living in Washington City, in the valley immediately north of the Six Buildings. It is highly probably she is lurking in said city. For the apprehension and securing said girl, so that I get her again, I will give the above reward." J.A. SOMMERS, Alexandria County

March 1824 - Owner Nathaniel P. CAUSIN - Slave Thomas Miller - "$75 REWARD - Absconded on the 25th of July last, my negro man THOMAS, who calls himself THOMAS MILLER, between 18 and 20 years of age, well grown, a dark mulatto, down look, awkward movement, and a low smothored voice. He can read and write a little. His dress was a grey cassimere coatee, much worn, white drilling pantaloons, and hat much worn. He took with him a blue striped linen or cotton roundabout, and perhaps other articles of clothing, but doubtless, ere this, he has changed his clothing, and therefore cannot be detected by any he may have taken with him at the time of elopement. He was purchased about 20 months since of the estate of the late H. H. Chapman, Esq., Charles County Maryland and has connexions in the District of Columbia; his mother lives with Doctor Weems, Port Tobacco, Charles County, and I believe he has some connexions at Annapolis. He is probably in company with a younger brother, who eloped about the same time. If they be not in the neighborhood of Port Tobacco, Annapolis, or the city of Washington, they have probably attempted to reach Philadelphia, or some other point in Pennsylvania. His brother is smaller, and a brighter mulatto than Thomas, and I think is called John. The above reward will be given for Thomas, if taken, and secured in jail so that I can get him again." Nathaniel P. CAUSIN

March 1824 - Owner Samuel GORE - Slave Mary - "RUNAWAY - Was committed to the jail of Washington county, as a runaway on the 23d day of February last, a Negro Woman named MARY. She is very black, has a long face, and thick lips; she is about 5 feet, 5 inches high, about 22 years of age, has no scar. Had on when committed a yellow striped cotton frock. She says she belongs to Mr. Samuel Gore of Baltimore county. The owner of said runaway is requested to come and prove property, pay charges, and take her away, or she will be released according to law." J.V. Swearingen, Sheriff - March 9