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Free Persons of Color

The Violent Decade

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The Year of Jubilee (1863)

Regional Fugitive Slave Advertisements


July 1817: Darcus, a 27-year-old woman, escapes from Newark

Fifty Dollars Reward
Ran away from the subscriber, on the night of the 12th inst. a negro woman, named Darcus, about 27 years of age, 5 feet 6 inches high, dark skin, and of a sullen and stupid appearance.

Besides her common wearing apparel, she had on and took with her, an old black satin bonnet, two gowns, one of cambrick muslin, the other of blue calico, one coarse buff and white shawl, and one tow sheet.

Whoever takes up and secures the said negro, so that I get her again, shall receive the above reward.

Thomas W. Handy.

Newark, (Del.)
July 15.

Source: Lancaster Journal, 6 August 1817.

Editors note: Thomas W. Handy was regimental surgeon with the Twenty-Fifth Maryland Militia, from Somerset County, Maryland, serving during the War of 1812. After removing to Delaware, he became a ruling elder of White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, New Castle County.

Dr. Thomas W. Handy petitioned the Delaware legislature numerous times to import slaves into the state, for various reasons. On January 25, 1813, he petitioned the Delaware State legislature for permission to move his slaves Violet and Peter into the state. He explained that he had moved his family and servants from Maryland to Delaware, but had left some slaves in Maryland, "they being hired out." (Petition 10381611, General Assembly, Legislative Papers, RG 1111, p 378-379)

He petitioned the legislature again in 1818 to bring the slave Chloe and her children, then in the possession of the heirs of Hugh Henry, of Maryland, into Delaware. Handy claimed that Chloe was his slave, hired to Hugh Henry. When Henry died, Handy petitioned for her return. (Petition 10381803, General Assembly, Legislative Papers, RG 1111, p 431-435)

Thomas W. Handy was an original trustee of Newark College, appointed in 1833.

Covering the history of African Americans in central Pennsylvania from the colonial era through the Civil War.

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The Year of Jubilee, Volume One: Men of God, Volume Two: Men of Muscle




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