Afrolumens Project  home pageslavery

Study Areas



Free Persons of Color

The Violent Decade

Underground Railroad

US Colored Troops

Civil War

The Year of Jubilee (1863)

20th Century History

Regional Fugitive Slave Advertisements


November 23, 1802: Advertisement for runaway Hannah, who escaped with four children from William Ashmore

1803aAdvertisement for runaway Hannah, who escaped with four children from William Ashmore


WILL be given to any person, who will bring to the dwelling of the subscriber, living on Broad creek, Harford county, Maryland, a Mulatto Woman, named HANNAH, together with Four Children, three Girls and a Boy, supposed to be taken away by the Husband of the said Hannah.
November 23d, 1802.


William Ashmore owned and operated a prosperous mill, called Mill Green, on Broad Creek in Harford County. In 1801, a road was laid out from Bel Air, the county seat, through Mill Green, then known as Ashmore's Mill, to southern York County. It is likely that Hannah, her husband and four children, utilized this road to make their escape up into York County. Ashmore seems to be supposing they went to York County with his advertisments in the Pennsylvania Republican in December 1802, and six months later in The York Recorder.

The Ashmore family figured prominently in the Margaret Morgan and children kidnapping from York County in 1837 that led to the Supreme Court Case Prigg v Pennsylvania. William Ashmore deeded his estate to his son John and wife Margaret in 1798. John and Margaret's daughter Susanna married Nathan Bemis and the couple in turn inherited the estate upon the death of John Ashmore in 1823. The Ashmore's at one time owned Margaret Morgan and her parents, all of whom lived on small plots on the Ashmore estate, and John Ashmore verbally manummitted all but two of his slaves prior to his death, including Margaret and her parents, however he provided no manumission papers and apparently did not go through the legal manumission process.

Margaret married Jerry Morgan, a free-born African American man from Pennsylvania, 1828 and and in 1832 the couple and their two children moved to York County, Pennsylvania. In 1837, John Ashmore's widow Margaret, believing that Margaret and her children were still legally her property, sent her son-in-law Nathan Bemis and local slave catcher Edward Prigg, along with two associates, to capture and return them to her in Maryland. The resulting legal cases ended up in the Supreme Court.


The York Recorder, 8 June 1803; Pennsylvania Republican, 01 December 1802; National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Nationa Register Registration Form for Mill Green Historic District, Harford County, Maryland, April 1993.

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

Support the Afrolumens Project. Read the books:

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



About the AP | Contact AP | Mission Statement