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)

Regional Fugitive Slave Advertisements


Septemer 1817: Benjamin Dorsey escapes from Montgomery County, Maryland

100 Dollars Reward
RAN away from the subscriber, residing in Montgomery county, Maryland, on the third of September last, a negro man, who calls himself
Benjamin Dorsey.
He is about 20 or 21 years of age, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, well made, has rather a down look when spoken to. Had on when he absconded, a coarse linen shirt and trowsers, light blue chambray coat, half worn, wool hat and coarse made shoes -- and took with him one muslin shirt, one pair domestic striped cotton pantaloons, and two striped calico vests. He was on the 7th of the same month taken up between Gettysburg and York, and put into Gettysburg jail, where he remained until the 26th of September, when he absconded over the jail wall, and has not been heard of since. Any person taking up said runaway and securing him in any jail, so that I can get him again, shall receive 60 dollars, or the above reward if brought home.
William Worthington.
November 7
N.B. I forewarn all captains or masters of vessels from hiring or carrying him away, at their peril. I also forbid all farmers, millers & other people from hiring or harbouring said negro.

Source: Lancaster Journal, December 19, 1817

Septemer 1817: Benjamin Dorsey escapes from the Gettysburg Jail

60 Dollars Reward.
ESCAPED over the wall of the Jail Yard, in Gettyburg, Adams county, on the evening of the 26th instant, a NEGRO MAN, committed as a runaway, named
Benjamin Dorsey
Alias REASON, alias TOM, about 20 years of age, about 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, stout made, and very black, and down look, but pleasant when spoken to; had on a blue and white Chambray coat, yellow and white striped jacket, and blue and white striped trowsers, coarse shoes and wool hat.
Whoever apprehends said Negro and returns him to the jail of said county, shall receive the above Reward from the subscriber.
Gettysburg, Sept. 30.

Source: Franklin Repository (Chambersburg, PA), 11 November 1817

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 | Archives