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Regional Fugitive Slave Advertisements


January 1800: The Middlesex, New Jersey Jailor is holding three suspected fugitive slaves

New Jersey Jailor's ad for three suspected fugitive slaves.


In Middlesex Gaol, the following Negro men, to wit:

  ADAM HILL, says he belongs to William McMutrea, of Philadelphia, 21 years old. Henry Hall, about 6 feet high, supposed to be about 26 years old, and some gentleman's coachman or waiter, and from his dialect, judged to be from Maryland or Virgnia. --Isaac Harmone, 5 feet, 6 or 7 inches high, very black, about 20 years old, says he lived at the Head of Elk, state of Delaware.

  The owners of the above Negroes are requested to pay charges and take them away, before the 21st of January ensuing, or they shall on that day be sold to defray expenses and gaol fees at the city of New-Brunswick, and State of New-Jersey.
December 31

Notes: By the time that this ad appeared, the three men held by jailor Peter Keeon in the Middlesex jail had only four days remaining before they were scheduled to be sold for costs. The slaveholder of Adam Hill may have been William McMurtrie (1740-1807) a prominent Philadelphia merchant. Isaac Harmone's reference to Head of Elk, is modern day Elkton in Cecil County, Maryland.

Source: Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia), 17 January, 1800, page 2.

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

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