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Free Persons of Color

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The Year of Jubilee (1863)

Regional Fugitive Slave Advertisements


March 1816: Caleb and his girlfriend Betsey Smith have been gone since November

To all Editors in the U. States.
Rockingham County, Virginia 1st March 1816.
On the 25th of November last, my negro man Caleb, absconded in company with a white woman named Betsey Smith. Caleb is about 26 years of age, dark complexion, rather above the middle size, has a scar on his forehead, caused by a cut, and a scar on his jaw or neck, caused by a burn.

Rather sulky, speaks low and has a down look; wore a brown great coat with large cape, and otherswise well dressed; plays the fiddle, understands plantation business and uses an axe well. Betsey Smith is about the middle size, light or sandy hair, inclined to be freckled, wore a brown great coat and blue cotton dress; has left behind her 3 or 4 mullatto children, and is a miss of said negro; they both borrowed and rode off on small bay nags, and was seen near Harper's ferry passing, he, as her servant or slave, on toward Pennsylvania, from whence she originally came, probably they are gone toward Baltimore, Philadelphia or New-York; probably he will pass by the name of Levy or Cesar as there are such free negroes in the neighborhood that have lost their freedom certificates, & probably Caleb has one of them.

I will give $100 reward to any person that apprehends said negroe Caleb and secures him in jail so that I may get him again, and shall also advertise him in the same newspaper from whence they received their information, making affadavit at the same time by or from which paper they received such information. I will also give the editor of any newspaper the like sum of $100 provided he has not been particularly employed to advertise, who shall give the information of said runaway to the apprehender, which reward or rewards will be paid to the jailor for the use of those entitled, where and when I shall receive said negro, in such bank notes as will be received in payment of the direct tax of the United States. It is hoped editors will give this advertisement a general circulation.

William Rice.
April 1.

Source: Lancaster Journal, 5 April 1816.

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

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