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Free Persons of Color

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The Year of Jubilee (1863)

Regional Fugitive Slave Advertisements


September 1816: John Cook Escapes From Near Middleburg

50 Dollars Reward.
Ran away from the subscriber, on the 18th of September last, a young Negro Man, of a very dark complexion, about 20 or 21 years of age, slim built and of handsome features, he is about 5 feet 9 inches high, when spoken to has rather a down countenance, but when he looks up, smiles and shows a very fine set of teeth; walks somewhat pidgeon toed, has a feminine voice;

Had on when he went away, a country made shirt and trowsers, though he has a variety of other clothing that he may change them at any time;

He is called by the name of John Cook, though he may change his name as he was raised by Mr. Wm. Hail, sen. purchased by me from Henry Hail, near Middleburg, it is probable that he is lurking in that neighbourhood, or the neighbourhood round about there, as he has a father and many relations thereabouts.

I will give the above reward if taken within 50 miles, if out of the state or 150 miles, $150, if more, $200 or confined in any jail and immediate notice given so that I get said negro. Owners of vessels and others are forewarned from harboring or employing said fellow at their peril, as I expect he may try for the northern states by way of Alexandria or Ohio.

James Seaton.
Fauquier Co. (Va.) near Middleburg, October 19.

Source: Lancaster Journal, Wednesday morning, 30 October 1816.


Editor's Notes: James Seaton (III) was a slave holder in Greene County, Pennsylvania, who was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, in 1751. He later relocated to land that was disputed between Virginia and Pennsylvania, and which became Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1800. See the slave listings for Joe and Cate, registered in Washington County, Pennsylvania. From the above advertisement, it appears he moved back and forth or conducted business between Middleburg, Virginia and Greene County, PA. James Seaton allowed for the manumission of at least one slave, Joseph, in his will, which was written in 1827 and registered in Washington County, PA in 1830.

William Hail (Hale, Heale) owned the estate near Middleburg known as Waverly, and which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now the home of Piedmont Vineyards and Winery, Inc.

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

Support the Afrolumens Project. Buy the books:

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




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