Runaway Slave Advertisements Essay

1265 words - 5 pages

Slavery and indentured servitude was the backbone of the Virginia economy. Slaves were considered an investment in the planter’s business and a necessity for success. The treatment of slaves was much the same as owning a piece of property or equipment. Slaves were not viewed as fellow human beings, quite the opposite they were of lesser status. Slaves and indentured servants grew tired of their treatment and responded with acts of rebellion. One such act was for the slaves and servants to run away. Indentured servants and slaves both made the incredibly brave decision to risk fleeing and capture in the hope of finding a free and better life, as opposed to continue living in their oppressed conditions. Runaway slave advertisements became commonplace in newspapers in Virginia and across the south. The advertisements represented the increasing resistance on the part of both indentured servants and slaves of their poor treatment. The advertisements were the slave owner’s resource in the return of their property. When analyzing the advertisements, it is clear the attitudes towards the servants and slaves were more of a piece of property than that of a human being. The slave owners list thing such as physical descriptions, special skills, rewards for their capture and return. This paper will compare and contrast the advertisements of indentured servant and slave runaways.
One of the most notable features in the advertisements for both the indentured servants and slaves is the physical descriptions. The descriptions are given with great detail, however they do not contain a personal tone to them. The descriptions sound very unattached, as if describing an inanimate object. The advertisements almost all begin with “Negro man” or “Negro woman” which seems to be an unnecessary item to point out. Perhaps the use of those words was to reiterate the fact that the readers were looking for Negro slaves who were considered lesser class and worthy of capture. The descriptions continue with physical accounts such as, a man of “a middle stature”, “a small, thin visage fellow”, and “low stature”. There seemed to be a difference in the way the men and women runaways were described. The women’s descriptions had a sexual overtone to them with examples like, “well featur’d” and “well set”. These terms were obviously describing the women’s breasts. The descriptions of both indentured servants and slaves also include the complexion of their skin, “a pale complexion”, “of a yellowish hue”, “pretty black”, and “smooth-faced complexion”. Any scars or other characteristics that can visibly seen, such as “much Pock-fretten”, “Lips are remarkably red”, “has a wide-mouth”, “scar on top of his head”, and “limps with her right leg” are among a few given. These physical limitations were not given out of concern for the runaways health, merely to offer visible clues that could lead to their capture. Several of the slave advertisements also mention if they speak English or not....

Find Another Essay On Runaway Slave Advertisements

The River Flows On: Black Resistance, Culture, and Identity Formation in Early America

1146 words - 5 pages concluding chapters. Artefacts discovered at graveyard sites and examples of metalwork are just two types of primary source that Rucker examines in order to demonstrate the existence of African cultural influences in certain areas. Although occasionally Rucker uses somewhat traditional source material to illustrate his point, such as runaway advertisements and newspapers, his use of electronic databases, including the Du Bois Institute database and

Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad in Massachusetts

2542 words - 10 pages February of 1793. The act entailed that "aiding runaway slaves became a federal offense" and "[a]nyone who harbored an escaped slave or prevented his or her arrest could be fined $500," a considerable sum of money for the time period. In 1850 the fine increased to $1000, a staggering number for almost any American caught harboring slaves.3 Although various abolitionist societies had existed since 1794, they met irregularly in convention and most

Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox by Edmund Morgan

2220 words - 9 pages their mistakes such as whipping, or other torturous methods. The runaway slave advertisements state the things that the slave took or had stolen, the slave ran away with the items and the people who find the slave would receive a reward for capturing the slave or giving the whereabouts . The African American Slaves were looking for safety where they could live without being criticized or told to work long hours, the slaves were looking for

Human Trafficking is Becoming One of the Largest Criminal Enterprises in the US

1920 words - 8 pages reasons; mostly because the victims are cheap. A lot of minors are kidnapped, picked up on the streets as a run away, sold cheap by another trafficker or believe they are taking a legitimate job, and these traffickers use force and physical assault on the victims, much like slave owners used to do with their slaves. After years of slavery, the thirteenth amendment was passed which abolished slavery. The biggest legal issue within human trafficking

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages Every family has a unique background that influences the way they live and interact with other people. My parents, who emigrated from Ireland to the States with my three brothers in 1989, brought over their own Celtic folklore and traditions that have helped shaped the way our family operates and lives. One aspect of folklore that has helped shape my family dynamic is the Celtic cross—both its background and what role it has played in our lives

Julia Margaret Cameron

1406 words - 6 pages At a time when women were looked upon as being homemakers, wives, mothers and such the late 1850's presented a change in pace for one woman in specific. Photography was discovered in 1826 and soon after the phenomenon of photography was being experimented with and in turn brought new and different ways of photo taking not only as documenting real time, but also conceptualizing a scene in which an image would be taken. Julia Margaret Cameron will

Similar Essays

Run Away Slave Search Essay

913 words - 4 pages . Slaves would runaway to any location to free themselves from horrible conditions or to be reconnected with family, risking violent punishment or death. Because having a human labor force was unavoidable, having a slave runaway from their master’s property hurt the production of the owner, making slaves expensive and valuable. Harrison and Newgent’s advertisement for these run away slaves are two of thousands that were documented in newspapers

Runaway Slaves: Rebels On A Plantation

1985 words - 8 pages difficult time of managing slaves on the plantations. According to Franklin, slaves were very resistant to slavery and bondage, and some slaves would not stop trying to runaway despite the consequences. Franklin states, “The tensions, conflicts, and often violent confrontations between master and servant, or overseer and slave, have received less attention.”(2) White southerners refused to admit that slaves could not be broken. Slave owners seemed to

How Did The American Revolution Affect Slaves And Women?

941 words - 4 pages war to even the aftermath resulted in a massive increase in runaway slaves there was evidence that showed a jump in runaway slave advertisements printed in colonial newspapers. In Philadelphia seven runaway slave ads were printed annually in local newspapers prior to 1750. And that figure “exploded to 102 annually during and immediately after the Revolution.” By 1790, almost 10% of the blacks in America were free (American Revolution Impact). In

Slavery In The United States Essay

3725 words - 15 pages disruptions that resulted from the war,and they were able to escape from their masters.During this time,the slaves had the least to lose and the most to gain,hence when the war broke out between the Imperial Britain and the American colonies,the slaves seized the opportunities to redeem themselves.The revolution era was therefore characterized by a massive increase in runaway slaves,and the slave owners resorted to putting up advertisements in colonial