Runaway Advertisements Case #1 Virginia Research Paper

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However, the as does not mention any scars so the mutilation of her left hand could have been the result of an accident instead of intentional infliction of pain. Finally, since she was of mix blood, the ad mentioned that she may try to pass herself as a free woman, and therefore, she must have had many white features. Since she may have tried to get to friends for help, it can be assumed that escaping from slavery was a very difficult endeavor without aid from others.

Case #4 Virginia Gazette (Rind), Williamsburg, August 8, 1771

It was on April 1st 1771 that a slave named Jenny ran away from her master Edmund Bacon. Five months later Mr. Bacon took out an ad in the paper announcing that he would pay for her return. She was 23 years old, 5 feet 4 or 5 inches tall, and had at least one scar on her cheek which was described as "to have been occasioned by the stroke of a whip." There was no information pertaining to her clothing except that she had been seen in Williamsburg disguised as a man. The advertisement mentioned that she had been owned by two other men before coming to Edmund Bacon: James Anderson and Robert Hyland, so it may be assumed that Mr. Bacon considered her returning to her former masters a possibility. It may also be assumed that since she may return to these former masters, she may not have been physically abused by them and that the physical abuse by Mr. Bacon may have been what drove her to run away.

The ad also stated that beside paying money to those who would return her, Mr. Bacon warned anyone who might try to harbor, aid, or transport her out of the colony that he will prosecute anyone who tried.
From this information it can be concluded that there were laws in place to punish anyone who tried to help slaves escape from their captivity.

Case #5 Virginia Gazette (Purdie) Williamsburg, August 21, 1778

Of the many reasons a slave may wish to run away, being split apart from family and loved ones was one of the most heart-wrenching reasons. Children were sold away from their parents, husbands from their wives, and it is reasonable to conclude that this caused a great deal of resentment among the victims. One such case in 1778 seems to be an example of just such cruelty and involved a 35-year-old runaway black slave woman named Nanny. She was described as middle-sized and well-shaped, and was last seen wearing a blue plains waistcoat and petticoat. On the first of July 1778, after being sold to a Mr. William Finnie, and in the act of being transported to her new owner, she jumped from the wagon and ran away.

The ad told that Nanny had a husband at Dixon and Hunter's printing office, and it appeared as if she went there after fleeing from her new owner. It is obvious that being split apart from her husband was what forced Nanny to take such dramatic steps, as there was no mention of any previous escape attempts. And since the ad stated that she was seen there in the time after her escape, she must have not wanted to be separated from her husband. Unfortunately her need to stay close to her husband probably doomed her effort to escape as there were many professional runaway slave catchers and in order to remain free, a runaway had to keep one step ahead of these men. Although there were no records of her….....

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