Runaway Slaves of the Eastern Shore

The Virginia Center for Digital History of the University of Virginia promotes the teaching and learning of history. The web site is located at http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/ is well worth the time exploring, and we encourage you to visit. 

The VCDH project on the geography of slavery displays transcriptions and images of ads for runaway slaves in Virginia papers from 1736 to 1790, as well as an assortment of additional documents. The project is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. You can search the ads from http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/gos/explore.html.

Click on the link to search for ads related to Northampton County, Virginia  (16 records). 

For Accomack County, Virginia, use the links below. Additional searches may commence from the VCDH page at http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/gos/search/search.php

Accomack County, Accomack, VA (25 records, plus additional documents)

Canal, The, Accomack, VA  (1 record)

Onancock, Accomack, VA (1 record)

Pungoteague, Accomack, VA  (3 records)   

Below on this page, we have assembled a sample of ads for Eastern Shore runaway slaves.  Also accessible from  http://people.uvawise.edu/runaways//
A VCDH Project, part of Virtual Jamestown

Virginia Gazette or, Norfolk Intelligencer
(Duncan), Norfolk, 
July 21, 1775. 
NORTHAMPTON County, Eastern shore, July 3, 1775. FIVE POUNDS REWARD. RUN away from the subscriber, living in Northampton County, on Sunday the 25th of June, a negro lad named LADUS, a down looking fellow about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high: Had on an oznabrig shirt and trowsers, a pair of claret coloured knit breeches and a fine hat much worn. 'Tis imagined he went off in a canoe (25 feet long and fresh tarred) with a Negro belonging to Mr. John Blair named SOLOMON; a large stout fellow, about 5 feet 11 inches high, Whoever takes up said fellow and secures him so that the subscriber may get him again shall receive if take in the colony FORTY SHILLINGS, and if out of the colony the above reward. 
GEORGE DEWEY. * * All masters of vessels and others are forbid carrying him off at * their peril. 

Virginia Gazette
(Hunter), Williamsburg, 
October 31, 1751. 
Northampton County, October 28. 1751. RAN away from York Town about the 1st of last Month, a Virginia-born Negroe Slave named Tom, belonging to the Subscriber; he is about 28 Years of Age, near 6 feet high, and has had the Small-pox: It is suppos'd that he took with him a black Mare, near York Town, and is gone either to Goochland County after his Wife, who was lately purchased and carried to the said County by John Carlisle Merchant, residing there, or towards North-Carolina. He took with him a Pair of blue Cloth Breeches, a black Cloth Vest, two close-bodied Cloth Coats, one of them of an Orange Colour, a dark colour's great Coat with Brass Buttons, Worsted Stockings, and English Shoes pretty much worn, a fine Castor [?] Hat Rat-eaten at the Brim, and other Cloaths; also several fine and coarse Shirts. Whoever apprehends and brings him to Mr. Gibbons, at York, shall have Five Pistoles if taken in Virginia, and Ten Pistoles Reward if taken out of Virginia, besides what the Law allows, paid by 
Griffin Stith. 

Virginia Gazette
(Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, 
January 2, 1772. 
RUN away from the Subscriber, in Northampton, about the 27th of November last, a Negro Fellow named JACOB, about twenty four Years of Age, middle sized, very black, and smooth faced, with little or no Beard, has a Stoppage in his Speech, and if strictly examined, or suddenly asked a Question, cannot directly give an Answer. He is supposed to be carried across the Bay by a certain Person who frequently passes and repasses from the eastern Shore to Norfolk and Portsmouth. Whoever secures him so that he may be restored to me shall have FIVE POUNDS for his Trouble, and all reasonable Expenses allowed, if he is taken on the western Shore, I will give TWENTY PISTOLES on Conviction of the Person who took him away. 
JOHN STRATTON. 

Virginia Gazette
(Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, 
January 23, 1772. 
NORTHAMPTON, January 15, 1772. RUN away, or STOLEN, from the Subscriber, a Negro Fellow named JACK, about five Feet seven or eight Inches high. I am afraid a certain Peter Goffigon, formerly a Skipper from this Shore, but lately served on Board a Man of War's Tender, may have carried him to the Western Shore; the following are my Reasons for suspecting him: My Slaves inform me he has been endeavouring to persuade them to go with him and he will free them; that the said Fellow went off with him; that he requested them to advise him how to rob me, and even told them he would make away with me if they should be detected. Add to this, that on my detecting him in a Matter where he was about to defraud me, he vowed he was determined to have Satisfaction. As I have these Reasons to suspect him, and lost another Negro Fellow some Time ago, whom I imagine he has also inveigled away, I do hereby caution the Publick to be aware of buying any Slaves of this Man; and I do hereby promise !
to repay the Purchase Money to any Person who shall convict him of selling this, or any other Slave he may have carried away clandestinely. I will give TEN POUNDS Reward for apprehending JACK, and the like Sum for the other, whose Name is JACOB, or upon their being secured in such a Manner as to enable me to get them again. And I do also promise to pay a Reward of FIFTY PISTOLES if the Fellow is convicted of stealing either of them. 
JOHN STRATTON. 

Virginia Gazette
(Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, 
May 13, 1773. 
NORTHAMPTON, May 8, 1773. RUN away from the Subscriber's Plantation in Brunswick, last December, two Negro Men, DAVID and SAM, about twenty five Years of Age, of the middle Stature, and had on Cotton Clothes, new Felt Hats, Osnabrug Shirts, &c. David is likely, strong, and full faced; Sam is thin visaged, with a wide Mouth, and a higher Nose than common. They were carried from York, where they had Wives; but as no Advice can be had of their returning thither, I suppose they have taken some other Course, and perhaps may depart the Country. All Masters of Vessels are hereby forewarned from carrying them away. Whoever conveys them to me shall have FIFTY SHILLINGS Reward for each, and if taken out of the Country FIVE POUNDS besides the Allowance by Law. 
GRIFFIN STITH. 

Virginia Gazette
(Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, 
May 13, 1773. 
RUN away from the Subscriber, about the first of April last, a Negro Man named ISAAC, the property of Mrs. Catharine Justice. He has been used to go by Water, and probably may endeavour to pass for a Freeman. He is of a yellow Complexion, about twenty five Years old, well made, of the middle Stature, and his Hair is intermixed with Wool. I will give a Reward of TWENTY SHILLINGS if he is taken upon the Eastern Shore, and FORTY SHILLINGS if in any other Part, besides all reasonable Charges for conveying him to me, in Northampton. 
JOHN HARMANSON. 

Virginia Gazette
(Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, 
February 3, 1774. 
COMMITTED to the Jail of Middlesex, a Mulatto Man Slave, who says he belongs to Mr. John Bowdoin of Northampton; he is about 29 Years of Age, and five Feet six Inches high. The Owner is desired to take him away, and pay Charges. 
ELIZABETH DANIEL, Jailer.

Virginia Gazette
(Rind), Williamsburg, 
January 13, 1774. 
COMMITTED to the gaol of Prince George two Negro men, one of whom calls himself DAVY; he appears to be about 25 years of age, is about 5 feet 7 inches and a half high, and had on a broadcloth coat, red waistcoat, duffil breeches, cotton gambadoes, shoes and stockings, and a hat. The other calls himself SAM; he appears to be about 20 years of age, is about 5 feet 3 inches and a half high, and has on an old blue Newmarket coat, cotton waistcoat and breeches, a red under waistcoat, shoes and stockings, and a striped Holland shirt. They say they belong to Griffin Stith, in Northampton. The owner is desired to take them away, and pay charges to 
HENRY BATTE. 

Virginia Gazette
(Dixon & Hunter), Williamsburg, 
March 14, 1777. 
TEN DOLLARS REWARD. RUN away from the Subscriber, in Northampton, about the 25th of January last, a likely Virginia born, Negro named SAM, about 30 Years old, 5 Feet 4 or 5 Inches high, and pitted with the Smallpox; had on a striped Virginia Cloth Jacket and Breeches, and common Yarn Stockings and Shoes. He is supposed to be lurking about York Town, or Mr. Benjamin Waberton's Quarter, near Morton's Mill, in James City, where he has a Wife. Whoever delivers the said Slave to me, or secures him so that I get him again, shall have the above Reward. 
JOHN STRINGER.

Virginia Gazette
(Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, 
April 16, 1772. 
Twenty Pounds Reward. CARRIED off by a certain Lynde Valentine, who sailed from Pungoteague the 27th of last Month, an Apprentice named JAMES WATERS, about nineteen Years old, has been bred to the Sea, was born in Scotland, wears his own Hair, which is thin and short, he is well set, but rather under the middle Size. Also a Negro Man Slave named ISAAC, the Property of Mrs. Catherine Justice, and hired to me; he is about twenty four Years old, of a yellowish Complexion, well made, of the middle Stature, and his Hair is intermixed with Wool. This Lynde Valentine, by an Extract from the Customhouse Books, appears to be Master and Owner of the Sloop Sally, which was build in Massachusetts in 1767; she is square sterned, Burthen, according to Register, thirty Tuns, registered in Rhode Island the 19th of May, 1767, and cleared out at Port Accomack the 19th of March, 1772, for Antigua. Her Cargo is as follows, namely, two Hundred Bushels of Corn, ten Thousand five Hundred Feet of S!
cantling, seven Thousand two Hundred Hogshead Staves, one thousand Hogshead Heading, four Thousand five Hundred Hoops, and one Thousand Feet of Plank. It is supposed he will make for some Dutch or Danish Port, particularly Santa Croix, and there offer the Negro for Sale. His Sloop has a new Mainsail, which is the only new Sail she has, a patched Squaresail, Boot-topped with Lime, and a new Topmast, which is remarkably short; her Name is painted in Capital Letters on her Stern. I will give the above Reward if the Negro and Servant be properly secured, so that I may get them again, and on Conviction of the Thief; or TEN POUNDS, besides reasonable Charges, on Delivery of the Negro only. 
EDWARD KER. ACCOMACK, April 4, 1772. 

Virginia Gazette
(Rind), Williamsburg, 
April 23, 1772. 
TWENTY POUNDS REWARD. ACCOMACK, April 4, 1772. CARRIED off by a certain Lynde Valentine, who sailed from Pungoteague the 27th of last month, an apprentice named JAMES WATERS, about 19 years old, has been bred to the sea, was born in Scotland, wears his own hair, which is thin and short, he is well set, but rather under the middle size. Also a Negro man slave named ISAAC, the property of Mrs. Catharine Justice, and hired to me; he is about 24 years old, of a yellowish complexion, well made, of the middle stature, and his hair is intermixed with wool. This Lynde Valentine, by an extract from the custom house books, appears to be master and owner of the sloop Sally, which was built in Massachusetts in 1767; she is square sterned, burthen, according to register, 30 ton, registered in Rhode Island the 19th of May, 1767, and cleared out at Port Accomack the 19th of March,1772, for Antigua. Her cargo is as follows, viz. 200 bushels of corn, 10,500 feet of scantling, 7200 hogshead s!
taves, 1000 hogshead heading, 4500 hoops, and 1000 feet of plank. It is supposed he will make for some Dutch or Danish port, particularly Santa Croix, and there offer the Negro for sale. His sloop has a new mainsail, which is the only new sail she has, a patched squaresail, boot topt with lime, has a new top mast, which is remarkably short; her name is painted in capital letters on her stern. I will give the above reward on the Negro and servant being properly secured, so that I may get them again, and on conviction of the theif, or TEN POUNDS, besides reasonable charges, on delivery of the Negro only. 
EDWARD KER. 

Virginia Gazette
(Purdie), Williamsburg, 
July 7, 1775. Supplement 
COMMITTED to York jail, the 28th ult. a MULATTO LAD 5 feet 4 inches high, thin made, who says his name is Peter Weeks, and that he belongs to John Parker of Accomack county; has on an old duffil jacket, striped Virginia-cloth breeches, and an old ragged shirt.--Likewise, on the 1st of this instant (July) a BLACK LAD, 5 feet 3 inches and a quarter high, thin made, has the wool on his crown cut close, says his name is John Thompson, and that he belongs to William Hack of Accomack county; has on a new osnabrug shirt, old purple coloured breeches, and a fustian or jeans coat with metal buttons. The owners are desired to prove their properties, and pay charges to 
WILLIAM MITCHELL.

Virginia Gazette
(Parks), Williamsburg, 
>From September 9 to September 16 1737. 
WHEREAS Two Prisoners broke Gaol, and escaped from the Subscriber, High-Sheriff of Accomack County, on the 2d of this Instant September, viz. John Wyat, a West-country Man born, but pretends he lived at Piscataway, in New-England, a tall, slender Man, with Black Hair, a Mole on one side of his Face; and had on a Pea Jacket, a Seersucker Wastecoat, old Ticking Trowsers, old Shoes, and a Cap; and is suppos'd to be gone down the Bay, towards Hampton: The other, nam'd Isaac Wallner, a Wheel wright, and pretends also to be a Comb maker, is of a middle Stature, a pale Complexion, and very much pockfretten. Whoever apprehends them, or either of them, so as they may be return'd to me, shall have a Reward of Twenty Shillings for John Wyat, and Ten Shillings for Isaac Wallner, paid by 
William Beavans.

Virginia Gazette
(Hunter), Williamsburg, 
May 24, 1751. 
May 18, 1751. RAN away on the 14th Instant, from Pocomoke River, in Accomack County, Two Negroe Men, belonging to Robert King, of the said County, one named Dollar, about 21 Years old; had on when he went away, a Grey Fearnaught Wastecoat, Virginia-Cloth Breeches, Stockings, Shoes and Hat; the other a short well-set Fellow, named Greenock, about 23 Years old; had a grey Frize Coat, Breeches of the same Cloth of the other Fellow's, with Shoes, Stockings and Hat: They are Brothers. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their said Master, shall have Two Pistoles Reward for each, if taken in Virginia, and Three if in Carolina, besides what the Law allows. Also ran away from the said Place, at the same Time, and suspected to be in Company with them, a Mulatto Man and Woman, belonging to James Pettigrew, of the said County; the Fellow is about 25 Years old, has a large Scar over his right Eye, in the Shape of a half Moon he is a strong active Fellow, named James: the Wench is you!
ng, and named Tabitha. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their Master, shall have a Reward of Three Pistoles for the Fellow, and half a Pistole for the Wench, besides what the Law allows. Likewise, ran away from the said Place, at the same Time, and suspected to be in Company with them, a Mulatto Boy and a Negroe Woman, belonging to William Andrews, of the said County, the Boy is about 7 Years old, named Hamlet Robertson, the Wench is small, about 35 Years old, named Pleasant. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their Master, shall have a Reward of Two Pistoles, besides what the Law allows. They are armed with Guns, &c. and have broke open several Houses in the said County, committed Felonies, have taken a Canoe, and 'tis imagined will take the first larger Vessel they meet with, in order to cross the Bay. 
Robert King. 
James Pettigrew. 
William Andrews. 

Virginia Gazette
(Rind), Williamsburg, 
July 18, 1771. 
RAN away from the subscriber, about the 1st of June last, in Accomack county, a Negro fellow named POMPEY, he is about 23 years of age, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, well made, of a mulatto colour, wore his own hair, which is long and very curled. When he went off he had but mean clothes, but it is supposed he may get others, as he called himself a free man, and went by the name of George Johnson. He has several scars on his breast, which, I hear, he says were caused by the small-pox, but he never had the small-pox; the scars were had while working in an iron works, on Nanticoke river, in Maryland. He went over the bay to Norfolk, and designed to go on board some vessel as a sailor, having been used to sail in the bay. All masters of vessels are therefore desired to be cautious of being imposed upon by him, as he is an artful fellow. Whoever apprehends and secures him so that I get him again, shall have FORTY SHILLINGS reward, besides what the law allows, and all reasonable cha!
rges, paid by 
RICHARD DRUMMOND. 

Virginia Gazette
(Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, 
July 29, 1773. 
RUN away from the Subscriber, in Accomack, on the 26th of June last, a Negro Fellow named DANIEL, about sixteen Years of Age, of a yellowish Complexion, stoops in his Shoulders, has a down Look, one Side of his Face seems larger than the other, or is awry, and has many Scars on his Back or Breech. I suspect he will get on Board some Vessel, or make for Carolina, and forewarn all Masters of Vessels from harbouring or entertaining him. I will give a Reward of FIFTY SHILLINGS if he is taken in the Colony or FIVE POUNDS if out thereof, and pay all reasonable Charges for sending him home. 
CLEMENT PARKER. 

Virginia Gazette
(Rind), Williamsburg, 
January 13, 1774. 
COMMITTED to the galo of Prince George two Negro men, one of whom calls himself DAVY; he appears to be about 25 years of age, is about 5 feet 7 inches and a half high, and had on a broadcloth coat, red waistcoat, duffil breeches, cotton gambadoes, shoes and stockings, and a hat. The other calls himself SAM; he appears to be about 20 years of age, is about 5 feet 3 inches and a half high, and has on an old blue Newmarket coat, cotton waistcoat and breeches, a red under waistcoat, shoes and stockings, and a striped Holland shirt. They say they belong to Griffin Stith, in Northampton. The owner is desired to take them away, and pay charges to 
HENRY BATTE.

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