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The Slave Experience: Responses to Enslavement
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Original Documents Responses to Enslavement

Reward announcement for capture of runaways
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Ephemera Collection
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Photo of a reward announcement for capture of runawys
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Document Description
Countless numbers of slaves were determined to escape bondage by running away in search of freedom. Reports of runaway families like this one are more rare than instances of single runaways. In any case, however, fugitive slaves faced tremendous obstacles, among them resolute owners willing to offer substantial rewards for their slaves' return.


RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the night of Thursday, the 30th of September.

To-wit: one Negro man, his wife, and three children.

The man is a black negro, full height, very erect, his face a little thin. He is about forty years of age, and calls himself Washington Reed, and is known by the name of Washington. He is probably well dressed, possibly takes with him an ivory headed cane, and is of good address. Several of his teeth are gone.

Mary, his wife, is about thirty years of age, a bright mulatto woman, and quite stout and strong. The oldest of the children is a boy, of the name of FIELDING, twelve years of age, a dark mulatto, with heavy eyelids. He probably wore a new cloth cap.

MATILDA, the second child, is a girl, six years of age, rather a dark mulatto, but a bright and smart looking child.

MALCOLM, the youngest, is a boy, four years old, a lighter mulatto than the last, and about equally as bright. He probably also wore a cloth cap. If examined, he will be found to have a swelling at the navel.

Washington and Mary have lived at or near St. Louis, with the subscriber, for about 15 years. It is supposed that they are making their way to Chicago, and that a white man accompanies them, that they will travel chiefly at night, and most probably in a covered wagon.

A reward of $150 will be paid for their apprehension, so that I can get them, if taken with one hundred miles of St. Louis, and $200 if taken beyond that, and secured so that I can get them, and other reasonable additional charges, if delivered to the subscriber, or to THOMAS ALLEN, Esq., at St. Louis Mo. The above negroes, for the last few years, have been in possession of Thomas Allen, Esq., of St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 1, 1847.

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