Savannah Georgia Gazette, November 16, 1774
RUN AWAY from the subscriber, A NEGROE MAN, named Ishmael, well known in Savannah as a jobbing carpenter; he has been seen frequently of late about the wharves, and working on board vessels, particularly at Yamacraw, notwithstanding he has no ticket from me, or any other license authorizing him to work out. Twenty shillings reward will be paid to any person who will deliver him to me.
Savannah Gazette of the State of Georgia, February 28, 1788
And the beginning of last week, a fellow, named Sampson, very tall and slim made, about 30 years old; his wife, named Marian, a stout wench; both of the Coromantee country, and speak well enough to be understood; they took with them their child, about two years old.
Dublin, February 25, 1788.
Savannah Georgia Gazette, December 14, 1774
RAN AWAY from Tivoli, the subscriber’s plantation, near (?) in St. Philip’s parish, on Sunday, the 4th inst. the following NEGROES: Solon, a fellow about 5 feet 6 inches high, about 28 years old, much marked by the smallpox, and had a brass ring in his left ear: Romulus, a very likely fellow, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, and about (?) years old: Hercules, a fellow 6 feet 2 or 3 inches high, about 26 years (?) with remarkably prominent cheek bones. The two first were of the Sierraleon Country. They took with them four Bristol duffil blankets and had on blue negroe cloth waistcoats, robins, and trowsers, and oznabrigs shirts. Two dollars reward will be given for each, delivered at the above plantation, or to the Warden of the Work House in Savannah.
J. B. COLCOCK.
Savannah Georgia Gazette, July 13, 1774
RUN AWAY from the subscriber, A NEGROE WENCH, named FLORA, very well known in Savannah, has a scar of an old burn on her left arm; and likewise one on her temple, and a scar of a whip on her right arm; she is supposed be harboured under the Bluff by sailors, as she has been frequently seen about the wharves and shipping: These are therefore to forewarn all Masters of vessels from harbouring or carrying off the said Negroe, as they may depend upon being prosecuted to the utmost rigour of the law. . . .
Savannah Georgia Gazette, April 19, 1775
RUN AWAY from the subscriber, A VERY LIKELY NEW NEGROE FELLOW, named CATO, of the Fulla Country, and of a very black complexion; he is about six feet high and twenty six years of age; he carried away with him a blanket, a pair of white negroe cloth breeches, and a red woolen shirt; his head is shaved in the form of a cross. Any person delivering the said Negroe to me at my plantation, or to the Warden of the Work-House, shall receive ten shillings sterling reward, with all reasonable charges.
Island of Hope, April 3, 1775
Savannah Georgia Gazette, April 26, 1775
RUN AWAY from the subscriber at Little Ogechee, A NEGROE FELLOW named QUACO, about five feet eight inches high, speaks good English, a carpenter by trade, had on when he went away a blue negroe cloth jacket and trowsers, and oznabrig shirt. This is to forewarn all persons from harboring said fellow, as they will be prosecuted as the law directs. Whoever will deliver said fellow, to the subscriber, or to the Warden of the Work-House, shall receive a reward of twenty shillings, besides all reasonable charges.
These advertisements for runaway enslaved persons
appeared in the GEORGIA GAZETTE. Running away began as soon as slavery
was initiated and continued until it was abolished. These ads reveal important
information about enslaved people during Georgia's early years.
We note that Ishmael had a skill, as he is identified as a jobbing carpenter. He, it states, had no ticket or any other license authorizing him to work out. Enslaved persons in Savannah frequently had arrangements with their "owners" whereby they would hire themselves out and give their "owners" a certain amount of what they earned. Ishmael, however, apparently had no such arrangement or any license authorizing him to work out.
In the ad of December 14, 1774, we learn that Solon had had SMALLPOX, a common disease of the period. Also, that he had a brass ring in his left ear. Romulus, "a very likely fellow," and Solon were from Sierraleon (Sierra Leone). Research has revealed the West African nation of Sierra Leone as the home of Coastal Georgia and South Carolina's Gullah people. Some may recall the film HANDS ACROSS THE SEA. Enslaved people often wore distinctive clothing. Here we note "blue negroe cloth waistcoats (a type of vest).
From the GEORGIA GAZETTE of April 19, 1775, we
learn that Cato is from the Fulla Country (West Africa) and that his head
is shaved in the form of cross. Was Cato a Christian? Or did the cross
in this instance have another meaning, as this symbol did in some African
Cato also wore "negroe cloth breeches" in this instance white pants and a red woolen shirt. Since he had "a very black complexion" and was 6' tall, he would have found it difficult to escape notice, wouldn't you think?
Quaco, from the GEORGIA GAZETTE of April 26, 1775,
speaks "good English" and was probably born in this country or might have
been brought here from the English speaking West Indies. He, too, is "a
carpenter by trade." People with skills such as Quaco, as free persons,
would have been among the "black elite" during the entire antebellum period.
Continue with the Exhibit: Free Blacks in Savannah
Return to the Exhibit Home Page
Return to the King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation Home Page