Author: Virginia Gazette


“Ran away from the subscriber” (April 13, 1769)

In this advertisement, published in the Virginia Gazette April 13, 1769, John Mayo seeks Tom, an enslaved man who Mayo claims self-emancipated into the Great Dismal Swamp. This is just one of the many newspaper advertisements that appeared in the late 1760s searching for enslaved people who had self-emancipated into the Great Dismal Swap, engaging in petit marronage. This is the second advertisement that Mayo placed for Tom’s return.


Runaway Advertisement (January 28, 1768)

This advertisement, dated January 28, 1768, in the Virginia Gazette, recounts the details of Tom, an enslaved man who emancipated himself by fleeing his enslaver William Meredith. While the intention of the advertisement was to help capture Meredith’s property, it also shows that enslaved laborers made use of access to potential routes to freedom that were offered by working on the water. The Virginia Gazette was the official newspaper of Virginia, printed in Williamsburg from 1736 until 1780.


Excerpt from the Virginia Gazette (December 14, 1769)

In this article from its December 14, 1769, issue, the Virginia Gazette describes women‘s efforts to protest taxes on goods imported from England by not wearing clothing that was either imported or made of imported materials.