In “A Caution to All Travellers to Philadelphia,” published in the Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser on March 30, 1786, Philip Dalby, of Alexandria, complains that Quakers have sued for his slave’s freedom.
In “A Dastardly Crime,” published on July 14, 1898, the Staunton Spectator and Vindicator reports on the recent lynching in Charlottesville of John Henry James, an African American man accused of assaulting a white woman.
In “A Proclamation by the President of the United States,” dated February 18, 1851, President Millard Fillmore and Secretary of State Daniel Webster condemn the escape from federal custody of Shadrach Minkins, a slave from Norfolk who had escaped to Boston, Massachusetts, the previous year.
In “A Slave of George Washington!,” published in William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper the Liberator on January 1, 1847, Benjamin Chase interviews Oney Judge, who ran away from the household of President George Washington in 1796.
In this excerpt from the diary he kept for more than twenty-five years, Landon Carter notes that several of his slaves have run away following a proclamation by the royal governor, John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, promising freedom to slaves who joined British forces during the American Revolution (1775–1783). Carter repeatedly voices his dislike for Patrick Henry and his belief that he (Carter), and not Henry, had taken the lead in opposing the Stamp Act (1765). Finally, he gives evidence of strained relations at home with his son and wife, and brags of his abilities as a physician.
In this short article from the September 26, 1842, edition of the New York Spectator, disapproving editors reprint news from an abolitionist newspaper in New York describing the aid of fugitive slaves. This marks one of the earliest appearances in print of the phrase “underground railroad.”
In this account, dated November 14, 1788, and published in the January 1789 issue of American Museum, or Universal Magazine, Dr. Benjamin Rush describes the life and mathematical feats of Thomas Fuller, an enslaved man living near Alexandria.