The Texas Runaway Slave Project (TRSP) is a database of runaway slave advertisements, articles and notices from newspapers published in Texas. The project has so far documented the names of over 400 individual runaway slaves.  more

ABOUT

The Texas Runaway Slave Project (TRSP)

East Texas Research Center

Stephen F. Austin State University



Contact


Kyle Ainsworth

Project Manager

ainswortk@sfasu.edu


Dillon Wackerman

Content Manager

wackermad@sfasu.edu



Project Information


Issues Reviewed

Methodology



Research Tools and Links


Chronicling America

Documenting Runaway Slaves

Geography of Slavery in Virginia

Marronnage in Saint-Dominique

North Carolina Advertisements

The Portal to Texas History

Texas Digital Newspaper Program

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database






Summer 2014 Project - Funded by the Summerlee Foundation


Researchers: Darah Vann, Joanna Lovejoy,

Mark Musquiz, Michael Smith,

Nydia Hernandez, Patricio DeJesus



CONTENT


Advertisements

When slaves ran away from their owners, many masters placed ads in local and regional newspapers seeking help to return their absconded property back into servitude. These advertisements were often highly detailed, giving descriptions of the runaway’s intellectual and physical characteristics, material possessions, and likely travel plans. Often, the slave-owners posted a reward for the capture of runaways as an incentive for their return.

See Advertisements

Articles

Newspaper stories about runaway slaves reminded Texans about the real threat free slaves posed to their slave society worldview. Runaways undermined the established order, and if left unchecked, it was supposed, might stir general or wider slave revolt. While the articles are not generally about individuals like the advertisements and notices, they provide helpful context on the subject.

See Articles

Notices

“By an act of the last Legislature, the Sheriff is required, as early as possible after the commitment of a runaway slave to jail, to advertise said slave in some newspaper … for the space of six months; and if, by the end of that time, no owner appears and proves away such slave, then the Sheriff shall take the slave to the Penitentiary, where he shall be kept at hard labor … for life, unless sooner proved away by the agent or owner.” The Bellville Countryman, 5/8/1861.

See Notices

BROWSE

By Name

By Newspaper

By Date

Metadata Fields and Values


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