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Five Cents of Chattel
'Indentured, Black Boy’ in 1830

Delaware Gazette and State Journal – Wilmington, Delaware, Friday January 29, 1830

Abraham W. Brown

5 Cents Reward

RANAWAY from the Subscriber, living in New Castle hundred, near the Red Lion Hotel, on Monday the 4th of January 1830, an indented black boy, [1] named ABRAHAM W. BROWN, goes by the name of Abe.

Had on when he went away a new drab cloth roundabout, drab trowsers, white yarn stockings, coarse lace boots and a new wool hat; took with him two domestic muslin shirts, and one drab bumbazette coatee. [2]

Said Boy is between the ages of 19 and 20. All persons are forbid harboring him at their peril. [3]

John D. Turner

January 19-4t


1. Clear proof that dispels the myth that all unfree blacks were slaves for life and that indenture “contracts” were a form of white privilege.

2. a thin plain or twill-woven worsted cloth with smooth finish used for dresses and coats

3. This is what finally brought slavery to an end, the fact that in a free range slave society every single person is enslaved, as all are liable to be called upon to capture the runaway [which now brings almost no reward] and are also at risk for felony prosecution for harboring a fugitive. There were charges of treason brought against upstanding citizens who merely declined to fight on the side of slave catchers.

[Submitted to by Mary Kay Krogman] Return to top of page

So Her Master May Have Her Again

A History of Runaway White Slaves in Plantation America: Part Two

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