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‘So That Their Master May Get Them’
A Negro Fellow and a White Boy on the Run

Orange County, May 16th 1788 [Poughkeepsie Journal (Poughkeepsie, New York); 10 Jun 1788, Tue]

Ten Dollars Reward

Run away from the subscriber living in Orange County near Goshen, on the 13th instant, a likely NEGRO Fellow named PRIME, about 18 years of age, thick set, about 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high;

had on when he went away a brown homespun short coat, and homespun under jacket something patched, Tow Trowsers, but might have changed his clothing, as he took others with him; blue yarn stockings, very old shoes and new felt hat. Also went off the same time, an Apprentice boy, named

NATHANIEL ROCKWILL, about 15 years old, small of his age, of a fair complexion—- had on an half worn short light brown homespun coat, an old jacket of the same colour.

Has taken with him both linen and woolen shirts, both of which he has worn at the same time - brown tow cloth Trowsers, half worn shoes and a new felt hat.

Whoever takes up the said run aways, so that their master may get them again, shall have the above reward for both, or the same for the Negro only [1]—and a reasonable charges paid by David Hawkins.


1. Throughout the Plantation Era Negroes were always valued more highly than whites as slaves, primarily because of the high importation cost, which did much to encourage the policy of lifetime enslavement under the same master, whereas the cheaper white slaves were continually castoff and replaced by younger chattel. Keep in mind, that in a total slave society, the slave is better off than the free poor, who have to feed and house themselves from wages earned in competition with slave labor, while at the same time being legally bound to act as unpaid slave catchers for the people . Any person who stood by and did nothing to stop an escaping slave was theoretically guilty of treason, for which some men stood trial.

A Bright Shining Lie at Dusk

A Partial Exhumation of the American Dream

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