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‘The Law Will be Put in Force’
Native Born Mulatto Man Wanted

Delaware Gazette and State Journal – Wilmington, Delaware, Thursday, February 9, 1815

Charles Hamilton


RAN away from the subscriber, a mulatto man, named Charles Hamilton, about five feet 10 inches high, a very good looking fellow, black eyes, and about 22 years of age born in the State of Delaware. [1]

He is supposed to be shipped on board of the Mary Ross, at New Castle – All masters of vessels and other persons are warned from harboring said mulatto, as the law will be put in force against them if they harbor him. [2]

The above reward will be given to any person who will return him to the subscriber in Philadelphia, or John Janvier, New Castle, [3] or confine him in New Castle Jail.

Capt. Joseph Robinson.


1. This indicates that Delaware was a slave state in 1815 and is also of importance as it demonstrates that the only legal chattel in America after 1804 was native born! For the U.S. Constitution forbade the shipment of such people into the country as of 1804. America had truly become a people farm rather than a convict labor colony.

2. This is evidence that free, mixed-race men were employed as sailors. Charles also has a full name and is not known as “Negro” Charles, for he is recognized as half-white.

3. For over 100 years New Castle had stood as the center of white human trafficking in English North America, with as few as 50 negroes held in bondage at any given time, but typically shipping in 2-5,000 white slaves per year. Even after the ban on human trafficking, it seems to have remained a center for the sale of native born Americans.

[Submitted to by Mary Kay Krogman]

Stillbirth of a Nation: Caucasian Slavery in Plantation America: Part One

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