Unbelievable Ads For American Slaves From The 19th Century

HistoryUnbelievable Ads For American Slaves From The 19th Century
- Advertisement -

Unbelievable Ads For American Slaves From The 19th Century. From 1719 to 1781, when slave advertisements ended in The Gazette, the newspaper had 1,103 different “slaves for sale” ads with over 2,500 individuals being sold. These advertisements offer valuable insight into the slave trade in Boston, such as information on where slaves were sold in the city.

The advertisements also offer insight into the slaves themselves; their physical characteristics, gender, and age. From 1720-1781, roughly 60% of slaves sold were male, with the average age being 19.6. This shows that young males were the most sought after slaves in Boston. Descriptions of the slaves in TheGazette included simple terminology such as “able,” “strong,” “straight-limbed,” “industrious,” and “spry.” The seller’s goal was to keep the ad as unspecific as possible in order to maximize their opportunity for a quick sale. This is shown in an August 1742 ad stating “To be sold, a likely Negro Boy, about sixteen years of age.”

The final slave advertisement in The Boston Gazette appeared on December 10, 1781. Though the slave trade in Boston would never match the size of southern cities, the 77 years that slave advertisements appeared in Boston newspapers gives important insight into the history of slavery in the city.

- Advertisement -

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Must Read