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"Nelly" Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



From the Cumberland, Maryland Advocate, run-away slave notice, January 11, 1832

"Nelly, about 22 years old, heavy made - rather homely and has a pouched mouth and roughed skin; she is in a forward state of pregnancy; her dress was of plaid linsey, new shoes, and other clothing not recollected. Ran away with black man named Ben. They had between them a white homade blanket nearly new and each two new printed yellow cotton handkerchiefs not hemmed. $100 if caught in Pennsylvania, $50 if in Maryland and $30 in Virginia. All reasonable expenses paid if delivered or secured so that I get them again."

Prior to the Civil War, Maryland had a law which stated that if a freed black came into slave territory from elsewhere he could be fined $20. A second offense warranted a fine of $500. If the fine could not be paid, the person could be auctioned off as a slave to raise the money. The Maryland Advocate, printed in Cumberland in the late 1820's and 1830's often listed runaway slave notices. The Alleganian newspaper, well into the late 1840's, also printed notices of rewards for runaway slaves, editorials blasting abolitionists, and advertisements for public sales of "Land and Negroes".


Text - Albert Feldstein, image - Maryland Advocate.

The slave notices appear in the back of the Advocate in a section called "The Allegany Advertiser" which featured all types of ads for things to buy and sell. The Maryland Advocate, Cumberland, Maryland January 11, 1832.


Collection Location:
Allegany County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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