Runaway Slaves in Britain: bondage, freedom and race in the eighteenth century


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The purpose of this website and database is not to replicate the objectification of African Americans, South Asians and Indigenous Americans who were brought to eighteenth-century Britain as the enslaved property of white British men and women. Instead we hope that the advertisements collected here will allow readers to explore and understand the people identified in these advertisements as historical subjects in their own right, as individuals who challenged their status and condition. We present the advertisements not with the intention of reproducing the violent circumstances of enslavement, but rather to delegitimise it by enabling readers to recognise the humanity of the individuals whose lives are hidden within a few lines of faded newspaper print.

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'London', Caledonian Mercury,
8th June 1768
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