Runaway Slave Ads

Baltimore County, Maryland

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Baltimore Sun on January 6, 1853 ~:

FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD - Ran away from the subscribers, living in Baltimore county, near Kingsville, on the Belair road, on Tuesday night, 28th Dec’r 1852, Negroes BASIL WHITE and JOSHUA ANDERSON. Basil is a stout, heavy set fellow, about 24 years old, and about 5 feet 6 inches high, is very black with full eyes of rather a yellowish (can’t make the word out); has a full suit of hair, wears it sometime platted and at other times combed out; has his ears pierced for rings; has a small scar on one hand from a (can’t make the word out). Had on when he went away a blue monket coat, coarse gray pants, a slouch hat and coarse boots. Joshua is also black, and about the same height at Basil, of rather slender make, and has a peculiar formed head, prodruding back and front more than ordinary; about 18 years of age, and has rather a down look when spoken to. Had on when he left home a full suit of homemade gray clothes, with heavy coarse boots. The above reward will be given if taken out of the State, or $100 a piece if taken in the State, and secured in jail so we get them again.



(There is one other line referring to an address, Baltimore Post Office, that I cannot make out). Well, I’m curious again about a piece of clothing described in this runaway posting. What is a Blue Monkey Coat! Thanks for any explanation.

On the earlier posting of the runaway slave, JOSHUA ANDERSON (Real name Joshua John Anderson), the following article appeared in “Canada” by William Still (Page 492-3):

JOSHUA JOHN ANDERSON fled from a farmer who was said to be a poor man, by the name of Skelton Price, residing in Baltimore county, near a little village called Alexandria, on the Harford county turn-pike road. Price, not able to own a farm and slaves too, rented one, and was trying to “get up in the world.” Price had a wife and family, but in the way of treatment, Joshua did not say anything very hard against him. As his excuse for leaving them, he said, soolly, that he had made up his mind that he could get along better in freedom than he could in slavery, and that no man had a right to his labor without paying him for it. He left his mother and also three brothers and two sisters owned by Price. Joshua was about twenty-two years of age, of a coarse make, and a dark hue; he had evidently held but little intercourse with any class, save such as he found in the corn-field and barn-yard.

Baltimore Sun on January 26, 1853 ~:

ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD - Ran away from the subscriber on the Washington Road, a negro man, by the name of ALEXANDER HARDING, called Sandy. He had on when he went away, a gray suit of cloth, and had a fiddle with him. He is cross eyed. The above reward will be given if taken in the State and $150 if taken in another State and secured in a jail of this State.

First Toll-Gate Washington Road

Baltimore Sun on April 1, 1853 ~:

ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD - Ran away from Hampton Farm, on Thursday, 24th instant, a light colored negro, called HENRY JONES, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches in height, and about 25 years of age, with very thick lips and lean face. The above reward will be paid on the apprehension and delivery of the said negro, or upon his being lodged in jail so that I can get him.

C. RIDGELY, of Hampton

Note: As I noted previously, slaves that ran away from the “Hampton Farm”, is now a historic site maintained by the National Park Service. Persons who think they may have ancestors from the area the now called “Hampton Mansion” should contact the NPS. They have an records of slaves from the area (and there were quite a few). The area being the Towson, MD area which is located about 10 miles North of Baltimore City. NPS is involved in a process of tracing the descendants of former Hampton slaves. If any one have an inkling to check, e-mail me, and I’ll provide you with an appropriate telephone number.

Baltimore Sun on September 2, 1853 ~:

RAN AWAY ON TUESDAY, Aug 18, an indentured Yellow GIRL, named Sarah Gilbert, aged 14 years; a scar on her neck, and very much freckled. Had on when she left a red dress, bare headed and bare footed. This is to forbit all persons harboring or trusting said Girl on my account. Whoever will give information or return her to the subscriber’s residence at White Hall Factory, Balto. co will receive a liberal reward.


Baltimore Sun on September 16, 1853 ~:

RAN AWAY from the subscriber on the 13th inst., a negro man named GUS, aged about 36 years, a light copper color, about five feet six or seven inches high; had on a tweed coat, a black felt had; had a handkerchief about his head. A reward of TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS will be given for his apprehension, and lodgment in jail that I may get him.

9 miles on the Philadelphia Road

Baltimore Sun on October 3, 1853 ~:

RAN AWAY from the subscriber, at Woodlawn, near Elkridge Landing, Colored Girl BELLE 19 years old, about 5 feet 4 inches in height, rather light complexion, and of smiling address. She went in Baltimore in the afternoon train of cars from Washington, Wednesday, 28th inst, and is supposed to be still in the city. I will give $50 for her recover if taken in the city, $160 in the State, and $160 if taken in a free State and secured in jail so that I get her again.

37 Cheapside, Baltimore
St. Denis P.O., Baltimore Co, Sept. 29

Note: I hope someone from Afrigeneas can use this information.

Love the address: 37 CHEAPSIDE. Wonder if that had any significance--maybe the people who lived there didn’t have much money or it didn’t cost that much to buy property there. Really interesting name. I also wonder if this is HIS daughter--his saying “rather” light complexion. Maybe she was light enough to pass

Ethel Craven-Sweet at

Hi Ethel,

You and I were on the same wavelength - I, too, thought there was a little more to that article than the was actually saying. I would be willing to bet that Belle was sometone special to John Woodside; could be his daughter, or it could have been his lover. St. Denis is only about 7 miles from where I live in Catonsville, MD. It is situated right on the railroad tracks, and appears to be a “not too cheap” neighborhood to live in, but God knows what the area was like in 1853!

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