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Images of Enslavement

Original Newspaper Advertisements, Dauphin and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania

thumbnail for a slave ad

From the Oracle of Dauphin,
a 1795 advertisement offering for sale
a thirty-three year-old "NEGRO WENCH."


thumbnail for a slave ad From the Oracle of Dauphin,
 in 1798, an advertisement offering for sale
 a boy of 13 years, "a Servant till twenty eight."


thumbnail for a slave ad Patrick Hayes of Londonderry Township
 offered this nineteen-year-old man for sale
 in the winter of 1799.


thumbnail for a slave ad From the Dauphin Guardian in 1805, this advertisement
 offers for sale a thirty-year-old man, "acquainted with the tanning busines,"  and a twenty-one-year-old woman "acquainted with all kinds of house-work."


thumbnail for a slave auction Upon the death of a slaveholder
 his enslaved persons were often put up for public sale, 
as in the case of these two people listed among the 
possessions of John Wilson of Swatara Township. 
This fascinating advertisement is from the 
Dauphin Guardian in 1805.


thumbnail for a slave ad Another advertisement from the
 Dauphin Guardian, this one offering for sale
 a twelve year-old child, "who has to serve until 28."


(No thumbnail) From the Oracle of Dauphin, an advertisement placed by Joshua Elder for a 22-year-old man.

Gettysburg ad for slave, 1830.

Advertisement from the Gettysburg Sentinel,
seeking to "dispose of" a "Colored Girl."
Dated 27 January, 1830--a rare late ad.


Lancaster ad for a slave, 1815 A collection of advertisements for enslaved persons from Lancaster County.



Burial Sites for Enslaved Persons

  • Paxton Presbyterian Cemetery A modern view of the gravesite of three enslaved persons from Dauphin County and one Civil War era runaway slave, all in the cemetery of Paxton Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The enslaved persons are: Dinah, a former slave of the Cowden family, George Lorrett, Lucy Lorrett (both enslaved by the Crouch family), and George Washington.
  • Hanover Cemetery A photograph and descriptive material regarding this old and distinguished Dauphin County burying ground which reportedly has more than 150 unmarked graves of local enslaved persons.
  • Midland Cemetery A long-neglected historic African American cemetery that has been rescued from weeds and decay. Burials date back to the 18th century and include some enslaved persons.
  • Wenrich's Cemetery History and a photograph of the unmarked burial place of numerous enslaved persons from this portion of original Paxton Township. 

Documents of Enslavement

thumbnail of an original slave registration

Slave registration document
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 

Registration of the enslaved child Jesse.

Enslavement in Popular Culture

Detail from Auguste Francois Biard's painting The Slave Trade

Commercial images,
from national culture,
19th Century.

Nathaniel Currier print, and Auguste Francois Biard painting.


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