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  A young enslaved Black woman working on a colonial Pennsylvania farm.
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A series of pages exploring
various aspects of enslavement in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia County Slaveholders A - B

Slaveholders Listed on this Page

  1. Allaire, Alexander (Enslaved persons: Henry)
  2. Allen, Edward (Enslaved persons: Hamot)
  3. Allen, Thomas (Enslaved persons: Un-named boy)
  4. Allen, William (Enslaved persons: Several imported enslaved persons)
  5. Anthony, Stephen (Enslaved persons: Un-named man)
  6. Apty, Thomas (Enslaved persons: Lucy, alias Peg Walker, un-named man)
  7. Astin, Thomas (Enslaved persons: Un-named male)
  8. Attwood, William (Enslaved persons: Un-named man)
  9. Austin, Samuel (Enslaved persons: London)
  10. Baily, John (Enslaved persons: Corke)
  11. Ball, John (Enslaved persons: Un-named boy)
  12. Ball, William (Enslaved persons: Un-named young woman)
  13. Barclay, John (Enslaved persons: Dinah)
  14. Barry, John, Commodore (Enslaved persons: James, Jude or Judith)
  15. Bartholomew, Thomas (Enslaved persons: Harry, Joseph Boudron, un-named men, a woman and a boy)
  16. Basden, William (Enslaved persons: Un-named young woman and 2-year-old boy)
  17. Beach, Edmond (Enslaved persons: Un-named young man and teenaged girl)
  18. Belin (Enslaved persons: Sylvie, Joseph)
  19. Benezet, James (Enslaved persons: Jack)
  20. Best, Joseph (Enslaved persons: Un-named young man and woman)
  21. Biles, Jonathan (Enslaved persons: Henry)
  22. Bird, Widow (Enslaved persons: Un-named man)
  23. Bispham, William (Enslaved persons: Un-named girl)
  24. Bisset, David (Enslaved persons: Un-named woman)
  25. Blakey, Charles (Enslaved persons: Thomas Tamerlin)
  26. Bleakley, John (Enslaved persons: Un-named teenaged girl and her child)
  27. Blyth, Joseph (Enslaved persons: Pierce)
  28. Bogart, Mary (Enslaved persons: Un-named young boy)
  29. Bood, John (Enslaved persons: Un-named young woman)
  30. Bowes, Francis (Enslaved persons: Un-named young woman and her child)
  31. Bowes, Hugh (Enslaved persons: John, Plato)
  32. Bradford, Andrew (Enslaved persons: Un-named men, women, boys and girls)
  33. Brotherson, Peter (Enslaved persons: James Powell)
  34. Brown, Dr. (Enslaved persons: Stephen)
  35. Brown, Samuel M. (Enslaved persons: Bob, Molly)
  36. Budd, Henry (Enslaved persons: Dorus)
  37. Budd, Levi (Enslaved persons: Jenny)
  38. Burrows, Stephen (Enslaved persons: Un-named woman)
  39. Burton, Thomas (Enslaved persons: Un-named boy)
  40. Byrne, Patrick (Enslaved persons: Un-named woman, un-named man)

Enslavement Data

A Note on Slave Numbers

The listings below represent an ongoing effort to identify slaveholders with an emphasis on documenting as many details about their enslaved persons as possible. This is, however, only a small fraction of Philadelphia's slaveholders and enslaved persons. Published studies by prominent historians reveal that Philadelphia was home to thousands of enslaved people in the colonial period.

Historian Gary B. Nash estimated the total enslaved population of Philadelphia and Southwark during it's peak slaveholding years of 1767-1775, using tax asssessments, census records, burial records and comparisons with other reliable datasets from New York City and Boston, to come up with the following estimates of total enslaved persons in Philadelphia and Southwark in these years:

 1767: 1392
 1769: 1270
 1772: 1069
 1773: 945
 1774: 869
 1775: 672

The figures above clearly show that the listings on this page are far from complete. They also show a steady decline in the rate of slaveholding in Philadelphia due to increased abolition activity and sentiment, a significant increase in the importation of white redemptioners and indentured servants into the province after the Seven Years War, and the combination of a very high mortality rate and very low birth rate among enslaved Blacks.

Source: Nash, Gary B. “Slaves and Slaveowners in Colonial Philadelphia.” The William and Mary Quarterly 30, no. 2 (1973): 223–56. https://doi.org/10.2307/1925149.


  • Slaveholder Name: Allaire, Alexander
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Purchased the enslaved boy Henry from Jonathan Biles for thirty pounds, in June 1756.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Henry
      Sex: Male
      Age: Not known; described as a "Boy"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Boy"
      Notes: Sold by Jonathan Biles to Alexander Allaire in June 1756.
      Date of Record: 01 June 1756
      Sources: Bill of Sale between Jonathan Biles and Alexander Allaire for Negro Henry, 01 June 1756.

  • Slaveholder Name: Allen, Edward
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Residence on "Second-street, one door from Pine-street"

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Hamot
      Sex: Female
      Age: about sixteen years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1768
      Status: Slave for life; Self emancipated
      Description: "Negro girl"
      Notes: Hamot escaped from Allen on the morning of Tuesday, August 31, 1784. Text of advertisement placed by Allen to recover her:
      Four Dollars Reward
      RAN away from the subscriber, on Tuesday morning last a negro girl, of the Moco country, named Hamot, she is about sixteen years of age, not very tall, but thin, and sprightly, has her country mark very visible, resembling two cuts on each cheek. She came from the Island of Jamaica, to this city last may, speaks but indifferent English and had on when she went away, a flowered callico short gown, and red callimanco pettycoat; whoever detains or harbours her after Advertisement, shall be prosecuted with the utmost rigor of the law. And whoever will bring her to the House of the Subscriber, in Second-street, one door from Pine-street, shall receive the above reward and all reasonable charge from
      EDWARD ALLEN.
      N.B. She was seen the morning of her departure, about two miles from this city on the German Town road.
      Hamot was brought to Philadelphia from Jamaica in May 1784. The term "Moco country" may refer to origins in western Africa, where the orisha Moko watches over villages. Enslaved peoples in the Caribbean created the tradition of Moko Jumbies, costumed stilt-walkers that performed at festivals representing mythical spirits that walked across the Atlantic accompanying enslaved Africans to protect them in the Americas.
      Note that Hamot bears "country marks...resembling two cuts on each cheek."
      Date of Record: 04 September 1784
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser (Philadelphia), 4 September 1784. The ad ran through September 18, 1784.

  • Slaveholder Name: Allen, Thomas
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Chimney Sweep Service, located on "Dock, near Spruce street"
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Not given in ad
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about twelve years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1788
      Status: Slave for a term of years (probably for 28 years)
      Description: "Mulatto Boy"
      Notes: Un-named in the ad, this enslaved child, employed as a chimney sweep, was either taken by his overseer or left of his own choice. The overseer, Peter Canfield, apparently was a free Black working for Allen.
      Ten Dollars Reward.
      RAN AWAY from the subscriber, on Tuesday the 4th instant, a Mulatto Boy, (a chimney sweeper) about twelve years of age, light complexion, and grey eyes; had on his working dress and blanket, and took with him a brush, scraper and cap; supposed to have been enticed away by his overseer, a black man, about five feet 7 or 8 inches high, who calls himself Peter Canfield, who absconded from the service of the subscriber at the same time.
      Whoever will return the boy shall receive the above reward.
      THOMAS ALLEN.
      Dock, near Spruce street.
      February 11.
      The disappearance of this young boy, aside from his escape from an enslaver, may have sinister implications worse than his term enslavement, as it coincides with the frequent disappearance from the streets of Philadelphia of many other young African American children, mostly free-born pre-teen boys and younger. The disappearances were tied to kidnappings by persons who sold the children to slave dealers in the deep South. Dates of Records: 11 February 1800
      Sources: Gazette of the United States and Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia), 11 February 1800

  • Slaveholder Name: Allen, William
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Merchant, slave trader
    Notes: See the page on Slave Traders for more on the firm of Turner and Allen.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Not given in ad
      Sex: Male and female
      Age: Ages not specified in ad, but probably a mixture of adults and young persons.
      Date of Birth: Not known, varies
      Status: Slaves for life
      Description: "Negroes," "Negro Women"
      Notes: Allen, along with Alexander Woodrop and Joseph Turner, offered the following enslaved persons for sale in May 1736:
      JUST arrived from Barbadoes, several likely Negroes; among which are two likely Women bred to House-work. To be Sold by Alexander Woodrop, William Allen and Joseph Turner.
      Dates of Records: 06 May 1736
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 06 May 1736

  • Slaveholder Name: Anthony, Stephen
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Second Street

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about 30 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1719
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Offered for sale in September 1749: "TO BE SOLD, A Likely Negroe man, about 30 years of age, a skinner by trade, and understands his business well, a very honest fellow. Enquire of Stephen Anthony, in Second-street."
      Date of Record: 28 September 1749; this ad ran through October 12, 1749.
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 28 September 1749.

  • Slaveholder Name: Apty, Thomas
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Work House Keeper
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about thirty-two years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1746
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Advertised for sale in December 1778: "TO BE SOLD, A NEGRO MAN about thirty-two years of age, a stout, able, healthy fellow, this country born, understands the farming business in all its branches, and is sold by his master for want of employ. Enquire of THOMAS APTY, Keeper of the Work-house."
      Apty may not be the actual owner of this person. Enslaved persons placed up for sale were sometimes imprisoned in the Work House as a holding location until a sale could be arranged. If that is the case, the owner is not identified in the ad.
      Date of Record: 24 December 1778
      Sources: Dunlap and Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia), 24 December 1778

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Lucy, alias Peg Walker
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about twenty-two or twenty-three years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1756 or 1757
      Status: Imprisoned as a runaway slave
      Description: "Negro Wench"
      Notes: Imprisoned in the Philadelphia Work House on suspicion of being a fugitive slave:
      Philadelphia, April 27.
      NOW in the Work-house of this city on suspicion of being a run-away, a Negro Wench who is supposed to have come into this city with the British army, or about that time, and has gone by the name of LUCY, alias PEG WALKER; about twenty-two or twenty-three years of age, short and well set, round smooth faced, says she came to town about two years ago with her master, Joseph England, and his wife, from Kent upon Delaware, and that they died soon after in this city without leaving any one to take care of their effects or of her, whereby she thought herself to be free. Any person to whom she may belong is hereby notified to come, pay charges and take her away in two months from this date, otherwise she will be sold out for the same, by
      THOMAS APTY, Work-house Keeper.
      Date of Record: 27 April 1779; If not claimed by an owner by June 27, this person would be sold back into slavery.
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, 04, 08 May 1779.

  • Slaveholder Name: Astin, Thomas
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not given but described as a "fellow," most likely an adult
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe fellow"
      Notes: Offered for sale in July 1756: "To be SOLD, A LIKELY able Negroe fellow, fit for town or country business. Enquire at the house of Thomas Astin, near John Palmer's, on Society-Hill."
      Date of Record: 08 July 1756
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 08, 22 July 1756.

  • Slaveholder Name: Attwood, William
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Merchant, trader and importer
    Notes: Front Street. Attwood also dealt in English servants "imported" from England. See The Pennsylvania Gazette, 26 July 1744, page 4.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not given but described as a man
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Offered for sale in November 1737: "TO BE SOLD, BY WILLIAM ATTWOOD, in Front-street, Philadelphia, on reasonable Terms, a likely Negroe Man, fit to be imploy'd in Country Business."
      Date of Record: 24 November 1737
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 24 November 1737.

  • Slaveholder Name: Austin, Samuel
    City or Township: Philadelphia, New Ferry
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Ferry operator
    Notes: Died in September 1767
    Source: Pennsylvania Gazette, 24 September 1767

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: London
      Sex: Male
      Age: Not given; described as a "Man"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Ran away in May 1764. Austin placed the following advertisement to locate him:
      Philadelphia, May 28, 1764.
      RUN-AWAY from the New-Ferry, a Negroe Man, named London, about 5 Feet 3 Inches high, Barbados born; Had on when he went away, a striped Holland jacket, striped trowsers, Ozenbrigs Shirt, a coarse Hat, cock'd, with a white Button, good Shoes and Stockings; he is very apt to hire himself on board of Vessels, in order to make his Escape. Whoever takes up said Negroe, or informs his said Master of any Person that has hired him, shall receive Eight Dollars from
      SAMUEL AUSTIN, at the New-Ferry.
      Although captured and returned, London escaped again in October 1765:
      Philadelphia, October 20 1765.
      RUN away from the New Ferry, a Negroe Man, named London; he is about 5 Feet 3 Inches high, was born in Barbadoes; Had on a red under Jacket, without sleeves, striped Linen Trowsers, a pretty good Hat, and good Shoes and Stockings; took with him a grey Cloth Coat, a Velvet Jacket, without Sleves, and other Things, tied in a Handerchief. He is apt to hire himself on board of Vessels. Whoever takes up and secures the said Negroe, so that his Master may have him again, shall receive Forty Shillings from SAMUEL AUSTIN, living at the New Ferry.
      N.B. All Masters of Vessels, and others, are forbid to harbour or carry him off.
      London was captured and returned to Austin, but escaped yet again. An ad appeared in November 1766 advertising for his capture, very similar to the following ad that appeared in April 1767. It is not clear if this refers to the same escape, or if London ran away in November 1766, was captured and ran away for a fourth time in February 1767:
      Philadelphia, February 23, 1767.:br> RUN away from the NEW FERRY, a Negroe Man, named LONDON; about five Feet three Inches high, Barbados born; Had on, when he went away, a white Shirt, light coloured Jacket, a red double-breasted under Jacket, red Trowsers, and good Shoes and Stockings; he is apt to say that he is a free Man, and hire himself as such; is remarkable for having a large Nose, and a smiling Look. Whoever takes up said Negroe, and brings him to the New Ferry, shall have EIGHT DOLLARS Reward, paid by
      SAMUEL AUSTIN.
      An advertisement that appeared in January 1767, similar to the one above, had an additional detail. It noted that London had "an iron about his leg, which he is apt to hide." This reveals an extreme measure by Austin to try to keep London: chaining him.
      Date of Records: 28 May 1764; 20 October 1765; November 1766; 18 January, 23 February 1767
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 14, 21 June 1764; 31 October 1765; 13 November 1766; 5 February, 2 April 1767;

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given, but likely London, above, who began making multiple escape attempts (see above)
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about 21 Years old"
      Date of Birth: circa 1741
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Advertised for sale in 1762: "There is now at the Lower End of Arch-street, at the New Ferry, to be sold, a likely stout Negroe Man, about 21 Years old, born in Barbados, supposed to be honest, and not given to Drink. He is fit for most Sorts of Business, being very strong."
      Date of Records: 2 December 1762
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 2 December 1762

     

  • Slaveholder Name: Baily, John
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia
    Occupation: Shoemaker
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Corke
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad but described as a man
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life -- runaway
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: This person escaped from Baily as part of a mass escape of enslaved persons from numerous other area owners on October 6, 1733. The slaveholders who lost slaves advertised collectively, posting rewards:
      RUN away from Justice Farmer of Whitemarsh, a Negroe Man named Gloster; from John Petty, Indian Trader, a Negroe Man and Woman; from John Baily of Philadelphia Shoemaker, a Negroe Man named Corke, from the Widow Bird of Philadelphia, a Negroe Man, and from John Noble of Philadelphia, a Negroe Man called Bristol. They all went away last Saturday, and took Guns with them, and have been seen going up Perkiomy Road last Monday Night. Whoever takes up the said Negroes or any of them so that they may be had again, shall have from Justice Farmer Five Pound, from the Widow Bird Three Pounds, and from the other Two Pounds, and reasonable Charges paid by Justice Farmer, John Petty, John Baily, Widow Bird, and John Noble.
      October 11, 1733.
      Date of Record: 11 October 1733
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 18 October 1733.

  • Slaveholder Name: Ball, John, Captain
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia
    Occupation: Ship's Captain
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad but described as a "boy"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Boy"
      Notes: Offered for sale in October 1730: "To Be SOLD. BY Capt. John Ball, on board the Ship John Galley, lying at the Widow Hun's Wharf, a very likely Negroe Boy, and good Muscovado Sugar, Reasonable."
      Date of Record: 08 October 1730
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 08 October 1730.

  • Slaveholder Name: Ball, William
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia
    Occupation: Silversmith and Jeweler
    Notes: "Market-street, three doors below Messieurs Hall and Seller's Printing-Office"

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Sex: Female
      Age: Age not given in ad but described as a young woman
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Woman"
      Notes: Offered for sale in August 1772. After the description of the woman, the sale ad continued on with a long list of silver goods, jewelry, tools, and other goods for sale:
      To be SOLD, A LIKELY young NEGROE Woman, used to all sorts of house work, will suit town or country; enquire of WILLIAM BALL, living in Market-street, three doors below Messieurs Hall and Seller's Printing-Office.
      Date of Record: 26 August 1772
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 26 August 1772.

  • Slaveholder Name: Barclay, John
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia
    Occupation: Importer and merchant, Barclay & Company.
    Notes: In an ad dated January 31, 1783, Barclay had the following goods for sale: "TO BE SOLD, BY John Barclay & Co., At their STORES, the southside of Spruce-street Wharf, A LARGE and general assortment of dry GOODS, Cordage and bar Lead, West India Rum, and Imported Salt of the best quality. Jan. 31."

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Dinah
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about 30 years of age"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1753
      Status: Slave for life; Escaped
      Description: "Mulatto Woman"
      Notes: Dinah escaped from Barclay on January 31, 1783. He ran the following ad to recover her:
      Eight Dollars Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber, a Mulatto WOMAN, named DINAH: She is of the middle size, and about 30 years of age. The above reward will be given to any person who will discover where she is harboured, so that she may be had again.
      Jan. 31. JOHN BARCLAY.
      Date of Record: 31 January 1783
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, 25 February 1783.

  • Slaveholder Name: Barry, John, Commodore
    City or Township: Northern Liberties
    County: Philadelphia
    Occupation: Continental Navy Commodore
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: James
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not given in register but described as an adult
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Adult, slave" "Negro Man"
      Notes: Baptized in St. Joseph's Church, Philadelphia as an adult, on July 16, 1776. Sponsor was "Hannah, slave of N. White." James was one of two enslaved persons listed in the will of John Barry (see below).
      Date of Record: 16 July 1776
      Sources: “LIST OF BAPTISMS REGISTERED AT ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA. (SECOND SERIES.) FROM JANUARY I, 1776, OCTOBER 21, 1781.” Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, vol. 2, 1886, pp. 225–75. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44207452. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Judith or Jude
      Sex: Female
      Age: Age not given in will
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Mulatto woman"
      Notes: Baptized on August 19, 1779. Listed in will of John Barry as below:
      Item, I give and bequeath my negro man James and my mulatto woman Jude to my beloved wife Sarah during her widowhood, or natural life, and at her marriage or death which ever may first happen, the said negro man and mulatto woman shall be free and my executors shall pay to each of them from the time of their becoming respectively free as aforesaid, for their support during life an annuity of twenty pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania in four equal quarterly payments in each year, during their respective lives.
      Item, at or immediately after the death of my said negro man (if my said wife shall be then dead, but if she shall not then, when my said wife shall afterwards die, I give the principal sum hereinafter mentioned from which annuity hereby bequeathed to my said negro man is to be raised to the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Society worshiping at the church of St. Mary in the City of Philadelphia for the use and benefit of the poor school of said church.
      Item, From and immediately after the death of my said mulatto woman whether she shall become free or not, I give and bequeath the principal sum from which the annuity hereby given to her is directed to be raised to Eleanor Dowlin the daughter of my late sister Margaret, who lived in the County of Wexford in Ireland.
      Item, For the punctual payment of the annuities aforesaid, I order and direct my executors to provide a fund or funds in such manner as they may think proper, out of my estate real and personal, sufficient to raise an income interest and profit, adequate to pay and discharge the said annuities in manner aforesaid, and when the same shall cease and determine by the death or deaths of the said James and Jude or either of them, then to pay and apply the principal sum or sums in manner aforesaid.

      Date of Record: 29 September 1803 (Will)
      Sources: GRIFFIN, MARTIN I. J., and Francis T. Furey. “THE HISTORY OF COMMODORE JOHN BARRY. A. D. 1745-1803 (Continued).” Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, vol. 8, no. 3, 1897, pp. 257–93. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44207623. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

     

  • Slaveholder Name: Bartholomew, Thomas
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia
    Occupation: Real estate speculator, Tavern Keeper, The King Hendrick, Arch Street (1760s); The White Horse, Market Street, with stables in Elbow Lane (1750s)
    Notes: Lived 1718-1766. In addition to running the White Horse as a tavern, Thomas Bartholomew also used the facilities and stables as a place to help secure captured runaway slaves and servants, and to house the enslaved people he placed up for sale.
    Sources: Independence Historic Research Study, National Park Service, "Chapter 2, Early Speculators and Settlers, 1757-1775," webpage accessed online 1 November 2023 at https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/inde/hrs/hrs2.htm.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Harry
      Sex: Male
      Age: 25a
      Date of Birth: 1731 (calculated)
      Slave Status: Runaway
      Slave Description: "Mulattoe slave"
      Notes: Bartholomew purchased Harry from Samuel Cookson, of Caernarvon Township, Lancaster County. Harry was transferred or sold between at least five owners, and he ran away from the fifth, who placed the ad here. Text of runaway advertisement placed in the Pennsylvania Gazette by Thomas Bartholomew of Philadelphia:
      "Philadelphia, August 9, 1756
      THIS day absented himself from his masters service, a Mulattoe slave, named Harry, about five feet six inches high, a broad well set fellow, speaks good English, and Dutch: had on when he went away, a blue cloth coat, with flat metal buttons, old check shirt, white tow trowsers, good shoes, and an old hat; chews Tobacco much, is a nimble lively fellow, about 25 years of age. He formerly belonged to George Johnson, in Frederick county in Virginia; from thence assigned to one John Lindsay; from thence to John Clark, of Lancaster; from thence to one Cookson, and from thence to the subscriber.
      Whoever secures said Harry, in any goal, or brings him to his master, if taken in or near Philadelphia, shall have Four Dollars reward, if more than 20 miles, shall have Ten Dollars, and reasonable charges, paid by THOMAS BARTHOLOMEW.
      N.B. he pretends to be a free man, and to have great friends in Maryland and Virginia. All masters of Vessels, and others, are forbid to carry him off at their peril."
      Date of Record: August 12, 1756
      Source: Accessible Archives--Pennsylvania Gazette, August 12, 1756, Item #19826.
       
    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not provided
      Sex: Male
      Age: Not stated, but described as a "boy"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Slave Status: Slave for life
      Slave Description: "Negro boy"
      Notes: Advertised for sale along with other goods in February 1760:
      To be sold by THOMAS BARTHOLOMEW, At his house, at the upper end of Arch street, near the sign of King Hendrick
      Choice Madeira and Tenereiffe wiine, all sorts of shop goods, a likely Negro boy, suitable to wait on a gentleman, a large quantity of Carolina leather, in whole hides, two good saddle horses, suitable to go in chairs, to be sold reasonable for ready money or short credit.
      Date of Record: 07 February 1760
      Source: Pennsylvania Gazette, 7 February 1760.
       
    3. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not provided
      Sex: Female
      Age: Not stated, but described as a "young woman"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Slave Status: Slave for life
      Slave Description: "Negroe Woman"
      Notes: Advertised for sale along with other goods in July 1761:
      To be sold by the Subscriber, living in Arch-street, near the Church Burying-ground, a likely young Negroe Woman, very fit for House-work, can cook well, wash and iron. Also a Quantity of good fresh Rice, some Indigo and Deer-skins. And some Myrtle Wax, and sundry other Goods, at reasonable Rates.
      THOMAS BARTHOLOMEW.
      Other Notes: Myrtle wax was used to make bayberry-scented soap. It could also be used in candle-making.
      Date of Record: 30 July 1761
      Source: Pennsylvania Gazette, 30 July 1761.
       
    4. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not provided
      Sex: Male
      Age: Not stated, but described as a "man."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Slave Status: Slave for life
      Slave Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Advertised for sale at the very end of a long list of imported goods in October 1761: "He also has a Negroe Man to dispose of."
      Date of Record: 1 October 1761
      Source: Pennsylvania Gazette, 01, 15 October 1761.
       
    5. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not provided
      Sex: Male
      Age: Not stated, but described as a "man."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Slave Status: Slave for life
      Slave Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Advertised for sale between a real estate offer and a list of imported and domestic goods in July 1762:
      TO BE LETT,
      THE House and stables where Musgrove Evans now lives, in Arch-street, hath been these many Years a well accustomed Tavern; to be entered on in ten Days, by me THOMAS BARTHOLOMEW.
      N.B. He has also to sell, a likely Negroe Man, and a Parcel of South-Carolina Soal Leather, Myrtle Wax, and Myrtle Wax Candles, &c.
      Date of Record: 15 July 1762
      Source: Pennsylvania Gazette, 15 July 1762.
       
    6. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not provided
      Sex: Male
      Age: "24 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1727
      Slave Status: Slave for life
      Slave Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Advertised for sale along with other goods in October 1751: "To be SOLD, A Likely Negroe man, 24 years of age, fit for plantation business. Enquire at Thomas Bartholomew's, in Market-street, at the sign of the White Horse."
      Date of Record: 17 October 1751
      Source: Pennsylvania Gazette, 17 October 1751.
       
    7. Enslaved Person's Name: Joseph Boudron
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about 23 Years of Age"
      Date of Birth: 1739 (calculated)
      Slave Status: Runaway
      Slave Description: "Mulattoe Man Slave"
      Notes: Joseph Boudron escaped from Thomas Bartholomew on August 23, 1762. As a fugitive slave, he had several advantages: he escaped with a complete wardrobe, he spoke four languages, and had familiarity with large towns and cities. As an experienced seaman, he had good chances of hiring out on an outbound vessel, despite Bartholomew's warning to local captains:
      Philadelphia, August 24, 1762.
      RUN away from the Subscriber Yesterday, a Mulattoe Man Slave, named Joe, alias Joseph Boudron, a middle-sized Man, a brisk lively Fellow, about 23 Years of Age, was born at Guadaloupe, has lived some Time in New-York, and Charles-Town, in South-Carolina, speaks good English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese; Had on when he went away, an old whitish coloured Broadcloth Coat, faced with Plush, and Metal Buttons, a Calicoe Jacket, black knit Breeches, blue Worsted Stockings, new Shoes, with large Brass Buckles, Check Shirt, an old laced Hat, and has other Things not known; he is a good Cook, and much used to the Seas, where it is thought he intends, or for New-York.
      Any Person that takes up said Runaway, and brings him to me, or secures him in any Goal in this Province, shall have Two Pistoles Reward, and if in any other Province, Four Pistoles, and reasonable Charges, paid by me
      THOMAS BARTHOLOMEW, junior.
      N.B. All Masters of Vessels and others are desired not to carry him off, or harbour him, on any Account.
      Date of Record: August 24, 1762
      Source: Pennsylvania Gazette, 26 August 1762
       

  • Slaveholder Name: Basden, William
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given
      Sex: Female
      Age: Not known; described as a "Woman"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Woman"
      Notes: Offered for sale in December 1736 along with a two-year-old boy, presumably her son: "To be Sold, A Very likely breeding Negroe Woman, and a Boy about two Years old. The Woman is fit for any Business either in Town or Country. Enquire of William Basden, over against the Coffee-House in Front Street."
      Date of Record: 9 December 1736
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 9 December 1736
       
    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about two Years old"
      Date of Birth: circa 1734
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Boy"
      Notes: Advertised for sale in December 1736 along with his mother. See text of ad above.
      Date of Record: 9 December 1736
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 9 December 1736

  • Slaveholder Name: Beach, Edmond
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Cooper
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given
      Sex: Male
      Age: Not known; described as a "Young Man"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Young Negroe Man"
      Notes: One of two persons advertised for sale in November 1768: "To be Sold for CASH only, by the subscriber, living in Front-street, next door but one to Race-street, A LIKELY YOUNG NEGROE MAN, by trade a cooper, and a very good workman. Likewise a NEGROE WENCH, about 14 years of age, well grown, fit for town or country business. For further particulars, enquire of EDMOND BEACH. N.B. Said BEACH has to sell, a very fine HORSE, travels easy under the saddle, and trots well in a chair."
      Date of Record: 10 November 1768
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 10 November 1768
       
    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about 14 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1754
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Wench"
      Notes: One of two persons advertised for sale in November 1768: "To be Sold for CASH only, by the subscriber, living in Front-street, next door but one to Race-street, . . . Likewise a NEGROE WENCH, about 14 years of age, well grown, fit for town or country business. For further particulars, enquire of EDMOND BEACH."
      Date of Record: 10 November 1768
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 10 November 1768

  • Slaveholder Name: Belin
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Only the surname is currently known on this record.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Sylvie
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about 24 years old"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1768
      Status: Slave for life; Escaped
      Description: "Mulatto Woman"
      Notes: French Creole woman who escaped from Belin, in Philadelphia, along with the 15-year-old Joseph on 29 August 1792. Belin immediately advertised for their return, offering four dollars for each:
      RAN AWAY, the 29th inst. a Mulatto Woman, named Sylvie, about 24 years old, of a low stature, dressed in the West-India creole manner; had a handkerchief round her head, and wears ear-bobs: Took with her a Negro Boy, called Joseph, about 15 years old, of a down look, very black, and has bandy legs. Neither of them speak English, their dialect being the French creole.

      Whoever secures said Runaways, and brings them home to their master, shall receive Four Dollars reward for each, together with reasonable charges paid by BELIN, No. 138, north Front-street.
      (Message repeats in French)
      Le 31 Août, 1792.
      Four months later, neither Sylvie nor Joseph had been returned, so Belin ran another ad in The Pennsylvania Gazette. This ad was updated slightly, using the same wording as the first ad but increasing the reward to forty dollars, and adding to the physical description of Sylvie: "with a flat belly, and a mark on both sides of her breast."
      Date of Record: 31 August 1792 (original ad); 02 January 1793 (updated ad)
      Sources: General Advertiser (Philadelphia), 4 September 1792; The Pennsylvania Gazette, 02 January 1793

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Joseph
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about 15 years old"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1777
      Status: Slave for life; Escaped
      Description: "Negro Boy;" "Very Black"
      Notes: French Creole boy who escaped from Belin, in Philadelphia, along with the 24-year-old Sylvie on 29 August 1792. Belin immediately advertised for their return, offering four dollars for each. He increased the reward to forty dollars in an updated ad published in January 1793. See above for text of ads.
      Date of Record: 31 August 1792 (original ad); 02 January 1793 (updated ad)
      Sources: General Advertiser (Philadelphia), 4 September 1792; The Pennsylvania Gazette, 02 January 1793

  • Slaveholder Name: Benezet, James
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Owned a "plantation" of about 65 acres in Oxford Township. Brother of Anthony Benezet. See also James Benezet, Bucks County.
    Sources: "Draft of James Benezet's Plantation and Tract of 64-3/4 Ac's. land situate in Oxford Township in the County of Philadelphia as survey'd. June 1764 and 1765 by (signed) (copy) Silas Watts. [Second survey dated 1785; "Traced by E.R.S. 1-4-09"], 1785," Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network, https://www.philageohistory.org/rdic-images/view-image.cfm/SD5th-034.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Sex: Male
      Age: 22 years old at time of escape from Patton.
      Date of Birth: circa 1743
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Fellow"
      Notes: Benezet was named by John Patton of Reading in Berks County as a former owner of Jack, who escaped from Patton in June 1765. John Patton further noted in the runaway ad that Jack "was lately the Property of Mr. James Keimer, of Lancaster County."
      Date of Record: 26 June 1765
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 4 July 1765.

  • Slaveholder Name: Best, Joseph
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Goldsmith
    Notes: Shop on High Street
    Sources:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad, but described as a "young man."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Young Negro Man"
      Notes: Advertised for sale in August 1723: "THere is to be sold by Joseph Best Goldsmith in High Street Philadelphia a young Negro Man and Woman any Persons disposed to buy both or either of them may apply to their said Master.
      Date of Record: 15 August 1723
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 15 August 1723.

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Sex: Female
      Age: Age not given in ad, but described as a "young woman."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Young Negro Woman"
      Notes: Advertised for sale in August 1723: "THere is to be sold by Joseph Best Goldsmith in High Street Philadelphia a young Negro Man and Woman any Persons disposed to buy both or either of them may apply to their said Master.
      Date of Record: 15 August 1723
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 15 August 1723.

  • Slaveholder Name: Biles, Jonathan
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: House carpenter
    Notes: Sold the enslaved boy Henry to Alexander Allaire for thirty pounds in June 1756.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Henry
      Sex: Male
      Age: Not known; described as a "Boy"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Boy"
      Notes: Sold to Alexander Allaire in June 1756.
      Date of Record: 01 June 1756
      Sources: Bill of Sale between Jonathan Biles and Alexander Allaire for Negro Henry, 01 June 1756.

  • Slaveholder Name: Bird, Widow
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Widow
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad but described as a man
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life -- runaway
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: This person escaped from Bird as part of a mass escape of enslaved persons from numerous other area owners on October 6, 1733. The slaveholders who lost slaves advertised collectively, posting rewards:
      RUN away from Justice Farmer of Whitemarsh, a Negroe Man named Gloster; from John Petty, Indian Trader, a Negroe Man and Woman; from John Baily of Philadelphia Shoemaker, a Negroe Man named Corke, from the Widow Bird of Philadelphia, a Negroe Man, and from John Noble of Philadelphia, a Negroe Man called Bristol. They all went away last Saturday, and took Guns with them, and have been seen going up Perkiomy Road last Monday Night. Whoever takes up the said Negroes or any of them so that they may be had again, shall have from Justice Farmer Five Pound, from the Widow Bird Three Pounds, and from the other Two Pounds, and reasonable Charges paid by Justice Farmer, John Petty, John Baily, Widow Bird, and John Noble.
      October 11, 1733.
      Date of Record: 11 October 1733
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 18 October 1733.

  • Slaveholder Name: Bispham, William
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Residing over the Middle Ferry in Schuylkill

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Unnamed teenaged girl
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about nineteen years of age"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1752
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Wench"
      Notes: Advertised for sale in August 1771: "TO BE SOLD, A NEGRO WENCH, about nineteen years of age; can cook, wash and do all kinds of housework, fit for either town or country; She is sold for no fault. For further particulars enquire of William Bispham, over the Middle Ferry, Schuylkill."
      Date of Record: 31 August 1771
      Sources: Pennsylvania Packet, 31 August 1771

  • Slaveholder Name: Bisset, David
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Post Rider
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Unnamed in ad
      Sex: Female
      Age: Age not given in notice, but described as a "woman."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Woman"
      Notes: Legal notice to settle estate includes advertisement of public auction of estate property, including this woman:
      ALL persons Indebted to the Estate of David Bisset, the late Philadelphia Post-Rider, deceas'd, are desired forthwith to come and pay the same to Thomas Boore and Margaret Bisset, Executors of the said deceas'd; and all such as have Demand on said Estate are desired to bring in their Accompts to said Executors, in Order to have them adjusted.
      There is to be Sold on the 28th of June next at Vendue, a like Negroe Woman, Horses, Cattle, Hogs, a new Cart, and Houshold Goods; they that buy less than 20s. worth to pay ready Money, above 20 s. in six Months Credit if required, by
      Thomas Boore and Margaret Bisset.
      Date of Record: 25 May 1727
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 25 May 1727

  • Slaveholder Name: Blakey, Charles
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Ship's captain
    Notes: Located "at the Sign of the Brigantine in Water-street."

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Thomas Tamerlin
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not stated in ad, but described as a "man."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life; escaped
      Description: "East Indian Man"
      Notes: Escaped from Blakey in the fall of 1730. Blakey placed the following ad to recover him:
      RUN away from Charles Blakey, at the Sign of the Brigantine in Water-street, an East Indian Man, named Thomas Tamerlin, has on a Pea-Jacket, a Leather Pair of Breeches; and an Ozenbriggs Pair of Trowsers over them, a good Raccoon Hat; He is of small Stature, round Shouldered, speaks and writes good English. Whoever secures the said Runaway so that his Master may have him again shall have Twenty Shillings Reward, and reasonable charges paid by
      Charles Blakey.
      This documentation of the enslaved Thomas Tamerlin is a reminder of the role of the British East India Company in the East India slave trade. Huge numbers of peoples native to that region of the world were enslaved and many were eventually shipped to ports in the Americas, including Philadelphia. This slave trade occurred concurrently with the African slave trade.
      Date of Record: 08 October 1730.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 08 October 1730.

  • Slaveholder Name: Bleakley, John
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Merchant
    Notes: Shop on Water Street. Died circa 1764.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Unnamed teenaged girl
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about eighteen Years of Age"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1743
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Woman"
      Notes: Advertised for sale along with her two-month-old child in July 1761: "To be SOLD for no Fault, A LIKELY Negroe Woman, and Female Child; the Woman about eighteen Years of Age, and the Child about two Months. Enquire of John Bleakley."
      Date of Record: 30 July 1761
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 30 July 1761.

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not provided
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about two Months" of age
      Date of Birth: May or June 1761
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Child"
      Notes: Advertised for sale along with her mother in July 1761: "To be SOLD for no Fault, A LIKELY Negroe Woman, and Female Child; the Woman about eighteen Years of Age, and the Child about two Months. Enquire of John Bleakley."
      Date of Record: 30 July 1761
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 30 July 1761.

  • Slaveholder Name: Blyth, Joseph
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Pierce
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about 19 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1776
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Boy"
      Notes: Pierce escaped from Mary Withy's Tavern in Chester borough on 24 September 1795. Blyth placed the following ad to recover him:
      One Hundred and Fifty Dollars REWARD,
      FOR apprehending a Negro Boy named PIERCE, about 19 years of age, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, speaks good English, but rather hesitates a little before he answers a question -- very fat and round in the face, a person being very near to him may perceive a scar on his left cheek, has also a scar from a wound on the back of one of his legs, a little above the heel, but always wears stockings or boots. Had on when he went away (from Mrs. Withy's at Chester, on the night of the 24th ult.) a half-worn green coatee and overalls, an old leather hat torn on one side, and a pair of half-worn boots; but took with him shoes, stockings, and a variety of other clothing tied up in a red striped handkerchief.

      He is a hair-dresser and barber, and took with him razors, powder and pomatum. He is very handy about house, or at taking care of horses; he reads, and commonly carries a spelling-book in his pocket -- had an old purse with money in it. Whoever delivers him to John Wilcocks, Esq. No. 30, North Third-street, Philadelphia, shall receive the above reward.
      JOSEPH BLYTH.
      Oct 8.
      Blyth earlier placed a less detailed ad in Philadelphia papers, offering fifty dollars as a reward. It directed anyone to return Pierce to him at 29 North Third Street. By the second week in October he had increased the reward and directed people to return Pierce to his next-door neighbor, merchant John Wilcox, at 30 North Third Street. This seems to indicate that Blyth was leaving town temporarily.
      Date of Record: 8 October 1795
      Sources: Aurora General Advertiser (Philadelphia), 8 October 1795; Dunlap and Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser, 2 October 1795.

  • Slaveholder Name: Bogart, Mary
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Sex: Male
      Age: ge not given in ad, but described as a "young boy."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life if he is older than five years old.
      Description: "Negro Boy"
      Notes: Advertised for private sale as part of the estate of Mary Bogart. Sale notice:
      Philadelphia, March 18th, 1785.
      At the Cross-Keys Tavern, the corner of Third and Chesnut streets will be exposed to SALE,
      At Public Vendue,
      On Monday the 28th of March Instant,
      ALL the Houshold and Kitchen Furniture of Mrs. Mary Bogart, deceased; (the articles too numerous to be inserted in an advertisement,) among which are feather beds and bedding, mahogany and walnut tables, chairs, desks, &c. & c. an excellent eight day clock, two good milch cows, a quantity of hay, oats, &c. &c.
      JAMES GRIER, WILLIAM OLIPHANT, Executors.
      N.B. A young, healthy Negro Boy to be sold at private sale.
      Note that the boy is to be sold at private sale, rather than being exposed to a crowd at a public auction.
      Date of Record: 18 March 1785
      Sources: Dunlap and Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser, 24 March 1785.

  • Slaveholder Name: Bood, John
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Died in 1748. His estate included at least one enslaved person, a young woman, as below. Gertrude Bood and Robert Greenway were estate executors.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in source
      Sex: Female
      Age: Age not given, but described as a young woman
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro woman"
      Notes: Advertised for sale in order to settle the estate: "[Description of the estate of John Bood, deceased] Also a likely young negro woman, who can do all sorts of house work, to be sold by said Robert Greenway."
      Date of Record: 2 June 1748
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 2 June 1748.

  • Slaveholder Name: Bowes, Francis
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Residence on Water Street. Died circa 1750. His estate was auctioned off in spring 1750.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in source
      Sex: Female
      Age: Age not given, but described as a young woman
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe woman"
      Notes: Advertised for sale along with her child in order to settle the estate: "[Description of the estate of Francis Bowes, deceased] Also to be sold at publick vendue, on Thursday, the first day of March, at the above said dwelling house . . .a likely young Negroe woman, about 21 years old, and a child, about 16 months old."
      Date of Record: 6 February 1750
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 6 February 1750.

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in source
      Sex: Gender not indicated in ad
      Age: "about 16 months old"
      Date of Birth: circa November 1748
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "child"
      Notes: Advertised for sale along with its mother in order to settle the estate: "[Description of the estate of Francis Bowes, deceased] Also to be sold at publick vendue, on Thursday, the first day of March, at the above said dwelling house . . .a likely young Negroe woman, about 21 years old, and a child, about 16 months old."
      Date of Record: 6 February 1750
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 6 February 1750.

  • Slaveholder Name: Bowes, Hugh, Captain
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Ship's Master, 1740s and 1750s
    Notes: Store located "between Plumsted's and Sim's Wharffs" (1766). In 1774 he advertised his location as "Water-street below the Drawbridge." In addition to the enslaved John and Plato, below, Bowes also had several indentured white servants escape in the 1760s. Bowes died in 1776.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: John
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about 35 Years of Age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1727
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Bowes purchased John from someone named Denny. John escaped from Hugh Bowes in the summer of 1762. Text of runaway ad placed by Bowes:
      THREE POUNDS Reward.
      RUN away from Hugh Bowes, of Philadelphia, a Negroe Man, named JOHN, a slim middle-sized Fellow, about 35 Years of Age, speaks good English, but when surprized or talks fast, stutters very much; Had on when he went away, an old Check Shirt, a blue Pea Jacket, with Pieces stitched on the Elbows, such as Sailors wear, a Pair of brown Thickset Breeches, old Shoes, with large carved white Metal Buckles; generally carries a Piece of Rope with him, pretending to look for a strayed bay Horse; says his Master's Name is Denny, which is the Person that sold him to the Subscriber; supposed either to have gone over Schuylkill or towards New-York, as he was up the Road near the Robin Hood Tavern two Weeks, but has not been seen there since Friday last. Whoever takes up and secures the said Negroe Man, so that his Master may have him again, shall have the above Reward, paid by
      HUGH BOWES.
      N.B. All Masters of Vessels, and all Ferry-men, are forbid to carry him off.
      Date of Record: 26 August 1762
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 26 August 1762
       
    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Plato
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not given, but described as looking "very old"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Plato escaped from Hugh Bowes in May of 1766. Text of runaway ad placed by Bowes:
      RUN away, on Sunday, the 18th Instant, from Hugh Bowes, a Negroe Man, named Plato, speaks bad English, and has a very bad Look; he is a thin Fellow, and looks very old, has a remarkable Tuft of white Hair on his Forehead, just under the Hat, supposed, when he went away, to have on either a Check, white, or Ozenbrigs Shirt, a Cloth coloured Jacket, with red Flannel Lining, and under Jacket, much worn, with white Metal Buttons, old Stockings, and Shoes, with Iron Buckes, but whether he had Breeches or Trowsers, is not known, having both on when he went away. Whoever takes up and secures the said Negroe Man, so that his Master may have him again, shall have Thirty Shillings Reward, and reasonable Charges, paid by
      HUGH BOWES.
      N.B. All Masters of Vessels are forbid to carry him off.
      Date of Record: 22 May 1766
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 22 May 1766

  • Slaveholder Name: Bradford, Andrew
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Printer, publisher
    Notes: Opened a print shop in Philadelphia in 1712. Printed and published the first newspaper in Philadelphia, The American Weekly Mercury, beginning in 1719 and in 1741 the first magazine in America, called The American Magazine. He employed Benjamin Franklin in the printing business when Franklin came to Philadelphia.
    On the ads below, Bradford published many advertisements to sell enslaved persons, but he may not have been the actual enslaver, instead acting as an intermediary between seller and purchaser.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: No name given
      Sex: Male
      Age: "between Twelve and Thirteen Years of Age"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1709 and 1710
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Boy"
      Notes: Advertised for sale, among other merchandise, by Bradford in November 1722: "A Very hansome Negro Boy, between Twelve and Thirteen Years of Age, to be Sold. Enquire of Andrew Bradford.
      Very good Chocolate to be sold by Andrew Bradford in the Second Street, Philadelphia. Very good Lamp-black to be sold by Andrew Bradford and Charles Read in Philadelphia, by Wholesale and Retail, very reasonable. Very good English Pease and Spanish Snuff, to be sold by Andrew Bradford."
      Date of Record: 15 November 1722.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 15 November 1722

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: No name given
      Sex: Female
      Age: Age not given in ad, but described as a "woman"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Woman"
      Notes: Advertised for sale by Bradford in December 1722: "TO be Sold, a very likely Negro Woman fit for all Manner of House Work, as Washing, Starching, Ironing, &c. Enqiure of Andrew Bradford." Date of Record: 31 December 1722.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 31 December 1722

    3. Enslaved Person's Name: No names given
      Sex: Female, and child
      Age: Age not given in ad, but described as a "woman" and old enough to bear a child
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slaves for life
      Description: "Negroe Woman and Child"
      Notes: Advertised for sale by Bradford in May 1724: "A Very likely Negroe Woman and Child to be Sold, Inquire of Andrew Bradford." Date of Record: 28 May 1724.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 28 May 1724

    4. Enslaved Person's Name: No name given
      Sex: Male
      Age: "aged about 25 Years"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1700
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Advertised for sale by Bradford in December 1725: "A Likely Negroe Man, aged about 25 Years, speaking good English, and is fit for all Manner of Labouring Work: To be Sold, Enquire of Andrew Bradford." Date of Record: 02 December 1725.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 02 December 1725

    5. Enslaved Person's Name: No name given
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about Twelve or Thirteen Years of Age"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1712 or 1713
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Girl"
      Notes: Advertised for sale by Bradford in December 1725: "A Very likely Negroe Girl, about Twelve or Thirteen Years of Age to be sold, Enquire of Andrew Bradford." Date of Record: 02 December 1725.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 02 December 1725

    6. Enslaved Person's Name: No name given
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about 27 Years of Age"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1700
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Woman"
      Notes: Advertised for sale by Bradford in August 1727: "TO be Sold, a very likely Negroe Woman, about 27 Years of Age, fit for either City of Country Business. Enquire of Andrew Bradford." Date of Record: 31 August 1727.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 31 August 1727

    7. Enslaved Person's Name: No name given
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not stated in ad, but described as a "man."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Advertised for sale by Bradford in April 1728: "A Very lusty likely Negroe Man fit for Country Business, to be Sold. Inquire of Andrew Bradford." Date of Record: 25 April 1728.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia), 25 April 1728

  • Slaveholder Name: Brotherson, Peter
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: In September 1747 Brotherson advertised to sell "Two likely Negro men, fit for town of country business." (The Pennsylvania Gazette, 03, 10 September 1747)

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: James Powell
      Sex: Male
      Age: Age not stated in ad, but described as a man
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life -- Escaped slave
      Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Escaped from Brotherson in November 1749. Text of runaway ad placed by Brotherson:
      WHereas a Negroe man, named James, of middle stature, small eyes, and a down-look, who speaks very good English, and calls himself James Powell, belonging to Peter Brotherson, has absented himself from his said master's service; these are to give notice to any person, who will apprehend the said Negroe, and bring him to his said master, or secure him, till he can send for him; he shall receive Three Pounds reward, from Peter Brotherson.
      N.B. He is a very sensible fellow.
      Date of Record: 23 November 1749; this ad continued through December 5, 1749.
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 23 November 1749

  • Slaveholder Name: Brown, Dr.
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Physician
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Stephen
      Slave Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in runaway ad but described as a man
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for live -- escaped
      Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Stephen escaped from William Peters of Concord, Delaware County on July 16, 1749. Peters placed the following runaway slave ad, in which he identified a former owner of Stephen as "Dr. Brown" of Philadelphia:
      Philadelphia, July 20. 1749.
      RUn away, on the 16th instant, from William Peters, fuller, of Concord, Chester county, a Negroe man, named Stephen, who formerly liv'd with Dr. Brown, of this city, is a tall slim fellow, long visag'd, speaks pretty good English: Had on when he went away, a light colour'd linsey jacket, with pewter buttons, an ozenbrigs shirt, tow trowsers, a red and white worsted cap, half worn felt hat, and new shoes. Whoever takes up said Negroe, and secures him, so that his master may have him again, shall have Forty Shillings reward, and reasonable charges, paid by William Peters aforesaid, or Joseph Coburn, in Philadelphia.
      N.B. 'Tis thought he wants to get away in some vessel, therefore all masters of vessels are desired not to harbour or conceal him at their peril.
      Date of Record: 20 July 1749
      Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 3 August 1749.

  • Slaveholder Name: Brown, Samuel M
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Bob
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about eleven years old"
      Date of Birth: circa 1770
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Boy"
      Notes: Escaped from Brown in December 1781. Text of runaway ad placed by Brown:
      Twelve Dollars Reward,
      RAN away from the subscriber, a Negro BOY, named BOB, about eleven years old; Had on when he went away, a blue frize jacket and trowsers;
      Also a Negro GIRL, about 12 years old, named MOLLY, dressed in blue frize. They are lately from St. Thomas and both speak bad English, it is apprehended they are harboured by free Negroes in the city. Whoever will return them to JOHN PRINGLE, in Front-street, near the Draw-bridge, shall receive for the former Eight, and the latter Four Dollars Reward.
      SAMUEL M. BROWN.
      Date of Record: 1 December 1781
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, 1 December 1781.
       
    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Molly
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about 12 years old"
      Date of Birth: circa 1769
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Girl"
      Notes: Escaped from Brown in December 1781. See above for the text of runaway ad placed by Brown.
      Date of Record: 1 December 1781
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, 1 December 1781.

  • Slaveholder Name: Budd, Henry
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Dorus
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about sixteen years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1763
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro boy"
      Notes: At age 14 or 15, Dorus was captured and impressed into service as a laborer with the British army. While in that role in Philadelphia, he escaped into Bucks County. Henry Budd advertised for his recovery about eighteen months after he was taken by the British.
      Philadelphia, July 23, 1779.
      One Hundred and Fifty Dollars Reward.
      WHEREAS the subscriber's Negro boy, named DORUS, now about sixteen years of age, of a yellow complexion, middling chunky built, was pressed with a team of Mr. Benjamin Gibb's, near Bordentown, State of New-Jersey, in December 1776, by the British and Hessian troops, who kept and carried him with them to the city of Philadelphia, from whence he made his escape, and was seen at Bristol in April 1778. The subscriber has reason to think he is in some of the back counties of the State. Whoever will take up said Negro boy and deliver him to me in this city, shall have the above reward, or if secured in any gaol, so that he may be had again, Seventy-five Dollars, besides reasonable charges, paid by
      HENRY BUDD.
      Date of Record: 23 July 1779
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, 27 July 1779.

  • Slaveholder Name: Budd, Levi
    City or Township: Northern Liberties
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Master Builder
    Notes: Member of The Carpenters Company

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Jenny
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about 20 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1762
      Status: Slave for life -- escaped
      Description: "Mulatto Girl," "Wench"
      Notes: Jenny escaped from Levi Budd on December 4, 1782 with an extensive supply of clothing. He placed the following ad to recover her:
      Philadelphia, December 5, 1782.
      Sixteen Dollars Reward.
      RAN-AWAY, about nine o'clock last evening, A MULATTO GIRL, named JENNY, about 20 years of age, smart and likely, country born; she took with her a bundle of cloaths, consisting of one light chintz gown, a small figure with red stripes; one dark ditto with a large flower and yellow stripes, seven yards of new stamped linen, a purple flower and stripe, a pink coloured moreen petticoat, a new black peelong bonnet, a chip hat trimmed with gauze and feathers, four good shifts, two not made up and two a little wore, four aprons, two white and two check, one pair of blue worsted shoes with white heels. She is very fond of dress, particularly of wearing queen's nightcaps. She had in her shoes a large pair of silver buckles. It is probable that she has gone either to New-York or Baltimore. Whoever secures the said Wench, so that her master may have her again, shall have the above Reward and all reasonable charges paid by DAVID C. CLAYPOOLE, Printer in Market-street, or the subscriber in the Northern Liberties.
      LEVI BUDD.
      Date of Record: 5 December 1782
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, 7 December 1782.

  • Slaveholder Name: Burrows, Florentine
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Associated with shipping and the Sloop Diamond in 1736. Florentine is typically considered a female name, and the ad below does not identify this person as the ship's master or captain. In that another person of the same surname, Stephen Burrows, was the captain of a sloop that in 1738 advertised an enslaved Caribbean woman for sale while tied up at a city wharf, could Florentine be a wife or sister of the below listed Stephen Burrows? It was not unheard of for a captain to have a wife or even family on board a ship while it was in harbor.
      1736 Philadelphia advertisement selling an enslaved boy from a ship tied up at a city wharf.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Not named
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about 18 Years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1718
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negre Boy"
      Notes: Offered for sale in May 1736. Text of ad placed by Florentine Burrows: "TO BE SOLD reasonably, A Likely Negro Boy, about 18 Years of age. Any Person inclining to purchase him may apply to Florentine Burrows, on board the Sloop Diamond, now lying at the Wharfe of Mr. Morris the Baker.
      If any Gentlemen, or others, have occasion for Freight or Passage to the Island of Jamaica, in the said Diamond Sloop, I am ready to serve them."
      Date of Record: 06 May 1736.
      Sources: The American Weekly Mercury, 6 May 1736.

  • Slaveholder Name: Burrows, Stephen
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation: Ship's captain
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Not named
      Sex: Female
      Age: "aged about 30 Years"
      Date of Birth: circa 1708
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Woman"
      Notes: Born in Bermuda. Offered for sale in March 1738. Text of ad placed by Burrows: "TO BE SOLD, ON board the Sloop Delight, Stephen Burrows Master, lying at Mr. Allen's Wharff: A likely Bermudian Negroe Woman, aged about 30 Years, fit for any sort of Houshold work either in Town or Country, by the said Stephen Burrows."
      Date of Record: 14 March 1738; this ad ran through April 6, 1738.
      Sources: Pennsylvania Gazette, 14 March 1738.

  • Slaveholder Name: Burton, Thomas
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Not named
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about seventeen or eighteen years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1756 or 1757
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Mulatto boy"
      Notes: Escaped from Thomas Burton in 1774. Text of runaway ad placed by Burton:
      EIGHT DOLLARS REWARD.
      RAN AWAY from the subscriber, living in Philadelphia, a mulatto boy, about seventeen or eighteen years of age, with straight black hair which he dresses; he is tall and slim, has a little blemish in one of his eyes, has been lately cured of a sore on one of his great toes, and one on his shin bone a little above the instep; he is a barber by trade, dresses hair very well, is fond of strong liquor, and was some time in Bristol waiting on the subscriber; He took with him a read coat turned up with white cape and cuffs, a black, a white and a blue ditto, a red, a black, and a white waistcoat, and white Russia breeches. Whoever will apprehend him, and bring him to Messrs. FULLER and FISHER in Philadelphia, or secures him in any of his Majesty's goals, shall have a Reward of FOUR DOLLARS if within fifty miles, and if further oft the above Reward, and all charges, paid by
      THOMAS BURTON.
      Date of Record: 28 November 1774
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet & General Advertiser, 28 November 1774.

  • Slaveholder Name: Byrne, Patrick
    City or Township: Philadelphia
    County: Philadelphia County
    Occupation:
    Notes: Located "the corner of Front and Walnut-streets"

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Not named
      Sex: Female
      Age: "about eighteen years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1760
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Wench"
      Notes: Offered for sale in July 1778. Text of sale ad placed by Byrne: "TO BE SOLD, A STRONG, healthy, likely Negro Wench, fit for town and country, about eighteen years of age, this country born, has had the small-pox. Enquire of PATRICK BYRNE, in Front-street, Philadelphia."
      Date of Record: 16 July 1778
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet & General Advertiser, 16, 25 July 1778.
       
    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Not named
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about twenty-five years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1754
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Offered for sale in October 1779. Text of sale ad placed by Byrne: "TO BE SOLD, A LIKELY NEGRO MAN, about twenty-five years of age, a good servant, and very fit for any kind of house-work. Enquire at PATRICK BYRNE'S, the corner of Front and Walnut-streets, Philadelphia."
      Date of Record: 14 October 1779
      Sources: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet & General Advertiser, 14 October 1779.

 

 

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