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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

York County, Pennsylvania Slaveholders A - Z

Slaveholders Listed on this Page

  1. Unknown slaveholder (Enslaved persons listed: an entire enslaved family)
  2. Agnew, John (Enslaved persons listed: advertised to buy a slave)
  3. Alexander, William (Enslaved persons listed: Jack Johnson)
  4. Banta, Samuel (Enslaved persons listed: Jack, Leah, Seeb)
  5. Brien, John Spring Forge, (Enslaved persons listed: Issac aka Cudjo)
  6. Chambers, Joseph (Enslaved persons listed: James Jones, Elizabeth)
  7. Chesney, William (Enslaved persons listed: William Keith, seven un-named slaves)
  8. Cronmiller, Martin (Enslaved persons listed: Un-named male)
  9. Die, John (Enslaved persons listed: Priscilla)
  10. Dill, James (Enslaved persons listed: Joe)
  11. Dill, Matthew (Enslaved persons listed: Phida)
  12. Dorland, Garret (Enslaved persons listed: Jack, Leah, Seeb)
  13. Douglass, Mathew (Enslaved persons listed: William Wallace)
  14. Dowdle, Michael (Enslaved persons listed: Cato)
  15. Edie, John (Enslaved persons listed: Priscilla)
  16. Gossler, Philip, Captain (Enslaved persons listed: Joe a.k.a. John)
  17. Graybell, Jacob (Enslaved persons listed: Ann Thornton and daughter, Thomas Doyle)
  18. Graybell, Michael (Enslaved persons listed: Mosey, John, Sally, Nathan Thomas, Tom, Moll, Nathan, Peter, Cato, William Kyssey, Jack, Spencer or Paca, Harry, Tom, John Dickison, Jack, Ezekiel Jack, Peter Brown, Negroe Harry, Negro Harry)
  19. Harnett, Cornelius (Enslaved persons listed: Sawney)
  20. Hay, John (Enslaved persons listed: Toby)
  21. Hersh, Benjamin (Enslaved persons listed: Charlotte Moore)
  22. Hoke, Peter (Enslaved persons listed: George)
  23. Jameson, David (Enslaved persons listed: Cato)
  24. Jones, Robert (Enslaved persons listed: Un-named male, Un-named female)
  25. Kelly, James (Enslaved persons listed: Bill)
  26. Leitner, Ignatius (Enslaved persons listed: Baker Donoway)
  27. McAllister, Abdiel (Enslaved persons listed: Nathan Butler, Jack Peters)
  28. McAllister, Richard (Enslaved persons listed: Cato, Jack, Poll, Grate, Jack (2), Jonathan)
  29. McClellan, Robert (Enslaved persons listed: Isaac Williams)
  30. McClellan, William (Enslaved persons listed: Michael, a.k.a. Jem)
  31. Oldham, James (Enslaved persons listed: Isaac Williams)
  32. Rankin, James (Enslaved persons listed: Adult male, his wife and three children--all unnamed)
  33. Rankin, John (Enslaved persons listed: Ralph)
  34. Rutter, Andrew (Enslaved persons listed: James Connel)
  35. Sample, Cunningham (Enslaved persons listed: Jack, Caesar, Cash)
  36. Scott, Joseph (Enslaved persons listed: John Jones)
  37. Sherman, Conrad (Enslaved persons listed: Sanbo, George, Tom)
  38. Swoope, Michael, Col. (Enslaved persons listed: Jack)
  39. Tamer, Elizabeth (Enslaved persons listed: Sue)
  40. Worley, Joseph (Enslaved persons listed: James Cowey)

About the Information in this List

Each listing represents a record of one Black enslaved person or indentured servant (more on terminology below). The list is sorted alphabetically according to the slaveholder's surname. This order is useful because It groups together enslaved persons who would have lived in the same household, farm or industry, and increases the likelihood of finding persons related to each other. Recorded surnames for enslaved persons in this time period are rare, many being identified only through their given name. You can search this listing for a specific slave given name by using your browser's Find feature (usually Ctrl + F).

Dates of birth given for the enslaved persons, unless specified in the original documents, have been calculated by subtracting their given age from the date of the record. Very often their ages, as reported in the original records, are given as approximations (such as "about 25 years of age"), which is indicated by a lower case "a" following their age. The term Status refers to the enslaved person's relative freedom. Unless specified otherwise, slaves served "for life" prior to Pennsylvania's Gradual Emancipation Act of 1780. Children born to enslaved mothers after the passage of that legislation were, according to law, to serve until age 28, which was most of their productive lives.

Description refers to that of the enslaved person as given in the original source (including misspellings). This was often the means by which enslaved persons were categorized according to race and relative age.

Terminology, and Other Notes

The terms "slave" and "servant" were often used interchangeably, especially in the earliest years of the time period covered in this study. After the Gradual Emancipation Act of 1780 was passed in Pennsylvania, the term "servant" frequently came to mean either someone in indentured servitude or someone employed by the head of the household. The passage from enslavement to servant was often indistinct for many Blacks, many of whom remained with their former enslavers after being legally emancipated. The term "slave" is used throughout this listing to represent these persons who were truly in bondage, even though some records listed them as "servants." This list does not include white indentured servants, who represented a different class of labor from Black slaves and Black "indentured servants."

The locations listed for the slaveholders, especially City or Township are greatly mixed, and represent the location listed in the original record. As township boundaries shifted and new townships and counties were created, the original listing may be misleading.

Enslavement Data

  • Slaveholder Name: ?
    City or Township: York
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes: The slaveholder here, in selling an entire slave family, apparently wished to remain anonymous.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: ?
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 30 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1748
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Text of sale ad:
      "York Town, March 21, 1778.
      TO BE DISPOSED OF, A STRONG healthy Negro MAN, has had the smallpox, about 30 years of age, his wife and three children, the eldest of whom is six years: The man has been employed on a farm for some years, and besides his knowledge of farming he can ditch very well. Whoever may incline to purchase them, will apply to the PRINTERS."
      Date of Record: March 21, 1778
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: ?
      Gender: Female
      Age: ? (adult in 1778)
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Slave for life
      Description:
      Notes: Offered for sale in March, 1778, along with her husband and three children.
      Date of Record: March 21, 1778
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

    3. Enslaved Person's Name: ?
      Gender: Not determined
      Age: 6
      Date of Birth: 1772 (calculated)
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: child
      Notes: Offered for sale in March, 1778, along with rest of family. This is the oldest child.
      Date of Record: March 21, 1778
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

    4. Enslaved Person's Name: ?
      Gender: Not determined
      Age: ? (child)
      Date of Birth: Prior to 1772.
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: child
      Notes: Offered for sale in March, 1778, along with rest of family.
      Date of Record: March 21, 1778
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

    5. Enslaved Person's Name: ?
      Gender: Not determined
      Age: ? (child)
      Date of Birth: Prior to 1772.
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: child
      Notes: Offered for sale in March, 1778, along with rest of family.
      Date of Record: March 21, 1778
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

  • Slaveholder Name: Agnew, John
    City or Township: Hamilton Bann Township
    County: York (This township became part of Adams County in 1800)
    Occupation:
    Notes: Agnew placed the following advertisement in The Pennsylvania Gazette on September 10, 1778: "Wanted immediately, a stout young Negro Lad, fit for farming."
    It is not known if he obtained a slave as a result of this ad.

  • Slaveholder Name: Alexander, William 1800 ad from William Alexander at Codorus Forge in York County, seeking to purchase enslaved young men for the forge.
    City or Township: Codorus Forge, "near York Town"
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes: In June 1800, Alexander advertised to purchase workers for the Codorus Forge: "WANTED TO PURCHASE, The time of two young Negro men from 16 to 20 years of age, who have to serve until they are 28 years old. A Carter and some Forgemen are wanted at the Codorus Forge. WM. ALEXANDER. June 10th, 1800." (The York Recorder, 02 July 1800.)

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Johnson, Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: 35a
      Date of Birth: 1743 (calculated)
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "much in the yellowish order"
      Notes: Text of runaway ad:
      "January 31, 1778.
      TEN POUNDS Reward.
      RUN away last September, from the Subscriber, living at Codorus Forge, near York Town, a Negroe man, named Jack Johnson, about 35 years of age, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, much in the yellowish order; had on when he went away, a small bound felt hat, a new tow shirt, a pair of snuff coloured fustian breeches, lined with check, old stockings and shoes; he is a saucy fellow, and much given to drink. Whoever takes up and secures said Negroe, so as his master may have him again, shall have the above reward, and reasonable charges if brought home, paid by WILLIAM ALEXANDER."
      Date of Record: February 07, 1778
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

  • Slaveholder Name: Banta, Samuel
    City or Township:
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes: "Garret Dorland was leaving York County for Kentucky in 1790 and sold these three people to his brother in law Samuel Banta, who was married to Garret's sister Dyna Dorland. Garret and Dyna were the children of Lambert Dorland and Styntje Terheune Voorhees of Somerset County, NJ. Both the Bantas and the Dorlands were members of the Low Dutch Colony living in Straban, Berwick, Mt. Pleasant and Mt. Joy Townships of York County. The Colony existed from about 1769 through 1790, before the majority of its members moved to Mercer, Henry and Shelby Counties, Kentucky. Garret Dorland had been a justice living in Berwick Township. His father Lambert died in 1772 and Garret moved to Conewago after that date. It is possible that the parents of these slaves originated in the Montgomery Twp Somerset County, NJ area."

    "Sam and Dyna Dorland Banta did move to Kentucky and eventually with their children joined the Shaker Community. If these slaves traveled with them, then there is a chance that they also became part of the Shaker Community at Pleasant Hill." (Email correspondence, Judy Cassidy to Afrolumens Project, March 7, 2005)

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: 10
      Date of Birth: 1779 -- December 18
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Moalote" (mulatto)
      Notes: Sold to Samuel Banta of York County in May, 1790. Text of sales agreement:
      All men by these presents know that I, Garret Dorland of York County, state of Pennsylvania, for and in consideration of the sums of one hunired poinds to me in hand pade at and before the selling and delivery hear of by Samuel Banta in the County of York, State of Pennsylvania, wear of I do hereby acknowledge have bargained and sold and by these presents aforesaid a Moalote boy named JACK, boarin the year one thousand seaven hundret and seavinty-nine, the eighteen day of December and a negro garl, LEAH, boarn seaventeen and Eaty-two the twenty day of March and a negro boy SEEB, boarn seavinteen and eat-five, tent day of March.
      Date of Record: May 11, 1790
      Source: Dorland, Garret to Samuel Banta, Bill of Sale, York Co Deed Book F, 399 11 May 1790. Transcription provided by Judy Cassidy. (Email correspondence, Judy Cassidy to Afrolumens Project, March 7, 2005)

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Leah
      Gender: Female
      Age: 8
      Date of Birth: 1782 -- March 20
      Status: Slave to age 28
      Description: "Negro garl"
      Notes: Sold to Samuel Banta of York County in May, 1790. See the notes for the slave Jack, above, for the text of the sales agreement.
      Date of Record: May 11, 1790
      Source: Dorland, Garret to Samuel Banta, Bill of Sale, York Co Deed Book F, 399 11 May 1790. Transcription provided by Judy Cassidy. (Email correspondence, Judy Cassidy to Afrolumens Project, March 7, 2005)

    3. Enslaved Person's Name: Seeb
      Gender: Male
      Age: 5
      Date of Birth: 1785 -- March 10
      Status: Slave to age 28
      Description: "Negro boy"
      Notes: Sold to Samuel Banta of York County in May, 1790. See the notes for the slave Jack, above, for the text of the sales agreement.
      Date of Record: May 11, 1790
      Source: Dorland, Garret to Samuel Banta, Bill of Sale, York Co Deed Book F, 399 11 May 1790. Transcription provided by Judy Cassidy. (Email correspondence, Judy Cassidy to Afrolumens Project, March 7, 2005)

      Advertisement for runaway slave Isaac.

  • Slaveholder Name: Brien, John
    City or Township: Spring Forge, on Codurus Creek, West Manheim Township
    County: York
    Occupation: Forge manager, later owner
    Notes: Spring Forge was purchased by John Brien in 1800, and acquired by Robert Coleman in 1815.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Isaac, or Cudjo
      Gender: Male
      Age: 21a
      Date of Birth: 1778 (calculated)
      Status: Not stated; "property of Robert Coleman" (See the Lancaster listings for Robert Coleman). His year of birth indicates he was probably a slave for life.
      Description: Negro, 5 feet 8 inches; a trained forgeman at Spring Forge, probably also worked at a forge or furnace in Chester County
      Notes: Although Robert Coleman is listed as slaveholder, John Brien, manager of Spring Forge, placed the ad when he ran away from the forge in October 1799. Text of runaway ad:
      "Twenty Dollars Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from Spring Forge, in York County, a negro man, named ISAAC, otherwise CUDJO, about 21 years old, the property of Robert Coleman; Esq. He is about 5 feet 8 inches high, has a blemish in his eyes, more white in them than common, by trade a Forgeman; had on and took with him a drab coloured broad cloth coat, almost new, a sailors jacket and pantaloons printed fancy cord, a swansdown striped under jacket; a rorum hat; one fine and one course shirt, one muslin handkerchief, sprigged, two ditto striped border, a blue Persian under jacket and tow pair cotton stockings. Whoever takes up said negro and lodges him in any jail in this or any of the neighbouring states shall have the above reward or reasonable expences if brought home.
      JOHN BRIEN.
      Spring Forge, October 23, 1799.
      N.B. As said negro formerly lived in Chester county, it is probable he may return there."
      Date of Record: February 07, 1778
      Source: The United States Gazette, 20 August 1800, page 4.

  • Slaveholder Name: Chambers, Joseph
    City or Township: York Town
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes: Registered two slaves-for-life in 1780 (source: History of York County, Pennsylvania, Vol. 1. George R. Prowell. J.H. Beers & Co., Chicago. 1907)

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: James Jones
      Slave Sex: Male
      Age: "about 28 years of age" at second esape attempt, 1769
      Date of Birth: Circa 1741
      Status: Slave for life; repeated escapes
      Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Ran away in 1756.  Text of runaway ad placed by Chambers in the Pennsylvania Gazette:
      Yorktown, York county, Sept. 2, 1756.
      RUN away from Joseph Chambers, of Yorktown, a well set active Negroe fellow, named James, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, and speaks good English: Had on a brown coloured coat, lined with white coloured calimancoe, a brown jacket, lined with Bristol stuff, coarse shirt and trowsers, old shoes, and a hat, but I know not what sort. Whoever secures said fellow in any goal, so as his master may have him again, shall have Forty Shillings reward, and reasonable charges, if taken in this province, and Three Pounds if taken out of it, paid by JOSEPH CHAMBERS.
      N.B. He can beat a drum, and has a great desire to be amongst soldiers. He was seen near Philadelphia, and is supposed to be in or about town. Whoever secures him as aforesaid, shall be paid as mentioned above, by Joseph Bell, at the Harp and Crown, in Third street, Philadelphia.
      Ran away again in 1769 in the company of two other men. Text of runaway ad, from the Pennsylvania Gazette, August 17, 1769:
      RUN away from the Subscriber, living in Donegall, Lancaster county, an Irish servant man, named JOHN ROBESON, about 22 years of age, about 5 feet 6 inches high, of a fresh complexion, red hair, and commonly wears it tied behind, and cued; had on, when he went away, a shirt and trowsers, a linen jacket, with 4 rows of buttons on the breast, and a pair of old shoes; he is a good scholar, and perhaps may pass for a Doctor. There went off with him, a negroe man, named NED, well set, and strong, but not very tall, aged about 28 years, born in the Jerseys, speaks very good English, and can read and write, of a down look, and thick lips; had on, when he went away, a coarse shirt and trowsers, a hat, bound round the edge, and a hood worked in it; he may be taken for a Mulattoe, by his colour, and probably both may have provided other clothes. Likewise ran away in company with them, a likely Negroe man, belonging to Joseph Chambers in York town, named James Jones, about 28 years of age, about 5 feet 11 inches high, slim made, born in this country, and has a good countenance; he took with him a blue broadcloth coat, black velvet jacket, and breeches, a pair of leather ditto, two fine shirts, one of them ruffled, 2 coarse ditto, two pair of coarse trowsers, a pair of pumps, with silver shoe buckles, a pair of strong shoes, a blanket, and a gun, with a splint in the stock, near the butt. It is likely they may have forged passes, as the white man writes a good hand. whoever takes up and secures the said servants, so that their masters may have them again, shall have SIX POUNDS reward for the three, or Forty Shillings for either, if taken separate, and reasonable charges, paid by us. ALEXANDER LOWRY, JOSEPH CHAMBERS.
      Dates of Records: September 9, 1756; August 17, 1769
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette
    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Elizabeth Posted notice, 1802, by a formely enslaved woman of her intent to live free in York, Pennsylvania
      Slave Sex: Female
      Age: Adult
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Formerly enslaved
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Elizabeth ("Negro Elizabeth") took out an advertisement in at least one York area newspaper in 1802, announcing her intention of living in the borough of York as a free woman, upon the passing of her former enslaver, Joseph Chambers.
      Notice.
      THE Subscriber, formerly the property of Joseph Chambers, deceased, hereby gives this public notice to all and every person who may have, or set up any claim to her, that she resides in the Borough of York, Pennsylvania, where she means to continue, and to insist upon her right to freedom.
      NEGRO ELIZABETH.
      York, February 9th, 1802.
      Date of Record: 09 February 1802
      Source: The York Recorder, 24 February 1802.

  • Slaveholder Name: Chesney, William
    City or Township: Newberry Township
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes: Registered seven slaves-for-life in 1780 (source: History of York County, Pennsylvania, Vol. 1. George R. Prowell. J.H. Beers & Co., Chicago. 1907)  His will, dated November 4, 1782, bequeaths "all my Negro and Mulatto slaves, male and female," to his wife Elizabeth (York County Will Book F, 72).  The exact number of enslaved persons is not specified.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Keith, William
      Slave Sex: Male
      Age: 40a
      Date of Birth: 1729 (calculated)
      Status: Runaway
      Description: Negro man
      Slave Notes: Text of runaway ad, from the Pennsylvania Gazette, June 15, 1769:
      York County, in Pennsylvania, June 10, 1769. RUN away, on the 13th of March last, from the Subscriber, at Sasquenanna, near Harris Ferry, a Negroe Man, called Will, alias William Keith; he is about 5 feet 9 Inches high, thin visaged, a little Pock marked, not very black, about 40 years old, a smooth talking Fellow, can be very mannerly, reads and writes, and is a Cooper by Trade and is also very handy about a Farmer's House; he is well acquainted in Philadelphia, having learnt his trade there, and lived several years ago with Dr. Graham, of that city; he had on, when he went away, a brown homespun Cloth Coat, pretty much worn, yellow buttons; an old white Flannel Jacket, Buckskin Breeches, and an old Felt Hat. He told on the Road, that he was a free Negroe, formerly belonging to one Mr. Blunston, of Lancaster County. Whoever takes up said Slave, and secures him, so that his Master, the subscriber, may have him again, shall have THREE POUNDS Reward, and reasonable Charges, paid by
      WILLIAM CHESNEY.
      N.B. All Masters of Vessels are requested not to carry him off.
      Date of Record: June 15, 1769
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

  • Slaveholder Name: Cronmiller, Martin
    City or Township: York Township, "two Miles from York Town."
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Not stated
      Gender: Male
      Age: 26a
      Date of Birth: 1737 (calculated)
      Status: Slave for life; Self-emancipated in January 1763
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Text of runaway ad:
      "RUN away from the Subscriber, living in York Township, two Miles from York Town, on George Stevenson Esquire's Mill, on the First of this inst. January, A middle sized Negroe Man, about 25 or 26 Years of Age: Had on when he went away, A lightish home made Cloth Coat, made Dutch Fashion, with large white Metal Buttons, and an under jacket, of the same Cloth, with small Buttons of the same Sort, black Leather Breeches, stitched on each Side of the Thighes, with a Worm worked with Silk, and a straight Stroke worked up through the Middle of the Worms, greyish fulled Stockings, old Shoes, newly soaled, the Soals full of Nails, white Metal Shoe Buckles, one of them has a Piece broken off on one Side, and a yellow Silk Handkerchief. He has an Ailment in his Left eye. Whoever takes up said Negroe, and secures him in any of His majesty's Goals, so that his Master may have him again, or brings him to henry Wolfe, Tavernkeeper, in York Town, shall have Five Pounds Reward, and reasonable Charges, paid by
      MARTIN CRONMILLER."
      Date of Record: January 20, 1763
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

  • Slaveholder Name: Die, John
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Priscilla
      Gender: Female
      Age: "about 30 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1768
      Status: Slave for life; Self-emancipated in November 1798
      Description: "Negro girl"
      Notes: Escaped on November 3, 1798 in company with a man named Clem, who was claimed as a slave by a Maryland slaveholder. Text of runaway ad placed by Die:
      TWENTY Dollars Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber, livng in the Borough of York, on the night of the 3d inst. a negro girl, named PRISCILLA, about 30 years of age, hyellow coloured and looks somewhat like a mulatto, stout made, has a pretty good countenance; and has a halt in her walk, occasioned by the loss of all her toes off the right foot. She took with her a number of good cloaths-- soem of them unknown, two chintz gowns, two blue stuff petticoats, good shoes or slippers, -- She is supposed to have gone off in company with a negro man named CLEM, who passes for her husband, and for whom a reward of 100 dollars is advertised by him master, livng in Maryland. He is a stout fellow, about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, with small legs and remarkable large feet. Whoever secures said negro girl, so that I get her again, shall receive the above reward, and reasonable charges if brought home.
      JOHN E. DIE.
      November 8, 1798.
      See also the enslaved person Bill, with slaveholder James Kelly, who was also advertised as escaping in company with the man named Clem.
      Date of Record: 8 November 1798
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 14 November 1798

  • Slaveholder Name: Dill, James
    City or Township: Monaghan Twp
    County: York
    Occupation: Innkeeper, Dill's Tavern, Dillsburg (1755-1784)
    Notes: Major James Dill was enumerated with four slaves in the 1790 census of Monaghan Township, York County.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Joe
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 25 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1755
      Status: Runaway
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Ran away on September 25, 1780. Text of runaway ad placed by Dill:
      York County, October 10, 1780
      Four Hundred Dollars Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber, the 25th of last month, a NEGRO MAN named JOE, about 25 years of age; about 6 feet high, a stout well made fellow: Had on when he went away, a greyish coloured coat and a brown jacket, the other cloaths are unknown; and is supposed to have a rifle gun with him. Whoever takes up or secures said Negro in any gaol in the state, shall have the above reward and reasonable charges paid, by
      JAMES DILL.
      Date of Record: October 10, 1780
      Source: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, 14, 31 October 1780

  • Slaveholder Name: Dill, Matthew
    City or Township: Monaghan Township
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Phida
      Gender: Female
      Age: "about 27 years of age"
      Date of Birth: About 1758, based upon her reported age in the runaway advertisement.  This year of birth would have made Phida a slave for life.
      Status: Runaway
      Description: "Negroe Wench"
      Notes: Ran away on September 15, 1785. Text of runaway ad from the Carlisle Gazette:
      FOUR DOLLARS REWARD
      RAN away about the 15th of September last. From the subscriber, a Negro Wench, about 27 years of age, a good looking Wench, pock pitted; most about her nose; she has a good many summer clothes; her name is Phida. It is supposed she will make towards Fredrick-town in Maryland. Whoever takes and secures said Wench, so that the owner may ger her shall have the above reward and reasonable charges paid by
      Matthew DILL
      Monaghan township,
      York County, 5th Oct. 1785
      Date of Record: October 5, 1785
      Source: The Carlisle Gazette, in "Cumberland County gleanings: 1785-92: Carlisle Gazette: PA," Contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Calista Sanderson.

  • Slaveholder Name: Dorland, Garret
    City or Township:  Berwick Township
    County: York
    Occupation:  Judge
    Notes: "Garret Dorland was leaving York County for Kentucky in 1790 and sold these three people to his brother in law Samuel Banta, who was married to Garret's sister Dyna Dorland. Garret and Dyna were the children of Lambert Dorland and Styntje Terheune Voorhees of Somerset County, NJ. Both the Bantas and the Dorlands were members of the Low Dutch Colony living in Straban, Berwick, Mt. Pleasant and Mt. Joy Townships of York County. The Colony existed from about 1769 through 1790, before the majority of its members moved to Mercer, Henry and Shelby Counties, Kentucky. Garret Dorland had been a justice living in Berwick Township. His father Lambert died in 1772 and Garret moved to Conewago after that date. It is possible that the parents of these slaves originated in the Montgomery Twp Somerset County, NJ area."

    "Sam and Dyna Dorland Banta did move to Kentucky and eventually with their children joined the Shaker Community. If these slaves traveled with them, then there is a chance that they also became part of the Shaker Community at Pleasant Hill." (Email correspondence, Judy Cassidy to Afrolumens Project, March 7, 2005)

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: 10
      Date of Birth: 1779 -- December 18
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Moalote" (mulatto)
      Notes: Sold to Samuel Banta of York County in May, 1790. Text of sales agreement (original spellings preserved):
      All men by these presents know that I, Garret Dorland of York County, state of Pennsylvania, for and in consideration of the sums of one hunired poinds to me in hand pade at and before the selling and delivery hear of by Samuel Banta in the County of York, State of Pennsylvania, wear of I do hereby acknowledge have bargained and sold and by these presents aforesaid a Moalote boy named JACK, boarin the year one thousand seaven hundret and seavinty-nine, the eighteen day of December and a negro garl, LEAH, boarn seaventeen and Eaty-two the twenty day of March and a negro boy SEEB, boarn seavinteen and eat-five, tent day of March.
      Date of Record: May 11, 1790
      Source: Dorland, Garret to Samuel Banta, Bill of Sale, York Co Deed Book F, 399 11 May 1790. Transcription provided by Judy Cassidy. (Email correspondence, Judy Cassidy to Afrolumens Project, March 7, 2005)

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Leah
      Gender: Female
      Age: 8
      Date of Birth: 1782 -- March 20
      Status: Slave to age 28
      Description: "Negro garl"
      Notes: Sold to Samuel Banta of York County in May, 1790. See the notes for the slave Jack, above, for the text of the sales agreement.
      Date of Record: May 11, 1790
      Source: Dorland, Garret to Samuel Banta, Bill of Sale, York Co Deed Book F, 399 11 May 1790. Transcription provided by Judy Cassidy. (Email correspondence, Judy Cassidy to Afrolumens Project, March 7, 2005)

    3. Enslaved Person's Name: Seeb
      Gender: Male
      Age: 5
      Date of Birth: 1785 -- March 10
      Status: Slave to age 28
      Description: "Negro boy"
      Notes: Sold to Samuel Banta of York County in May, 1790. See the notes for the slave Jack, above, for the text of the sales agreement.
      Date of Record: May 11, 1790
      Source: Dorland, Garret to Samuel Banta, Bill of Sale, York Co Deed Book F, 399 11 May 1790. Transcription provided by Judy Cassidy. (Email correspondence, Judy Cassidy to Afrolumens Project, March 7, 2005)

  • Slaveholder Name: Douglass, Mathew
    City or Township: Chanceford Township
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: William Wallace
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 16 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1833
      Status: Runaway
      Description: "Mulatto boy"
      Notes: Escaped from Douglass in September 1849. Text of runaway ad from the York Gazette:
      5 DOLLARS REWARD.
      Ranaway from the subscriber in Chanceford township, York county, a bound mulatto boy, named William Wallace; he is about five feet high and about 16 years of age; had on when he left a pair of blue drilling pantaloons, crossbarred vest, a fine pleated breast shirt and straw hat. The above reward will be paid to any person who will return said boy to the undersigned or place him in the York jail.
      MATHEW DOUGLASS.
      September 18, 1849.
      Note: There is a William Wallace living in Chanceford Township in 1860, married, laborer, age 23. His wife is Elizabeth, age 20, son James F., age 3 and daughter Sarah, age 1. All born in Pennsylvania. They live next to an Amos Wallace, age 26, married with a family, all born in Pennsylvania. All are two farms away from the Matthew Douglass farm. Very possibly the same person. (Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, Chanceford Townshihp, York County, Pennsylvania, 10 August 1860)
      Date of Record: 18 September 1849
      Source: York Gazette, 18 September 1849

  • Slaveholder Name: Dowdle, Michael
    City or Township: York Town
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Cato
      Gender: Male
      Age: Not stated
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Captured and imprisoned in Reading, Berks County. Text of jailor's ad:
      Reading, February 20, 1784.
      DELIVERED into my custody, A certain person, called John McKinney, a native Irishman, has been in the country but a short time; says he came over to America in this ship known by the name of Three Brothers, commanded by Captain Gilles.
      Also, a Negroe Man, who calls himself CATO, belonging to Michael Dowdle, living in York-Town, in the county of York, and state of Pennsylvania.
      The owner or owners are hereby requested, on or before the 15th day of March, to take them away, defray the expences and charges, otherwise they will be discharged or sold according to law.
      WILLIAM WITMAN, Goaler.
      Date of Record: March 3, 1784
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette--Accessible Archives, Item #69824

  • Slaveholder Name: Edie, John, General
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Newspaper publisher, York Herald and General Advertiser
    Notes: Identified by Dr. Samuel Fahnestock of Lancaster as a former owner of the enslaved woman Priscilla, who escaped from Fahnestock in 1791. Edie was a Revolutionary War office, serving as Major of the 2nd Battalion of York Militia. Served as sheriff of York County, 1787-1788. Was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate for Lancaster and York counties, 1792-1794. Brigadier General of York County Militia, 1807.
    Source: "John Edie, Biography," Pennsylvania Senate Library Member Biographies, https://www.library.pasen.gov/people/member-biography?id=4578, accessed 11 July 2024.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Priscilla
      Gender: Female
      Age: "about 28 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1771
      Status: Runaway from Samuel Fahnestock in Lancaster.
      Description: "Negro Woman"
      Notes: Text of Dr. Fahnestock's runaway ad:
      Ten Dollars Reward. RANAWAY on the night of Tuesday the 28th inst. A NEGRO WOMAN, named PRISCILLA, about 28 years of age, middling tall, of a handsome countenance, speaks plain English and has no toes on her right foot, in consequence of which she limps a little in walking. She was formerly the property of John Edie of Yorktown, Has a Husband named CLEM. Took with her a large quantity of clothing, which I cannot describe, except a white felt Hat with green underneath. The above reward will be paid to any person who will secure the said Negro so that I may get her again, with reasonable charges if brought home. SAMUEL FAHNESTOCK.
      June 1.
      Date of Record: June 01, 1799
      Source: Lancaster Journal

  • Slaveholder Name: Gossler, Philip, Captain
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Innkeeper, hotel on West Market Street, 1785-1798
    Notes: Mentioned in a runaway ad as the previous owner of Joe, who escaped from a Libertytown, Maryland slaveholder in January 1800. A former soldier from the Revolution, Philip Gossler in 1785 opened a tavern and hotel on West Market Street, near Beaver Street, in York borough. It was largely patronized by former soldiers of the Revolution. Gossler operated it at least through 1798.
    Source: George Reeser Prowell, History of York County, Pennsylvania, Volume I, Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1907, pp. 798-799.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Joe a.k.a. John
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad, but described as a "man."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Escaped; self-emancipated
      Description: "Negro man"
      Notes: Text of runaway ad placed by Joe's Maryland enslaver upon his January 1st escape:
      "RAN away from the Subscriber, living in Frederick County, Maryland, two miles from Libertytown, about the 1st of January Inst. a Negro man named JOE. He is about 5 feet 7 inches high, stout and well made, is near sighted, and has a remarkable lump on one of his rists. He had on, when he went away, a round-about jacket of a drab colour, breeches of the same, much worn, a drab-coloured under-jacket, pieced across the shoulders with coarse dark mixed cloth, white woolen stockings, and coarse shoes with nails in the bottoms. He formerly lived with Capt. P. Gossler, in York, and had a Wife when there.
      Whoever takes up said fellow, and secures him in any Jail, so that his master gets him again, shall have the above Reward, and reasonable charges if brought home.
      JOHN NORRIS.
      N.B. It is suspected he has a Pass, and will call himself John."
      Note: a less detailed ad appeared in The York Recorder, dated January 7th. It ran through February. Date of Record: January 7, 22, 1800.
      Source: Lancaster Intelligencer & Weekly Advertiser

  • Slaveholder Name: Graybell, Jacob
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Jailer, York County
    Notes: County jailers often became temporary slaveholders, acting as agents for the county in disposing of slaves who went unclaimed by their owners. Some were advertised as being "sold for costs," while others, such as the example of the woman and her child below, were to be released upon the payment of her fees.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Ann Thornton
      Gender: Female
      Age: Age not given in ad, but is an adult of childbearing age in 1763.
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Mulatto Woman"
      Notes: Arrested in York County with a two-year-old female child and committed to the county jail in York Borough in early April 1763. Jailer Graybell waited two months before placing this ad in The Pennsylvania Gazette. Text of jailer's ad:
      ON the seventh of April last was committed to the Goal of York County, on Suspicion of her being a Slave, a Mulatto Woman, who calls herself Ann Thornton, and has with her a Female Child, about two Years old, she says she was born in Baltimore County, near Deer Creek. Any Person having any Claim to her, is hereby notified to come, pay her Prison Fees, and take her away, in four Weeks from this Date, otherwise she will be discharged, paying her Fees. JACOB GRAYBELL, Goaler.
      York County, June 4, 1763.
      Date of Record: June 4, 1763
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 16 June 1763.

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: ?
      Gender: Female
      Age: 2 years old
      Date of Birth: 1761 (calculated)
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: Female Child
      Notes: Daughter of Ann Thornton, captured with her mother as a runaway and jailed in York County. See the text of the runaway ad, above.
      Date of Record: June 16, 1763
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

    3. Enslaved Person's Name: Thomas Doyle
      Gender: Male
      Age: 25a
      Date of Birth: 1746 (calculated)
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Text of runaway ad:
      York Goal, June 1, 1771.
      COMMITTED to my custody, the 28th day of May last, a Negroe man, who calls himself Thomas Doyle, about 5 feet 8 inches high: had on, when committed, an old castor hat, a greyish double breasted coat, with metal buttons, and leather breeches; he has a mark, occasioned by the flash of powder, under his right eye, and is about 25 years of age; his master is desired to come, pay charges, and take him away. As also one Richard Healy, who was taken out of this goal, about three weeks ago, by his master, who said he would take him to Virginia and sell him there, was afterwards taken up at WrightFerry, on Sasquehanna river, with a bay Horse, with a snip on his nose; had also with him, a blue broadcloth coat, with silver twist buttons, supposed to be stolen; any person claiming the same, may be informed, by the goaler, where they are. Also Henry Steuard, about 17 years of age; who says he belongs to William Steel, in Conegocheague, near ChambersTown; had on, when committed, a blanket coat, and an iron collar about his neck. Their masters are desired to come, pay the charges, and take them away.
      JACOB GRAYBIL, Goaler.
      Date of Record: July 11, 1771
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

  • Slaveholder Name: Graybell, Michael
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Jailer, York County
    Notes: County jailers often became temporary slaveholders, acting as agents for the county in disposing of slaves who went unclaimed by their owners. (see also, Graybell, Jacob, above)

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Mosey
      Gender: Male
      Age: Not specified, but described as a "man"
      Date of Birth: not known
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Captured in York County in November 1773 and jailed in the York borough jail on suspicion of being an escaped slave. Two other white men were advertised with him, but no mention is made that they were traveling together. For the text of the notice published by Jailer Graybell see below. Note that Mosey was wearing a jacket and trowsers specifically described as "Negro clothing," types of clothing made of inexpensive cloth with little style, commonly used in southern states for enslaved persons:
      Yorktown Goal, Nov. 23, 1773.
      Was committed to my custody, three men, viz. a Negroe, who is called Mosey, about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high; had on when committed, a Negroe cotton jacket, with blue flaps, and Negroe cotton breeches. A man, called Andrew Douglass, about 25 or 26 years old; had on a brown broadcloth coat, a brown velvet jacket, and old black knit breeches, very much torn; he is about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, and says he taught school some years ago in Lancaster county. William Mash, an Englishman, about 5 feet 5 inches high; had on a greyish linsey coat, with flat metal buttons, a white cloth jacket, ozenbrigs trowsers; is a well built fellow, near 30 years of age. Their masters are desired to come, pay charges, and take them away, otherwise they will be sold for their fees on the 27th of January next, by
      MICHAEL GRAYBIL, Goaler.
      Date of Record: 23 November 1773
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette 01 December 1773
    2. Enslaved Person's Name: John
      Gender: Male
      Age: not specified
      Date of Birth: not known
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Negroe man"
      Notes: Text of runaway ad:
      York Town Goal, May 12, 1776.
      WAS committed to my custody the following persons, ... A Negroe man, named John, who is a slave to a certain Mr. Bogle, of Cumberland county, formerly belonging to Joseph Simons, of the borough of Lancaster. Also a Negroe woman, who calls herself Sally, and is suspected to be a runaway, having lost her left eye. Their masters are desired to come in three weeks from the date hereof, pay charges, and take them away, otherwise they will be discharged for their fees. MICHAEL GRAYBILL, Goaler.
      Date of Record: 22 May 1776
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette
    3. Enslaved Person's Name: Sally
      Gender: Female
      Age: not specified
      Date of Birth: not known
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Negroe woman"
      Notes: For the text of runaway ad, see "John," above.
      Date of Record: 22 May 1776
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette
    4. Enslaved Person's Name: Harry or Negroe Harry
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about twenty two years of age"
      Date of Birth: 1759 (calculated)
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Negroe"
      Notes: Text of jailer's ad:
      York Town Goal, October 11, 1781.
      WAS committed into my custody on the 13th day of September last past, a certain NEGROE HARRY, who confesseth himself to be a slave to Nicholas Casey, of the State of Virginia, he is about five feet seven inches high, a likely fellow; had on an old felt hat, a torn shirt and trowsers, speaks tolerable good English, and says he was born in the State of New York, in West Chester; about twenty two years of age; his master is desired to come, pay the charges and take him away, with the space of four weeks, or he will be sold.
      MICHAEL GRAYBILL, Goaler.
      Date of Record: 11 October 1781
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette
    5. Enslaved Person's Name: Harry
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Escaped from jail
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Almost certainly a different man named Harry from the person above. Text of 1787 jail break ad:
      BROKE out of York Goal on the eighth inst. April, the following persons to wit:
      NEGRO HARRY, about 5 feet 9 inches high, had on a light cloth coat, old breeches, blue stockings, and coarse shirt, sharp nose. Whoever takes up said runaways and secures them in any goal, shall have four dollars for each, paid by
      MICHAEL GRAYBILL, Goaler.
      April 12, 1787
      Date of Record: 12 April 1787
      Source: The Carlisle Gazette, 25 April 1787.
    6. Enslaved Person's Name: Tom
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad, probably a young male
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Captured in York County and imprisoned as a suspected fugitive slave.
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Tom, Moll and Nathan were all captured in York County and imprisoned in the York jail, Tom and Moll on March 4, 1790 and Nathan weeks before on January 20th. Tom and Moll were traveling together and told Graybell they were from Savannah, Georgia. Nathan was from Maryland and had been in jail for several weeks already when they were committed.
      WAS committed to my custody, on the 4th instant, the following Negroes, viz.
      Negro Tom, about 5 feet 6 inches high, slender made; he had on when committed a blue sailors jacket and trowsers, with patches, a ruffled shirt, a pair of white cotton stockings, old shoes tyed with strings, and a rorum hat.
      Negro Moll, about 5 feet 5 inches high, stout built, had on, a green woolen jacket, oznabrig petticoat and shift, a pair of white yarn stockings, much torn, and old shoes, she is blind of the left eye: They say they belong to David Lyon of Savanna in the state of Georgia.
      Also negro Nathan about five feet ten inches high, talks very fast and has a stoppage in his speech, had on a brown coating coat, with white pewter buttons, white coating jacket, oznabrig shirt, a pair of old woolen breeches, old felt hat, and a pair of old shoes; he says he belongs to Mordecai Offert, of Montgomery county state of Maryland. The owners are desired to come within four weeks from this date, otherwise they will be sold out for their fees by
      MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Gaoler.
      York-Town, March 8, 1790.
      Date of Record: 8 March 1790
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 10 March 1790.

    7. Enslaved Person's Name: Moll
      Gender: Female
      Age: Age not given in ad, probably a young female
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Captured in York County and imprisoned as a suspected fugitive slave.
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Tom, Moll and Nathan were all captured in York County and imprisoned in the York jail, Tom and Moll on March 4, 1790 and Nathan weeks before on January 20th. Tom and Moll were traveling together and told Graybell they were from Savannah, Georgia. Nathan was from Maryland and had been in jail for several weeks already when they were committed. See the entry for Tom, above, for the full descriptive text of each in jailer Graybell's ad.
      Date of Record: 8 March 1790
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 10 March 1790.

    8. Enslaved Person's Name: Nathan
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad, probably a young male
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Captured in York County and imprisoned as a suspected fugitive slave.
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Tom, Moll and Nathan were all captured in York County and imprisoned in the York jail, Tom and Moll on March 4, 1790 and Nathan weeks before on January 20th. Tom and Moll were traveling together and told Graybell they were from Savannah, Georgia. Nathan was from Maryland and had been in jail for several weeks already when they were committed. See the entry for Tom, above, for the full descriptive text of each in jailer Graybell's March ad. His earlier ad for Nathan is below:
      WAS committed to my custody, on the 20th day of January last, Negro NATHAN: He is about 5 feet nine or ten inches high, likely full faced, talks very fast, and has a kind of a stopage in his speech: He had on when committed, a brown coating coat, with white pewter buttons, white coating jacket, osnaburg shirt, a pair of old woolen breeches, white yarn stockings, and a pair of old shoes; says he belongs to Mr. Mordecai Offert, of Montgomery county, state of Maryland. He has a remarkable scar on the right side of his face, and one mark or cut on his forehead. The owner is desired to come within four weeks from this date, otherwise he will be sold out for his fees by
      MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Gaoler.
      York town, Feb. 23, 1790.
      Date of Record: 23 February 1790 (first ad); 8 March 1790 (second ad)
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 03 and 10 March 1790.

    9. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Jailed in York County as a suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Jack was captured in York County and placed in the county jail on April 8, 1790. Text of Jailer's ad:
      WAS committed to my custody, on the 8th day of April instant, Negro JACK: He is about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, speaks well, and is of a smiling countenance: He had on when committed an old felt hat, brown cloth coat, red flannel jacket, osnaburg shirt, leather breeches, white yarn stockings, and a pair of good shoes: He says he belongs to WILLIAM EDLO, of Charles City, upon James River, in Virginia. The owner is desired to come within four weeks, from this dates, or he will be sold out for his fees, by
      MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Gaoler.
      York town, April 20, 1790.
      Date of Record: 20 April 1790
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette and York General Advertiser, 05 May 1790.

    10. Enslaved Person's Name: Peter
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about twenty years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1770
      Status: Jailed in York County as a suspected escaped slave from Maryland.
      Description: "Negro man"
      Notes: Peter was captured in York County and placed in the county jail on October 1, 1790. Text of Jailer's ad: "WAS committed to my custody, on the 1st instant, a negro man, who calls himself PETER; says he belongs to John Taylor, of Harford county, Maryland: He is a likely fellow, about twenty years of age. MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Gaoler. York town, October 19."
      Date of Record: 19 October 1790
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette and York General Advertiser, 27 October 1790.

    11. Enslaved Person's Name: Cato
      Gender: Male
      Age: "near 50 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1741
      Status: Jailed in York County as a suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Negro man"
      Notes: Cato and William were captured in York County and imprisoned in York jail as suspected fugitive slaves. Cato claimed to be from Baltimore and William, claiming he was a free man, from Williamsburg, Virginia. Both were wearing red soldier's coats, and likely were traveling through York county together.
      Two Negro Men
      WAS committed to my custody, one of them calls himself CATO, says he came from Baltimore; he has on a soldier's red coat, was born in Guinea, has three scars on each side of his face, and is near 50 years of age:
      The other calls himself WM. KYSSEY; he is about 40 years of age, and has likewise a red coat, says he is a free man, and came from Williamsburg in Virginia. Their owners are desired to come and pay their costs, and take them away, otherwise they will be sold out for the same.
      MICHAEL GRAYBEL, Gaoler
      York-Town, April 26, 1791.
      Note that Cato was born in Africa and bore tribal marks on his face.
      Date of Record: 26 April 1791
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette and York General Advertiser, 25 May 1791.

    12. Enslaved Person's Name: William Kyssey
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 40 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1751
      Status: Jailed in York County as a suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Negro man"
      Notes: Cato and William were captured in York County and imprisoned in York jail as suspected fugitive slaves. Cato claimed to be from Baltimore and William, claiming he was a free man, from Williamsburg, Virginia. Both were wearing red soldier's coats, and likely were traveling through York county together.
      Two Negro Men
      WAS committed to my custody, one of them calls himself CATO, says he came from Baltimore; he has on a soldier's red coat, was born in Guinea, has three scars on each side of his face, and is near 50 years of age:
      The other calls himself WM. KYSSEY; he is about 40 years of age, and has likewise a red coat, says he is a free man, and came from Williamsburg in Virginia. Their owners are desired to come and pay their costs, and take them away, otherwise they will be sold out for the same.
      MICHAEL GRAYBEL, Gaoler
      York-Town, April 26, 1791.
      William Kyssey's situation represents the extreme dangers facing free Blacks in the back counties of Pennsylvania during this time. If he was actually a free man, his imprisonment was now exposing him to being "sold out for" the cost of his jail fees, which meant entering into enslavement to a local citizen. Slaveholders in the rural counties of Pennsylvania often found ingenious ways of having the terms of enslavement extended, often by years, by local courts for various reasons.
      Date of Record: 26 April 1791
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette and York General Advertiser, 25 May 1791.

    13. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad, but descried as a "man" and a "young fellow."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Jailed as suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Jack was captured in York County and taken to the county jail at York on July 16, 1791. Jailer Graybell placed an ad in local newspapers describing Jack and three other men captured recently:
      Runaway Negroes committed.
      ON the 16th of July was committed to my custody, a Negro Man, who calls himself Jack: He is a young likely fellow, about 5 feet 6 inches high, wore a brown jacket lined with red, says he came from near Goerge-town, Maryland, and brought a horse with him to near McAlister's-town, where he was taken up.

      On the 19th of July a Mullatto fellow who calls himself Spencer or Paca, was committed: He is about 5 feet 9 inches high, 25 years old; had on old linen trowsers and gray cloth jacket; was taken up in Peter Little's Town, and says he belongs to Thomas Fitzhughes, in Farquier County, Virginia.

      On the 31st of July a Negro Man who calls himself Harry, was committed: He is about 5 feet 9 inches high, 29 years of age; had on a light colored jacket and breeches, says he belongs to a Mr. Chizley, Montgomery county, Maryland, and brought a horse with him.

      On the 3d of August instant, a broken back'd Mullatto Man was committed, who calls himself Tom: He is about 5 feet high, 22 years of age, very poorly clothed, say she belongs to a Mr. Williams in Maryland.

      The owner of owners of the above described Negroes, are desired to apply for them before the 31st day of October next, otherwise they will be sold out for their fees.
      MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Gaoler.
      August 16, 1791.
      Two of the four men captured used horses to aid in thier escape. See the notes on horses and escaping slaves below, under "John Dickison."
      Date of Record: 16 August 1791
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 07 September 1791.
    14. Enslaved Person's Name: Spencer, or Paca
      Gender: Male
      Age: 25 years old
      Date of Birth: circa 1766
      Status: Jailed as suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Mullatto fellow"
      Notes: Spencer was captured in York County and taken to the county jail at York on July 19, 1791. Jailer Graybell placed an ad in local newspapers describing Spencer and three other men captured recently. See the ad above, under "Jack" for the full text.
      Date of Record: 16 August 1791
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 07 September 1791.
    15. Enslaved Person's Name: Harry
      Gender: Male
      Age: 29 years old
      Date of Birth: circa 1762
      Status: Jailed as suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Harry was captured in York County and taken to the county jail at York on July 31, 1791. Jailer Graybell placed an ad in local newspapers describing Harry and three other men captured recently. See the ad above, under "Jack" for the full text.
      Date of Record: 16 August 1791
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 07 September 1791.
    16. Enslaved Person's Name: Tom
      Gender: Male
      Age: 22 years old
      Date of Birth: circa 1769
      Status: Jailed as suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Mullatto Man"
      Notes: Tom was captured in York County and taken to the county jail at York on August 3, 1791. Jailer Graybell placed an ad in local newspapers describing Tom and three other men captured recently. See the ad above, under "Jack" for the full text.
      Date of Record: 16 August 1791
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 07 September 1791.
    17. Enslaved Person's Name: John Dickison
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad, but described as a "man," and also as a "young fellow."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Jailed as suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Mulatto Man"
      Notes: Dickison was captured in York County and taken to the county jail at York on November 24, 1791. About two weeks later Jailer Graybell placed the following ad in local newspapers:
      ON the 24th of November was committed to my custody, a Mulatto Man, who calls himself JOHN DICKISON, says he belongs to William Robinson, of Old Town, Maryland: He is a young fellow, about 5 feet 5 inches high, and had on a jean coat, striped vest, cotton striped trowsers, with sundry other clothes marked I.D. he also had a sorrel horse with him, with a blaze in his face. The owner of said Mulatto is desired to come for him in six weeks from the date hereof, otherwise he will be sold out for his fees.
      MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Gaoler.
      York-town, Dec. 6, 1791.
      Note that Dickison was captured with a horse, which was not typical. While using a horse made for a quick getaway and certainly made travel easier, it was also much more conspicuous and added the complications of caring for the animal on the road. Graybell's ad ran through January 18, 1792, about one week beyond the six week deadline for Dickison's owner to claim him. It is very possible that Dickison was sold back into enslavement in York County to pay jail costs.
      Date of Record: 06 December 1791; this ad ran through January 18, 1792.
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 21 December 1791.
    18. Enslaved Person's Name: Peter Brown
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad but described as a "young fellow."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Jailed as suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Brown was captured in York County and taken to the county jail at York. Jailer Graybell placed the following ad in local newspapers:
      A Negro Man,
      WHO calls himself PETER BROWN -- he is a young likely fellow, about 5 feet 6 inches high, very badly clothed, can play on the violin, and says he came from Havre-de-grace. The owner of the above described Negro, is desired to apply in six weeks from the date hereof, otherwise he will be sold out for his fees.
      MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Gaoler.
      York, May 29.
      Jailer Graybell notes that Brown was "very badly clothed," but does not elaborate. Brown may have been wearing "Negro clothes," the simply-styled shirt and pants made of un-dyed, rough cut "Negro cloth" that was used throughout the south.
      Date of Record: 29 May 1792
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 13 June 1792.
    19. Enslaved Person's Name: Ezekiel Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not given in ad.
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Jailed as suspected escaped slave
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Jack was captured in York County and taken to the county jail at York. Jailer Graybell placed the following ad in local newspapers:
      Runaway Negro.
      WAS committed to my custody EZEKIEL JACK, a runaway Negro, had on when committed a whiteish twilled cotton coatee, a cotton jacket and breeches, country linen shirt; he is six feet high, stout made. The owner or owners are desired to come within eight weeks from the date, otherwise he will be sold for his fees.
      MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Gaoler.
      July 30.
      Jack was wearing very light cotton clothing, typical of that furnished to enslaved persons in the south.
      Date of Record: 30 July 1793
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 07 August 1793.
    20. Enslaved Person's Name: Nathan Thomas
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 31 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1769
      Status: Suspected escaped slave or servant; imprisoned
      Description: "Negro man"
      Notes: Thomas was jailed on May 14, 1800 as a suspected escaped "servant." Graybell did not advertise him until two months later, in July, setting an August 18th release date if no one claimed him, representing three months imprisonment with no proof of wrongdoing. Yet remaining "unclaimed," for Nathan Thomas, would work out better than for Harry, listed below, who if still unclaimed by his set date, was to be sold back into enslavement. Text of jailer's ad for Nathan Thomas:
      Notice,
      A Negro man who calls himself Nathan Thomas, was committed to my custody on the 14th day of May last, on suspicion of being a run-away servant. -- The said Nathan is about 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, about 31 years of age, a pleasant countenance, and well made; he had on when committed sundry articles of cloathing. The owner is desired to come on or before the 18th of August next, pay the fees and take said Negro away, otherwise he will be discharged.
      MICHAEL GRAYBELL, Goaler.
      York, July 22.
      Date of Record: 22 July 1800
      Source: The York Recorder, 23 July 1800.

  • Slaveholder Name: Harnett, Cornelius
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Sawney
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 35 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1743
      Status: Runaway
      Description: "Mulatto slave"
      Notes: Text of runaway ad:
      York Town, February 26, 1778.
      RUN away from the subscriber about three weeks ago, a Mulatto slave, named SAWNEY, well known in this town, he is well built, about 35 years of age, 5 feet 5 inches high, a taylor by trade, dark complexion, a small face and much pitted with the smallpox; had on when he left, an old brown Bath coating surtout, oznabrig shirt, thin jacket, linen breeches, yarn stockings, shoes, and an old beaver hat, &c. Whoever apprehends said slave, and delivers him to the Goaler of York Town, taking his receipt, shall receive TWENTY DOLLARS if taken in the town, or within twenty miles of it, if upwards of twenty miles, THIRTY DOLLARS, and all reasonable charges, paid by CORNELIUS HARNETT.
      Date of Record: February 28, 1778
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

  • Slaveholder Name: Hay, John
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: County magistrate, farmer
    Notes: Lieutenant Colonel with Pennsylvania units in the Revolutionary War. Delegate from Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress; member of Pennsylvania legislature. Died in 1810.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Toby, a.k.a. Joseph
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about twenty-two years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1769
      Status: Slave for life; repeated escapes
      Description: "Mustee Slave" (see notes)
      Notes: Previously enslaved by John Moore of Germantown. As a "Mustee Slave," Toby was the child of a white father and a "Quadroon" mother, or an enslaved mother who was one-quarter Black. Since slave status for mixed race children depended upon the status of the mother, Toby, being one-eighth Black, was a slave because his maternal great-grandmother was an enslaved Black woman. Toby escaped from Hay on December 13, 1789. Hay placed the following ad to recover him:
      Three Pounds Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber, living in York town, on Sunday the 13th instant, a Mustee Slave, named TOBY: He is about five feet seven or nine inches high, tolerable well made, speaks both English and German, is very white for a Mustee, and has a down look when spoken to; short black curley hair, has a lump on one of his feet, between the instep and toes, and is about twenty or twenty-one years of age; was raised by John Moore, Esq; of German-town, and it is likely he is gone that course: He had on when he went off a half worn castor hat, a short grey coating jacket with sleeves, pretty well worn, and new backs in it, a pair of black everlasting, and a pair of corduroy breeches, light blue yarn stockings, a pair of old shoes and plated buckles. It is likely he may change his name and call himself Joseph.
      Whoever takes up said fellow, and secures him in any goal, so that his master may get him again, shall have the above reward and reasonable charges, paid by
      JOHN HAY.
      York town, Dec. 15, 1789.
      N.B. Masters of vessels and others are forbid to harbour or carry him off at their peril.
      Toby was returned to Hay, but escaped again in January 1791, this time in company with a white teenaged boy, the servant of John Clark, also of York. Both Hay and Clark collaborated on an ad seeking their return. Text of runaway ad:
      Stop the Runaways!
      Four Pounds Ten Shillings Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscribers, living in York-town, on Sunday night, the 23d instant, a Mustee Slave, named TOBY: He is about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, tolerably well made, and speaks both English and German, is very white for a Mustee, has a down look when spoken to, black hair, a lump on one of his feet, between the instep and toes, and is about twenty-two years of age: He had on and took with him one pair of black velvet breeches, pretty much worn, one pair of corduroy breeches, one new corduroy jacket, and old drab colored cloth coat, double milled drab surtout, with a dove colored velvet cape, and two pair of good shoes.
      Also, a certain JOHN SMETZ, a lad about five feet high, well set, is about 17 years old, has a remarkable scar on his right cheek, born of German parents, and speaks both English and German: He had on a yellow colored cloth coatee, jacket and overalls, two shirts, blue stockings, and half worn shoes with round steel buckles. -- It is probable he may have a blue surtout coat on, which he has taken. Whoever takes up said fellows, and secures them in any goal, so that their masters may get them again, shall have the above reward, or Three Pounds for TOBY, and Thirty Shillings for SMETZ, and reasonable charges.
      JOHN HAY,
      JOHN CLARK.
      York-town, January 24, 1791.
      N.B. Masters of vessels and others, are forbid to harbour or carry them off at their peril.
      Dates of Records: 15 December 1789; 24 January 1791
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 13 January 1790, 16 February 1791.

  • Slaveholder Name: Hersh, Benjamin
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Jailer
    Notes: County and borough jailers were tasked with imprisoning, caring for and advertising persons suspected of being escaped servants and slaves. If no one came forth to claim prisoners within a certain period of time, usually stated in the advertisement, the jailer would either place the prisoner up for sale to cover costs, or discharge them.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Charlotte Moore
      Gender: Female
      Age: Age not reported in ad; text suggests she is an adult
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Jailed as a suspected runaway slave
      Description: "Negro Wench"
      Notes: Charlotte was arrested and committed to the York Borough jail on April 18, 1803. Several weeks after her imprisonment Jailer Hersh placed the following advertisement in a local newspaper:
      NOTICE.
      WAS committed to my custody, on the 18th of April last, a Negro Wench, who calls herself Charlotte Moore, says she is free, and that she came from Philadelphia, but last from Shippensburg. Her master (if she has any) is requested to come and take her away, otherwise she will be discharged.
      BENJAMIN HERSH, Goaler.
      York, 10th May, 1803.
      Date of Record: 10 May 1803
      Source: The York Recorder, 8 June 1803

  • Slaveholder Name: Hoke, Peter
    City or Township: Manchester Township
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: George
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 30 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1767
      Status: Self-emancipated in July 1797
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: George escaped from Hoke on July 9, 1797. Hoke waited several weeks, then placed the following runaway ad:
      Forty Dollars Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber living in Manchester Township, York County, on the 9th inst. a Negro Man named George, about 30 years of age, very black, 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high, strong, well set, and has a remarkable round head, very flat and thick nose, stammers in his Speech if angry or confused; he took a number of good cloaths with him, so that his dress cannot be particularly described.
      Whoever apprehends said NEGRO, and secures him so that I get him again, shall receive the above reward, and reasonable charges if brought home.
      PETER HOKE.
      July 29th, 1797.
      Date of Record: 29 July 1797
      Source: Lancaster Intelligencer and Journal, 29 July 1797

  • Slaveholder Name: Jameson, David
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Merchant
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Cato
      Gender: Male
      Age: ? (adult in 1772)
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Runaway
      Description: "Negroe slave"
      Notes: Formerly owned by Brisbane, Chester County, and Hieronimus Echman, Lancaster County. Escaped from Jamison on August 20, 1772. Text of runaway ad placed by Jamison:
      RUN AWAY from the subscriber, the 20th day of August last, a NEGROE slave, called CATO, middle sized, bow legged, and speaks good English. The said Negroe was formerly in the possession of ---- Brisbane, of Chester county, and afterwards of Hieronimus Echman, of Lancaster county, and is a great rogue, having committed several daring burglaries. He is supposed to have broke into the shop of the subscriber since he absconded, and to have stolen from thence 3 Half Johannes, and other money, a silver watch seal, and several paste or stone buttons, set in silver. Whoever apprehends the said Negroe, and delivers him to the Goaler of York county, shall receive FOUR POUNDS reward, and reasonable charges, and One Third the value of the money or things stolen, as they shall secure for the owner.
      York Town, Sept. 30, 1772.DAVID JAMESON.
      *** The said Negroe broke into a house in York Town, an stole from thence upwards of Ninety Pounds, belonging to Nicholas Shaffer, who has offered a very considerable reward for apprehending him.
      Date of Record: October 14, 1772
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 28 October 1772.

  • Slaveholder Name: Jones, Robert
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Farmer, York County
    Notes: Jones is not a regular slaveholder, but became one temporarily when two runaways turned up on his farm near York. The runaways had apparently escaped in the confusion of a British advance during the war.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Gender: Male
      Age: ? (adult in 1779)
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Negroe Man"
      Notes: Text of runaway ad:
      CAME to the plantation of Robert Jones, near York Town, in the State of Pennsylvania, a NEGROE man and woman, can speak but very bad English, so as they cannot be well understood, but from what can be gathered from their dialect, it is apprehended they left some part of Maryland or Virginia about the time the enemy made their last excursion into the said States. Whoever owns the said Negroes, by applying to ROBERT JONES aforesaid, on his plantation, proving property, and paying charges, may have him again.
      Date of Record: July 28, 1779
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Name not given in ad
      Gender: Female
      Age: ? (adult in 1779)
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Runaway--captured
      Description: "Negroe woman"
      Notes: Partner of the man discussed in the runaway advertisement above.
      Date of Record: July 28, 1779
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette

  • Slaveholder Name: Kelly, James
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Bill
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not indicated in ad, but described as a "man."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Self-emancipated in June 1798
      Description: "Negro man"
      Notes: Bill escaped from Kelly in on June 24, 1798 in company with a man named Clem, who was claimed by a Maryland slaveholder.
      Twenty Dollars Reward.
      RAN AWAY last Sunday night, from the subscriber living in the borough of York, a negro man named BILL, about 5 feet 5 inches high, thick and strong made, marked with the small-pox, and halts a little as he walks, owing to an injury he has received in one of his knees. He is an artful fellow, can speak the German language, and is fond of spirituous liquors. Had on when he went away, coarse working cloaths, but would probably obtain others. It is said that a negro, who calls himself CLEM, is gone with him; he has worked about York for some time past, in the character of a freeman; but is the property of a certain Philip Chamberlain, of Maryland, who has offered 100 dollars for taking him up. It is supposed they will attempt to go on board of a ship, at Philadelphia, or some other sea port. Any person securing Bill, so that the subscriber may get him again, shall have 10 dollars, if within 30 miles from home; if above 30 and not more than 80, 15 dollars, and if above 80, the above reward, and all reasonable charges if brought home.
      JAMES KELLY.
      York, June 27, 1798.
      N.B. -- Clem is about 5 feet 6 inches high, is very black, has a flat nose, small legs, and large feet.
      See also the enslaved person Priscilla, with slaveholder John Die, who was also advertised as escaping in company with the man named Clem.
      Date of Record:
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 4 July 1798

  • Slaveholder Name: Leitner, Ignatius
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Jailer, 1801
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Baker Donoway, a.k.a. Billy Wilson
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 26 years of age" (Rumsey's ad)
      Date of Birth: Circa 1775
      Status: Originally escaped from Botetourt County, Virginia. Captured in York and jailed as a suspected escaped slave; Escaped from York Jail.
      Description: "Negro," "Black fellow"
      Notes: Baker escaped from the York jail on February 21, 1801. Jailer Leitner placed the following ad in regional papers, which ran for several months:
      Stop the Negro!!
      WHO made his escape from York goal on Saturday the 21st day of this instant.
      He called himself BAKER DONOWAY, but answers as quick by calling DOCTOR; he said that he belonged to a Mr. Rumsey, on the head of Holston; he is a black stout made fellow, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, knock need, and talks fast; he had on a half worn rorum hat, with a buckle on it, a blue coat, swandown striped jacket, thicksett overaells, and old shoes. Whoever takes up and secures said Negro in any goal, and gives information so that he can be got again, shall receive SIX DOLLARS Reward.
      IGNATIUS LEITNER, Goaler.
      York Goal, Feb. 23, 1801.
      Baker Donoway's account given to the York jailer has him escaping from the southwest region of Virginia, somewhere in the headwaters of the Holston River. This area borders Tennessee and the actual Holston River. From the accounts published in regional Pennsylvania newspapers, the slaveholder, Edward Rumsey, recognized his description and also received additional intelligence regarding Baker's activities after breaking out of the York jail. He published the following ad in a Philadelphia newspaper:
      THIRTY DOLLARS REWARD.
      RAN AWAY from the subscriber, (living in Botietourt County, Virginia,) on Friday the 18th of July 1800, a Negro man (formerly the property of Benjamin Brown of Augusta county, and lately purchased of John Leech, of Rockbridge county, named BAKER, about 26 years of age, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, lengthy visage, pert animated countenance, except when designing evil, then those expressions yield to a gloomy malignant look, speaks lively and presuming, on of his fore-teeth out, has the mark of a pistol ball on his breast, his right knee inclining inwards, and in walking turns the toe of that foot very much out, he is fond of liquor and stealing; he was a while in York jail, but by some means made his escape, was afterwards I am told, working in (perhaps) Mr. Agay's forge, (of which business he knows a little,) under the assumed name of BILLY WILSON, and the character of a free-man, where, if I am rightly informed, he stole some money which necessitated him to make his escape, however, he will no doubt get himself into some other forge. -- The above reward will be given for securing him in any jail, so that I get him again, or Fifty Dollars if brought to Martinsburgh jail, Berkley county, Virginia and there secured.
      EDWARD RUMSEY,
      July 25.
      From Rumsey's ad we learn that the escape was from Botetourt County, which is closer to Roanoke. That Baker was enslaved by at least two previous persons before being acquired by Rumsey, all in the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountain area, and we get additional physical details, including his age. We also learn that he is an experienced iron forge worker, a valuable job skill.

      "Mr. Agay's forge" may be a phonetic spelling of the name Ege, referring to the well-known Pennsylvania iron-industry Ege family. Peter Ege emigrated from Germany. Two of his grandsons, George and Michael, were brought up by Baron Henry William Stiegle, their uncle by marriage, who taught them the ironmaking business. Michael Ege became well established as an ironmaster in Cumberland County, and is most likely the person in this reference.
      Date of Record: 23 February 1801 (Leitner); 25 July 1801 (Rumsey)
      Source: The York Recorder, 08 April 1801; The Lancaster Intelligencer, 07 March 1801; Aurora General Advertiser (Philadelphia), 5 August 1801.

  • Slaveholder Name: McAllister, Abdiel
    City or Township: Spring Forge, Hanover (modern day Spring Grove)
    County: York
    Occupation: Associated with Spring Forge, near Hanover
    Notes: Son of Richard McAllister. Lived 1752-1792. Spring Forge was established in the 1770s near what is modern day Spring Grove, in Hanover. It operated in conjunction with nearby Mary Ann Furnace, on Codorus Creek. It was owned by John Steinmetz, of Philadelphia, between 1786-1792, during which time it was rented by Abdiel McAllister.
    Sources: Descendants of Archibald McAllister of West Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County, Pa. 1730-1898, Mary Catharine McAllister, Harrisburg, PA, 1898.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Nathan Butler
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 26 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1764
      Status: "Servant;" escaped July 1790
      Description: "Mulatto Servant Man"
      Notes: Butler escaped from Spring Forge on July 17, 1790. McAllister placed the following ad to recover him:
      Forty Shillings Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from Spring Forge, last night, a Mulatto Servant Man, named NATHAN BUTLER, about 26 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches high, has a mark on his forehead, which appears to have been cut; he is an artful fellow, and has, or will perhaps procure a pass; he can read a little, and plays well on the banjoe: He had on and took with him, a brown short coat, lined or turned up with red, a calico jacket and breeches, a pair of olive velvet and queen's cord ditto, three or four country linen shirts, two pair of tow trowsers, and a pair of shoes nearly new, with a pair of plated buckles; he also took with him a small pocket pistol, which he intends shall protect him from being taken. Whoever takes up said servant, and secures him in York, Lancaster, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Frederick-town, or Baltimore jails, or brings him to Hanover or Spring Forge, so that his master may get him again, shall receive the above reward.
      ABDIEL M'ALISTER.
      Hanover, York county,
      July 18, 1790.
      Butler clearly thought about how he would evade capture after escaping. He took extra clothing, could read, likely had or knew where to get a fake pass, and was armed with a pistol for personal protection.
      Date of Record: 18 July 1790; this ad ran through September 29, 1790
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 28 July, 01 September 1790; The Carlisle Gazette and Western Repository of Knowledge, 28 July 1790.

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack Peters
      Gender: Male
      Age: "aged about 40 years"
      Date of Birth: circa 1750
      Status: "Servant;" escaped November 1790
      Description: "Negro Servant Man"
      Notes: Peters escaped from Spring Forge on November 14, 1790. McAllister placed the following ad to recover him:
      Fifty Shillings Reward.
      RANAWAY last night, from Spring Forge, nine miles from little York, a Negro Servant Man, named JACK PETERS, about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, a stout made fellow, aged about 40 years, talks remarkably fast, plays a little on the fiddle, and is fond of strong drink:
      He had on and took with him, one new gray mixt bearskin coat, lined with green baize, and over-alls of the same, with white mettal buttons, one new brown bearskin coat, with mettal buttons, one olive coloured cloth jacket, several tow linen shirts and trowsers, one almost new felt hat, a pair of new shoes, with nails in the soals, and copper buckles. Whoever takes up said servant, and secures him in any goal, not exceeding 60 miles, shall receive the above reward, and if brought home reasonable charges will be paid by
      ABDIEL M'ALISTER.
      Spring Forge, York county,
      Nov. 15, 1790.

      Date of Record: 15 November 1790
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 22 December 1790.

  • Slaveholder Name: McAllister, Richard
    City or Township: Hanover
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes: Egle's Notes and Queries lists a short genealogy of McAllister along with the names of the following enslaved persons and to whom they were bequeathed upon his death in August, 1795.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Cato
      Gender: Male
      Age: ? (adult in 1795)
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Slave for life.
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Father of Jack, below. Bequeathed by Richard McAllister to his son Archibald. See that entry for the text of the will pertaining to these enslaved persons.
      Date of Record: August, 1795
      Source: William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, Volume 1

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: ?
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Slave for life.
      Description: "Negro"
      Notes: Son of Cato, above. Bequeathed by Richard McAllister to his son Archibald. See that entry for the text of the will pertaining to these enslaved persons.
      Date of Record: August, 1795
      Source: William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, Volume 1

    3. Enslaved Person's Name: Poll
      Gender: Female
      Age: ?
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Not determined.
      Description: "Negro girl"
      Notes: Bequeathed by Richard McAllister to his daughter Nancy, wife of Patrick Hays.
      Date of Record: August, 1795
      Source: William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, Volume 1

    4. Enslaved Person's Name: Grate
      Gender: Female
      Age: ? (adult in 1795)
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Slave for life.
      Description: "Negro wench"
      Notes: Bequeathed by Richard McAllister to his daughter Jane. Grate was the mother of Jack, listed below. McAllister also bequeathed the "negro boy" Jonathan to Jane, but does not name Jonathan's mother.
      Date of Record: August, 1795
      Source: William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, Volume 1

    5. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: ?
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Not determined.
      Description: "son" (of "Negro wench" Grate)
      Notes: Bequeathed by Richard McAllister to his daughter Jane. Jack was the son of Grate, listed above. McAllister also bequeathed the "negro boy" Jonathan to Jane, but does not name Jonathan's mother.
      Date of Record: August, 1795
      Source: William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, Volume 1

    6. Enslaved Person's Name: Jonathan
      Gender: Male
      Age: ?
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Not determined.
      Description: "Negro boy"
      Notes: Bequeathed by Richard McAllister to his daughter Jane.
      Date of Record: August, 1795
      Source: William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, Volume 1

  • Slaveholder Name: McClellan, Robert
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation: Printer and publisher of the York Recorder newspaper
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Isaac Williams
      Gender: Male
      Age: "upwards of 18 years of age"
      Date of Birth: Circa 1789
      Status: Exact status not stated, but likely a slave for a term of years; Runaway. His companion, Thomas Wilson, is white and described as an apprentice, but Isaac is described only as a "Negro boy." In addition, the reward for Isaac is fifty-percent larger than the reward for the white apprentice Wilson, indicating the higher value attached to an enslaved person.
      Description: "Negro boy"
      Notes: Isaac escaped from McClellan on Saturday, August 8, 1807, in company with a white apprentice boy, Thomas Wilson. Both boys packed considerable extra clothing, which seems to imply they planned in advance. The advertisement for their capture seems to imply that they split up after leaving, as Wilson is "supposed" to have joined up with a person named Kelly. Text of runaway advertisement placed by McClellan:
      25 Dollars Reward.
      ABSCONDED from my service, on Saturday night last, THOMAS A. WILSON (an apprentice to the Printing business) and a Negro boy called ISAAC WILLIAMS.
      Wilson is between 17 and 18 years of age, about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, has no particular marks that are recollected. He had on and took with him a brown cloth coatee, a blue and yellow striped home made cotton waumus, 1 pair yellow nankeen, 1 pair cotton cassimere, 1 pair velvet, and 1 pair of striped cotton pantaloons, 3 shirts, several jackets, handkerchiefs, &c. the particular colours not recollected, and a good roram hat.
      Isaac is upwards of 18 years of age, about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high, a homely, but a very active artful fellow. -- He has formerly followed the business of chimney sweeping, and was sometimes employed in a Hatter's shop, something of which business he also understands. He had on and took with him a dark blue chambray waumus, a striped cotton jacket, a pair of tow linen trowsers, a pair of fancy-cord pantaloons, 2 new shirts, a pair of boots, a silk handkerchief, &c.
      Both the above described boys are much attached to liquor, as well as some other vices. -- Printers are cautioned against employing Wilson, as he is not only addicted to drunkenness, but I have every reason to believe him dishonest.
      It is supposed Wilson went off with a certain fellow who calls himself Kelly, who pretends to be a Farrier, but of whom a particular description cannot be given.
      Whoever will take up the above runaways and secure them so that I get them again, shall receive the above Reward, or TEN Dollars for Wilson, and FIFTEEN for Isaac, with reasonable charges if brought home.
      ROBERT McCLELLAN.
      York, August 12, 1807.
      Date of Record: 12 August, 1807
      Source: Franklin Repository (Chambersburg, PA), 01 September 1807.

  • Slaveholder Name: McClellan, William
    City or Township: York Borough
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:
    Source:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Michael, a.k.a Jem
      Gender: Male
      Age: Age not indicated in ad, but described as a "man."
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Self-emancipated in May 1797
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Michael escaped from McClellan several times, once in winter 1794/1795, and again on May 28, 1797. McClellan placed the following ad to recover him:
      Fifty Dollars Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber of the Borough of York, the 28th inst. a Negro man named MICHAEL he is about 5 feet 9 inches high, stout made, broad shouldered, thick jawed, bandy legged, and stoops considerably when walking; has lost 2 or 3 of his fore teeth, is somewhat dull of hearing and seldom speaks unless spoken to. Had on and took with him a grey coloured cloth coat, a jacket and overalls of drab color, 1 pair of nankeen overalls, 1 pair of striped trowsers, 1 fine shirt, and 1 or two coarse ditto, 1 pair of new shoes. The said Negro was raised near Princetown in New-Jersey, by captain Albert Scank, and it is probable he may attempt to return there; he ran-away about two years and a half since, and lived some time near Reading in this State, where he obtained a pass which carried him to Trentown in Jersey, & there had it countersigned by a Justice Anderson, from whence he went to New-York, and returned to Trentown; at which place I apprehended him last Winter, in the service of Mr. Vanbertle a Foreign Minister, at that time he was called by the name of Jem. Whoever takes up said Negro and secures him in any goal, so that I may get him again, shall receive the above Reward.
      WILLIAM M'CLELLAN.
      York, Pennsylvania, May 31 1797.
      Date of Record: 31 May 1797
      Source: Lancaster Intelligencer and Journal, 3 June 1797

  • Slaveholder Name: Oldham, James
    City or Township: West Manchester Township
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Isaac Williams
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 13 years old"
      Date of Birth: circa 1788
      Status: Suspected runaway slave
      Description: "Negro Boy"
      Notes: Williams was somehow taken in or detained by Oldham, who suspects him of being an escaped slave. Typically, suspected fugitive slaves were placed in the county jail under the supervision of the county jailer. That a private citizen is holding and advertising this person is unusual.
      Notice is hereby given,
      THAT there is at the house of the subscriber, in West-Manchester township, in York County, a Negro BOY, who says that he is FREE; he calls himself Isaac Williams, and says he came from near Downings town, and is about 13 years old. Any person coming forward and claiming him Lawfully may have him again by paying his expences.
      JAMES OLDHAM.
      November 3d, 1801.
      Date of Record: 03 November 1801
      Source: The York Recorder, 18 November 1801.

  • Slaveholder Name: Rankin, James
    City or Township: York Township
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes: James Rankin, along with his brother John, was involved with a Loyalist conspiracy plot in Newberry Township. Pennsylvania State Archive records show that he was "Attainted for treason and all property confiscated. June 16 1778 inventory includes 'One Negro Man his Wife & 3 children' appraised at 550 pounds. (PA Archives, Ser. 6, Vol XIII, pp. 40-41)

    "June 16 1778 auction (at which Godfried Lonberger was paid 3 pounds, 15 shillings for "crying the vendue") included sale of 'one Negro man his Wife & 3 Children' for 745 pounds - George Stevenson was the buyer. (ibid., pp. 40, 138)."
    Source: Research by Fred Kelso, correspondence to Afrolumens Project December 2, 2003.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: ?
      Gender: Male
      Age: ? (adult in 1778)
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Slave for life; sold to George Stevenson on June 16, 1778.
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: This man was sold along with the rest of his family, a wife and three children, when James Rankin's property was confiscated as a result of his implication in a Loyalist conspiracy in York County.
      Date of Record: July 16, 1778
      Source: Correspondence, Fred Kelso to Afrolumens, December 2, 2003.

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: ?
      Gender: Female
      Age: ? (adult in 1778)
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Slave for life; sold to George Stevenson on June 16, 1778.
      Description: "Wife"
      Notes: See the notes for the slave at number 1, above.
      Date of Record: July 16, 1778
      Source: Correspondence, Fred Kelso to Afrolumens, December 2, 2003.

    3. Slave Names: ? (Three unnamed children)
      Gender: Not specified
      Slave Ages: ? ("children" in 1778)
      Slave Dates of Birth: ?
      Status: Slaves for life; sold to George Stevenson on June 16, 1778.
      Description: "3 children"
      Notes: See the notes for the slave at number 1, above.
      Date of Record: July 16, 1778
      Source: Correspondence, Fred Kelso to Afrolumens, December 2, 2003.

  • Slaveholder Name: Rankin, John
    City or Township: Newberry Township
    County: York
    Occupation: 
    Notes: John Rankin, along with his brother James, was involved with a Loyalist conspiracy plot in Newberry Township. Pennsylvania State Archive records show that he was "Attainted for treason and all property confiscated." This property included an adult male slave named Ralph. Fred Kelso writes "September 25 1779 - His slave Ralph petitioned that he had been manumitted by John prior to attainder for treason. It was determined that the manumission service of March 7, 1778 at the Warrington Friends Monthly Meeting was not fully performed and that a mtg of April 11, 1778 was unsuccessful because John had already joined the enemy in Philadelphia - Ralph presented a manumission with allegedly fraudulent date and was discovered. (PA Archives, Min Sup Ex Counc PA, Vol XII, p. 113)

    "Ralph was purchased by John Rankin about 1769 from Robert Power of Chester County (PA Archives, Ser. 6, Vol XIII, p. 94)

    "Newberry Friends Meeting noted in their minutes of May 9 1771 that John had purchased a slave. (Abstracts of Warrington MM Records, Gilbert Cope, 1877)"

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Ralph
      Gender: Male
      Age: ? (adult in 1778)
      Date of Birth: ?
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Purchased by Rankin from Robert Power of Chester County about 1769. It appears that Rankin, a Quaker, may have intended to manumit Ralph about 1778, but the Pennsylvania court did not recognize the manumission because it occurred after Rankin had "joined the enemy." Ralph allegedly altered his manumission papers with a fraudulent date but "was discovered."
      As Rankin was with the British when Ralph was petitioning for his freedom, he had no way to prove his claim. As a result of the denial of his claim, he was sold for court costs. Date of Record: September 25, 1779
      Source: Correspondence, Fred Kelso to Afrolumens, December 2, 2003; Continental Congress at York, Pennsylvania and York County in the Revolution, George R. Prowell, York, PA, 1914, p. 257.

  • Slaveholder Name: Rutter, Andrew
    City or Township: Manchester Township
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: James Connel
      Gender: Male
      Age: "between 24 and 25 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1766
      Status: Slave for life; self-emancipated in April 1791
      Description: "Mulatto Man"
      Notes: James escaped from Rutter on April 19, 1791.
      Thirty Shillings Reward.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber, in Manchester Township, York County, on Tuesday the 19th of April instant, a Mulatto Man, named JAMES CONNEL: He is about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, between 24 and 25 years of age, tolerably well made, speaks both English and German, is fond of playing on the fiddle, delights in strong drink, and when drunk is very apt to quarrel: -- He had on, when he went off, a brown coat of home made cloth, gray jacket, a pair of half worn leather breeches, coarse woolen stockings, old shoes and buckles, and an old felt hat. Whoever takes up and secures the above described runaway, so that the subscriber may get him again, shall have the above reward, and reasonable charges if brought home.
      ANDREW RUTTER.
      April 26, 1791.
      Date of Record: 26 April 1791
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 25 May 1791.

  • Slaveholder Name: Sample, Cunningham, Esquire
    City or Township: Peach Bottom
    County: York
    Occupation: Justice of the Peace
    Notes:

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Gender: Male
      Age: "40 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1750
      Status: Slave for life; self-emancipated in July 1790
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Jack escaped from Sample on July 5, 1790.
      Thirty Shillings Reward.
      RAN-AWAY on the 5th instant, from the subscriber, near Peachbottom Ferry, a Negro Man, named JACK, about five feet six inches high, and 40 years of age, is a thin spare fellow, and very black: He had on and took with him when he went away a pair of tow trowsers and shirt of the same; also a Holland shirt, red jacket, white linsey coat, and an old felt hat: -- He is a French Negro, and speaks but bad English. Whoever secures said Negro in York gaol, shall have twenty shillings, and if brought home to his master, the whole reward will be paid.
      CUNNINGHAM SAMPLE.
      July 27, 1790.
      Per a later ad, Jack seems to have gone into Maryland and settled "near Elk" indicating somewhere near the Elk River or possibly near Elkton.
      Date of Record: 27 July 1790
      Source: The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 28 July 1790

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: Caesar
      Gender: Male
      Age: "aged about 36 years"
      Date of Birth: circa 1757
      Status: Slave for life; self-emancipated in July 1793
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Caesar escaped from Sample sometime in June or July 1793.
      Eight Dollars Reward for either, or Sixteen for both,
      RAN away from the subscriber, a well set negroe man, named CAESAR, about five feet four or five inches high, of a grim aspect, pitted with the small pox, aged about 36 years, fond of spirits. He is supposed to have fled to a negroe man that ran away from the same neighborhood about two years ago, about fifty years of age, slender built, very black aspect, can speak the French language well, speaks the English broken, suspected to reside, since his flight, near Elk. Whoever takes up one or both, and secures them for their masters, shall have the above reward, as proposed, with reasonable expences.
      CUNNINGHAM SAMPLE.
      JAMES RAMSEY.
      Fawn township, York county, July 3, 1793.
      See the listing for Jack, above, who seems to be the man who escaped from Sample a few years earlier. The ad for Ceasar, who Sample believes is seeking to join Jack, suggests that Jack is now claimed by another slaveholder, possibly James Ramsey, listed below Sample's name at the end of the ad.
      Date of Record: 3 July 1793
      Source: The Pennsylvania Gazette, 10 July 1793

    3. Enslaved Person's Name: Cash
      Gender: Female
      Age: "about 28 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1779
      Status: Slave for life; self-emancipated in October 1797
      Description: "Negro Wench"
      Notes: Cash escaped from Sample at Peach Bottom Ferry in October 1797. She was pregnant and believed by Sample to be attempting to join her husband, a freeman, in York.
      6 Dollars Reward.
      RAN away from the Subscriber, living at Peach-bottom Ferry, on the Susquehanna, that latter end of October last, a Negro Wench named CASH, about 28 years of age, rather above the middle size, embarrassed when spoken to; she took with her a variety of cloathing, stuff and calico, was supposed to be with child, which is the only cause known for her elopement. It is supposed, that she is gone after a Negro fellow, who says he is a free Negro, and lives in or near York-town, and was much attached to her. If said Negro CASH will return to her Master, and hath any complaints and desires that are reasonble and just, they will be attended to. Whoever secures said Wench, so that her Master may get her again, shall receive the above reward, and reasonable charges, if brought home.
      CUNNINGHAM SAMPLE.
      Dec. 30,
      N.B. Any Person harbouring, or enticing said Wench to absent herself from her Master's service, shall be dealt with according to the extent of the Law.
      Sample placed another ad in The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser in January 1798 for her return. It provided different details and listed her as 23 years of age insted of 28, which may be an error:
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber, living in Fawn township, York county, a Negro Woman named CASH, about 23 years of age, about 5 feet high, of a dark complexion, somewhat out-mouth'd, has a large lump on the back of her neck, and is supposed to be with child -- She had on and took with her a new calico gown, a red stuff-petticoat, velvet shoes, new stockings, and a new wool hat. Whoever takes up said Negro, and secures her in any goal, so that her Master may get her again, shall have the above Reward, and if brought home reasonable charges, paid by
      CUNNINGHAM SAMPLE.
      January 3, 1798.
      Date of Record: 30 December 1797
      Source: Lancaster Intelligencer and Journal, 6 January 1798; The Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, 24 January 1798

  • Slaveholder Name: Scott, Joseph
    City or Township: Fawn Township
    County: York
    Occupation: Tanner
    Notes: The state of servitude of John Jones, below, is described as "indented apprentice to the tanning business," which may or may not be voluntary.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: John Jones
      Gender: Male
      Age: described as "a boy"
      Date of Birth: Not known
      Status: Indentured apprentice
      Description: "boy of colour"
      Notes: Ran away from his apprenticeship on 6 March 1827. His owner, Joseph Scott, advertised for his return. Text of runaway ad is below:
      Six Cents Reward.
      Ranaway from the subscriber, living in Fawn Township, York County, on the 6th inst. an indented apprentice to the tanning business, (a boy of colour) named
      John Jones,
      he is blind of one eye. The above reward will be paid for him but no charges; therefore I forwarn all persons from harboring or employing said runaway, as they will be dealt with according to law.
      Joseph Scott.
      March 20, 1827
      Date of Record: 20 March 1827
      Source: York Gazette, 17 April 1827, page 4.

  • Slaveholder Name: Sherman, Conrad, General
    City or Township: Manheim Township
    County: York
    Occupation:
    Notes: A veteran of the Revolutionary War, serving as Captain of Sherman's Company in Lt. Colonel Joseph Heister's Regiment, 6th Battalion of the Berks County Militia. Through his service he was promoted to Brigadier General of the 6th Regiment, York County Militia. He lived "on the great road leading from Hanover to Baltimore."

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Sanbo
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 21 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1770
      Status: llave for life; escaped April 1791
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Escaped on April 3, 1791. Sherman advertised for his return. Text of runaway ad is below:
      Stop the VILLAIN.
      TWENTY POUND REWARD.
      RAN-AWAY from the subscriber on Sunday the 3d instant, a Negro Man named SANBO: He is about 21 years of age, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, has a scar on one of his eye-brows, stoop-shouldered, smart and active, fond of strong drink, plays a little on the fiddle, and talks both English and German: He had on and took with him a new felt hat, a brown fustian coat, which had been turned, a short striped jacket, a pair of new flax linen trowsers, of a yellow colour, a pair of half worn shoes with buckles; he also stole fourteen dollars in cash. Whoever takes up and secures said Negro, so that the subscriber may get him again, shall receive Thirty Shillings if taken 30 miles from home, Forty Shillings if taken 40 miles, and so in proportion to the amound of the above reward.
      CONRAD SHERMAN.
      Manheim Township.
      York County, April 5, 1791.
      Date of Record: 05 April 1791
      Source: The Carlisle Gazette and Western Repository of Knowledge, 27 April 1791.

    2. Enslaved Person's Name: George
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 36 or 37 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1757 or 1758
      Status: slave for life; escaped September 1794
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Escaped on September 5, 1794 along with fellow enslaved man Tom. Sherman advertised for their return. Text of runaway ad is below:
      Sixty Dollars Reward.
      RAN AWAY last night from the subscriber, living in Manheim Township, York County, on the great road leading from Hanover, (M'Alisters Town) to Baltimore, two Negro Men, viz. one of them named GEORGE, about 36 or 37 years of age, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, a well made, stout fellow, is remarkably black, and has a good countenance, speaks the German Language better than English. He had on when he went away a new wool hat, bound with black tape, one red striped waistcoat, with linen backs and small yellow buttons, one pair of new red striped trousers, very fine, and a pair of tow trowsers with yellow stripes, if any coat, a white linen country made cloth coattee, and one ditto of home made woolen cloth, pretty much worn, with white metal buttons, one fiine shirt about half worn, and some other tow linen shirts, a pair of new shoes with strings, and is supposed to have some money with him. The other named TOM, about 21 years of age, 5 feet 6 or seven inches high, slim made, stoops a good deal in walking, of a yellow complexion, has never been shaved, hangs his under lip a good deal, and also speaks German better than English. Had on when he went away, a slouched wool hat, a short linsey jacket without lining, a tow shirt, a pair of tow trousers which is patched on the left thigh or knee, and a pair of good shoes with yellow buckles.
      If taken 20 miles from home, twenty shillings, if thirty miles forty shillings, if 50 six pounds, and for any greater distance in proportion, if confined in any goal.
      CONRAD SHERMAN.
      September 6th, 1794.
      N.B. It is supposed that the above Negroes are taken off by two travellers on horse back.
      Date of Record: 06 September 1794
      Source: Kline's Carlisle Weekly Gazette, 17 September 1794; Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 04 October 1794 (lacking the N.B. note).

    3. Enslaved Person's Name: Tom
      Gender: Male
      Age: "about 21 years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1773
      Status: slave for life; escaped September 1794
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Escaped on September 5, 1794 along with fellow enslaved man George. Sherman advertised for their return. See listing for George, above, for full description of Tom in the text of the runaway ad.
      Date of Record: 06 September 1794
      Source: Kline's Carlisle Weekly Gazette, 17 September 1794; Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 04 October 1794 (lacking the N.B. note).

  • Slaveholder Name: Swoope, Michael, Colonel, last name also spelled Swope.
    City or Township: York
    County: York
    Occupation: Innkeeper, merchant, Judge of Orphans Court in York County
    Notes: A battalion commander in the Revolutionary War. Moved to Alexandria, Virginia in 1784. In a 1783 property assessment, Swope's possessions included one slave.
    Source: Continental Congress at York, Pennsylvania and York County in the Revolution, George R. Prowell, York, PA, 1914, p. 184.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Jack
      Sex: Male
      Age: "about twenty-five years of age"
      Date of Birth: circa 1754
      Status: Slave for life -- escaped
      Description: "Negro Man"
      Notes: Escaped from Swoope on July 18, 1779 in company with Charles, enslaved by Valentine Grantz.
      York Town, July 19.
      ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.
      RAN AWAY last night from the subscriber, living in York-Town, a Negro Man named JACK, about twenty-five years of age, well set, knock-knee'd, and walks very slubberly; had on and took with him when he went away, a grey nap coat, a yellow and blue striped jacket, a fine pair of overalls, a good pair of buckskin breeches, new shoes, a fine hat, and sundry tow shirts. He plays on the violin and German flute. It is supposed he is in company with a Negro Man belonging to Valentine Grantz, named Charles, as he ran away the same night. Whoever takes up said Negro and secures him in any goal, so that his master may have him again, shall receive the above reward, paid by
      MICHAEL SWOOPE.
      Date of Record: 19 July 1779
      Source: Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, 27 July 1779.

  • Slaveholder Name: Tamer, Elizabeth
    City or Township:
    County: York
    Occupation: "Spinster"
    Notes: The slave Sue was registered at Lancaster by John Boyd, of Drumore Township, Lancaster County.  Her reason for registering in Lancaster County is not stated.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: Sue
      Sex: Female
      Age: 14
      Date of Birth: 1766 (calculated)
      Status: Slave for life
      Description: "Negro girl"
      Notes: 1780 Slave Registration specifies status as "slave during life."
      Date of Record: October 26, 1780
      Source: "Slaves in Lancaster County in 1780"

  • Slaveholder Name: Worley, Joseph
    City or Township: York
    County: York
    Occupation: Innkeeper, Black Horse Inn, Main Street, York Borough
    Notes: Advertised in 1825 for the return of his runaway slave, James Cowey.

    1. Enslaved Person's Name: James Cowey
      Sex: Male
      Age: about 19 or 20 years old
      Date of Birth: 1805 or 1806 (calculated)
      Status: Slave for a certain term of years
      Description: "Black servant boy"
      Notes: Ran away late May or early June, 1825. Text of runaway slave advertisement placed by Worley:
      Six Cents Reward.
      Ranaway from the subscriber several weeks ago, a black servant boy named
      James Cowey,
      aged about 19 or 20 years, about 5 feet 9 inches high and stout built, his clothes not recollected. The above reward but no charges will be given for his apprehension and delivery to the subscriber
      JOSEPH WORLEY.
      York, June 13, 1825.
      Date of Record: 13 June 1825
      Source: York Gazette, 14 June 1825, page 3; 12 July 1825, page 4.

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