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The investigation into the actual condition of the slave population at the South is beset with many difficulties. So many things are said pro and con,—so many said in one connection and denied in another,—that the effect is very confusing.

Thus, we are told that the state of the slaves is one of blissful contentment; that they would not take freedom as a gift; that their family relations are only now and then invaded; that they are a stupid race, almost sunk to the condition of animals; that generally they are kindly treated, &c. &c. &c.

In reading over some two hundred Southern newspapers this fall, the author has been struck with the very graphic and circumstantial pictures, which occur in all of them, 176describing fugitive slaves. From these descriptions one may learn a vast many things. The author will here give an assortment of them, taken at random. It is a commentary on the contented state of the slave population that the writer finds two or three always, and often many more, in every one of the hundreds of Southern papers examined.

In reading the following little sketches of “slaves as they are,” let the reader notice:

1. The color and complexion of the majority of them.

2. That it is customary either to describe slaves by some scar, or to say “No scars recollected.”

3. The intelligence of the parties advertised.

4. The number that say they are free that are to be sold to pay jail-fees.

Every one of these slaves has a history,—a history of woe and crime, degradation, endurance, and wrong. Let us open the chapter:

South-side Democrat, Oct. 28, 1852. Petersburgh, Virginia:

Twenty-five dollars, with the payment of all necessary expenses, will be given for the apprehension and delivery of my man CHARLES, if taken on the Appomattox river, or within the precincts of Petersburgh. He ran off about a week ago, and, if he leaves the neighborhood, will no doubt make for Farmville and Petersburgh. He is a mulatto, rather below the medium height and size, but well proportioned, and very active and sensible. He is aged about 27 years, has a mild, submissive look, and will, no doubt, show the marks of a recent whipping, if taken. He must be delivered to the care of Peebles, White, Davis & Co.
R. H. DeJarnett,
Oct. 25—3t.

Poor Charles!—mulatto!—has a mild, submissive look, and will probably show marks of a recent whipping!

Kosciusko Chronicle, Nov. 24, 1852:

To the Jail of Attila County, on the 8th instant, a negro boy, who calls his name GREEN, and says he belongs to James Gray, of Winston County. Said boy is about 20 years old, yellow complexion, round face, has a scar on his face, one on his left thigh, and one in his left hand, is about 5 feet 6 inches high. Had on when taken up a cotton cheek shirt, Linsey pants, new cloth cap, and was riding a large roan horse about 12 or 14 years old and thin in order. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be sold to pay charges.
E. B. Sanders, Jailer A. C.
Oct. 12, 1842. n12tf.

Capitolian Vis-a-Vis, West Baton Rouge, Nov. 1, 1852:
$100 REWARD.

Runaway from the subscriber, in Randolph County, on the 18th of October, a yellow boy, named JIM. This boy is 19 years old, a light mulatto with dirty sunburnt hair, inclined to be straight; he is just 5 feet 7 inches high, and slightly made. He had on when he left a black cloth cap, black cloth pantaloons, a plaided sack coat, a fine shirt, and brogan shoes. One hundred dollars will be paid for the recovery of the above-described boy, if taken out of the State, or fifty dollars if taken in the State.
Mrs. S. P. Hall,
Huntsville, Mo.
Nov. 4, 1852.

American Baptist, Dec. 20, 1852:

The following paragraph, headed “Twenty Dollars Reward,” appeared in a recent number of the New Orleans Picayune:

“Run away from the plantation of the undersigned the negro man Shedrick, a preacher, 5 feet 9 inches high, about 40 years old, but looking not over 23, stamped N. E. on the breast, and having both small toes cut off. He is of a very dark complexion, with eyes small but bright, and a look quite insolent. He dresses good, and was arrested as a runaway at Donaldsonville, some three years ago. The above reward will be paid for his arrest, by addressing Messrs. Armant Brothers, St. James parish, or A. Miltenberger & Co., 30 Carondelet-street.”

Here is a preacher who is branded on the breast and has both toes cut off,—and will look insolent yet! There’s depravity for you!

Jefferson Inquirer, Nov. 27, 1852:

RANAWAY from my plantation, in Bolivar County, Miss., a negro man named MAY, aged 40 years, 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, copper colored, and very straight; his front teeth are good and stand a little open; stout through the shoulders, and has some scars on his back that show above the skin plain, caused by the whip; he frequently hiccups when eating, if he has not got water handy; he was pursued into Ozark County, Mo., and there left. I will give the above reward for his confinement in jail, so that I can get him.
James H. Cousar,
Victoria, Bolivar County, Mississippi.
Nov. 13, 1m.

Delightful master to go back to, this man must be!

The Alabama Standard has for its motto:

“Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

Date of Nov. 29th, this advertisement:

To the Jail of Choctaw County, by Judge Young, of Marengo County, a RUNAWAY SLAVE, who 177calls his name BILLY, and says he belongs to the late William Johnson, and was in the employment of John Jones, near Alexandria, La. He is about 5 feet 10 inches high, black, about 40 years old, much scarred on the face and head, and quite intelligent.

The owner is requested to come forward, prove his property, and take him from Jail, or he will be disposed of according to law.
S. S. Houston, Jailer C. C.
December 1, 1852. 44-tf

Query: Whether this “quite intelligent” Billy hadn’t been corrupted by hearing this incendiary motto of the Standard?

Knoxville (Tenn.) Register, Nov. 3d:

RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the night of the 26th July last, a negro woman named HARRIET. Said woman is about five feet five inches high, has prominent cheek-bones, large mouth and good front teeth, tolerably spare built, about 26 years old. We think it probable she is harbored by some negroes not far from John Mynatt’s, in Knox County, where she and they are likely making some arrangements to get to a free state; or she may be concealed by some negroes (her connections) in Anderson County, near Clinton. I will give the above reward for her apprehension and confinement in any prison in this state, or I will give fifty dollars for her confinement in any jail out of this state, so that I get her.
Clinton, Tenn.
Nov. 3. 4m

The Alexandria Gazette, November 29, 1852, under the device of Liberty trampling on a tyrant, motto “Sic semper tyrannis,” has the following:

Ranaway from the subscriber, living in the County of Rappahannock, on Tuesday last, Daniel, a bright mulatto, about 5 feet 8 inches high, about 35 years old, very intelligent, has been a wagoner for several years, and is pretty well acquainted from Richmond to Alexandria. He calls himself DANIEL TURNER; his hair curls, without showing black blood, or wool; he has a scar on one cheek, and his left hand has been seriously injured by a pistol-shot, and he was shabbily dressed when last seen. I will give the above reward if taken out of the county, and secured in jail, so that I get him again, or $10 if taken in the county.
A. M. Willis,
Rappahannock Co., Va., Nov. 29.—eolm.

Another “very intelligent,” straight-haired man. Who was his father?

The New Orleans Daily Crescent, office No. 93 St. Charles-street; Tuesday morning, December 13, 1852:

NANCY, a griffe, about 34 years old, 5 feet 1? inch high, a scar on left wrist; says she belongs to Madame Wolf.

CHARLES HALL, a black, about 13 years old, 5 feet 6 inches high; says he is free, but supposed to be a slave.

PHILOMONIA, a mulattress, about 10 years old, 4 feet 3 inches high; says she is free, but supposed to be a slave.

COLUMBUS, a griffe, about 21 years old, 5 feet 5? inches high; says he is free, but supposed to be a slave.

SEYMOUR, a black, about 21 years old, 5 feet 1? inch high; says he is free, but supposed to be a slave

The owners will please comply with the law respecting them.
J. Worrall, Warden.
New Orleans, Dec. 14, 1852.

What chance for any of these poor fellows who say they are free?

RANAWAY from the subscriber, living in unionville, Frederick County, Md., on Sunday morning, the 17th instant, a DARK MULATTO GIRL, about 18 years of age, 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high, looks pleasant generally, talks very quick, converses tolerably well, and can read. It is supposed she had on, when she left, a red Merino dress, black Visette or plaid Shawl, and a purple calico Bonnet, as those articles are missing.

A reward of Twenty-five Dollars will be given for her, if taken in the State, or Fifty Dollars if taken out of the State, and lodged in jail, so that I get her again.
G. R. Sappington.
Oct. 13.—2m.

Kosciusko Chronicle, Mississippi:

Will be paid for the delivery of the boy WALKER, aged about 28 years, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, black complexion, loose make, smiles when spoken to, has a mild, sweet voice, and fine teeth. Apply at 25 Tchoupitoulas-street, up stairs.

Walker has walked off, it seems. Peace be with him!

RANAWAY from the subscriber, living near White’s Store, Anson County, on the 3d of May last, a bright mulatto boy, named BOB. Bob is about 5 feet high, will weigh 130 pounds, is about 22 years old, and has some beard on his upper lip. His left leg is somewhat shorter than his right, causing him to hobble in his walk; has a very broad face, and will show color like a white man. It is probable he has gone off with some wagoner or trader, or he may have free papers and be passing as a free man. He has straight hair.

I will give a reward of TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS for the apprehension and delivery to me of said boy, or for his confinement in any jail, so that I get him again.
Clara Lockhart,
By Adam Lockhart
June 30, 1852. 698: 5

Southern Standard, Oct. 16, 1852:
$50 REWARD!!!

RANAWAY, or stolen, from the subscriber, living near Aberdeen, Miss., a light mulatto woman, of small size, and about 23 years old. She has long, black, straight hair, and she usually keeps 178it in good order. When she left she had on either a white dress, or a brown calico one with white spots or figures, and took with her a red handkerchief, and a red or pink sun-bonnet. She generally dresses very neatly. She generally calls herself Mary Ann Paine,—can read print,—has some freckles on her face and hands,—shoes No. 4,—had a ring or two on her fingers. She is very intelligent, and Converses well. The above reward will be given for her, if taken out of the State, and $25 if taken within the State.
U. McAllister.

Memphis (weekly) Appeal will insert to the amount of $5, and send account to this office.
October 6th, 1853. 20—tf.

Much can be seen of this Mary Ann in this picture. The black, straight hair, usually kept in order,—the general neatness of dress,—the ring or two on the fingers,—the ability to read,—the fact of being intelligent and conversing well, are all to be noticed.

Ranaway, on the 9th of last August, my servant boy HENRY: He is 14 or 15 years old, a bright mulatto, has dark eyes, stoops a little, and stutters when confused. Had on, when he went away, white pantaloons, long blue summer coat, and a palm-leaf hat. I will give the above reward if he should be taken in the State of Virginia, or $30 if taken in either of the adjoining States, but in either case he must be so secured that I get him again.
Edwin C. Fitzhugh.
Oct. 7.—eotf.

Poor Henry!—only 14 or 15.

To the Jail of Lowndes County, Mississippi, on the 9th of May, by Jno. K. Peirce, Esq., and taken up as a runaway slave by William S. Cox, a negro man, who says his name is ROLAND, and that he belongs to Maj. Cathey, of Marengo Co., Ala., was sold to him by Henry Williams, a negro trader from North Carolina.

Said negro is about 35 years old, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, dark complexion, weighs about 150 pounds, middle finger on the right hand off at the second joint, and had on, when committed, a black silk hat, black drap d’ete dress coat, and white linsey pants.

The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt with according to law.
L. H. Willeford,
June 6, 1852. 19—tf.

Richmond Semi-weekly Examiner, October 29, 1852:

Ranaway from the subscriber, residing in the County of Halifax, about the middle of last August, a Negro Man, Ned, aged some thirty or forty years, of medium height, copper color, full forehead, and cheek bones a little prominent. No scars recollected, except one of his fingers—the little one, probably—is stiff and crooked. The man Ned was purchased in Richmond, of Mr. Robert Goodwin, who resides near Frederick-Hall, in Louisa County, and has a wife in that vicinity. He has been seen in the neighborhood, and is supposed to have gone over the Mountains, and to be now at work as a free man at some of the Iron Works; some one having given him free papers. The above reward will be given for the apprehension of the slave Ned, and his delivery to R. H. Dickinson & Bro., in Richmond, or to the undersigned, in Halifax, Virginia, or twenty-five if confined in any jail in the Commonwealth, so that I get him.
Jas. M. Chappell,
[Firm of Chappell & Tucker.]
Aug. 10.—tf.

This unfortunate copper-colored article is supposed to have gone after his wife.

Kentucky Whig, Oct. 22, ‘52:
$200 REWARD.

Ranaway from the subscriber, near Mount Sterling, Ky., on the night of the 20th of October, a negro man named PORTER. Said boy is black, about 22 years old, very stout and active, weighs about 165 or 170 pounds. He is a smart fellow, converses well, without the negro accent; no particular scars recollected. He had on a pair of coarse boots about half worn, no other clothing recollected. He was raised near Sharpsburg, in Bath county, by Harrison Caldwell, and may be lurking in that neighborhood, but will probably endeavor to reach Ohio.

I will pay the above-mentioned reward for him, if taken out of the State; $50, if taken in any county bordering on the Ohio river; or $25, if taken in this or any adjoining county, and secured so that I can get him.

He is supposed to have ridden a yellow Horse, 15 hands and one inch high, mane and tail both yellow, five years old, and paces well.

October 21st, 1852.
G. W. Proctor.

“No particular scars recollected”!

St. Louis Times, Oct. 14, 1852:

Taken up and committed to Jail in the town of Rockbridge, Ozark county, Mo., on the 31st of August last, a runaway slave, who calls his name MOSES. Had on, when taken, a brown Jeanes pantaloons, old cotton shirt, blue frock-coat, an old rag tied round his head. He is about six feet high, dark complexion, a scar over the left eye, supposed to be about 27 years old. The owner is hereby notified to come forward, prove said negro, and pay all lawful charges incurred on his account, or the said negro will be sold at public auction for ready money at the Court House door in the town of Rockbridge, on MONDAY, the 13th of December next, according to law in such cases made and provided, this 9th of September, 1852.
s23d & w. Robert Hicks, Sh’ff.

Charleston Mercury, Oct. 15, 1852:

Runaway on Sunday the 6th inst., from the South Carolina Railroad Company, their negro 179man SAM, recently bought by them, with others, at Messrs. Cothran & Sproull’s sale, at Aiken. He was raised in Cumberland County, North Carolina, and last brought from Richmond, Va. In height he is 5 feet 6? inches. Complexion copper color; on the left arm and right leg somewhat scarred. Countenance good. The above reward will be paid for his apprehension and lodgment in any one of the Jails of this or any neighboring State.
J. D. Petsch,
Sup’t Transportation.
June 12.

Kosciusko Chronicle, Nov. 24, ‘52:

To the Jail of Attila County, Miss., October the 7th, 1852, a negro boy, who calls his name HAMBLETON, and says he belongs to Parson William Young, of Pontotoc County; is about 26 or 27 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches high, rather dark complexion, has two or three marks on his back, a small scar on his left hip. Had on, when taken up, a pair of blue cotton pants, white cotton drawers, a new cotton shirt, a pair of kip boots, an old cloth cap and wool hat. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges and take him away, or he will be dealt with as provided in such case.
E. B. Sanders, Jailer A. C.
Oct. 12, 1852.
n 12tf.

Frankfort Commonwealth, October 21, 1852:

A negro boy, who calls his name ADAM, was committed to the Muhlenburg Jail on the 24th of July, 1852. Said boy is black; about 16 or 17 years old; 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high; will weigh about 150 lbs. He has lost a part of the finger next to his little finger on the right hand; also the great toe on his left foot. This boy says he belongs to Wm. Mosley; that said Mosley was moving to Mississippi from Virginia. He further states that he is lost, and not a runaway. His owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay expenses, and take him away, or he will be disposed of as the law directs.
S. H. Dempsey, J. M. C.
Greenville, Ky., Oct. 20, 1852.

A negro man arrested and placed in the Barren County Jail, Ky., on the 21st instant, calling himself HENRY, about 22 years old; says he ran away from near Florence, Alabama, and belongs to John Calaway. He is about five feet eight inches high, dark, but not very black, rather thin visage, pointed nose, no scars perceivable, rather spare built; says he has been runaway nearly three months. The owner can get him by applying and paying the reward and expenses; if not, he will be proceeded against according to law. This 24th of August, 1852.
Samuel Adwell, Jailer.
Aug. 25, 1852.—6m

In the same paper are two more poor fellows, who probably have been sold to pay jail-fees, before now.

Taken up by M. H. Brand, as a runaway slave, on the 22d ult., in the city of Covington, Kenton county, Ky., a negro man calling himself CHARLES WARFIELD, about 30 years old, but looks older, about 6 feet high; no particular marks; had no free papers, but he says he is free, and was born in Pennsylvania, and in Fayette county. Said negro was lodged in jail on the said 22d ult., and the owner or owners, if any, are hereby notified to come forward, prove property, and pay charges, and take him away.
C. W. Hull, J. K. C.
August 3, 1852.—6m.

To the Jail of Graves county, Ky., on the 4th inst., a negro man calling himself DAVE or DAVID. He says he is free, but formerly belonged to Samuel Brown, of Prince William county, Virginia. He is of black color, about 5 feet 10 inches high, weighs about 180 lbs.; supposed to be about 45 years old; had on brown pants and striped shirt. He had in his possession an old rifle gun, an old pistol, and some old clothing. He also informs me that he has escaped from the Dyersburg Jail, Tennessee, where he had been confined some eight or nine months. The owner is hereby notified to come forward, prove property pay charges, &c.
L. B. Holefield, Jailer G. C.
June 28, 1852.—w6m.

Charleston Mercury, Oct. 29, 1852:
$200 REWARD.

Runaway from the subscriber, some time in March last, his servant LYDIA, and is suspected of being in Charleston. I will give the above reward to any person who may apprehend her, and furnish evidence to conviction of the person supposed to harbor her, or $50 for having her lodged in any Jail so that I get her. Lydia is a Mulatto woman, twenty-five years of age, four feet eleven inches high, with straight black hair, which inclines to curl, her front teeth defective, and has been plugged; the gold distinctly seen when talking; round face, a scar under her chin, and two fingers on one hand stiff at the first joints.
June 16. tuths
C. T. Scaife.

Runaway from the subscriber, on or about the first of May last, his negro boy GEORGE, about 18 years of age, about 5 feet high, well set, and speaks properly. He formerly belonged to Mr. J. D. A. Murphy, living in Blackville; has a mother belonging to a Mr. Lorrick, living in Lexington District. He is supposed to have a pass, and is likely to be lurking about Branchville or Charleston.

The above reward will be paid to any one lodging George in any Jail in the State, so that I can get him.
J. J. Andrews, Orangeburg C. H.
Orangeburg, Aug. 7, 1852. sw Sept 11

Committed to the Jail at Colleton District as a runaway, JORDAN, a negro man about thirty years of age, who says he belongs to Dobson 180Coely, of Pulaski County, Georgia. The owner has notice to prove property and take him away.
L. W. McCants, Sheriff Colleton Dist.
Walterboro, So. Ca., Sept. 7, 1852.

The following are selected by the Commonwealth mostly from New Orleans papers. The characteristics of the slaves are interesting.

Will be paid by............
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