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Colonial Newspaper Analysis

Essay by JessicaJohnson  •  May 13, 2017  •  Essay  •  409 Words (2 Pages)  •  513 Views

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Colonial Newspaper Analysis

        Learning about runaway advertising was very interesting. In this source, they talk about what it was like for masters to have their servants and slaves run away. It opens up talking about a man named Bood and how he and some of his friends ran away with possessions that didn’t belong to them. After they would run away, their owners would make a “wanted” advertisement (some very detailed, some not), letting people know what happened and most of them involved in some kind of reward. Colonial advertising started way back in 1609 in Boston, but it ended up folding after one issue. The next successful newspaper didn’t come around until 1704 in the Boston News-Letter. A common feature of colonial newspapers from Massachusetts to Georgia were advertisements for runaway servants and slaves, which numbered in the thousands.

        There were both advantages and disadvantages from using the newspaper for their advertisement. One advantage from using the advertisement showed us how their masters viewed their human property and also their physical features. Like I said before, some of them were very detailed and told us what kind of scars they had and others were less descriptive. One disadvantage of working with runaway advertisements was that if you lived in a small city, people might not see the advertisement as much as someone in a bigger city would. Another disadvantage was they only accounted for a small portion of slaves and servants that ran away. Placing an advertisement in the newspaper costed money and most of them required the master to post a reward and be willing to pay whoever found them. So usually masters only wanted to have a post in the newspaper if the slave or servant was skillful or valuable. They wouldn’t make an advertisement for salves and servants that were old or unskilled.

        In conclusion, there was some really useful information about these so called wanted advertisements. We learned some advantages and disadvantages about using them and most of them costed money so usually the masters did nothing and waited for them to come back. When writing the advertisements, the masters used their own description to describe the runaway rather then what they actually looked like. In the master’s eyes, any servant or slave who ran away was a person of questionable moral character.



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