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Runaway Slaves in Britain: bondage, freedom and race in the eighteenth century

Runaway Slaves in Britain: bondage, freedom and race in the eighteenth century

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Funded by:  Leverhulme Trust

Main contact:  Professor Simon Newman

Start date:  2015

End date:  2017

Subject areas:
History - School of Humanities, College of Arts
Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) - School of Humanities, College of Arts

Historians know relatively little about the enslaved people who lived, worked and died in eighteenth century Britain. This project will create a database of searchable information about those who sought to escape their bondage. Not all of the the people who ran away from their masters in Georgian Britain were of African descent, and a small number were Native Americans or were from the Indian sub-continent. While some were not slaves, many were described by their masters in terms of slavery. The principal sources for this project will be the advertisements placed in newspapers by slave-owners. The project will also locate and make available related newspaper, legal and other materials. At the heart of the project will be a searchable database of runaway slave advertisements from eighteenth-century English and Scottish newspapers.