Monday, February 18, 2013

Black History Month: Newspaper Tidbits

Virginia Gazette - January 19, 1776

PRINCE WILLIAM county, Jan. 4, 1776.  WHEREAS the subscriber, some time in the month of October last, passed his obligation to a certain Charles Adams, of the town of Dumfries, for the sum of 10 l. to be paid in pork and corn for a servant woman purchased of him, and warranted by him to have no other ailment than the ague and fever; and whereas, upon taking her home, I have discovered her to be a lunatick, with which I am convinced the said Adams could not be unacquainted at the time of the sale, and have therefore returned her to the said Adams, who refused to give up my obligation: I therefore forewarn all persons from taking an assignment of the same, as I was deceived by him, and am determined not to pay it.



Virginia Gazette - August 21, 1779

FREDERICKSBURG, August 10, 1779.  RUN away from the subscriber in December last, a middle sized negro boy named Dick, about 17 years old, flat footed, and a large scar on the top of his head, had been inoculated for the small pox a month or two before, the scar when he went off was very plain in his arm, but little other appearance of the disorder remaining.  I have reason to believe he was enticed away by one Simon Sackett a waggoner, who lived near Bland's ford in Prince William county, and who set off with his waggon, the day after the boy disappeared, bound as he gave out, for Carolina, but as he came from the Jersey's to Virginia, he may have directed his course that way.  Sackett is a lusty man, above 6 feet high, between 25 and 30 years of age, of a swarthy complexion, brown hair, and a down look. Whoever delivers the above mentioned negro boy to me in Fredericksburg, or to my overseer William Munday, near Bland's ford in Prince William county, shall be paid ONE HUNDRED POUNDS reward, and if stolen, upon conviction of the thief, TWO HUNDRED POUNDS.



Alexandria Gazette - January 29, 1827

NOTICE.  By virtue of a deed of trust executed to us by James Foster and Silas Foster, on the 7th day of December 1825, for the purpose of securing to John Withers & Co. and Withers & Washington, the payment of the debts therein mentioned, we shall, on Monday, the 5th day of March next, expose to sale by public auction for cash, before the front door of the Court House of Prince William county, one negro girl named Anne and her child -- Also, the interest of the said James and Silas Foster, in the estate of their father, James Foster, deceased.  Such title as we have under the trust deed will be conveyed to the purchasdr.



Alexandria Gazette - January 29, 1850

NEGROES FOR SALE. -- I will offer for sale, to the highest bidder, on the first Monday February next, in Brentsville, before the front door of the Court House, for cash, two Negro Men belonging to the estate of Gerard Mason, dec'd.

RICHARD ATKINSON, Adm'r of Gerard Mason, dec'd
Prince William Co., jan 17 --eots


Alexandria Gazette - July 7, 1869

LETTER FROM PRINCE WILLIAM.  There are certainly two, and probably three, colored registrars appointed for this county.--Jesse Bates, 1st precinct (He's a "nice one," I tell you), H. E. Pinn, 3d precinct (Pinn is the "heir expectant" of the post office at Manassas) Summer Fitts is the President of the Board of the 3d precinct.  Fitts was nominated here in March, I think by eight republicans (?) for the Legislature.  He cannot be registrar if he is a candidate.  Which are you, Fitts, candidate or registrar?  In the language of Shakespeare, "Whence and what art thou, execrable shape?"  Josiah Thomas in the 4th precinct, may be a colored man for all I know.  I have never heard of him before.  Fitts better stick to his military appointment.  He'll never be elected to any office.  Nothing but the devil will ever catch Fitts in this county.

Mr. Thomas L. Burrows, a very gentlemanly republican, has a petition in circulation I understand for the Manassas post office.  It is signed by a number of republicans, and the most prominent business men of the place and vicinity.  Under the head of republicans in the petition there is one name that sorter surprises me.  I'll not call it, but if I can I'll send you a copy of the petition.  I hope Mr. Burrows will get the position, because he is a fair man, and the people want him to have it, but the idea, just the idea, of one man who signed the petition under the first heading, calling himself a republican.  When did he become one?  Why din't he say he was one when he ran for office lasts?  He'll be ashamed to say it when he runs again, which he is sure to do, for he will die if out of office.  The black republicans say that Pinn's appointment is a "political necessity."  The blacks will leave the radicals here "with the bag to hold" if Pinn is not appointed postmaster.

PRINCE WM. CO., June 5, 1869


Alexandria Gazette - September 19, 1871

MANASSAS, PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY. -- The funeral services of old Aunt Esther Britt, aged seventy-five years, formerly the slave of the late Rev. Robert C. Leachman, a distinguished minister of the Old School Baptist Church, well known in Washington and Alexandria, took place here last week.  The funeral sermon was preached by Charles Mason, formerly a slave, who belonged to the estate of the late John McCree, of this county.  The church was crowded, a large number of the audience being white.


  1. I see Uncle Charles made the 1776 news. :/

  2. I see Uncle Charles made the 1776 news. :/

  3. I see Uncle Charles made the 1776 news. :/

  4. I see Uncle Charles made the 1776 news. :/