As the abolitionist minister's observation suggests, enslaved African Americans were neither content nor happy. Indeed, rom day-to-day acts of covert resistance to brazen acts of open rebellion, slaves in the antebellum United States daily proved the lie of paternalism as even a cursory glance at the historiography of the South over the last half-century attests. Nevertheless, for anyone still unconvinced of the American slaves' thirst for freedom, there is a large cache of historical records that obliterate the myth of black Southerners accepting their enslaved status passively. Published in independently owned newspapers in nearly every significant city and town in the antebellum South, runaway slave advertisements-which offered cash awards for the capture of fugitive slaves or notified slaveowners of the incarceration of suspected runaways-have changed the way students, teachers, and scholars understand slavery.
Clavin, Matthew J.
"Runaway Slave Advertisements in Antebellum Florida: A Retrospective,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 94:
3, Article 8.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol94/iss3/8