From Carolina Watchman, January 7, 1837
All of the ads about runaway slaves would have been received by different audiences in very different ways. Other slaveholders might have sympathized with Gorman's loss of "property" and perhaps considered measures that they could take to prevent their own slaves from running away or to recover them quickly if they did so. Anyone with an interest in earning twenty dollars (a considerable sum at the time) might have read this ad with interest and planned to be on the lookout for someone fitting Tim's description so that they could secure the reward. Anyone who objected to slavery such as free African Americans or abolitionists might have secretly celebrated Tim's escape and may have even been willing to take the risky step of attempting to help people like Tim on their path to freedom. Chances are that the other slaves in Tim's immediate area already knew about his disappearance, but slaves living further away would have been interested in this news as well. Enslaved people were often forbidden to learn to read and write, but those who could read and saw this ad or who heard others talking about Tim's escape might have spread the news and been encouraged by an escape that was -- at least for the moment -- successful. They may have even been looking out for an escaped slave who might be in the Stokes Ferry area in case they could, in some way (and despite grave risks) assist him..
HENRY S. GORMAN.
Concord, Dec 17, 1836 -- 4w22
State of North Carolina, Surry County
Slave holders who desired additional laborers or those who aspired to own slaves might have been interested in the possibilities of purchasing slaves at this public sale, perhaps even hoping to get a good deal due to the circumstances of the sale. Those sympathetic to the plight of enslaved people, however, might have been concerned about the futures of these twelve people and may have been especially upset about the prospect of children being sold, perhaps away from their families..
WM. DAVIS Admir of James McCraw, dec's, and Ex'tor of Matthew Davis, deceased
December 17 -- 3w 22
RANAWAY from the subscriber two negro slaves, viz TONEY and JOHN. Toney is about 35 years of age, fife feet nine or ten inches high, dark complexion, square and stout build and had on when he left, a bright drab Petersham overcoat. He was purchased by me of Mr. Richard Brasley (sp?) of Wilmington, and calls himself Toney Montague. John is about twenty years of age, of rather lighter complexion than Toney, about five feet 10 inches high, and is quite stout b____ -- he has a full round face, and has lost two front teeth above and below which is his most distinguishing mark. He had on when he left, a light grey woolen round Jacket and pantaloons.
The above slaves left the camp of the subscriber while on his way to the Western country, eight miles above Lincolnton, on 28t of last month, and will no doubt endeavor to make their way back to Wilmington. The above reward will be given for their apprehension, so that I get them again.
Dec 10, 1836 -- __21
Cash for negroes
I wish all letters on business, addressed to me at Germanton, Stokes CountyThis advertisement probably would not have been of great interest to non-slaveholders who were also not abolitionists. Slave-owners may have been interested in doing business with Mr. Glen if they had more slave laborers than they required, or if they had an immediate need for cash and were not opposed to selling slaves to a slave trader. Those who opposed slavery would have found this advertisement repugnant. Enslaved people, if they knew that Glen was advertising in their area, might have been very concerned about the possibility of being purchased by a slave trader and sold to a plantation in the deep south, far from family and friends..
July 18, 1836 -- __52
As with the other court-ordered sale from this issue of the Carolina Watchman, this ad would have been received very differently by different people in the community..
W.H. ARCHIBALD, Shff. Of Cabarrus County N.C.
Dec 3 1836 -- tf20
Stop the Runaway.
As with the other advertisements related to runaway slaves, this advertisement would have been received very differently by different people who may have come into contact with it in North Carolina in 1837.
Formerly owned by James Cunningham. He is between forty and fifty years old; of a yellowish complexion -- round face and small eyes. He is marked with a scar in one of his ears, which has not grown together; also with a scar on the underside of his heel; which has not _______; he has also a small scar on one of his cheeks and is about five feet, five or six inches in height. As with the other advertisements related to runaway slaves, this advertisement would have been received very differently by different people who may have come into contact with it in North Carolina in 1837..
Liberty Hill, Iredell co. N. C.
June 11th, 1836 -- __47