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EXPLORE Freedom on the Move

Throughout the 250-year history of slavery in North America, enslaved people tried to escape. Once newspapers were common, enslavers posted “runaway ads” to try to locate these fugitives. Such ads provide significant quantities of individual and collective information about the economic, demographic, social, and cultural history of slavery, but they have never been systematically collected.

The NEH-funded "Freedom on the Move" project is a database that will compile all North American slave runaway ads and make them available for statistical, geographical, textual, and other forms of analysis.