Sep. 16th, 2017

lauradi7dw: (Default)
I follow the Adverts 250 project on twitter, seeing every day ads about US enslaved people from 1767 (currently) in newspapers. There is a much more detailed web site, but the ads are the same in either format. A couple of days ago, I noticed the sixth one down on this page (I can't figure out how to isolate the image)
which says "To be sold for no fault, but want of Employ, a strong healthy Negro man, aged about 36 years, who understands the sawing business, and is very suitable for a master builder or cabinet maker. Inquire of Edes and Gill."
https://adverts250project.org/2017/09/14/slavery-advertisements-published-september-14-1767/
The ad was printed in the Boston-Gazette. The names tugged at me, and I realized that the re-enacted print shop near Old North was theirs. They currently mostly print a version of the Constitution, but they are clear about the link to the Gazette and the proprietors.
http://oldnorth.com/printing-office-of-edes-gill/
http://bostongazette.org/about/
What the sites don't mention (among many other things, no doubt) was the slavery connection. Can I reasonably expect someone who was part of the "Sons of Liberty" (Edes) to have turned down paying customers who were happy depriving other people of their own liberty? I love that building, and like the press, and this is pissing me off. One of the historical advisors of the shop is J.L. Bell. I am coincidentally reading one of his books, "The Road to Concord," the thesis of which is that the whole Patriot's day ruckus was over some stolen cannon, not powder, so much. (I'm over-simplifying). Bell also follows the Adverts 250 project on twitter (along with hundreds of other people, several of whom I also follow). I am tempted to send JLB a personal message asking why the slavery issue is ignored by the shop, but I expect that would just get me blocked, and I haven't had the nerve to ask Gary the printer in person, either.
To be accurate, I think the original bunch of guys calling themselves Sons of Liberty were named after the Liberty Tree on the common, and they were formed to fight the Stamp Act of 1765, but still. Liberty is in the name.

(unrelated, I also have a question about a passing 1766 reference to the bells in "the Road to Concord" that has insufficient source citations).

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