Saturday, April 9, 2011

Classified Ads from the Franklinton Freeman's Chronicle, 1812-13.

Here are some interesting (to me, anyway) classifieds found in 1812-1813 issues of the first newspaper published in Franklinton, the Freeman's Chronicle. They range from legal notices, to real estate sales, to wanted ads for deserters and runaway slaves (the latter from south of the Ohio River...).
Tavern keeper John O'Harra was shutting his doors,and wanted his customers to settle their tabs. Remember, this was an era when coinage was scarce and you could pay for a newspaper subscription in animal skins. Apparently many of his patrons were officers of the North West Army, which had a large encampment in town that year.

Henry Brown and Company offered an impressive range of goods.

J and R McCoy offer a similar variety. That last line reads "A few chests of choice TEAS, of the latest importations." As the War of 1812 wore on, tea and coffee began to get scarce because of the British blockade.

John Noe deserted from Captain William Bradford's Company, 17th United States Infantry Regiment. The 17th was raised in Kentucky and served on the Northwest frontier during the 1812-1813 campaign, and later during the war was amalgamated with the 19th and some other skeleton regiments into what is still today the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment.
Wanted ads for escaped slaves were commonplace too, although I'm not sure if the underground railroad was running as early as 1812. This one is repeated in several issues during 1812, so hopefully he got away. The state of war between Canada and the United States must have been an opportunity for some slaves to defect, while for others the risks of escaping across an active battlefront increased.

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