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Boston Evening-Post, May 1758, "Notice for Sale of Three Slaves," Courtesy, American Antiquarian Society

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Advertisement of slaves for sale

Colonial newspapers like the Boston Evening-Post appeared weekly and contained a combination of foreign and domestic news. Typically, much of the space in newspapers was devoted to advertisements for a whole variety of goods and services. This notice points to the trade in human beings.

An initial reading of this advertisement raises questions about the role of enslaved men, women, and children in urban and rural households, the variety of skilled and unskilled labor they performed, and their place in the larger society. Might these individuals have all been part of one family?