Colonial newspapers in Barbados contain a plethora of advertisements with information about enslaved individuals who had “run away” (escaped) from bondage.

Such advertisements were common not only in newspapers in the Caribbean, but also in North America. Publishers in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and other places, published ads that were meant to track down the enslaved. Read more here about the role of newspapers and their publishers in capitalism, and in perpetuating slavery.

Recently two newspapers from Barbados, housed in the Barbados Archives, were digitized with funding from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme: the Barbados Mercury and Bridgetown Gazette (1783-1848) and The Barbadian (1822-1861) (soon to be online).

For more information about the digitization of the Mercury, and instructions on how to access and navigate it, read here.

To browse sample ads, see here.

We are in the process of clipping ads from the newspapers to create a digital collection that will be hosted in the Early Caribbean Digital Archive.

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