Advertisement for Runaway Slave Peter
A notice published in a supplement to the March 13, 1775, edition of the Virginia Gazette advertises for the capture and return of "a Virginia born negro man" named Peter who escaped with the help of his wife who lived on another plantation. She had earlier provided him with clothing different from "his cloathing … [which was] such as common labouring negroes generally wear" as a means to avoid detection. The advertisement also warns that Peter may have procured a pass saying he was a free black and that he may "endeavour to pass as a free man." John Hales, Peter's owner, offered forty shillings beyond the normal reward set by law to capture and return his slave. Hales advised any would-be captor to be sure to "secure … [Peter] well" as he was a "very artful, cunning fellow."