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Advertisement submitted by Nicholle Young; Summary written by Cheri Todd Molter

In February 1859, Peter, a “stout,” Black man who had been enslaved by the Colvin family of New Hanover County, ran away. As of May 8, 1860—over a year later—Peter was still free and was rumored to be living in the swamps nearby, or “other obscure places.” H. A. Colvin, Peter’s former enslaver, had this ad published in an attempt to regain control over Peter and to announce to the community that individuals were permitted to use any means possible to apprehend him, even if Peter was killed in the process. North Carolina law provided that a runaway who remained away for two months or more could be “outlawed” and killed without penalty. Colvin was willing to pay a reward of $100 to have Peter returned to him, “dead or alive.”

Source: Wilmington Journal, Wilmington, North Carolina · June 28, 1860

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