1752, Unnamed African man [Livingston], Freedom seeking (Resistance)


1752, Unnamed African man [Livingston], Freedom seeking (Resistance)
Event Description
In November 1752, slave trader Philip Livingston offered a reward of 3 pounds for the capture of an African man who escaped from Livingston in New York City. The man did not speak any English or Dutch (the primary European languages in eighteen-century New York) because he was only recently brought to New York City from Africa. This incident took place 14 years before Philip Livingston would became a charter trustee of Queen's College.

The advertisement offered a description of the man's African hairstyle: "his hair or wool is curled in locks, in a very remarkable manner." Livingston also referred to the man as a "a very likely lusty fellow." In eighteenth-century America, the term "likely" meant good looking, while the term "lusty" meant healthy and vigorous. Thus the words "a very likely lusty fellow" suggest that the freedom seeker was a strong and healthy man in the prime of his life.

Livingston supposed that the freedom seeker made his way toward the woods near Harlem, which was at that time a small village north of New York City on the Island of Manhattan (the Harlem area has since then been incorporated into New York City as a neighborhood north of Central Park).

The following is a transcript of the advertisement from the New-York Gazette issue of November 6, 1752:

"Run away from Philip Livingson [sic], of New York, on the 28th of October last; a Negro Man, lately imported from Africa, his Hair or wool is curled in locks, in a very remarkable manner; he is a very likely lusty fellow, and cannot speak a word of English, or Dutch, or any other language but that of his own country. He was seen last Monday on New York Island, and is supposed now to be in the Woods near Harlem. whoever takes up said Fellow, and delivers him to his said master shall receive THREE POUNDS as a reward, from PHILIP LIVINGSTON."
Action Status
28 October 1752
New York, NY
Primary Participant
Unnamed African man [Livingston]
Primary Participant Description (verbatim)
Negro Man
Hair or wool is curled in locks, in a very remarkable manner
very likely lusty fellow
Freedom Status
Enslaver of Primary Event Participant
Philip Livingston (1716-1778)
Runaway ad for an unnamed African man
Runaway ad for an unnamed African man, by Philip Livingston. New-York Gazette. November 6, 1752.
Record Contributor
Jesse Bayker