1800 Advertisement: Unnamed Black woman [Hardenbergh]


1800 Advertisement: Unnamed Black woman [Hardenbergh]
Slave sale ad for a 35-year-old woman
Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Jr., "FOR SALE," Guardian, Or, New-Brunswick Advertiser, March 27, 1801. Loose Newspaper Collection (Ac. 3193). Box 27, Folder 15. Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries.
Event Description
Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Jr. (1768-1841) advertised a 35-year-old black woman for sale in Somerville, NJ. The ad was first submitted on December 16, 1800, and ran for at least 3 months until March 1801, in the local New Brunswick newspaper called the Guardian, Or, New-Brunswick Advertiser.

The ad noted that the woman was a cook and was being "sold for no other reason than being dissatisfied with the place of her master’s residence." This suggests a possible act of resistance on the part of the woman; perhaps she appealed to Hardenbergh to sell her to a more favorable location so she could be closer to family. Hardenbergh grew up in Somerville (at the historic site now known as the Old Dutch Parsonage), but he moved to New Brunswick in the late 18th century, and perhaps his move disrupted this woman's family life.

The following is a transcript of the ad, as printed in the March 27, 1801, issue of the newspaper:

"FOR SALE BY the subscriber, a Negro wench, of about thirty five years of age, a good cook, sober and honest, sold for no other reason than being dissatisfied with the place of her master’s residence. Apply to JACOB R. HARDENBERGH. Somerville, Dec. 16, 1800."

Note that some historians erroneously attribute this advertisement to Rutgers University's first president Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Sr. (1736-1790), but the president had died a decade before this ad was published. The person who placed this ad was the president's son. The son was an alumnus of Rutgers (then called Queen's College) and an active trustee of the school for decades; he served as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the college at the time when he placed this ad in 1800.
Event Type
Freedom status transaction: Advertisement
16 December 1800 – 27 March 1801
Somerville, NJ
Primary Participant
Unnamed Black woman [Hardenbergh]
Participant Details

*** Unnamed Black woman [Hardenbergh] ***
Role: Advertised Person
Age: 35
Status: Enslaved
Enslaver(s) of this participant:
- Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Jr. (1768-1841)
Verbatim description from source:
"Negro wench, of about thirty five years of age, a good cook, sober and honest"



Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Jr. (1768-1841)
Role: Enslaver - Advertiser
Record Contributor
Jesse Bayker

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Items with "Event: 1800 Advertisement: Unnamed Black woman [Hardenbergh]"
Title Class
Participant Details: Unnamed Black woman [Hardenbergh] as Advertised Person in 1800 Advertisement event NJS-EVE-00030 Event Participation