1763 Freedom seeking: Phill


1763 Freedom seeking: Phill
Runaway ad for Phill
James Neilson, Runaway ad for Phill, New-York Gazette, or, the Weekly Post-Boy, June 16, 1763.
Event Description
Phill, a Black woman or girl, ran away from Samuel Hallett of Hallett's Cove (present-day Astoria, Queens, New York) around June 1763. Her age at the time of this event is unknown. Phill's primary enslaver was James Neilson of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and it is unclear how long Phill was living with or working for Samuel Hallett in New York prior to her escape. A runaway advertisement offering a reward of twenty shillings for Phill's capture and return was published in the newspaper called The New-York Gazette, or, the Weekly Post-Boy on June 16, 1763. In addition to Samuel Hallett and James Neilson, the ad mentioned that Phill could be brought to James Abeel in New York if she was captured. James Abeel was the husband of James Neilson's niece Gertrude Neilson Abeel, and evidently he was ready to assist James Neilson in capturing Phill.

The full text of the runaway ad follows below:

"RUN away, last Night, from Samuel Hallett, of Hallett's Cove, a Negro Girl, named Phill, belonging to James Neilson, Esq; of New-Brunswick, about five Feet high, well made, and pretty Black. Whoever will take up and secure the said Wench, or bring her to said Hallett, or James Abeel, in New-York, or to her said Master, at New-Brunswick, shall receive TWENTY SHILLINGS Reward, and all reasonable Charges, by either of the above mentioned Persons."
Event Type
Resistance: Freedom seeking
15 June 1763
Date Certainty
Primary Participant
Additional Participant
James Abeel (1733-1825)
Participant Details

*** Phill ***
Role: Runaway
Age category: Adult
Status: Enslaved
Enslaver(s) of this participant:
- James Neilson (c. 1700-1783)
- Samuel Hallett
Verbatim description from source:
"Negro Girl, named Phill, belonging to James Neilson, Esq, of New-Brunswick, about five Feet high, well made, and pretty Black"



James Abeel (1733-1825)
Role: Additional Participant

James Neilson (c. 1700-1783)
Role: Enslaver - Advertiser (principal legal owner of Phill)

Samuel Hallett
Role: Enslaver (Phill ran from his house)
Record Contributor
Jesse Bayker

Linked resources

Items with "Event: 1763 Freedom seeking: Phill"
Title Class
Participant Details: Phill as Runaway in 1763 Freedom seeking event NJS-EVE-00682 Event Participation