1763, Phill, Freedom seeking (Resistance)


1763, Phill, Freedom seeking (Resistance)
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."
Action Status
16 June 1763
Date Certainty
Primary Participant
Primary Participant Description (verbatim)
Negro Girl
about five Feet high, well made, and pretty Black
Freedom Status
Enslaver of Primary Event Participant
James Neilson (c. 1700-1783)
Samuel Hallett
Additional Participant
James Abeel (1733-1825)
Runaway ad for Phill
James Neilson, Runaway ad for Phill, New-York Gazette, or, the Weekly Post-Boy, June 16, 1763.
Record Contributor
Jesse Bayker