1801 Jailing: Matthew Fairfax, Levi Brown

Item

Title
1801 Jailing: Matthew Fairfax, Levi Brown
Identifier
NJS-EVE-00799
Source
Runaway pickup notice for Matthew Fairfax and Levi Brown
Peter Keenon, "TWO NEGROMEN," 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
On January 1, 1801, two Black men were incarcerated in the Middlesex County jail in New Brunswick, NJ, on suspicion of being fugitives from slavery. Their names were Matthew Fairfax and Levi Brown. Two months later, on March 4, 1801, the keeper of the Middlesex County jail, Peter Keenon, issued a notice about the men and informed the public that they would be sold if their enslavers did not come forth to take them away by March 26.

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Transcript of the source document:

"TWO NEGROMEN,

WERE Committed to my custody on the first day of January last, —MATTHEW FAIKFAX, black, about five feet eight inches high, and about 25 years old, speaks quick, and plays on the violin, had a forged pass, from Fairfax county in Virginia, and from his dialect, supposed to be from Maryland or Virginia. —LEVI BROWN, a mulatto, says he is from Pennsylvania, about five feet eight inches high, stout made, and about 20 years old, both say they have been brought up to the farming business —If they are not claimed by their masters on or before the 26th instant, they then will be sold to pay charges and goal fees.

PETER KEENON, Keeper of the prison of Middlesex county

New-Brunswick, New-Jersey, March 4, 1801. } 19--4w"
Event Type
Violence: Jailing
Date
1 January 1801 – 4 March 1801
Date Certainty
Inferred
Additional Participant
Peter Keenon (d. 1814)
Participant Details
DETAILS FOR PRIMARY PARTICIPANTS:

*** Matthew Fairfax (b. 1776) ***
Role: Jailed Person
Age: 25
Status: Enslaved
Verbatim description from source:
"MATTHEW FAIKFAX, black, about five feet eight inches high, and about 25 years old, speaks quick, and plays on the violin, had a forged pass, from Fairfax county in Virginia, and from his dialect, supposed to be from Maryland or Virginia"

*** Levi Brown (b. 1781) ***
Role: Jailed Person
Age: 20
Status: Enslaved
Verbatim description from source:
"LEVI BROWN, a mulatto, says he is from Pennsylvania, about five feet eight inches high, stout made, and about 20 years old"

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DETAILS FOR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:

Peter Keenon (d. 1814)
Role: Jailer (keeper of the Middlesex County jail)
Record Contributor
Kate Jackson

Linked resources

Items with "Following Event: 1801 Jailing: Matthew Fairfax, Levi Brown"
Title Class
1800 Freedom seeking: Matthew Fairfax Event
Items with "Event: 1801 Jailing: Matthew Fairfax, Levi Brown"
Title Class
Participant Details: Levi Brown as Jailed Person in 1801 Jailing event NJS-EVE-00799 Event Participation
Participant Details: Matthew Fairfax as Jailed Person in 1801 Jailing event NJS-EVE-00799 Event Participation