Kidnapping and Slave Trafficking in the Press

Browse
newspaper articles 
about kidnapping and slave trafficking

In 1818, a series of articles in New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans newspapers reported details about the Van Wickle slave trading ring — the human trafficking operation that revolved around Judge Jacob Van Wickle and his brother-in-law Charles Morgan. These articles highlight the tactics that Van Wickle's associates used to forcibly transport Black people to Louisiana. Letters printed in the press express a range of opinions about the events and the people invovled, some defending the human traffickers and others expressing outrage and disgust.

Additional reports of kidnappings in New Jersey and in the surrounding region (particularly around the Delaware River) show the dangers facing Black people in the early 19th century.