A Research Companion to the Article, Black Colonial Coopers

Here you will find the newspaper articles and advertisements that I transcribed in research for the previous article, Black Colonial Coopers.

Susan Elliott

Independent Researcher


RUN-away from his Master Col. William Pepperell of Piscataqua, a Negro Man Called [Lymas?] aged about 14 Years, speaks good English he is a Cooper by Trade, and can Read, he is a Large well set Fellow, he has a smooth Face. Whoever shall apprehend said Negro and convey him to his said Master, or at Boston to Mr. Andrew Tyler Goldsmith near the Draw-Bridge, shall have Five Pounds reward, and all necessary charges paid him” (Advertisement).

November 17, 1720

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 50, November 28, 1720: [4]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-1046DF4B33B58F8B%402349609-1046DF4B763857DB%403-1046DF4C0F839D23%40Advertisement.


“Ran away the 24th of this Instant December from his Master Mr. Daniel Johannot of Boston, Distiller, A Negro Man, Named Jupeter, but calls himself by the Name of Timothy, is a Cooper by Trade; formerly belonged to Mr. Chadock of Bradford, a prety Tall fellow, speaks very good English, aged about 35 Years [born circa 1691]; had a [Leasher?] Jacket & Breeches, two pair of yarn stockings, a pair of square To’d Shoes, a very dark, almost black double breasted frize Jacket, with a white flannel Lining, a very good felt Hat. Whosoever apprehends the said Run away & him Convey to his abovesaid Master, shall have Forty Shillings reward and all necessary Charges paid” (Advertisement).

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1196, December 29, 1726: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-1056644D27E5BCD7%402351831-1056644D509EB371%401-1056644DC5C7542E%40Advertisement.


“Boston MARRIAGES, 1714 […] Jupitor Negro & Elinor Negro, Rev. Dr. Cotton Mather, Int. reads [Jupiter] [Eliner] Presbt. Dec. 22, 1714”

Boston, MA: Marriages, 1700-1809. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006), Originally published as: Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, Containing the Boston Marriages from 1700 to 1751 (Vol. 28), Boston, Municipal Printing office, 1898. Records Relating to the Early History of Boston, Containing Boston Marriages from 1752 to 1809 (vol. 30), Boston, Municipal Printing Office, 1903.



“TO be Sold by Daniel Johannot, choice Velvet Corks [Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary: Velvet cork the best kind of cork bark, supple, elastic, and not woody or porous] by the Gross as larger Quantities at a reasonable Rate.”

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1780, May 4, 1738: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-105665CA9E39C790%402355975-105665CAD2E6436F%401-105665CB5846C932%40Advertisement.


Daniel Johannot was born in France about 1668, and was one of the first party of thirty families that arrived in Boston in the year 1686, in company with his uncle, Andrew Sigourney. He went with him to Oxford, Mass., remained there until that settlement was broken up by the incursion of the Indians, August 25, 1696, and the massacre of John Johnson and his three children. Mrs. Johnson was the daughter of Andrew Sigourney and was rescued  by Mr. Johannot, to whom she was subsequently married and had six children. He lived and died in Boston; he was a distiller and was engaged in mercantile and other affairs.

The following advertisement was in the Boston News Letter of that day:

A likely Negro Man of age fit for service in Town or Country for sale. Inquire of Daniel Johannot, Marlboro st.

May 26, 1756.’”





“RAN – away from Mr. Victorious Looby, (late of Boston, now living at Newbury) sometime in the Month of October last, a Negro Man Servant, Named Roger, speaks good English, of a middle Stature, well seat; he has some signs of the Small-pox in his Face, Branded on his Shoulder I.G. and a Crows foot: he had on when he went away four Chains of a Scale Beam lock’d about his Neck, a Cotton & Linen Shirt, a black Jacket, a pair of white Bays Breeches; he formerly belonged to Mr. John Glin of Jamaica, and he served several Years to a Cooper in New-York, Whosever shall take up the abovesaid Negro Servant, and him safely convey to his said Master in Newbury, shall have Five Pounds Reward, and all necessary Charges paid by Victorious Looby”

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 165, February 26, 1730: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-105664BED04F542E%402352986-105664BEEF9B6064%401-105664BF610EAA70%40Advertisement.



ANY Person who has a good Negro Cooper that can be well recommended to be disposed of, may hear of a Purchaser, and a good Price by enquiring of the Printer.”

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1926, April 24, 1741: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-10566632C91165D0%402357061-10566632E531075D%401-10566633449685D9%40Advertisement.



“A Likely healthy Negro Man, of about 25 Years old, of a midling Stature,  and speaks good English. He is a good Cook, a Musician, and a Cooper by Trade. Enquire of Nathaniel Phippin in Sale, living near the Common.”

“Advertisement.” Boston Evening-Post (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 378, November 1, 1742: [4]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C792E64CF650%40EANX-1089C9A3A6A30590%402357617-1089C9A3F8BB3180%403-1089C9A4A7605E38%40Advertisement.


ANY Person that has got a Negro-Cooper, Carpenter, or Smith, about 24 Years of Age, that are Masters of their Business, and willing to part with them, may hear of a Purchaser by enquiring at the Post-Office.”

“Advertisement.” Boston Post-Boy (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 547, June 3, 1745: [4]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C7C672FD2D48%40EANX-108D809C9B5CF588%402358562-108D809CCEFC5978%403-108D809D280D43F0%40Advertisement.


To be Sold, by Robert Jenkins, near the Exchange, Boston. TWO or three Negro Men, one a Cooper, another a Carpenter lately arrived front he West-Indies, with some good West-India Rum.”

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 2307, July 3, 1746: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-10566703A870C3D7%402358957-10566703CBDEB6FF%401-1056670430F593C7%40Advertisement.


“TO BE SOLD by William James Hatter, at the Point near Joseph Hammonds, A likely Negro Man, about 25 or 30 Years of Age, can work well at the Cooper’s Trade.”

“Advertisement.” Boston Post-Boy (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 814, July 16, 1750: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C7C672FD2D48%40EANX-108D80AF81B69940%402360431-108D80AFA37F2C68%401-108D80B008E6AFC0%40Advertisement.



A Likely Negro Fellow, about 25 Year[s] of Age, that understands the Cooper’s Business, and has been season’d to the West-Indies, having liv’d 7 Years at the Island of Antigua has had the Small-Pox.  Enquire of the Printer. 

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 2614, July 30, 1752: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-105667FA646C7CF8%402361176-105667FA980F8FF9%401-105667FB00757FF7%40Advertisement.


TO be Sold a strong healthy Negro Man, who can do all Sorts of Household Work, us’d to the Cooper’s Business; and is a very good Sailor; and can be well recommended. Inquire of the Printer.

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 50, December 11, 1753: [4]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-10444F6764AFD9E6%402361675-10444F6799AFCA41%403-10444F67E922840C%40Advertisement.


“TO be Sold by JOHN ROWE, at his Warehouse, Two new stills with worms and tubs one about 600 gallons, the other smaller; also a parcel of finance French arms that were taken on one of the French ships sent into Halifax; also English arms, also a quantity of wheat and indian corn: And the following goods imported in the Britannia, Capt. Spender from London, Hemp, ruffia duck, ticklinburghs [a type of cloth], oznabrigs, gunpowder, English cables, anchors, Lloyd’s garlic, Irish (Linens?) all sorts of Scotch manufactures, and Manchester checks, cod and mackerel-lines, cod and mackerel-hooks, broad cloths, kerseys [a type of coarse fabric], serges, (saaloons?), nails, glass, steel, and a good assortment of other Goods, too many to enumerate   Likewise Lisbon and Cadiz SALT.

N.B. If any person has a NEGRO that has been used to the Cooper’s trade, to dispose of, they may find a purchaser by enquiring at said warehouse.

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 111, May 16, 1757: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-10444FF3D5930AB9%402362927-10444FF3FA391921%401-10444FF42F28A48F%40Advertisement.


[More on John Rowe:

“Just imported, and to be sold by John Rowe, at his warehouse on Belcher’s Wharf,

NAils of all Sorts, long and short Scyths, Lead and Shot, Glass of most Sizes, Ruffia Duck, Llod’d Garlets, Cambricks, Scarlet and other Cloths, Kerseys, Half Thicks, Rugs, Shalloons and Tammys, Manchester and Scotch Checks, Bed Ticks, West India Rum and Sugar, Commodities. —- Said Rowe wants to purchase some Negroes that can work at the Carpenters Trade, and will give a handsome Price if he likes them.”

Boston Evening-Post (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 572, July 28, 1746: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C792E64CF650%40EANX-1089CAABE5544640%402358982-1089CAAC4A6C84A0%402. ]


[More on John Rowe: 


By John Rowe, at his Store, A few likely Negro Boys, and two Negro Men, between 25 and 30 Years of Age. — Also, Newcastle Coals, Lisbon and Saltertuda Salt, a few Pipes of Madeira and Fyal Wines, Quart Bottles by the Groce, Hemp, Ruffia and Ravens Duck, English Duck of all Numbers, Coardage, Anchors, Oznabrigs, Ticklinburgs, Hooks and Lines, Newcastle Crown Glass of all sizes, and in Sheets, also Bristol Glass and all sizes, all sorts of Nails, Scotch Snuff, and a Variety of English and Scots Manufactures. Boston, Dec. 19, 1763.

“Advertisement.” Boston Evening-Post (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1476, December 19, 1763: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C792E64CF650%40EANX-108B7195A1E43178%402365335-108B7195E7354EC8%402-108B7196966AE058%40Advertisement. ]


[See more on John Rowe:

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette, or, Country Journal (Watertown, Massachusetts), no. 2003, July 8, 1776: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A14F3A2FAE57307E9%40EANX-104452A58DB8940D%402369920-104452A5D2ACB72A%402-104452A68A69635B%40Advertisement. ]

Map of Boston in 1842. * Source: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/boston_1842.jpg * License: Public domain according to http://www.lib.utexas.edu/usage_statement.html?maps=yes

Description: “Boston” from Tanner, H.S. The American Traveller; or Guide Through the United States. Eighth Edition. New York, 1842.


“March 18. — [Anniversary of repeal of the Stamp Act celebrated with dinner and toasts at Colonel Ingersoll’s.] After these the company were very cheerful and gay, and broke up about eight of clock. A considerable mob of young fellows and negroes got together this evening and made great noise and hallooing ; about eight hundred appeared in King Street and at Liberty Tree, and went to the North to John Williams, the Inspector-General, but did him no damage, which the greatest part of the gentlemen in town were very glad off. There were two effigies on Liberty Tree this morning marked C. P. and J. W., but were taken down again by Wm. Speakman, Thos. Crafts, and John Avery, Junior.

March 21. — I spent the forenoon at the Court House to hear the tryal between Capt. Folger and Capt. Hallowell about the seizure of tea, and after the whole morning debates it was adjourned untill next Saturday morning. Spent part of the afternoon with the town’s committee to draw a letter of thanks to the Farmer [John Dickinson] for his ingenious letters; present Dr. Church, Dr. Warren, Mr. Saml. Adams, and myself” (Pierce 66).

Pierce, Edward Lilly. The Diary of John Rowe. J. Wilson and Son, 1895, Cambridge. https://archive.org/details/diaryofjohnrowe00pier/page/66/mode/2up?q=negroes


“To be sold at Publick Vendue,

on thursday the 10th day of May next, at the Spermaceti Manufactory in Weymouth; about 4 acres of land, together with the wharfe and buildings thereon standing; as also the machines and utensils belonging to said manufactory; among which is, a curious find engine; a quantity of sperma-ceti candles in boxes; about 70 or 80 hogheads of Cadiz and Lisbon salt; a quantity of head matter partly wrought, and spermaceti unrefined; a likely negro man bred to the cooper’s trade; a likely  negro woman, with  child at her breast; a serviceable draught horse; a quantity of blue and white paper in reams; a quantity of spun cotton; a quantity of brown sugar; about 5000 feet of boards; Chambers’s dictionary in 2 Vol. a secondhand small anchor; a quantity of lead; candle boxes; Household Goods, consisting of tables, chairs, bedding &c. Tin, peter, brass and iron kitchen utensils, and sundry other articles. The whole to be viewed, with the conditions of sale, at said manufactory, at any time before the sale begins. The sale to begin at Ten o’ clock in the forenoon of said day, and to be continued from day to day till the whole is sold.

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 210, April 9, 1759: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-104F83E40D60F7AE%402363620-104F83E4379F709E%402-104F83E4CAD0A427%40Advertisement.


WHoever have any Demands

on the Estate of Joseph Domett, Mariner deceased are desired to bring in their Accounts; — and those that are indebted to make speedy Payment to Ann Domett, Executrix. To be SOLD,

A likely healthy Negro Girl, about 17 Years of Age; a Pair of Trucks almost new; a large Ship’s Copper; a Quantity of Staves; Coopers Utensils; and a few Iron bound Casks: Likewise to be LET, a Cooper’s Shop, together with three Stores adjoining thereto, and a Wharf; also a Sailmaker’s Loft; all very conveniently situated for Business. Enquire of Ann Domett.

N. B. She sells Wines, Brandy and West-India Rum, as usual.

“Advertisement.” Boston Evening-Post (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1426, January 3, 1763: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C792E64CF650%40EANX-108B713529025A20%402364985-108B71358593B818%402-108B71365955B3D8%40Advertisement.


Wanted, 5 Negro Men,

Not exceeding 25 Years of Age; three of them Sailors, and two Masters of the Cooper’s Trade, of sound Constitutions, and good Characters. Any Person inclining to sell, are desired to inform the Publishers of this Paper.

“Advertisement.” Newport Mercury (Newport, Rhode Island), no. 229, January 24, 1763: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A106AD2C0F76EDF48%40EANX-1070260D313A7290%402365006-1070260D85319318%402-1070260E57655588%40Advertisement.


THIS is to notify those that are indebted to the Estate of Capt. Joseph Domett, deceased, that they are desired to pay their respective Dues to Ann Domett, Executrix; otherwise they must be sued without further Notice.____

Said Ann Domett has to Let, a Cooper’s Shop with three Stores adjoining thereto, a Sailmaker’s Loft, and the Wharf whereon they stand, all conveniently situated for Business:– Likewise to dispose of, a few Iron-bound Butts; some white Oak Barrels new; and a large Ship’s Copper, reasonable for the Cash; —- and hereby informs her Customers and others, that she now has to sell, choice Wines, West India Ru, and Brandy, as formerly.

N. B. She has to sell, a young Negro Woman, with, or without a young Male Child.

“Advertisement.” Boston Evening-Post (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1448, June 6, 1763: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C792E64CF650%40EANX-108B7160C63EA200%402365139-108B71610A51B940%402-108B7161DC37A9D0%40Advertisement.


“The custom of a flower container on the hearth or inside the fireplace during the warm months when it was not in use, is reflected in the following entries: ‘N. East Chamber,’ ‘Chimney flower pot’ (‘Capt. Joseph Domett, Boston, 1762’ and ‘two flowered chimney potts,’ ‘Front Lower Rome’ (Jacob Wendell, Jr., merchant, Boston, 1754).

Upton, Dell and John Michael Vatch, Editors. Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture. University of Georgia Press, 1986, Athens and London.


LAST Domitt/Domet/Domett/Dummett

FIRST Joseph


CHILDREN Joseph m Judity Ann George

OCCUPATION Mariner Retailer


EVENT July 19, 1753 Joseph Dummett permitted to sell strong drink as a retailer in Ship St. (TR 17:298) September 10, 1760 Capt. Joseph Domitt to build a barn and store at his wharf which was called Goodings wharf at the North End. (TR 19:126)

OFFICE Held Town Office (TR 18 – 1770-77)

DEED June 27, 1760 Joseph Domet (mariner) buys house, warehouses, shops, land, wharves, and flats, of Richard Buckley. Also land and … [more available: Boston, MA: Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1822 (Thwing Collection). Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630–1800 and The Crooked and Narrow Streets of Boston, 1630–1822. CD-ROM. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014.)

https://www.americanancestors.org/DB530/i/0/6999/38013344 ]


Two Negro Men are Wanted, one a Cooper, the other a Ship-Carpenter.”

“Advertisement.” The Boston Post-Boy & Advertiser, (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 305, June 20, 1763: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C7C672FD2D48%40EANX-1089CCE4B96FB858%402365153-1089CCE4EC1FE600%402-1089CCE5A6C8CD70%40Advertisement.



Two Negro Men, one a Cooper, the other a Ship-Carpenter,– Inquire of Green and Russell for a Purchaser.”

“Advertisement.” The Boston Post-Boy & Advertiser, (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 306, June 27, 1763: [1]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C7C672FD2D48%40EANX-1089CCE602C43C98%402365160-1089CCE613AF7590%400-1089CCE69A2C9790%40Advertisement.


“ALL Persons indebted to the Estate of Mr. Robert Breck, late of Boston, Cooper deceased, are once more desired to pay their respective Debts to Benjamin Dolbeare and Benjamin Harrod, Executors to his last Will and Testament, or they will be sued to July Court next, without any further Notice.—–

“To be sold by said Executors, Two NEGRO MEN, that understand the Cooper’s Business, and a Negro Woman that understands Household Business. Also a SLOOP of about 30 Tons, suitable for the Mackrel Fishery.”

“Advertisement.” Boston Evening-Post (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1549, May 13, 1765: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C792E64CF650%40EANX-108B721D64E92C48%402365846-108B721DAEAEAF00%402-108B721E9C827258%40Advertisement.


“ALL Persons indebted

To the Estate of Mr. Robert Breck, late of Boston, Cooper, deceased, are once more desired to pay their respective Debts to Benjamin Dolbeare and Benjamin Harrod, Executors to his last Will and Testament, or they will be sued in July Court next, without any further NOTICE. —-

TO BE SOLD by said Executors, two NEGRO MEN that understands the Cooper’s Business, and a Negro Woman that understands Household Business: ALSO a SLOOP of about 30 Tons, suitable for the Mackrel Fishery.”

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 3194, May 9, 1765: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-105B567E658ACBF3%402365842-105B567E93359152%401-105B567F70F6C1B2%40Advertisement.



A Very healthy likely Negro Lad, 18 or 19 years old, has had the Small Pox, can do almost any sorts of Business, has work’d at the Cooper’s Trade; he is remarkably ingenious and good-natureed, is very expert at this Gun, and inclines to the Sea, for which reason he is sold; — otherwise he would not be parted with.

Enquire of the Printers.

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 3283, September 4, 1766: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-105B571E74AE34E6%402366325-105B571ED63F2F94%402-105B571FCBD38796%40Advertisement.


“TO be Sold, a likely NEGRO BOY, aged about 17 Years, who has worked at the Cooper’s Trade for Three Years past, and may be made a compleat Workman in a short Time, he is Sold for no Fault, but for want of Employ.  Enquire of the Printers.

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 663, December 14, 1767: [4]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-104450464EDBAF4C%402366791-10445046A38B2106%403-104450474F499152%40Advertisement.


“To be SOLD,

A Stout likely well set NEGRO BOY, about seventeen years of age, hath been five or six years at the Cooper’s business. He has had the small pox. Enquire of Mein and (Fleeming?).”

“Advertisement.” Boston Chronicle (Boston, Massachusetts) I, no. 30, July 11, 1768: 274. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A109E40F310394648%40EANX-10B5F3A0772BE2D8%402367001-10B5F3A092A1CE50%401-10B5F3A1341F0C50%40Advertisement.


“… An able bodied Negro Boy, between 19 & 20 Years old, has had the Small-Pox, can do any Businesss Indoors or out, would make an excellent Sailor (to which Life he inclines,) and pretty well understands the Business of, is expert with his Gun; he also understands something of the Cooper’s Business, is very good temper’d, would suit a Gentleman of the Navy or Army. Inquire of the Printers.

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 746, July 24, 1769: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-104450C586D1A5E3%402367379-104450C5B99812F0%402-104450C64B87B941%40Advertisement.


“To be SOLD,

A Likely Negro LAD, about eighteen or nineteen Years of Age, works well at the Cooper’s Trade, and understands working in the Field or Garden. —- Enquire of the Printer.

“Advertisement.” Essex Gazette (Salem, Massachusetts) II, no. 62, October 3, 1769: 39. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C83401C5FAC0%40EANX-1089D31C7975ABC8%402367450-1089D31CD2C509D8%402-1089D31D89EC92B8%40Advertisement.


“To be Sold for want of Employ, a Negro Man that understands the Cooper’s Business.—– For further Particulars, inquire of Edes and Gill.”

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 789, May 14, 1770: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-10445101B0E9DD12%402367673-10445101F5A75962%402-10445102905EE19B%40Advertisement.


“To all worthy Brothers and other Generous Commanders of ships or other Vessels sailing between the Poles, — as also to all the valoureds Sons of Zebulon and others, wherever dispers’d upon the wide surface of old Ocean, or upon any island or Main-land upon this habitable Globe, into whose Hands these may chance to fall: — [Pointed forefinger symbol] Note well — THAT on the 23d of May, 1770, SCIPIO, a Negro Man near 23 Years old, ran from the Subscriber — He is five feet and 3 or 4 inches high, little more or less, and well set, his Hair or Wool (unless shav’d) comes low upon his Cheeks, his Fore Teeth rather Splaying, has an Incision mark on one of his Arms, where he was Inoculated, and 2 or 3 Scars in one of his Legs where he was lanced, is pretty black, with a flattish Nose, tho’ not that flat so peculiar to Negroes, is very artful — Speaks plain but something inward and hollow, inclines much to the Sea, will make an able Seaman, and is a Cooper. — If he returns voluntarily he shall not be whipt as he deserves, but I will either sell him to a good Ship-Master, or let him as he shall chuse, till he has earned his prime Cost, &c. When I will give him his Freedom –but if any shall bring or convey him to his Master be paid EIGHT DOLLARS, by 


P. S. I at present forbear mentioning the Ship I am satisfied he went off in.”

“Advertisement.” Boston Evening-Post (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1814, July 2, 1770: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1089C792E64CF650%40EANX-108B73BD4BC90378%402367722-108B73BD90FEB540%402-108B73BE6A1331C8%40Advertisement.



QUAM, a Negro Man, supposed to be about 30 Years of Age, by Trade a Cooper, went from his Master’s House, in Providence (most probably in a delirious Condition, being often subject to be so) on Sunday, the 8th of July instant, and has not been heard of since.

He is of a middling Stature, slim Make, of a serious thoughtful Turn of Mind, inclines to talk but little, but speaks pretty good English, is a good Workman at his Trade, and formerly lived with Mr. Alexander Frazier, of whom he learnt it. Had on an old striped Flannel Jacket, striped Shirt, Tow Trowsers and an old Hat; but took nothing else with him that is known, although he was uncommonly neat and precise in his Dress.

Whoever can give any Account (if living) where he is, so that his Master may have him again, or will (if he is found living) tenderly and kindly treat him, and return him as soon as possible to his Master, shall have Two Dollars Reward, and all necessary Expences and Charges, paid by


“Advertisement.” Providence Gazette (Providence, Rhode Island) VII, no. 342, July 28, 1770: 121. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A10380B58EB4A4298%40EANX-1056AF45A3E56D07%402367748-1056AF45DEB83DBA%402-1056AF463AF511FF%40Advertisement.


To be Sold cheap for Cash,

A genteel well-built Dwelling-House, with a large convenient Wood House, Barn and Garden with a Pump and Well of good Water under cover, and a very good Cellar, three Years old, exceeding pleasantly situated near the Center of the Town. Also a hearty stout young Negro Man, who is a tolerable good Workman at the Cooper’s Business.

Inquire of (Edis?) & (Gill?).”

“Advertisement.” SUPPLEMENT to the Boston-Gazette, &c. (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 859, September 23, 1771: [4]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-10445168A3544002%402368170-10445169044DBC11%405-10445169F3ABEE8D%40Advertisement.



A Valuable young Negro Man, who hath been brought up to the Cooper’s Business, but can turn his Hand to any Labour in Town or Country. Enquire of the Printer.”

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 3554, November 22, 1771: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD221971FE08%40EANX-107B04B5AFF1BE20%402368230-107B04B5F7F83B58%403-107B04B6F39AD0C0%40Advertisement.



A valuable young Negro Man, who hath been brought up to the Cooper’s Business, but can turn his Hand to any Labour in Town or Country.

Enquire of Edes and Gill”

“Advertisement.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 869, December 2, 1771: [4]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-10445176915DE506%402368240-10445176DAE1CAEC%403-10445177984B618B%40Advertisement.



RAN away from me the Subscriber, last Monday, a Negro man named CHARLESTOWN, a cooper by trade, about 5 feet 4 inches high, his leggs something crooked; had on when he went away, a blue outside jacket, stripped waistcoat, white linen breeches, gray stockings. Whoever will take up said Negro shall have the above Reward, and all necessary charges paid by   JOSEPH LEATHERS.

All masters of vessels and others are forbid carrying him off, as they would avoid the penalty of the law.

Newbury-Port, October 25.”

“Advertisement.” Essex Journal (Newburyport, Massachusetts) I, no. 45, October 26, 1774: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A12F6B2BEA4BA7437%40EANX-108B7A12539C4F38%402369299-108B7A12910A4A18%402-108B7A1359DD2B88%40Advertisement.


“RAN away from the subscriber, a Negro man slave, named WILL, alias WILL JOHNSTON, a large, stout fellow, of a yellow complexion, has a remarkable flesh mole upon his left cheek, a large scar upon one of his hands, between his thumb and fore-finger, and a scar of a burn on one thigh, & has lately arrived from whaling, with Capt. Lemuel Jenkins: Whoever will take up said Negro, and secure him in any of his Majesty’s jails, or deliver him to the subscriber, in Newport, shall have SIX DOLLARS reward, and all necessary charges, paid by JAMES CARPENTER

N. B. Said Negro professes something of the cooper’s trade; and can play upon a violin.”

“Advertisement.” Newport Mercury (Newport, Rhode Island), no. 872, May 22, 1775: [3]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A106AD2C0F76EDF48%40EANX-1070286DF9DBA928%402369507-1070286E70061140%402-1070286F70C20288%40Advertisement.


“RAN away from the subscriber, a Negro man slave, named WILL, alias WILL JOHNSTON, a large, stout fellow, of a yellow complexion, has a remarkable flesh mole upon his left cheek, a large scar upon one of his hands, between his thumb and fore-finger, and a scar of a burn on one thigh, & has lately arrived from whaling, with Capt. Lemuel Jenkins: Whoever will take up said Negro, and secure him in any of his Majesty’s jails, or deliver him to the subscriber, in Newport, shall have TWENTY DOLLARS reward, and all necessary charges, paid by JAMES CARPENTER

N. B. Said Negro professes something of the cooper’s trade; and can play upon a violin.”

“Advertisement.” Newport Mercury (Newport, Rhode Island), no. 873, May 29, 1775: [4]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A106AD2C0F76EDF48%40EANX-107028707A8DA3A8%402369514-107028711060C3A8%403-107028726697CA90%40Advertisement.


“Suffolk, May 5, 1778. THEN John Hunter made oath, before me, to the truth of the above declaration by him subscribed.


Col. Sears produceth his proof by an affidavit, of what he accused Mr. Morton of, for taking part in freeing negroes. The affidavit is as follows.

I Nathan Spear, of Boston, in the County of Suffolk, cooper, testify and declare, that some time in November, A. D. 1777 I was met in the street, In said Boston by Perez Morton, of Boston aforesaid, Esq; when and where he addressed me in the following manner, voz. ‘One of your negro lads has been with me on account of his freedom.’ I then told him the said negro was under age. Said Perez Morton replied to me, ‘You have no right to keep him, but had better set him at liberty;’ and added, ‘had I not better come to you in person about this affair, then send you a writ.’ A few weeks afterwards the said Perez Morton came to me again, and told me, the meaning said negro kept coming to him about the matter of his freedom; the deponent then told said Perez Morton if he did not leave troubling him about the negroe, he, the deponent, would send off the negroe; upon which said Perez Molton expressed himself in the following words, viz. ‘By God I will follow you to Hell but I will have satisfaction of you. If you send him off, still meaning said negroe. The said Perez added, that he would not have the deponent offended with him, for the whole (core?) of lawyers had taken up the matter. NATHAN SPEAR”

“Suffolk, May 5, 1778.” Boston Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), no. 1237, May 11, 1778: [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers. https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nehgs.idm.oclc.org/apps/readex/doc?p=EANX&docref=image/v2%3A1036CD2E61FB47A0%40EANX-1044532BAA548B42%402370592-1044532BCDF1E207%401-1044532C559554FA%40Suffolk%252C%2BMay%2B5%252C%2B1778.


“Men on board: The size of the crew depended on the size of the vessel and the number of whaleboats it carried — ranging from sixteen up to at least 36 on the largest ships.

These men were organized in a rigid hierarchy of officers and crew: * The captain was absolute master of this strange floating world; * The officers — three or four mates – were next in rank, each commandimg a whaleboat. * The boatsteerers were the harpooneers and enjoyed more privileges than the rest of the crew; * The blacksmith, carpenter, cook, cooper (caskmaker), and steward also ranked higher than ordinary crewmen. When the crew chased a whale, these men remained behind as shipkeepers; * The foremast hands were the ordinary crewmen.”


“This eminent man, who was one of the most celebrated painters this or any other country ever produced, was born in this town, in the building now owned and occupied by Messrs. Wm. & John Price, corner of Thames st. and Banister’s wharf. Edward Thurston who was a cooper occupied a building as a cooperage, on said wharf, at that time. He had an old negro slave, a native of Africa, who worked for him, whose name was Neptune — This slave was very remarkable for his ingenuity in drawing the human face with crayon, or with red ochre, chalk and charcoal, and giving the oppression of the passions as laughing, crying, fear, anger, &c. ‘Neptune Thurston’ is well recollected, from this circumstance, by many of the oldest inhabitants of this place now living, though he has been dead nearly 40 years. After Mr. Stuart became distinguished as an eminent artist, whenever Neptune heard his name mentioned as a celebrated painter, he would say ‘I larn him’–’he my caller,’ &c. The last time Mr. Stuart was in this town, which was a year or two before his death, the writer of this happened to meet him in the street, nearly opposite the house referred to, and asked him if it was true that he was born in this town, and in that house! He said he did not remember the day of his birth, but he had often been told that he was born in that house, near that window, (pointing toit) and he had no doubt of it. This brought his early life to his recollection—and he enquired if any of the descendants of Edward Thurston, who was a cooper, and worked on that wharf, were living! The writer informed him that there was one, who had in her possession among other paintings, some of the first productions of his pencil– This was an inducement for him to call on her to see some portraits he had painted, perhaps more than fifty years before — as well as to examine some ancient paintings of celebrated Artists, which were also in her possession. — While Mr. Stuart was viewing the paintings, the lady of the house, (lately deceased,) who was the young Misse of Neptune, said to Mr. Stuart, ‘Sir, have you any recollection of my grandfather’s negro Neptune?’ He replied ‘bless me, yes, Madam– Neptune was my first Master The first idea I ever had of painting the human features, I received from seeing that old African draw a face with red ochre, chalk and charcoal on the head of a hogshead, he was to work upon’ The lady said, her object in asking the question, was to enquire into the facts he had stated, because she had often heard Neptune say he learnt Master to paint. Mr. Stuart said ‘it was true, — and he had formerly often told Neptune so’ and added — ‘I have often remarked, that , if that African’s mind and natural talent had been properly cultivated, he would have made a much more celebrated artist than his pupil.”

Herald of the Times. Herald of the times. [volume] (Newport, R.I.), February 07, 1839, Image 3


Neptune Thurston was trained as a Cooper or Barrel Maker as part of Rev. Gardner Thurston family household. Thurston would organize Newport’s 2nd Baptist Church and was also a cooper by trade but refused to use his craft for the manufacture of any kind of barrels to be used in the shipment of Rhode Island rum to the African Coast. Neptune would become an active member of the African community of 18th century Newport owning a home on Long Wharf that is later relocated to 41 Walnut Street, still standing.”

Stuart famously painted George Washington’s portrait in 1796. See dollar bill.

“Black in Business: African Heritage Entrepreneurs of Newport 18ty-20th Centuries.” Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. https://www.riblackheritage.org/black-entrepreneurs/


An engraving of Washington’s portrait as it appears in the Athenaeum version has been used for the one-dollar bill since the early 1900s (although modified slightly, so that Washington faces the other way). The painted version can be found on the walls of the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the printed version appears in wallets and tip jars.

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