As many observed Thanksgiving last Thursday, it is important to remember that the original was not celebratory for the Native Americans. Be a witness to the following advertisement placed  for the recapture of several Indians back in 1717, one runaway ad among many over the years in what was then known as Massachusetts Bay. If the inclusion of a minister as enslaver surprises you, it is well established that men of the cloth often relied on slave labor to work the family farm while they performed their professional duties. 

“Ranaway from their Masters at Boston on Friday last the 14th of this Instant September the following Indians, viz. From the Reverend Mr. Samuel Myles, a Carolina Indian Man nam’d Toby, Aged about 20 years of a middle stature, hath with him a light colour’d Suite edg’d with black, a dark homspun Suite, edg’d and fac’d with black, a Hat edg’d with Silver lace, several Shirts and other clothing. From the Hon. Col. Thomas Savage, a Carolina Indian Woman named Phillis, wel fer Aged about [blank] years, has on a white Linnen Jacket, a speckled callico Pettycoat, and a flowered searge one, a lac’d night Cap, red and white Stockings. From Mr. John Beauchan Leather Dresser, a Spanish Indian Man named Manway Ages about 19 years of a middle stature, has on a whitish Druget coat and westcoat, Leather Breeches, black and white worsted Stockings, a black felt Hat, Cotton and Linnen Shirts. From Mr. Daniel Loring, a spanish Indian Lad named Boston Aged about 18 years, a straight body’d Indian, has on a Kersey coat, a white Jacket, Leather Breaches, and felt Hat. Whosoever shall apprehend the said Runaways, or any of them, and them or any of them safely convey to their respective Masters, or gie and true Intelligence of them, or any of them, so as their Masters may have them or any of them again shall be sufficiently rewarded besides all necessary Charges paid.”

“Advertisement.” Boston News-Letter, no. 387, 17 Sept. 1711, p. [2]. Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers, Accessed 28 Nov. 2021. Transcribed by Susan Elliott, 28 Nov. 2021.

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