[SLAVERY]. DELAMETTER, Claudius I. Runaway slave handbill, headed: "Ran Away From the Subscriber, in the Night of the 18th instant, A Negro Wench, named Deyaun, about 40 years old...[signed at bottom in type:] Claudius I. Delametter, Hudson, [N.Y.], 20 October 1806.
1 page, 8o (154 x 144mm). (Neatly backed, small repair at bottom affecting one letter.)
A SLAVE WOMAN AND A SIX-YEAR OLD GIRL MAKE A DESPERATE BID FOR FREEDOM. A very unusual run-away slave handbill, originating from New York state, issued at Hudson, an active whaling port on the river of the same name. It tells a poignant and sobering tale of a 40-year-old slave woman, Deyaun, who, Delametter report, "has taken and stolen away with her, a Black Girl, about 6 years old, named Dean, who was bound to me by indenture. In addition, he claims that "she likewise took with her a number of articles." Delametter promises a reward: Whoever will take up ["& return"; added in ink] siad Wench and Girl, shall have Five Dollars reward. All persons are forbid harboring, entertaining or employing her, as they will be prosecuted for so doing..." A handbill that provides a window into the ugly world of slavery--as oppressive in the North as it was in the South (New York state phased out slavery gradually, with final abolition only accoplished in 1827). It is tempting to presume, from the scant facts of the handbill, that the young child, Dean, may have been Deyaun's own. The slavemaster, though, does not acknowledge any human tie more potent than the bonds of an indenture. Intriguingly, he will pay only five dollars reward for those returning the runaways, but two hundred dollars to anyone who informs on those who "harbored...her since she absconded from me." VERY RARE.