Runaway Connecticut

Runaway Connecticut is an online database with a selection of the runaway notices that appeared in the Connecticut Courant between 1765 and 1820. Not only do the ads look for runaway slaves, but also a variety of runaway apprentices, deserting soldiers, escaped prisoners, and dissatisfied husbands and wives.

According to the Runaway Connecticut web site:

“ is a digital humanities resource for the study of runaway slaves in Connecticut, conceived and executed by a Digital Humanities class at Wesleyan University. The site provides free access to a searchable database of runaway slave ads published in the Connecticut Courant, accompanied by scholarly content providing context and insight into slavery-era Connecticut.

“ also provides interactive features for an enriched and engaging user experience, including a maps feature for geographic visualization of data on runaways. The project is intended for use in independent research and as an educational resource to be used by Connecticut area educators in US History classes and the like. We would like to emphasize that this site is a project and ongoing experiment; the site’s content is limited to runaway ads from the Connecticut Courant simply because a more extensive survey of Connecticut newspapers would not have been possible within the given timeframe of the project.”

You might find an ancestor listed in Runaway Connecticut at


If anyone knows of a site like this that would cover Philadelphia PA in the 1830’s, could you please reply? My great-great grandfather’s obituary said that he ran off from his apprenticeship there before finishing it. It would have been about 1835 or so.
Thank you
Ed H


Such a sad, sad thing to read about. Bad enough to be a slave but to be in irons? No wonder he found a way to run off. I hope the ‘master’ never found him!!


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