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Runaway Journeys
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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

Habitual Runaway

Although the ultimate goal of fugitives was to obtain freedom, many found themselves running away for only days or weeks at a time before they were caught, or returned of their own accord. In this Oppenheim, New York, notice, from 1824, Yett is a man who "won’t stay at home, but runs at large, to and fro."  It appears that he has run away on numerous occasions, but never strays very far. The small reward of $15 demonstrates the owner’s confidence in Yett’s return. It is noteworthy that Yett spoke "Low-Dutch and broken English" and that slavery still existed in New York State as late as the 1820s.

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