In both of these articles, the runaway slaves in question (both being men) are described as precisely as possible in order to ensure their quick capture and return to their owners. In the first article, the slave is described as an elderly 'Negroe' man (exact age is not mentioned) by the name of Cain, which is presumably English. The article also mentions the slave to have a wife who belongs to Major Thomas Hall and seems to be properly dressed seeing as he stole a few dress goods from his master before he ran away. This advertisement does not say if the slave knows how to speak English or of a particular skill the slave possesses except that he used to be his master's coachman. In the second article, the slave is depicted as a young, healthy Negroe man by the name of Ben who is about 5 feet 10 inches tall. Just like the first article, this advertisement fails to mention a specific age of the slave or if the slave knows English.
This slave is not said to have a wife or how he is dressed, however, it does mention that he is a very good ploughman and carter and has a 'very good knack for telling a story'. Both articles give few specific clues regarding the fugitives' demeanor or behavior. In both articles the slaves are mentioned to have "smooth tongues" but the slave in the second advertisement is said to have a very good talent at storytelling. No other behavior traits are mentioned except those.
Also, none of these slaves are mentioned to have any visible scars which might aid in their capture and return to their owners. Both of the slaves in the two articles seemed to have escaped in a similar fashion. They both escaped on horseback since they are said to have stolen each a horse with a saddle. It is also believed that each escaped on his own however it is mentioned in the first article that the slave, Cain, probably followed a Negro woman "which he used to visit as a Wife." Both articles fail to mention an exact distance both slaves traveled but the slave in the second article is believed to have traveled to "Col. John Willis's in Brunswick County, or to North Carolina." Despite these similarities the slaves in the advertisements ran away at different times of the year, the first running away on the 9 th of December (winter) and the latter running away on the 31 st of August (towards the end of summer). The slaves both took some of their master's property with them to aid them on their escape but the slave in the first article took much more than the second.
The first slave took with him .".. a dark-grey Mare, low in Flesh, paces well, and branded on the Buttock and Shoulder, but can't remember the Brand, also a Country-made Saddle with Leather Housing, a Pair of Shoe-Boots, a long dark color 'd riding Coat, a new white Plains Jacket and Breeches, Oznabrig Shirts, and Plenty of other Apparel." while the second slave only took with him a "Horse and Saddle." These articles are also similar in that both the masters of the slaves waited a large amount of time before publishing their ad for runaway slaves. To be precise, the time waited was from one month and a half months (first article) to two and a half months (second article). In the first article, the slave is mentioned to have run away on the 9 th of December; however, the article regarding his escape was published on February 28 th of the following year. The second article, said the slave ran away on the 31 st of August and the article was printed until October 10 th. This delay could be attributed to many things.
One being that that master perhaps did not notice the goods or the missing slave for some time or did not need the slave's assistance. Another could be that the owner was away at the time of the escape and the slave's disappearance was found out upon their return The ads placed regarding the escape of these slaves were both very detailed in some terms and not so detailed in others. For example, the first article was very precise in describing what the slave might be wearing and his physical appearance but vague in describing his complexion and his height only described as "tall." Also failed to mention was his hairstyle. The second article ignores to mention completely the hairstyle, complexion, and clothing of the slave. It vaguely suggests the slave's appearance (young and lusty) and correctly specifies the height of the man (about 5 Feet 10 Inches high). The master of the slave mentioned in the first article seems to be more knowledgeable about his slave than the master in the second article.
Rewards are offered in both ads, however, they do not seem sizable enough. In the first article "if taken up out of the Colony" the reward would be "Two Pistols... besides what the Law allows, or otherwise One Pistole." In the latter article, the reward was simply stated as "Whoever secures him, so that his Master may have him again, shall have a handsome Reward, besides what the Law allows." It is not possible to say which reward of these two was greater than the other because the reward in the second article was not clear on what was to be given. Although if one reward was to be larger than the next it could possibly be because the slave which ran away is more valuable to the owner than another slave is to their owner. Both ads seem to be tolerably effective but the first of the two seems more efficient than the second solely because it is more informative. It contains more specific details that are sure to assist the capture of the slaves.
Personally, the reward in the second as sounds a bit more attractive than the first because it could be anything not just a pistol as stated as reward in the first article and this could entice people to find the slave. However, it is easier to capture a slave if one has more information regarding him than not so overall the first article is much more effective.