Runaway Slaves in Texas, 1835–1865
Drawing from the exceptional stories of hundreds of Texas fugitive slaves, this chapter examines how runaways navigated the geography of slavery and freedom in that state in the antebellum period. It places Texas in the growing Atlantic historiography of runaway slaves, and considers the unique circumstances under which enslaved people fled in the southern borderlands. A new available digital resource, the Texas Runaway Slave Project, which features more than 1,800 documented escape attempts by Texas slaves, is the basis for this study. The chapter delves into the wealth of information available in newspaper metadata, analyzing the minutiae of runaway slave advertisements, including publication decisions, word choice, content repetition, and variation, in order to supplement traditional demographic analyses of fugitive slaves.
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