Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Governor Dick, Runaway Slave

Pete and I spent a long weekend in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, learning about the Amish and doing several interesting tourist-y things. One afternoon we ventured into Lebanon County and visited the Cornwall Iron Furnace. The furnace produced iron from 1742 to 1883; the process required many employees from unskilled to very skilled. Early in its history slaves were used to cut down the timber required to turn wood into charcoal.

Cornwall Iron Furnace main building, which dates from the 1850s; image
courtesy of Wikipedia

One such slave, DICK, also known as GOVERNOR DICK, ran away in 1796. An advertisement was placed in the newspapers for his return; hence, we know his name.

One of the exhibits at the Cornwall Iron Furnace
Visitors' Center; personal collection


Ran away from Cornwall Furnace, Dauphin County. on Sunday the 17th of April last, a Negro man, called Dick, (alias) Governor Dick: he is an elderly man, bald headed, about five feet ten inches high, stout made, has a down look, is slightly marked on each side of his temples with the small scores usual to some of the natives of Africa, has large feet, and a remarkable scar on the great toe of his right foot, occasioned by its bulging split with an axe. He is by trade a rough carpenter, and values himself greatly on his dexterity in that occupation. Had on when he went away, a new drab-colored coat, with metal buttons, jacket and overalls of the same, a new wool hat, and took with him some old clothes. As he lived in the early part of his life in Hartford county, State of Maryland, it is probable he has shaped his course to that quarter. Whoever secures the said Negro so that the owners may get him again, shall receive the above reward, and reasonable charges, if brought home.

Rudolph Kelker, Jr.
8th July 1796


Slave Name Roll Project

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