Tag Archives: Connecticut slavery

Friday Flashback #183

Most Westporters no longer read physical newspapers.

We get our news online. If we’ve got an actual dead-tree copy of the New York TimesWall Street Journal or Westport News, chances are we only glance at it.

There were fewer news sources 191 years ago. And newspapers looked a lot different.

Alert “06880” reader Seth Schachter found this copy of the May 13, 1829 edition of the Saugatuck Journal. Our ancestors must have had great eyesight.

The news was hard to decipher. The ads were more prominent.

They included seasoned lumber for sale by 27-year-old Horace Staples: 1,400 pieces of spruce plank, 500 pieces of white pine plank, and 300 of yellow pine plank.

There were other still-famous names, like Charles Jesup. I’m not sure what exactly he sold — would you buy “1 bale Bed Tick”? — but whatever it was, his dry goods and groceries were offered to “his friends at wholesale or retail, much lower than he has ever sold them.”

There was this sobering ad too.

Connecticut blocked the importation of slaves in 1774, and began a gradual emancipation of slaves in 1784. But slavery was not finally abolished until 1848 — nearly 2 decades after this edition of the Saugatuck Journal went to press, offering a penny reward for the return of a 12-year-old boy.