The Documenting Runaway Slaves (DRS) research project is a collaborative effort to document newspaper advertisements placed by masters seeking the capture and return of runaway slaves. Dr. Max Grivno and Dr. Douglas Chambers, lead researchers and faculty members in the Southern Miss Department of History, are focusing their pilot project on Mississippi, but plans are already in place to expand the research to the larger Gulf South, the rest of the southern United States, the Caribbean, and Brazil.

Runaway slave advertisements personalize history, providing important clues about the lives of slaves, their efforts at self-emancipation, and the viewpoints of their masters. The ads often include first and last names of the slaves and their masters, where they lived, ages, and names of the current and previous slaveholder. They sometimes also include reasons why the slave fled, possible destinations, clothing, special skills or talents, and personality features. This project will gather these documents and organize them into a full-text searchable online resource for academic researchers, genealogists and anyone who wants to learn more about this time period.

The Documenting Runaway Slaves research project has received generous support from the Mississippi Humanities Council (, the U.S. National Park Service’s Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative (, the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program (, and The University of Southern Mississippi, including the Department of History (, the Center for the Study of the Gulf South (, and the College of Arts & Letters (



ms00001, William Wickoff

ms00002, P. Alston

ms00003, Charles Surget

ms00004, L. Derbigny

ms00005, William D. Baker

ms00006, Fran. Pousett

ms00007, John Henderson

ms00008, Seth Lewis

ms00009, Walter Burling

ms00010, Abner Green

ms00011, William Brooks

ms00012-01, Lewis Alston

ms00012-02, Lewis Alston

ms00013, Beauvais. St. James

ms00014, Unknown

ms00015-01, Isaac Gailliard

ms00015-02, Isaac Gailliard

ms00016, J. H. White

ms00017, Claude Fr. Girod

ms00018, Ninian Edwards

ms00019, George Fitzgerald

ms00020, John Smith

ms00021, Hill and Bills

ms00022, Elizabeth Greenfield

ms00023-01, Wm. Weeks

ms00023-02, Wm. Weeks

ms00023-03, Wm. Weeks

ms00024, Westly Trahern

ms00025-01, W. Burling (likely Walter Burling)

ms00025-02, W. Burling (likely Walter Burling)

ms00026, Zebulon Mathis

ms00027-01, Nicholas Boyce

ms00027-02, Nicholas Boyce

ms00027-03, Nicholas Boyce

ms00027-04, Nicholas Boyce

ms00027-05, Nicholas Boyce

ms00027-06, Nicholas Boyce

ms00028-01, Moses Hook

ms00028-02, Moses Hook

ms00029-01, Daniel C. Holliday

ms00029-02, Daniel C. Holliday

ms00029-03, Daniel C. Holliday

ms00030, Horatio I. Offut

ms00031, H. Turner

ms00032, Abner Pipes

ms00033, WM. Cobler

ms00034, Evan Jones

ms00035, Jonathan Powell

ms00036-01, Jonathan Powell

ms00036-02, Jonathan Powell

ms00037, Daniel Clark

ms00038, Jonathan Powell

ms00039, Nathaniel Hoggatt

ms00040, ABM. Defrance

ms00041, Jonathan Powell

ms00042, James Briggs

ms00043, Jonathan Powell

ms00044, Jonathan Hist

ms00045, David Lea

ms00046, Peter Suget

ms00047, Theophilus Marble

ms00048, Jonathan Powell

ms00049, E. Fourage

ms00050, William Biggs

ms00051-01, Jonathan Powell

ms00051-02, Jonathan Powell

ms00052, David Lea

ms00053, Jonathan Powell

ms00054, Jonathan Powell

ms00055, Thomas Goode

ms00056, Jonathan Powell

ms00057-01, James M'Intosh

ms00057-02, James M'Intosh

ms00057-03, James M'Intosh

ms00058-01, Jonathan Powell

ms00058-02, Jonathan Powell

ms00058-03, Jonathan Powell

ms00059, James Blackburn

ms00060-01, Jos. Briggs

ms00060-02, Jos. Briggs

ms00061, J. Briggs

ms00062, William Clark

ms00063, Ellis E. Spillman

ms00064, N. A. Ware

ms00065, Alexander Covington

ms00066-01, B. Osmun

ms00066-02, B. Osmun

ms00066-03, B. Osmun

ms00067, Jonathan Powell

ms00068-01, Jonathan Powell

ms00068-02, Jonathan Powell

ms00069, Jos. Briggs

ms00070, Turner Brashears

ms00071, Ellis E. Spillman

ms00072, Andrew Skillman

ms00073, Joseph Briggs

ms00074, William Phelon and William Liddle

ms00075, William T. Walker

ms00076-01, William T. Walker

ms00076-02, William T. Walker