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 (



ms00421, Martin Anding

ms00422, W. W. Calmes

ms00423, W. W. Calmes

ms00424, W. W. Calmes

ms00425, Madam Wooten

ms00426, W. W. Calmes

ms00427, W. W. Calmes

ms00428, D. B. Scarborough

ms00429, Thos. Meredith

ms00430, W. W. Calmes

ms00431, W. W. Calmes

ms00432, W. W. Calmes

ms00433, W. W. Calmes

ms00434, E. Hale

ms00435, H. Gridley

ms00436, H. Gridley

ms00437, B. R. Grayson

ms00438, W. W. Calmes

ms00439, W. W. Calmes

ms00440, A. E. Denham

ms00441, William G. Malone

ms00442, E. Sumrall

ms00443, J. L. Wall

ms00444, O. Taylor

ms00445, H. Gridley

ms00446, Samuel Brown

ms00447, Wm. Briscoe

ms00448, H. Gridley

ms00449, H. Gridley

ms00450, H. Gridley

ms00451, H. Gridley

ms00452, H. Gridley

ms00453, Samuel Brown

ms00454-01, Wm. D. Hathorn

ms00454-02, Wm. D. Hathorn

ms00455, O. Taylor

ms00456, Martin Anding

ms00457, G. Harris

ms00458, H. Gridley

ms00459, Martin Anding

ms00460, Charles Perret

ms00461, James L. Jolly

ms00462, E. Sumrall

ms00463, H. Gridley

ms00464-01, Irvin Scarborough and James Scarborough

ms00464-02, Irvin Scarborough and James Scarborough

ms00465, Martin Anding

ms00466-01, Alex M'Niell

ms00466-02, Alex M'Niell

ms00466-03, Alex M'Niell

ms00466-04, Alex M'Niell

ms00467, R. Smith

ms00468, Martin Anding

ms00469, Martin Anding

ms00470, Martin Anding

ms00471-01, J. S. Ellison

ms00471-02, J. S. Ellison



Arkansas Runaway Slaves: 1820-1865, S. Charles Bolton


Jamaica Runaway Slaves: 18th Century, Douglas B. Chambers


Jamaica Runaway Slaves: 19th Century, Douglas B. Chambers


Mississippi Runaway Slaves: 1800-1860, Douglas B. Chambers and Max Grivno