Alexandria Herald [Virginia], Bound Volume with Issues from First Year of Publication, 1811-1812, Incl. Runaway Slave Notices

Bound issues of the Alexandria Herald from July 29, 1811 (Vol. I, No. 17) through May 29, 1812 (Vol. I, No. 134), lacking only Nos. 32 (September 19, 1811) and 47 (November 9, 1811). Library binding.

Issues are from the first year of publication of the Alexandria Herald, a semi weekly newspaper from Alexandria, Virginia which would run until 1826. Issues are four pages and include all manner of information that would have been relevant to its readers including advertisements and notices, political reports from Congress and state legislatures, port information, news from Europe, and more. Much of the political news concerns the build up of tensions that would lead to the War of 1812. Other notable stories include coverage of the Richmond Theater fire, “Indian Hostilities” (Vol. I, No. 45), and “Cavalry Orders!!” (Vol. I, No.92) in which “members of the Alexandria Dragoons requested to parade dismounted and with side arms at 10 o’clock on the 22nd.” Includes a broadside titled "An Act to Incorporate a bank in the Town of Alexandria by the name & style of The Mechanics Bank of Alexandria" is inserted before issue No. 130. Several issues have "Paid" written by various advertisements, suggesting that the issues may have been owned by the newspaper itself or one of its employees. 

Peppered throughout the Herald are appalling reminders of the institution of slavery. Included among the advertisements for general goods are the notices of slaves for sale, many of them children. Notices of runaway slaves are also prevalent. Descriptions of the people are given in detail with the advertisements often running for dozens of issues. One particularly persistent master, John Burks, ran an notice offering $50 for a runaway named Dandridge for 47 issues. Many issued warnings, such as Frances Murphy in issue No. 91, “I forewarn all persons harboring her at their peril.” Though an S. Sommers seemed to take a different form of enticement, after claiming that the runaway slave Hannah “was well treated,” promised that “if the said negroes return home, they shall have free pardon of their crime.”


Binding scuffed with worn edges and bumped corners. Newspapers are consistently toned, some with foxing, dampstains throughout. Lacking Vol. I No. 32 and No. 47. Losses on l.2 No. 19; l.2 No. 42; l.2 No. 73; l.2 No. 76; l. 2 no. 83; l. 2 No. 121; l.2 No. 125; l.1 No. 126. Large tear on l. 1 No. 31. Damaged single leaf from No. 13 inserted before No. 99. With fragments from "Extra" edition. 

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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