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To be "bound out" meant to be apprenticed. This ad from the Greenfield Gazette appeared at a time when slavery had not been officially abolished in Massachusetts, but it was slowly dying out, as it was considered to be inconsistent with the tenets of the state's constitution. The two African American boys mentioned in the ad were free in a sense, but white authorities bound them out to serve as apprentices to a master for a set term of years.


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"Wants A Place" ad in the Greenfield Gazette newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Gazette
creator   Selectmen of Shelburne
date   Jan 1, 1795
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   3.5"
width   3.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
accession #   #L12.006

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See Also...

Indenture of Zechariah Gilson of Northfield

"Deerfield History"

Advertisement in "The Boston Weekly Post-Boy" newspaper

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