$20 reward for Miles, who was “quite intelligent.”

Tarboro Free Press, 5 December 1834.

$20 Reward.

RAN AWAY from the Subscriber, about four weeks ago, a mulatto fellow by the name of


He is tolerable well built, full round face, when interrogated generally frowns and looks down — his father belongs to Major Whitmel K. Bulluck, and he has some relation at Charles Wilkinson, Esq’s. He is about 21 or 22 years old. It is probable he may attempt to pass as a free fellow, being quite intelligent. I will give the above reward to any person who will deliver him to me, or secure him in jail so that I can get him again, and pay all reasonable expences. W.D. PETWAY.

Town Creek, Edgecombe County, N.C.

Sept. 12, 1834.


A year and-a-half after advertising the sale of a dozen enslaved people, William D. Petway posted an ad seeking the return of an enslaved young man named Miles, whose intelligence was acknowledged and sense of self-worth implied in the wording of the notice.

Both Whitmel K. Bullock, who enslaved Miles’ father, and Charles Wilkinson, who held additional relatives, were farmers in the Town Creek area of what is now southwestern Edgecombe County.

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