Aske Stick

Aske Stick, doctoral student in History

When slaves ran away from their slave owners in the 1800s, the slave owners often paid for announcements in local newspapers, alerting readers of their run away with detailed descriptions, with the hope of recapturing their missing (human) property. My research focuses on the announcements published in newspapers and fugitive slave life in the Danish West Indies, three Caribbean islands that were colonized by Denmark in the early 1700s and that remained Danish until they were sold to the United States in 1917 (they are now called the U.S. Virgin Islands). The fugitive slave announcements do much more than just call for recapture. By combining the announcements with the surprisingly detailed archives of the Danish Caribbean colonial state, my research aims to contextualize fugitive slaves’ lives, thereby illuminating the vicissitudes of a particularly vulnerable population, and address questions about the meaning and practice of freedom on the run.