Browse Exhibits (4 total)

Resist!

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Many ads describe acts of resistance, sometimes in very direct language.  This exhibit turns a spotlight on a few examples of enslaved people's resistance.

Youth Art Competition Winners

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In February 2019, Last Seen invited young people ages 12 to 18 to take inspiration from our collection and create an original work of art for our Art Competition.


Student artists choose an ad and then drew, painted, arranged, and sculpted wonderful original pieces! The contestants’ work was displayed in Villanova University's Vasey Hall at the performance of Voices From Slavery’s Lost Families on February 18, 2019. The Last Seen Project would like to thank all participants for the vision and creativity that will help others to interpret the history in these ads.

A special thanks goes out to Myra Smoot, Teacher at Tilden Middle School (Philadelphia) and Charles Henneberry, Teacher at Lower Merion High School for bringing Last Seen into their classrooms and advocating for their students.

This exhibit features the work of those students whose work earned special recognition.

Something Advantageous

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Some ads do not describe family relations or spell out the reason for their search but instead suggest that the searcher has "advantageous" information for the searchee.  Perhaps the subject of the search was entitled to an inheritance or pension, but the ads tantalizingly obscure, announcing that the searchee will "hear something to their advantage" or "benefit."

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Reunited Families

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Here are some advertisements that resulted in reunions!