1856 N-grams

Certain patterns in the language of the runaway slave ads were revealed by running the n-gram program. The majority of these words were used to describe the runaways. For example, the word “negro” appeared the most throughout all three newspapers. This word was used to describe the race of the runaways. The words “man” and “boy” were usually listed in connection with “negro”. For the year 1856 there was only one ad reporting a female runaway. This implies that the slaves that were the most likely to run away were male. The words “Texas” and “county” appear frequently together as they were used to describe where a slave may have come from, where they were going, or where they had been found and detained. The word “years” was also frequently used throughout the ads. Numbers describing age were frequently associated with the word. This was meant as another means to describe the runaway slaves as accurately as possible. The word “boy” appeared with “negro” more often than “man”. This could shed light on the social status given to the slaves by their owners.

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