This Runaway Slave Notice was penned by 64 year-old Howard W. Everett (1793-1877), a native of Halifax county, Virginia, moved to Kentucky when he was young and then relocated again to Clay county, Missouri, in 1818 with his wife of three years, Sarah Ann Waltrip. In addition to being a farmer, Howard was ordained a Cambellite Preacher and started numerous churches in Northern Missouri.
It does not appear that Howard was always a slave holder. In the 1830 US Census, he held no slaves. In the 1860 US Census, he held only two middle-aged slaves. Howard wrote this notice from Richland which is now Missouri City—a consolidation of three villages, St. Bernard, Richfield, and Atchison. From 1850 to 1861, Richfield was probably the largest hemp market above Lexington.
Most likely this notice was a draft handed to the publisher of a local newspaper.
Runaway from Richfield
About the first inst., a negro man named Granville, 24 years old, about 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, rather heavy set, square shoulders, not very dark complexion, weighs about 165, had on when he left a blue blanket coat, brown [ ] pants, otter cap flat top lined with silk stuffed with cotton, boots with grain side out, perhaps an old cotton vest. Limps a little. I will pay any person who will bring him to me at Richfield, Clay county, Mo. February 5th 1857
— Howard Everett