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‘Has a Wild Look’
A Primitive Warrant is Posted for All Comers


This wanted ad for Nicholas McDaniel suggests a profession unspoken of in these documents but to whom all such documents are addressed: professional man hunters. Indians were no longer acting as slave-catchers by this time, though many half-breeds or Delaware may have remained in that capacity. These ads seem to be begging for the development of a class of servant-hunters.

Who were the men who acted upon these ads, using the text as hunting notes?

They would probably have an Indian working with them, but the man reading the paper would have been white. Where they large gangs, trios, pairs, individuals or all of the above?

What were these men called?

What did they call themselves?

December 5, 1751

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Run away, from on board a sloop at Poghkeepsie, in Dutches county, an Irish Servant man, named Nicholas McDaniel aged about 20 years, came lately from Ireland with Capt. Anderson, and is about 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high; carried with him a gun, and is supposed to have gone down along the West side of Hudson river, to Pennsylvania: had on a brown pea jacket, a cap, and a woollen hat; he speaks but indifferent English, has a wild look, says one Henry Mulhall,[1] in Amboy, is his uncle; he has a brother at Poughkeepsie, who is also a Servant to James Isaiah Ross, of New York, merchant, and came over in the same vessel.

Whoever takes up the said Nicholas McDaniel, and secures him, so that the said James Isaiah Ross, his master, may have him again, shall have Five Pounds reward, and all reasonable charges, paid by JAMES ISAIAH ROSS.

Notes

The notice that family members are known to live somewhere in the plantations is not simply a clue for the bounty hunter, but is also an indication that bounty hunters would face clannish resistance in the back country. This was the strongest practical factor in driving investment in Negroes rather than Irish and Scots, the fact that blacks would have no sympathetic community to run to.

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