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‘Speaks with the Brogue’
Running Away from New Jersey

December 5, 1751

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Run away on the 2d inst. from Arthur McIlveen, near Woodberry, in Deptford township, Gloucester county, in the Province of West Jersey, A servant man, named John Welch, about 25 years of age, a likely well set fellow, about 5 feet 6 inches high:

Had on when he went away, a blue cloth jacket, white shirt, old buckskin breeches, blue worsted stockings, 2 pair of pumps, with brass buckles; he was born in Ireland, [1] and speaks with the brogue. He took with him a white mare, about twelve hands high, with wall eyes. Said Welch is a weaver by trade, and was formerly a servant to John Cooper, weaver of Chester county, in Pennsylvania.

Whoever takes up said servant, and secures him in gloucester goal, so that his master may have him again, shall have Twenty Shillings [2] reward, and reasonable charges, paid by ARTHUR MCILVEEN.


1. John Welch was already 25, ad been born in Ireland, had been previously owned, and on short time based on Note 2. Most servants were sold first as teens. If John was on short time why would he run? How bad must he have been treated, to risk more time added onto an almost finished term of service? Was he simply a thief making off with a horse not long before being released from his term with only the clothes on his back? The fact that he still speaks with the brogue suggests he was sold as an older teen, perhaps 18.

2. Twenty shillings is a price that suggests John had under a year left to serve at labor for Master MCilveen.

America in Chains

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