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‘Stoops Much’
George Bath and John McNeal Make Their Escape

January 22, 1756

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away on the 28th of December last, from the subscriber, A servant lad, named George Bath, about 20 years of age, born in Old England, about 5 feet 9 inches high, stoops much, [1] and has a reel in his walk:

Had on when he went away, A light colour ratteen coat, [2] with white metal buttons, brown broadcloth jacket, black leather breeches, blue yarn stockings, good shoes, with large brass buckles, ozenbrigs shirt, a brown cut

wig, a good hat, and a red and white silk handkerchief.

Also run away on the 18th instant, one John McNeil, of middle stature, born in Ireland, and pretends to be a drummer. [2]

Had on when he went away, A good bearskin coat, with large white metal buttons on it, brown broadcloth jacket, white Spanish broadcloth breeches, much worn and dirtied, blue milled worsted stockings, good shoes, with small steel buckles, blue and white cotton cap, and a good beaver hat. [3]

Whoever takes up and secures said servants, so that their master may have them again, shall have Forty Shillings reward for each, or Three Pounds for each, with reasonable charges, if brought to Edward Matthews, nailor, [4] in Philadelphia.


1. A common description of servants who have been over worked or beaten overmuch, likely to be as much psychological as physical.

2. A common demeaning statement, in which the master denigrates whatever free trade the servant may have practiced before his bondage.

3. A top hat, of the type popular for another 100 years.

4. A person who made nails by hand with the use of a casting mold, said to be one of the more tedious trades of the day. So, in Edward Matthews we see a man buying servants to make his wares, probably on a very small scale. A nailor was supposed to produce 3,000 nails per day and my guess is it took longer than 8 hours.

America in Chains

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