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‘A Subtle Crafty Fellow’
Two Servants, Three Masters


July 15, 1756

The Pennsylvania Gazette

SIX PISTOLES Reward, Philadelphia, July 4, 1756.

RUN away last night from John Malcolm, of said city sailmaker, an apprentice lad, in William Pennell, 19 years of age, born in Ireland, of middle stature, fresh colour, smooth faced, has a down look, swaggering gait, and is a subtle crafty fellow.

Had on a linen cap, with short brown hair, or a dark brown wig, a good dark forest cloth coat, white linen or fustian [1] jacket, white shirt, new buckskin breeches, brown thread stockings, plain round shoe and knee silver buckles. He took with him, in a long narrow sail cloth bag or wallet, three cloth jackets, two stocks, one neck cloth, three white shirts, and one check ditto, one pair good black shag breeches, with leather lining.

Went off in company with him, an apprentice of Mr. James James joiner, named George Gordon, aged 27 years, an Englishman, a well set fellow, about 5 feet high, of a fair complexion, lisps, and is a great talker: Had on a snuff colour coat and waistcoat, light cloth breeches, white ribbed stockings, good shoes, and copper buckles, cut through.

He took with him a fustian coat, with white metal buttons, a red jacket, half worn hat, and a dark buckled wig. It is supposed they are gone either to Maryland or Virginia.

Whoever secures the said servants in any goal in this or any of the neighboring provinces, so that there masters may have them again, shall have EIGHT PISTOLES reward for both, or SIX PISTOLES for William Pennell, paid by JOHN MALCOLM.

N.B. All masters of vessels are forbid to carry them off.

Notes

1. A thick, cloth, usually dyed dark and common for men’s apparel in this period. The cloth is distinguished by a “twilled” weave, meaning alternating diagonal and parallel patterns.

America in Chains

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