Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Ancient Combat
‘Freckled in the Face’
A Runaway [1] Servant Boy

June 21, 1759

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away [1] from the Subscriber, living in Laetitia Court, Philadelphia, on the 7th of this instant, June, A Servant Boy, named James Shannon, about 18 years of Age, born in Ireland, about 5 Feet 6 Inches high, slender made, pretty much freckled in the Face, [2] and walks a little bending: [3]

Had on when he went away, A darkish colour Cloth Coat, the fore Parts lined with blue (which he has out grown) a Thickset Jacket, black Stockings, Breeches, new Check Shirt, white Cap, new Silk Handkerchief, half worn castor Hat, blue grey Worsted Stockings, and good Shoes, with new fashioned square carved Buckles. He took with him a double breasted Nankeen Jacket, a good white Shirt, and very likely some other Things.

Whoever takes up said Servant, and secures him, (so as his Master may have him again, shall have Three Pounds Reward, and all reasonable Charges, paid by me BENJAMIN JACKSON.

N.B. It is supposed he is inlisted in some of the Provincial Companies; [4] and, if so, the Captain of the Company in which he is inlisted is requested to confine said Servant, as whoever harbours or secrets him, will be prosecuted as the Law directs. If taken out of the Province, Five Pounds Reward will be given.


1. One of the surest signs a language is that of a slave society is that such words as are often used together that apply to un-free conditions or the breaking of this bonds, such as run away, have over time, been combined into compound words such as runaway.

2. It is interesting that one of the characteristics denoting the more pure “white” faces was such a damning feature of the slaves of the mongrel English.

3. People who are oft beaten about the head and shoulders develop a habit of bending. According to most slave narratives servants and slaves were beaten every day. Even Thomas Pellow, a sailor on his uncle’s ship, was beaten every single day.

4. Pennsylvania had, under Delaware threat, finally armed servant men to fight, but only after a scathing speech given by an allied Indian chief. As harsh and deadly as this service was, it was often deemed preferable to service to private masters.

America in Chains

Add Comment