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‘20 Years of Age and Very Fat’
A Big Girl on the Run

March 27, 1760

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Philadelphia, March 25, 1760.

RUN away on Friday night, the 21st inst. from Theophilus Gardner, of this city, a servant girl, indented by the name of Lotis Barris (but says her real name is Sheldon) [1] she is about 5 feet 8 inches high, round full faced, fresh complexioned, dark hair, 20 years of age and very fat; was born in Drummore, in the north of Ireland and brought into this Province in August, 1758, by captain Dingee:

Had on a lawn cap, a dark silk spotted handkerchief, a dark small figured silk and thread long gown, a short calico one over it, a striped lincey petticoat, yarn stockings, half worn shoes, and large white metal shoe buckles, with stones set therein; she also carried with her other apparel, with which she will probably change her dress.

Whoever secures said servant in any goal, within this or the neighbouring governments, shall have Forty Shillings reward, and reasonable charges, paid by THEOPHILUS GARDNER.

N.B. All masters of vessels are forbid to carry her off, and others to harbour her at their peril.


1. Assigning a false name to a kidnapped person was one means of preventing her family—if she had any—from rescuing her.

America in Chains

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