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‘A Lusty, Ill-Favoured, Dirty, Slouching’
John Barclay and William Hambleton, criminals

In the two criminal fugitives described below it seems that the High Sheriff and his associates are dealing with first generation Irish, who managed to break the indenture cycle and then became law breakers.

Is this proof that they were justly-trafficked criminals, reverting to type after emancipation?

Or is this an example of the culture of brutality, implicit in owning human livestock, setting people on a criminal path, which is regarded by anthropologists as the reason for modern black criminality?

July 22, 1762

The Pennsylvania Gazette

New Jersey, Essex County.


TWO Prisoners made their Escape from Jonathan Hampton, High Sheriff of Essex County, viz.

John Barclay, born in Ireland, short well set Fellow, about 50 years old, sandy complexion, talks thick and palavering when drunk, generally wears dark Cloaths; a Clothier by Trade. Took a brown Mare, Bridle and Saddle, that were under Execution. He forged many Bonds, [1] and got Money upon them, for which he was arrested and escaped.

William Hambleton, a lusty, ill-favoured, [2] dirty, slouching Butcher, born in Ireland, about 50 Years old, wears a Wig; he went off with his son and Daughter in a two Horse Cart, much like himself for Rigging. It is said he has Land over Susquehanna. Sylvester Cole bailed him in one Action, another is for stealing Sheep, on these he escaped.

Eight Days ago they both were at Andrew Makgoun, near Lancaster Road, about a Mile and a Half from the White Horse Tavern, at Pequea, where my Under Sheriff came up with, and saw them, but, by Makgoun Assistance, they got from him; he followed them close for 20 Miles towards a Ferry above Harris, on Sasquehanna, but they took to the Woods and escaped. Makgoun and the Prisoners all lately lived at Basking Ridge. As Hambleton Children and Cart were at Makgoun, they will be there again.

Whoever apprehends both, or either of them, and secures them, so that I may have them again, shall have for Barclay Six Pounds, and for Hambleton Fourteen Pounds, and reasonable Charges paid by JONATHAN HAMPTON, Sheriff, and SYLVESTER COLE, Special Bail.

N.B. If a Letter is sent to Philadelphia Post Office, I shall get it.


1. Forgery of bonds would be closer to tag and title fraud today, with coinage forgery more in line with our idea of counterfeiting.

2. William seems to have been notably ugly and his cart so ill-rigged and unkempt as to equally the ugliness of its owner.

Stillbirth of a Nation: Caucasian Slavery in Plantation America: Part One

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