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'Their Masters, If Any They Have'
Samuel Raine, Abductor for the Slave Province of Pennsylvania

October 18, 1764

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Chester Goal, October 8, 1764.

NOW in Custody of the Subscriber as Runaways, two Lads,

one of the Name of John Kearney, alias Young, the other named John Williams, this Country born, [1] the former born in Ireland, but speaks good English; they both say they came from Lancaster County.

Their Masters, if any they have, are desired to come and take them away. SAMUEL RAINE, Goaler.


1. It was the most common fate of those born in The Plantations of "this Country" to be enslaved. The Irish kid is obviously a slave. But that the local boy is arrested merely for being free is telling. Perhaps he was free and was helping his Irish friend escape? Was he too an escaped slave? Whatever his previous status was, what will become of him?

Some person might come forward and claim to be his master and then have him for years as a servant. If no such man comes forward, he will be held indefinitely and auctioned of whenever practical to cover gaoling costs.

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

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