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‘Has Been A Soldier in Flanders’
A Servant Man and His Presumably Free Wife Runaway from Robert All

Two trends following the close of the French and Indian War in America and the Seven Years War in Europe was the enslavement of men who were recently in the wartime military and of the enslavement of men alongside their wives. Of interest in the case of John and Mary Purday is that she appears to have been free. How and where she lived and how John supported here cannot be answered until more research is done.

However, one can speculate that he was enslaved to pay for their passage to America and that she did wage work and perhaps he did wage work in his free time. However, with wage work being slim in the slave economy of Pennsylvania, it might be that Mary was permitted to live in servant housing in return for otherwise unpaid work, such as preparing servant food.

October 30, 1766

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away from the Subscriber in Newport, an Irish Servant Man, named John Purday, and Mary, his Wife, the said John Purday is about 5 Feet 9 Inches high, and about 27 Years of Age, is pitted with the Small pox, has strait pale Hair commonly tied behind;

had on, when he went away, a light coloured Coat, and Thickset Jacket and Breeches, Worsted Stockings, his Hat sharp cocked, and appears very neat in his Clothes, has been a Soldier in Flanders, speaks very good English, a little inclined to the Scotch Accent.

His Wife is a little short thin woman, dark Complexion, dark frizled hair, speaks broad Scotch.

They are about 6 Weeks in from Ireland, and came in the Ship Marquis of Granby.

Whoever takes up the said John Purday, so as his Master may have him again, shall have Twenty Shillings Reward, and reasonable Charges, paid by me ROBERT ALL, or by applying to Mr. JAMES ALEXANDER, Merchant in Water street, Philadelphia. ROBERT ALL.

A Bright Shining Lie at Dusk

A Partial Exhumation of the American Dream

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