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The following account, along with the bulk of post-French and Indian War runaway adds indicates that the system had evolved to deal with individual runaways even as the runaways had evolved their strategies for escaping into an increasingly larger population of free, semi-free and enslaved people. A woman lone aroused immediate suspicion and guaranteed her abduction and sale even if she were free, unless she had freedom papers. In Plantation America, every working class woman was considered a slave on sight, unless she had with her a “husband.” The increasing presence of forged documents indicates and increasingly educated servant class and/or a sympathetic freemen at large, willing to help, an ‘underground railroad” that elite white history may not permit to exist as an idea in our extant slave nation.

September 15, 1768

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RAN away, on the 4th of this instant September, from the subscriber, living in Sadsbury township, Chester county; a servant girl, named CATHERINE JONES, born in Ireland, of a fresh complexion, long nose, and long black hair;

had on when she went away, a chip hat, a striped linen gown, red flannel petticoat, a striped linsey ditto, a black silk handkerchief, a homespun flaxen shift, a check apron, a pair of blue yarn stockings, and neats leather shoes; [1] she took with her, a chintz gown, and a red quilted petticoat; also a superfine broadcloth coat, of a light purple colour, a brown velvet jacket, a pair of red plush breeches, a pair of new thread stockings, flaxen linen shirt and shift, and a black silk cravat.

She is supposed to have gone away with a certain JOHN BRYAN, belonging to JOHN HARKINS, of Philadelphia; said Bryan had on, a grey cloth jacket, striped linen shirt, striped ticken [3] trowsers, good shoes, brass buckles, and a new felt hat: It is supposed he will change his name.

Whoever takes up said Catherine Jones, and secures her, so that her master may have her again, shall have Three Pounds reward, and reasonable charges, paid by me THOMAS DAVIS.

N.B. The said Bryan is supposed to have a forged pass with him. [2]

Catherine was sorely missed—log nose and all, it seems, as this second ad was taken out two months later

November 3, 1768

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away from the subscriber, living in Sadsbury township, Chester county, a servant girl, named CATHERINE JONES, born in Ireland, of a very red complexion, long nose, and long black hair; had on, when she went away, a chip hat, with a red ribbon about the crown of it, a striped linen gown, red flannel petticoat, a striped linsey ditto, a black silk handkerchief, an old tow shift, with flaxen sleeves, a pair of worsted stockings, and neats leather shoes, and took with her a short cloth cloak, and white linen apron. Whoever takes up said Catherine Jones, and secures her, so that her master may have her again, shall have TWENTY SHILLINGS reward, and reasonable charges, paid by

THOMAS DAVIS.

Notes

1. Neats foot oil is still used to treat boxing gloves, among other leather goods.

2. The indication of a forged pass suggests that servants were more than willing to betray their peers who escaped.

3. Germanic, ticken, for work, might be the origin of this term. The author was unable to find a direct translation for ticken in any English dictionary. Search of a German-English dictionary suggests work garment, from ticken to work.

A Bright Shining Lie at Dusk

A Partial Exhumation of the American Dream

https://www.amazon.com/Bright-Shining-Lie-Dusk-Exhumation/dp/1542768586/ref=sr_1_18/160-6210927-6073065?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488372816&sr=1-18

http://jameslafond.blogspot.com/

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