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‘When She Went Away’
Anne Saul is Worth Five Dollars

Anne, as with most servants, is well-known for what she wears, her complexion, and distinguishing marks, but her age is not known for certain. Plantation America was a comprehensive police state, with the hand of every man against any man, woman or youth who did not possess written documentation to the effect that they were free. The irony is that the few common carry documents that did exist established the character of our current debt-slavery surveillance state, in which a person without identification or a motorist without license and registration may be arrested. Yet despite the lack of centralized documentation, travel between colonies required two pieces of identification, where current law demands only identification and not a travel pass. The assumption was, that if you had no paperwork, you were a runaway and would be jailed and sold.

Our current laws on driving, vagrancy [which usually include a provision for jailing any person discovered without identification and sometimes without a dollar] and proof of residency to acquire identification. have grown directly from the crude police state that depended on every free man to police every unfree person for duty or profit.

July 19, 1770

The Pennsylvania Gazette


RUN away from the subscriber, living in West Nottingham, Chester county, on the 10th day of June last, a native Irish servant woman, named ANNE SAUL, about 22 years of age, of a middle stature, swarthy complexion, dark coloured hair, and brown eyes; she has an old sore on one of her arms; and came from Waterford, in Ireland, about two years ago:

Had on, when she went away, a black and white linsey jacket and petticoat, old tow shift and apron, and a round eared cap; but perhaps, by this time, she may have changed both her name and cloathing.

Whoever secures said servant, so that her master may have her again, shall have the above reward of Five Dollars, and all reasonable charges, paid by me SAMUEL [ ]

A Bright Shining Lie at Dusk

A Partial Exhumation of the American Dream

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