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‘Pitted with the Small Pox’
John Purday and his Wife Escape

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. [1]

His Wife is a little short thin woman, dark Complexion, dark frizled hair, speaks broad Scotch. [2]

They are about 6 Weeks in from Ireland, and came in the Ship Marquis of Granby. [3]

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.



1. It appears that by 1764, that buying, working, selling and recapturing military veterans in the Post War Plantations was a mainstay of the economy.

2. This woman, Mary, is sought for capture, although she is not a servant, but rather married to one, which implies that she is living in absolute destitution, as servants drew no wages, but merely worked off their time.

3. John may have been sold to satisfy a debt or for committing a crime. He may also have sold himself to get he and his wife across to the plantations. Consider though, that The Plantations had an evil reputation among the Irish.

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

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