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Nicholas Forster Hughes
Runaway School Teacher

May 28, 1767

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away, in the Evening of the 15th Instant, from the Subscriber, living in Nockamixon Township, Bucks County, an indented Servant Man, who writes his Name Nicholas Forster Hughes, but is likely he may change it, born in Ireland, but speaks good English, of small Stature, slender built, thin Face, a little marked with the Small pox, has thin blackish Hair, which he endeavours to curl and has a Scar (it is thought) over his Right Eye brow:

Had on, when he went away, an old Beaver Hat, blue Broadcloth Coat, half worn, greyish napped cloth Jacket lined with red, without Sleeves, and Breeches of the same, lined with Check, Check and white Linen Shirts, black and blue ribbed Worsted Stockings, and Calfskin Pumps, with Buckles.

He has followed keeping School since he came in the Country, and is apt to brag of his learning, when in Liquor, which he will be as often as he can get it.

Whoever takes up and secures said Servant so as his master may have him again, shall have Three Pounds Reward, and reasonable Charges, paid by JAMES LOUGHREY.

N.B. All Masters of Vessels are forbid to carry him off at their Peril.


1. The first slave teacher on record was Thomas Hellier of 1678. The increased number of runaway teachers after the French and Indian Wars might indicate prosperity in Philadelphia and other major towns but might also reflect a perceived need for literacy among the frontiersmen with whom such men as Hughs might seek refuge in return for tutoring.

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

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