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A Runaway, Cross-Dressing Hatter
Apprentice Boy, Thomas Bailey, is Worth 12 Cents

Do note, that the title of apprentice grants the enslaved person but one thing a typical servant does not have, a promise that his master will teach the apprentice his trade so that he may have marketable skill. Otherwise the apprentice may be beaten at will and worked as his master sees fit.

Delaware Gazette and State Journal – Wilmington, Delaware, April 29, 1814

Thomas Bailey

Twelve Cents Reward.

RAN away from the Subscriber, in Wilmington, on the 19th of February last, an apprentice boy to the Hatting business, named THOMAS BAILEY, About nineteen years of age;

had on when he went away, a dark brown coatee [1] and pantalets, [2] and a new fur hat; his other clothing not recollected.

He is five feet 8 or 9 inches high, and stout made, of very loose habits, and is remarkable for his ignorance and impudence.

The above reward (but no charges) will be given for securing [the apprentice] by

John Sellars.

April 19

[Submitted to by Mary Kay Krogman]


1. a military cutaway coat with shortened coat-tails

2. long underpants with a frill at the bottom of each leg, worn by women and girls in the 19th century.

So Her Master May Have Her Again

A History of Runaway White Slaves in Plantation America: Part Two

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