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‘To Digest a Plan of Escape’
A Runaway Stock Clerk Makes Off in the Company of a Scheming Hatter

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



who ran way on the 19th of March last;

he is twenty years old, had on when he went away, a brown coatee and new fur hat;

his other clothing not known, is five feet 9 inches high, of a slender make, fair complexion, and thin visage;

his face much broken out in small lumps, it is supposed that he has gone to Baltimore in company with a hatter by the name of THOMAS LAMBDEN, [1] who , it is probable, enticed him away, as he was frequently lounging about my shop [3] previous to their going away; in order, I suppose, to digest a plan of escape.

The above reward (but no charges) [2] will be given for securing both the above Runaways, or six cents for either of them, by

John Sellars.

April 19


1. This hatter apprentice appears to be a fellow advertised for on the same date by the name of Thomas Bailey.

2. Although laws still served the master in regard to securing runaway whites, said masters, for reasons this reader is not yet able to determine, had become loathe to pay charges to presumably professional slave catchers.

3. Stewart would appear to be a clerk in the good old days before one could quit your thankless job and before one was paid for his labors.

[Submitted to by Mary Kay Krogman]

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

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