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'An Indented Servant Man'
ARCHIBALD THOMPSON Wants His Irishman Back

July 23, 1767

The Pennsylvania Gazette

July 3, 1767.

RUN away last night from the subscriber, living in Norrington township, Philadelphia county, an indented servant man, named John Diermond, [1] a native of Ireland, about 22 years of age, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, of a pale complexion, a little pitted with the small pox, has a down look, near sighted, brown hair, sometimes tied;

had on, when he went away, a brown jacket, made sailor fashion, a fustian ditto, with the back blue cloth, a pair of blue cloth breeches, check shirt, blue yarn stockings, and half worn shoes, with brass buckles;

he took with him a pair of two trowsers, and some other wearing apparel.

Whoever takes up said servant, and secures him so as his master may have him again, shall have Four Dollars reward, and reasonable charges, paid by ARCHIBALD THOMPSON, junior.

N.B. All masters of vessels are forbid to carry him off at their peril. [2]


1. Brings to mind the Robert E. Howard horror story, Dermond’s Bane

2. The Seven Years War, largely fought between England and France over access to overseas resources, had recently ended, sparking not only a spike in runaways [often service men who had been sold after discharge] but an increase in threats to sea captains who might take them off. With the only logic for a sea captain taking a penniless runaway onboard, being the employment of that man as a sailor, the most dangerous job of the day, indicating that maritime trade was on the upswing and that a servant’s life had either gotten worse [unlikely] or had simply become unbearable in the wake of military service.

So Her Master May Have Her Again

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

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