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‘Of a Black Complexion’
Was John Meshefrey the First Irish Negro?

April 7, 1768

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away from his Bail, out of New Castle, on the 30th of March last, one John Meshefrey, born in the North of Ireland, a thick well set Fellow, about 5 Feet 7 Inches high, of a black Complexion, [1] and talks broad:

Had on, when he went away, a blue Coat, whitish Jacket, Buckskin Breeches, grey Stockings, a Pair of Brass Buckles, and an old Felt Hat, tarred on the Top of the Crown.

Whoever takes up said Runaway, and secures him in any Goal in this Province, so that I may have him again, or brings him to me in New Castle, shall have Forty Shillings Reward, paid by JAMES CAMBLE.


1. Was John a mulatto or a full African Irishman? He has a thick Gaelic accent.

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

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ShepAugust 11, 2017 9:23 PM UTC