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‘Has Rather a Down Look’
A Four Dollar Man Runs Away from America’s Primary Slave Depot

Gazette – Wilmington, Delaware, October 6, 1792

Michael Dougherty

Foure Dollars Reward.

Ran away from the subscriber, living in Christianna hundred, New-Castle county, [1] on the 2d inst. An Irish indented servant man, named MICHAEL DOUGHERTY;

he is about 20 or 21 years of age; 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, of a light complexion, with middling large grey eyes;

he is a fresh hearty looking well set fellow, and when spoken to, has rather a down look. [2]

Had on when he went away, a good wool hat, a linen coat, sustain waistcoat, and tow linen trowsers, all of an olive color an old shirt of common linen, old shoes with strings in them; but he may change his dress.

Whoever takes up and secures said Servant in any Goal; so that his Master may get him again shall have the above reward, and reasonable charges.

Thomas Chandler, jun.

4th of the 10th mo., 1792

[Submitted to by Mary Kay Krogman]


1. The port of New Castle brought in between 2,000 and 5,000 white slaves per year for most of the 1700s

2. It is often noted that white slaves had broken wills in this manner, from either beatings or downward social pressure. It is a wonder that so many of these emotionally shattered people found the will to run away.

America in Chains

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