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‘So That the Subscriber Get Him Again’
Another Runway Apprentice Lad

Delaware and Eastern-Shore Advertiser – Wilmington, Delaware, Saturday, April 25, 1795

Elec Kilpatrick [1]


RAN away from this Printing-Office, an Apprentice Lad, [2]named ELEC KILPATRIC, about 17 years of age, and 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high; has red hair and freckled face; is talkative, and has a down look when closely questioned. He has a long nose and chin. Had on when he went away, coating trowsers and coatee, round had – took with him a bundle of other clothes –

The above Reward will be given for apprehending him, so that the subscriber get him again, and reasonable charges if brought home, paid by


All masters of vessels, and others, are forbid harbouring him, at their peril.

April 14, 1795


1. Could this be the older brother [one year older] of runaway Alexander Kilpatrick? If so, might they have been bought as a package or was Elec serving the rest of Alexander’s time? In 1678 the father of Thomas Hellier sold himself to a village as a community servant to satisfy a debt his son had incurred.

2. In actual practice an apprentice had no more rights than an indenture, redemptioner or transport. Indeed, there is evidence, including the brutal enslavement of young Benjamin Franklin by his older brother, that apprentices—since they did not fall under servant statutes—were beaten more often than servants.

[Submitted to by Mary Kay Krogman]

America in Chains

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