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‘A Very Artful Fellow’
A Runaway Jockey ‘Who Pretends to be a Carpenter’ and Stands almost Six Feet Tall, is Worth 200 Shillings [1]

July 7, 1768

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Chester County, June 30, 1768.

TEN POUNDS Reward. [1]

LAST night, broke out of the goal of said county, a certain JAMES DICKEY, born in Ireland, but came to this country very young, with his parents, and lived in Oxford township, in said county of Chester, is a very artful fellow, and speaks with the Irish accent, and very mild, is long visaged, wide mouthed, is about 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, wears his own strait hair;

had on, when broke goal, a felt hat, blue cloth jacket, without sleeves, leather breeches, white yarn ribbed stockings, coarse shoes, and brass buckles;

pretends to be a carpenter and weaver by trade, has been a great horse jockey, and has been often in New England, and at Carolina, in Roan county, where he has a brother living, who broke out of said goal some years ago, [2] and it is imagined he will make there again, with one Robert Smith, who was to see him the evening before he broke out.

Whoever apprehends the said James Dickey, and secures him in any of his Majesty goals, or brings him to Chester goal, shall have the above reward, and reasonable charges, paid by JOSEPH THOMAS, Goaler.


1. With 20 shillings to the pound and a shilling being the going day labor rate, this man is worth 200 days work. Whatever his crime, if any, he will be sentenced to at least 200 days of labor when sold to pay off is reward cost.

2. Is this a clan or criminals or have both boys runaway from slavery? In the end, these were not useful distinctions in Plantation America.

So Her Master May Have Her Again

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

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