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‘Scalped Before’
Busted up Survivor of the Indian Wars is on the Run

July 28, 1768

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away the 22d of this instant July, from ROBERT HAYS, in Rapho township, Lancaster county, an Irish servant man, named JOHN BERRY, a short thick fellow, about 25 years old, with a large lump on the fore part of one of his shoulders, like a windgall, [1] has short bushy brown hair, scalped before, [2] and a flat cocked up nose. [3]

He took with him a little black mare, six years old, white face, glass eyes, one white hind foot, and hollow backed; also an old saddle and bridle;

likewise a dark brown snuff coloured coat, bound with tape, almost new, a silk and cotton jacket, with yellow, red and green stripes, and small silver buttons, an old green velvet jacket and breeches, with hair buttons, a Thirty Shilling hat, not much worn, a god linen shirt, a pair of black worsted stockings, and a pair blue yarn ribbed ditto, calfskin pumps, with large square silver buckles, and a pair steel ditto. He came from Ireland this summer, and talks on that accent.

Whoever takes up and secures said servant and mare, so as his master may have them again, shall have THREE POUNDS reward, and reasonable charges, or Forty Shillings for the servant paid by me ROBERT HAYS.


1. wind•gall



windgalls (plural noun)

a. a small painless swelling just above the fetlock of a horse, caused by inflammation of the tendon sheath.

2. The fact that he has been previously scalped indicates that he has been to America before, as a teenager and was most likely involved as a combatant in the French and Indian War. It is telling that so many servants made their way back to Ireland or England, only to be sold and shipped back again. If America was viewed by all as the land of opportunity, if servitude was the opportunity to get an economic footing in the new world, as we Americans have so often been taught, why did so many seek to return to the old world or escape to live with the Indians in the oldest world possible? A member of Peter Williamson’s regiment was scalped in action near the beginning of the conflict, as was at least one Mountain Men who survived scalping. Even a woman is known to have survived a scalping at the Musselshell, during a battle with the Sioux a hundred years later.

3. Who knows if the broken nose was caused by Indian club, Irish fist or English horsewhip.

America in Chains

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