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‘Doctor Thomas Ogle’
A Runaway Physician in a Bearskin Coat

April 27, 1769

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Salem, West New Jersey, April 29, 1769.

TWELVE DOLLARS Reward. [2] ABSCONDED from his usual Place of Abode, on the 16th Instant, a certain Doctor THOMAS OGLE, born in Ireland, about Five Feet six or seven Inches high, pitted with the Smallpox, [1] is give to Liquor, and when in Drink talks much of his Skill in Physic and Surgery;

has had one of his Legs broke, and commonly wears a Handkerchief about it; [1]

had on, when he went away, a half worn Beaver Hat, Bearskin Coat, Buckskin Breeches, Worsted Stockings, and good Shoes, with Pinchbeck Buckles.

He took with him a Silver Watch, a Silver Face, MakerName Wm. Clayton, London, No. 2450, rode a sorrel Horse, with a Blaze in his Face; and had a Couple of Boxes, with Medicines in them (like a Pedlarpack) and a Suit of Fustian, not made up. [2]

Whoever takes up the said Dr. Ogle, and secures him in any of his MajestyGoals, shall receive the above Reward. THOMAS HARTLEY, DANIEL LITHGOW, PETER AMBLER. [2]

N.B. All Watch Makers are desired to stop the said Watch, if offered for Sale, or otherwise.


1. This man seems a wreck, hardly likely to instill confidence in his patients.

2. “Took with him/her” is always indicative of theft. This fact, taken along with the number of men signing the advertisement for his recovery, as well as his steep, $12 reward, suggests that his bondage may have been a joint investment of the three men named. It is of note that increasing numbers of servants in post French and Indian War America were highly skilled and presumably better educated than their masters, possibly indicating increased economic dislocation at the end of hostilities.

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

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