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‘A Good Deal of the Brogue upon His Tongue’
A Breeches Maker on the Run

Making breaches was hardly land clearance or cane farming or even cotton picking, which brings one to wonder what so many workhouse tradesmen and apprentices were running from. Note that David is not ‘indentured” but rather simply a “servant,” the term used by 19th century slave owners when referring to their back chattel.

September 14, 1769

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Philadelphia, August 31, 1769.

RUN away from John Correy, of Philadelphia, an Irish servant man, named DAVID CARDEW, by trade a breeches maker, of a middle size, about 30 years of age, [1] wears his own black hair, generally tied behind, he came from Limerick, in Ireland, and has a good deal of the brogue upon his tongue;

had on when he went away, an old blue coat, a striped jacket, lappelled, black leather breeches, Russia linen shirt, an old castor hat, bound round the edges with silk ferreting, calfskin shoes, middling high in the quarters.

He went in company with a red haired woman, much freckled, and out mouthed, and may perhaps pass for man and wife. [2]

Whoever secures said servant, so that his master may have him again, shall have Four Dollars reward, and reasonable charges, paid by JOHN CORREY.


1. David is most likely fleeing his third term of service, as slavery began at 14-16 and generally consisted of 7 year terms.

2. If David is captured along with the woman, if she happens to be a free woman with a pass or freedom papers, she will be free no longer, but sold for the crime of abetting runaway.

So Her Master May Have Her Again

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

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