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‘Liable to A Certain Redemption’
The Commander of the Snow [ship] Friendly Adventure Would Have His Human Cargo Returned

February 15, 1770

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away from on board the Snow Friendly Adventure, whereof I am Commander, and now lying at Annapolis, the following persons, who came Passengers in said Snow, liable to a certain Redemption, as specified in their several Agreements, viz.

John Goodwin, Edward Murphy, Edward Loney, James McCarty, and William Niness:

They are gone towards Baltimore, and pretend that they have complied with their Engagements to me, which not being the Case, they are still answerable for the same;

and, I am informed, by the Laws of this Province, may be taken and secured, as if they were indented Servants, until they comply with their Engagements. (I therefore promise a Reward of Twenty Shillings Currency, for each of the abovementioned Persons, besides what the law allows, to have them, or any of them, secured in any public Goal, in Maryland, or brought to me, at Annapolis, where the Reward will be paid by Messieurs James Dick and Steward; or, if secured in any Goal, and the abovementioned Gentlemen being acquainted therewith, the Reward will be duly paid. WILLIAM SNOW.

John Goodwin, about 5 Feet 7 Inches high, a brown Complexion, wears his own Hair, and wore a white Jacket and Trowsers.

Edward Murphy, about 5 Feet 8 Inches high, a dark Complexion, wears a brown Coat and Waistcoat, a Native of Ireland.

Edward Loney, about 5 Feet 7 and an Half Inches high, a dark Complexion, wore a white Coat, turned up with blue.

James McCarty, about 5 Feet 6 Inches high, a brown Complexion, wore a blue Coat, and red Waistcoat, a Native of Ireland.

William Niness, about 5 Feet 8 Inches high, wore a brown Coat and Waistcoat, and a Wig, a Native of England.


Redemptioners were people who sought passage to America in return for a promised payment by a third party [relative, prospective husband, etc.] once landfall was made, or in return for the captain selling these people for a term of service. This is the type of arrangement that historians would have us believe was entered into by servants and indentured or indented servants, when in fact, these folk were generally kidnapped or sold by an existing master, parent or sibling in the old country. What we have been lead to believe was the lot of a servant was actually the lot of the redemptioner, who might well become a servant.

America in Chains

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