Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Ancient Combat
A Black Irishman
Named Ever Magines on the Run in Plantation America

One must admit, that the naming of this young man, does reek of African American naming traditions, which did have their roots in masters nicknaming human property in non-Christian terms.

August 2, 1770

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away, on the 25th of July, in Philadelphia, from the subscriber, living in New London township, Chester county, an indented servant man, named EVER MAGINES, about 22 years of age, of a black [1] complexion, has a mole on his left cheek, near his mouth, a weaver by trade, a native of Ireland, and arrived here only two days before, in the ship Earl of Donegall, from Belfast;

had on, when he went away, an old brown coat, good light coloured jacket, old fustian breeches, blue stockings, and old pumps; also a brown wig, but, as his hair was middling long, it is supposed he will not wear the wig.

He was seen drunk at the lower end of Market street the evening he was missed, and it is supposed he has strayed towards Chester county, as he said he had uncles living there. [2]

Whoever takes up said servant, and secures him in goal, so that his master may have him again, shall have Thirty Shillings reward, and reasonable charges, paid by JOHN SPENGE, Tavernkeeper, at the Drawbridge, Philadelphia, or the subscriber, in New London aforesaid, JOSEPH WILSON.

N.B. If he is taken in Chester county, the person who takes him is requested to signify the same by a letter to his master. [3]


1. Black was not a common term for negro in these times and may be taken to mean “swarthy” or tending toward a dark complexion.

2. This man may have duplicitously signed on as a servant to join his family in the Plantations.

3. Ever seems to have been owned by the tavern keeper Spenge, who contracted Wilson to manage the recovery of his property, apparently a bar keep/slave.

America in Chains

Add Comment