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‘Near the Head of Elk’
A Non-Indentured Servant Runaway

October 18, 1770

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away last night from the subscriber, living near the Head of Elk, [1] in Caecil county, Maryland, a servant man, named PETER HUGHES;

had on, when he went away, a blue coat, red waistcoat, black breeches, black stockings, new shoes, with large brass buckles; [2]

lately from Ireland, and speaks pretty good English.

Whoever takes up said servant, and secures him, so as his master may have him again, shall have Thirty Shillings reward, and reasonable charges, paid by ANDREW FRAZER

October 2, 1770.


1. The numerous place names related to the extinct eastern Elk gives an indication of how richly eastern Maryland was stocked by God with creatures that disappeared within three generations of European settlement.

2. The increasingly well-dressed servants—attired like princes compared to those of the 1730s—indicates an expanding debt society, as does the lower rewards offered for recently acquired and escaped human property.

America in Chains

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