Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Ancient Combat
‘Something of a Down Look’
A Runaway Mason Apprentice, Just Another Name for Slave

January 17, 1771

The Pennsylvania Gazette

RUN away, from the subscriber, living in Bart township, Lancaster county, the 2d day of January inst. an apprentice to the Mason trade, named James Tumblety,

about 5 feet 8 inches high, has dark brown curled hair, something of a down look, black eyebrows, and small legs;

had on, when he went away, an old light brown coat, linsey jacket, with black horn buttons, light blue breeches, two pair of stockings, one a light blue grey, the other a dark blue worsted, a felt hat, an old pair of shoes, and a black silk handkerchief; [1]

took also, a considerable sum of money, wherein was one Half Johannes, the rest in silver and bills;

he might be apprehended in changing the bills, as he cannot read;

it is likely he may change both name and apparel.

Whoever takes up, and secures said apprentice, so as his master may have him again, shall have Three Pounds reward, and reasonable charges, paid by JOHN BIGHAM.

N.B. Masters of vessels are forbid to carry him off at their Peril, as he was seen going towards Philadelphia, and it is thought intends for Ireland. [2]


1. The attention to clothing details by the owners of men and women seems astonishing. However, everything worn would be noted upon the purchase of a person, so that any additional clothes worn might indicate theft and additional time to serve. However, the primary reason for recording all articles worn was for identification in case of escape, something that was expected.

2. Imbedded in the usual threat to see captains is an indication that “said apprentice” never wanted to be in the country of his master to begin with.

So His Master May Have Him Again

Add Comment