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‘May Forge a Pass’
Three Plus One Runaway Servants

June 13, 1771

The Pennsylvania Gazette


RUN away, from the subscriber, living in Carlisle, the three following servants, viz.

WILLIAM KING, a native of Ireland, a stout well made fellow, about 30 years of age, near six feet high, wears short brown hair, fair complexion, speaks good English, understands Latin, and is fond of talking about it, writes a good hand, and may forge a pass;

he came into the country the 27th of June, 1770, with Capt. Robert Miller, and went off in company with one

Michael Stewart, a servant to Andrew Holmes, near Carlisle, who carried a short rifle gin with him, and having been in the army, had a printed discharge from the same; [1]

they were seen at Susquehanna, enquiring the way to Reading;

said King had on a felt hat cocked, a striped silk handkerchief, a light cloth coloured jacket with sleeves, lined with cross barred stuff, almost new, a white flannel waistcoat, a hempen linen shirt, striped linen trowsers, good shoes, with round iron buckles, not fellows.

CHARLES PARKER, an Irishman, has been about four years in the country (but by his frequent running away is still a servant) [2] about 20 years of age, 5 feet 6 inches high, a little pitted with the small pox, and has a down look, when challenged;

had on, and took with him, a small felt hat slouched down, a coarse fly coat, of a dirty blue colour, an old olive coloured velvet waistcoat, an old nankeen ditto, tow linen shirt and trowsers, blue and white cotton stockings, and old shoes, with round brass buckles, not fellows;

he sprained his right ancle, which was not well, when he went away.

HENRY DAVIS, born in Ireland, but says he lived 16 years in England, talks good English, and speaks Welsh, about 30 years of age, 5 feet 10 inches high, a clumsy made fellow, bandy legged, wears short brown hair, and has a red beard;

his cloathing not now known, having run away the 27th of June, 1770; writes a good hand, and may forge a pass;

he was seen at Bedford and Juniata last spring, enquiring his way for Fort Augusta, and Wyomokin, on Susquehanna.

Whoever apprehends said runaways, and secures them in any of his Majestygoals, so as their masters shall have them again, shall have the above reward, or FOUR DOLLARS for each, and reasonable charges, paid by Carlisle, May 27, 1771. JOHN GLEN. [3]


1. An officially discharged veteran has managed to find himself property to a man, another example of the 18th century British veterans administration—privatized slavery.

2. It seems that a fair proportion [not known as records have been destroyed and suppressed], of non-indentured servants served terms of only three years. The range of service was 3-31 years.

3. An Irishman trafficking in Irishmen.

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