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‘Large Black Beard, Bow Legged’
A Non-Indentured Servant Man on the Run


August 15, 1771

The Pennsylvania Gazette

FOUR DOLLARS Reward.

RUN away, on the 5th of this instant August, from the subscriber, living in Norrington township, Philadelphia county, a servant man, named Hugh McDonald, about 35 years of age, 5 feet 5 inches high, well set, black hair, and large black beard, bow legged, was born in Ireland, and speaks with the brogue;

had on, when he went away, an old bound felt hat, a check shirt, Russia trowsers, a pair of old pumps, with straps, but no buckles;

took with him, a pair of old buckskin breeches, two old brown jackets, one whereof without sleeves, and he may have stolen other clothes, as he has been seen with a bundle on his back. [1]

Whoever takes up the said servant, and secures him, so as his master gets him again, shall have the above reward, and reasonable charges, paid by ARCHIBALD THOMSON.

Notes

1. The fact is that few servants owned more than the clothes on their back and generally lacked enough clothing to survive nights on the run in cold climes or affect a change of clothes in warm seasons, necessitating theft as part of thee scape, adding additional lengths of service to their master if caught.

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