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‘A CERTAIN Servant Man’
Slaver-Schoolmaster Andrew Porter Wants His Irishman Back

November 21, 1771

The Pennsylvania Gazette

Philadelphia, November 16, 1771.

A CERTAIN servant man, named ROBERT MOORE, by trade a Weaver, who came from Ireland in the brig Dolphin, last May, and, on the 28th of September, went from this city towards Christiana Bridge, under pretence of finding a friend to release him, [1] is desired to return to Philadelphia, before the 30th of this instant;

otherwise be will be advertised as a runaway.

The Subscriber has opened an EVENING SCHOOL (with a well qualified assistant) at his School House, in Union Street, near Second Street; where are taught writing, arithmetic, and book-keeping, geometry, trigonometry, algebra, mensuration, gauging, surveying, navigation, geography, &c. &c. ANDREW PORTER. [2]


1. The conduct or owner and slave here indicates that it was not unusual for a servant to be bought out of bondage by friends. There is precious little indication that servants were bought out of bondage by family, but rather that families often sold their own into bondage.

2. This advertisement, taking up as much space as the runaway complaint might be an indication that industry rather than slave mastery was becoming contagious, at least in Philadelphia.

Into Wicked Company

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