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‘Most Diabolical Practices’
Revolutionary War Runaway

Virginia Gazette

(Dixon & Hunter), Williamsburg,

November 22, 1776.

THIRTY DOLLARS REWARD. [1] FREDERICK County, VIRGINIA, Nov. 20, 1776. RUN away on the Night of the 17th of June last, from Marlborough Iron Works, CHARLES WHITE, an English Convict, born in Rutlandshire, by Trade a Stocking Weaver, had been both in the Land and Sea Service, [2] is about 28 Years of age, 5 Feet 10 or 11 Inches high, a stout able Fellow, rather square built, has short dark brown Hair, a pug Nose, high Cheek Bones, and small Eyes;

had on a narrow brimmed Felt Hat, a short Fearnought Coat, coarse Country Linen Shirt and Trousers, old Shoes, with pewter Buckles, but, being a notorious Villain, he may steal other Clothes, and change his Dress. The Mare it was supposed he had stolen, and advertised with him [3] in June last, is recovered, and the Villain himself has been twice apprehended, the first Time at Fredericksburg, where he had entered on Board an armed Vessel [4] by the Name of Johnson, from whence he made his Escape, and has since forged a Pass;

afterwards taken at Manchester, in the County of Chesterfield, where he confessed the Theft of the Mare above-mentioned, and was committed to the Gaol of the County, but made his Escape, and is now at large. It is supposed he will endeavour to enter into the Service of some of the southern Governments, as there was a recruiting Party in the Neighbourhood from whence he last made his Escape; or, if possible, to the Enemy, as he had used the most diabolical Practices to corrupt the Minds of his fellow Servants before he first ran away.

Should he be again taken, it is requested that he may be well secured; and whoever does so secure him, provided I get him, shall have the above Reward, and if brought Home, all reasonable Charges will be allowed by ISAAC ZANE [symbol]


1. This is an astoundingly high reward.

2. A two time British military veteran and two time servant, who has refused to fight for one side and is agitating against the other. I cannot discern from the wording if he has sided with the Loyalists or Revolutionaries.

3. He was listed as livestock next to a horse.

4. Conscripted as a sailor

Stillbirth of a Nation: Caucasian Slavery in Plantation America: Part One

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