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Ten Pound Reward for Escaped Irish Servant Man

I was reading some newspaper articles from my old stomping grounds, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the Pennsylvania Gazette when I came across this advertisement from February 5th, 1761.

One of the things that caught my attention is that more than twice as many words were used to describe the runaway’s clothes and horse than the servant himself. Also note that the ten pound reward is only for the recovery of both the twenty-seven year old Irish Servant Man and the horse he rode during his escape.

Although, you could have still gotten eight pounds for James Hamilton (or Donning) alone or forty schillings for the horse.



RUN away, last Night, from John Hill, of Bucks County, an Irish Servant Man, named James Hamilton, but goes sometimes by the Name of James Donning, about 5 Feet 7 Inches high; aged about 27 Years, of a brown Complexion, a little Pockfretten, speaks with the Brogue, talks fast, and is very complaisant; wore his own Hair, but may cut it off: Had on when he went away, an old light coloured Thickset Coat, with a small Cape, faced with Velvet; a new red Everlasting Jacket, old Leather Breeches, check Shirt, light grey Worsted Stockings, Calfskin Shoes, plain Buckles, and an old Hat. He also carried off with him, a dark coloured cut Wig, and a new Thirty Shilling Hat, which it is probable he will wear; also a dark coloured Bearskin Great coat, with broad white Metal Buttons, a Pair of Calfskin Boots, a white Shirt, a Pair of grey Worsted Gloves, a light Fowling piece, and a white English Blanket. He took with him also a bay Mare, fourteen Hands high, paces a Travel, hand gallops and trots, carries lofty, branded on the near fore Shoulder with T P, one hind Foot white, with a Leather Hunting saddle, and a new Biddle [Bridle], with slip Reins. Whoever takes up and secures said man and Mare, &c. so that the Owners may have them again, shall have the above Reward of Ten Pounds, or Eight Pounds for the Man, and Forty Shillings for the Mare, paid by me JOHN HILL.

N.B. He was seen at the White Horse, in the Valley, and pretended to be going to Carlisle with Goods.

The Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the United States’ most prominent newspapers from 1728—before the time period of the American Revolution—until 1800. Published in Philadelphia from 1728 through 1800, The Pennsylvania Gazette is considered The New York Times of the 18th century.

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