Runaway from Freedom
Michael O'Malley, Associate Professor of History and Art History, George Mason University
TWENTY SHILLINGS REWARD.
Below is a typical ad. Roll your cursor over the highlighted text to see some of the things a historian might notice.
Philadelphia, December 6, 1774.
FOR any person or persons, who shall apprehend a certain Francis Villaneuse, a French runaway servant, by trade a hair dresser, about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, swarthy complexion, black hair, tied behind, and speaks but bad English; had on, which he went away, a beaver hat, a Wilton suit of clothes, a good deal powdered, the breeches almost new, light blue worsted stockings, new shoes, brass knee and shoe buckles; he took his dressing utensils with him, and may endeavour to pass for a freeman; he having runaway about 4 or 5 months since, when he had procured a forged pass. Whoever secures said servant, so that his master may have him again, shall receive the above reward, and reasonable charges, by applying to HUGH HENRY, in Chestnut street.