PRIMARY DOCUMENT

Newspaper Advertisement for Runaway Slaves, George Washington (August 20, 1761)

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Maryland Gazette (August 20
SUMMARY

In this advertisement in the August 20, 1761 issue of the Maryland Gazette, George Washington offers a reward of forty shillings for four of his slaves who had run away on August 9, 1761.

FULL TEXT
Maryland Gazette (August 20

Fairfax County (Virginia) August 11, 1761.

Ran away from a Plantation of the Subscriber’s, on Dogue Run in Fiarfax, on Sunday the 9th Instant, the following Negroes, viz.

Peros[?], 35 or 40 Years of Age, a well-set Fellow, of about 5 feet 8 Inches high, yellowish Complexion, with a very full round Face, and full black Beard, his Speech is something slow and broken, but not in so great a Degree as to render him remarkable. He had on when he went away, a dark colour’d Cloth Coat, a white Linen Waist-coat, white Breeches and white Stockings.

Jack, 30 Years (or thereabouts) old, a slim, black, well made Fellow, of near 6 Feet high, a small Face, with Cuts down each Cheek, being his Country Marks, his Feet are large (or long) for he requires a great Shoe: The Cloathing he went off in cannot be well ascertained, but it is thought in his common working Dress, such as Cotton Waistcoat (of which he had a new One) and Breeches, and Osnabrig Shirt.

Neptune, aged 25 or 30, well set, and of about 5 Feet 8 or 9 Inches high, thin jaw’d, his Teeth stragling and fil’d sharp, his Back, if rightly remember’d, has many small Marks or Dots running from both Shoulders down to his Waistband, and his Head was close shaved: Had on a Cotton Waistcoat, black or dark colour’d Breeches, and an Osnabrig Shirt.

Cupid, 23 or 25 Years old, a black well made Fellow, 5 Feet 8 or 9 Inches high, round and full faced, with broad Teeth before, the Skin of his Face is coarse, and inclined to be pimpley, he has no other distinguishable Mark that can be recollected: he carried with him his common working Cloaths, and an old Osnabrig Coat made Frockwise.

The two last of these Negroes were bought from an African Ship in August 1759, and talk very broken and unintelligible English. the second one, Jack, is Countryman to those, and speaks pretty good English, having been several Years in the Country. The other Peros [?], speaks much better than either, indeed has little of his Country Dialect left, and is esteemed a sensible judicious Negro.

As they went off without the least Suspicion, Provocation, or Difference with any Body, or the least angry Word or Abuse from their Overseers, ’tis supposed they will hardly lurk about in the Neighborhood, but steer some direct Course (which cannot even be guessed at) in Hopes of an Escape. Or, perhaps, as the Negro Peros [?] has lived many Years about Williamsburg, and King William County, and Jack in Middlesex, they may possibly bend their Course to one of those Places.

Whoever apprehends the said Negroes, so that the Subscriber may readily get them, shall have, if taken up in this County, Forty Shillings Reward, beside what the Law allows; and if at any greater Distance, or out of the Colony, a proportionable Recompence paid them, by

George Washington

N.B. If they should be taken separately, the Reward will be proportioned.

FURTHER READING

An excerpt from the diary of George Washington (January 28–30, 1760) Letter from James Hill to George Washington (August 30, 1772) Letter from James Hill to George Washington (December 13, 1772) Enclosure: Poem by Phillis Wheatley (October 26, 1775) Letter from George Washington to John Hancock (December 31, 1775)Letter from Alexander Hamilton to John Jay (March 14, 1779) Journals of the Continental Congress (March 29, 1779) Letter from George Washington to John Laurens (July 10, 1782) An Act to Authorize the Manumission of Slaves (1782) Query XIV; an excerpt from Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson (1784) Letter from George Washington to Anthony Whitting (December 23, 1792) Letter from Anthony Whitting to George Washington (January 16, 1793) Letter from George Washington to Anthony Whitting, (January 20, 1793) Letter from George Washington to Anthony Whitting (May 19, 1793) Circular to William Sturat, Hiland Crow, and Henry McCoy (July 14, 1793) Letter from George Washington to William Pearce (December 18, 1793) Letter from George Washington to William Pearce (December 23, 1793) An Act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters (1793) Letter from George Washington to William Pearce (January 26, 1794) Letter from George Washington to William Pearce (March 30, 1794) George Washington’s Last Will and Testament (July 9, 1799) Enclosure: Washington’s Plans for His River, Union, and Muddy Hole Farms (December 10, 1799)

CITE THIS ENTRY
APA Citation:
Washington, George. Newspaper Advertisement for Runaway Slaves, George Washington (August 20, 1761). (2021, February 05). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/newspaper-advertisement-for-runaway-slaves-george-washington-august-20-1761.
MLA Citation:
Washington, George. "Newspaper Advertisement for Runaway Slaves, George Washington (August 20, 1761)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (05 Feb. 2021). Web. 26 Feb. 2021
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