White Maryland Runaways, 1770-1774
Compiled by Joseph Lee Boyle.
Printed for Clearfield Co. by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD. 2010. 364 pages.
The title phrase “white Maryland runaways” characterizes the thousands of white Europeans who did not come to colonies as free men and women. They came as indentured servants, political exiles, or transported convicts. Bound whites preceded the use of black slaves in every colony, and as runaways, they were hunted just as we recall the slaves were.
This book is a collection of transcribed newspaper notices of the white runaways. The introduction expands upon the history of white servitude in the colonies, a topic not widely discussed nor acknowledged.
One example of a transcribed notice:
June 12, 1773
TEN POUNDS Reward
RAN away, the 17th of last month, from the subscriber, living on Elk Ridge, in Anne-Arundel county, Maryland, a convict servant man, named ANTHONY JACKSON, born in the West of England, and speaks a little in that dialect, about 25 years of age, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, a red-fac’d well-looking fellow, stoops in the shoulders, has short brown hair, thin dark beard, and has a down look when spoken to; had on, and took with him, when he went away, two oznabrigs shirts, a pair of country coarse linen trousers, two pair of country made old shoes, a felt hat, white cotton and kersey jacket, much worn, and an iron collar. – I am informed by a servant, who ran away with the above, that he has stolen a brown cloth jacket, without sleeves, two pair of yarns stockings, one pair of shoes, a pair of oznabrigs trousers, a linen handkerchief, a pair of boots, and a matchcoat blanket, and 17/6 in money—I am also informed, that he has a pass, signed Jonathan Plowman, dated May, 1773, and will endeavour to pass by the name of Thomas Ryan, and has got his collar off. Whoever takes up the said servant, and secures him in any gaol, so that his master may get him again, shall receive, if taken 20 miles from home, FORTY SHILLINGS, if 40 miles, FOUR POUNDS, and if out of the province the above reward, including what the law allows, and reasonable charges, if brought home to JOHN HOOD, jun.
The Pennsylvania Chronicle, From Monday, June 14, to Monday, June 21, 1773. See The Maryland Gazette, September 13, 1770, The Pennsylvania Gazette,
September 20, 1770, and The Maryland Gazette, May 27, 1773.
Newspapers consulted were:
Boston Evening Post; The Boston Gazette, and Country Journal; The Boston News-Letter; Boston Post Boy; Connecticut Courant; Connecticut Gazette; Connecticut Journal; Dunlap’s Pennsylvania Packet or, the General Advertiser; Essex Gazette; Essex Journal; The Maryland Gazette; The Maryland Journal, and the Baltimore Advertiser; The Massachusetts Spy Or, Thomas’s Boston Journal; The New-Hampshire Gazette; The New-Hampshire Gazette, and Historical Chronicle; The New-London Gazette; The New-York Gazette, and the Weekly Mercury; The New-York Journal, or The General Advertiser; The Norwich Packet and the Connecticut, Massachusetts, New-Hampshire and Rhode-Island Weekly Advertiser; The Pennsylvania Chronicle, and Universal Advertiser; The Pennsylvania Gazette; The Pennsylvania Packet, and the General Advertiser; The Providence Gazette, And Country Journal; Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer; and Der Wöchentliche Pennsylvanische Staatsbote (Philadelphia).
There are 341 pages of transcribe notices, and the index has over 1700 names.
Mr. Boyle has also published White Maryland Runaways, 1763-1769. He has in publication three books about Connecticut, New Jersey, and New Hampshire and Rhode Island regiments at Valley Forge, and likely more publications on Revolutionary-time records and experiences.
I had no idea such subject matter, to this extent, existed in American records. I’m grateful Mr. Boyle has brought these records to light.
White Maryland Runaways, 1770-1774 is available from the publisher at http://goo.gl/CUZQq as well as on Amazon.com at http://goo.gl/Ws880.