New Hampshire: Run-Aways, Desertions & Elopements of the 18th Century

When we think about ‘Run-Aways’ of colonial times, what first comes to mind is often run-away slaves.  In fact the majority of these

Etching: "The Family," by Ostade. From "Etchings," by Frederick Wedmore, page 14 http://archive.org/stream/etchings00wedm#page/14/mode/2up

Etching: “The Family,” by Ostade. From “Etchings,” by Frederick Wedmore, page 14
http://archive.org/stream/etchings00wedm#page/14/mode/2up

‘errant’ individuals, at least in colonial New Hampshire, were either wives, apprentices or indentured servants.

Indentured Servants and often apprentices, were bound for a specific amount of time, by a legal contract or document, and masters of such runaways were supported strongly by local law enforcement.

From a genealogical standpoint, in addition to learning that your ancestor was a runaway, most of the advertisements also give a very good description, hair color, body shape, and other traits.

Women were in short supply for much of the 18th Century, and when a woman left home, she would not have difficulty finding a new husband, although she probably would have a problem obtaining a divorce. In some cases, these women became common law wives, running the  household of their new partner and bearing his children.

How do you find out if your ancestor ran away? One way is to review the early newspapers, where you will often find a notice posted by an angry husband or master.  I have included a selection below. Additional advertisements can be found with a subscription to American Ancestors.  Select the External Databases options, and then Early American Newspapers, Series I 1690-1876. You can further limit your search to a particular State [which I did in this case to just review New Hampshire newspapers].

Happy Hunting!
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Additional Reading

Colonial Apprenticeships

Slavery in New Hampshire

Whittier’s Anti-Slavery Ode to New Hampshire

Address on the Divorce Problem in New Hampshire: Delivered Before the N.H … (1906)-

Benjamin Franklin, Common Law Marriage

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======ELOPEMENTS======

E L O P E M E N T
—————–
WHEREAS Polly, my wife, has
eloped from my bed and boards, and refuses to
return and live with me, this is therefore to forbid any persons harbouring or trusting her on my account, as I will not pay any debt of her contacting, after his date.
  John Stockbridge
  Unity, Feb 7, 1797.
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New-Hampshire Gazette,published as The

New-Hampshire Gazette, and Historical Chronicle, 9 March 1764, issue 388, page 4, Portsmouth New Hampshire

"Sally In Our Alley,"Etching of Woman in doorway, from "Old Songs with Drawings by Edwin A. Abbey & Alfred Parsons," NY, Harper & Brothers, 1888, page 74 http://archive.org/stream/oldsongswithdraw00abberich#page/74/mode/2up

“Sally In Our Alley,”Etching of Woman in doorway, from “Old Songs with Drawings by Edwin A. Abbey & Alfred Parsons,” NY, Harper & Brothers, 1888, page 74
http://archive.org/stream/oldsongswithdraw00abberich#page/74/mode/2up

Province of New Hampshire,
WHEREAS Mehetable Clough the Wife of David Clough of Southampton, hath made an Elopement from her Husband, contrary to Law and Nature: THESE few lines there-fore are to forwarn all Persons, upon the Peril of Loosing what they trust her with or for; for I will not pay any of her Debts. Southampton, February 23d. David Clough
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New-Hampshire Gazette, 2 June 1791, Vol XXXV, issue 1780, Portsmouth NH, page 3
ELOPEMENT–INASMUCH as my Wife Eunice has deserted my House and board, I hereby caution all persons against trusting her on my account, I being determined not to pay any debt of her contracting from the date hereof.  I am also determined not to pay any debt which may arise in consequence of a child of mind which she had taken with her.  JOHN COLBY.  Newbury, May 26, 1791.
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Political and Sentimental Repository, or Strafford Recorder, 9 June 1791, Dover New Hampshire, Volume I, Issue XLVIII, page 3
Whereas, Anna Kenny, wife of the subscriber has eloped from my bed and board, this is to caution all persons from harbouring or trusting her on my account–as I have provided sufficient Board & maintenance for her, suitable to her rank in life; and am determined to pay no debts that she may contract during her elopement.  Benjamin Kenney.  Dover.  May 23, 1791
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Concord Herald, 29 June 1791, vol 2, issue 24, page 3, Concord NH
WHEREAS, Mary, the wife of the subscriber, has for some time past eloped from my bed and board.–These are therefore to forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account, as I am determined not to pay any debts of her contracting after the date hereof. ICHABOD SMITH.  Deering, June 20, 1791.
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Courier of New Hampshire, Concord NH, 25 Sept 1794, Vol 5, Issue 33, page 1
ELOPEMENT.  WHEREAS Mary my Wife, has left my bed and board, and refuses to return; and has otherwise behaved unbecoming a kind and dutiful Wife. This is therefore to forbid all persons harbouring or trusting her on my account, as I shall pay no debt of her contracting after this date.  STEPHEN EASTMAN. Bow, Aug 13, 1794.
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Mirrour, The Mirrour, 18 March 1793; vol 1, Issue 21, page 4, Concord NH
MODERN JOCKEY MATCH.
A FEW days since, a Mr. —-, of Rhynebeck [probably Rhinebeck NY] having effected a breach in that article of the tenth commandment which forbids him to covet his neighbour’s wife, and feeling a strong propensity to violate the seventh also, proposed to her an Elopement, which was assented to; they accordingly set off, and came as far as East-Camp, a place a few miles below this,* on the opposite side of the river, where they took lodgings for the night. The husband, who was absent during his wife’s elopement, missing her on his return home, and getting some information of the route they had taken, immediately pursued, and overtook them at the tavern where they had put up, and began to make considerable disturbance about the matter; when the possessor of the fickle booty endeavoured to silence him, by saying it was foolish to make so much bustle for so trifling an affair; that it was evident his wife liked HIM best, or she would not have come away with him–and telling him at the same time, that he was willing to make compensation for his loss and trouble–The husband listened to his proposal, and, after a few minutes bantering, accepted, in exchange for his wife, an old horse, and nine dollars in cash to boot, and a bridle gratis.–The parties seemed equally satisfied with their bargain, though it is thought the husband rides the best beast.  *Catskill, Feb 11, ’93.
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New Hampshire Journal, 21 Feb 1797, Walpole NH; Vol IV, Issue 203, page 3
ELOPEMENT. WHEREAS Bathsheba, my wife, has eloped from my bed and board, I hereby forbid all persons harbouring or trusting her on my account, as I will pay no debt of her contracting after this date, ASA LEET.  Claremont January 3, 1797.
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New Hampshire Journal, 28 Feb 1797, Walpole NH, Vol IV, Issue 204, page 4
ELOPEMENT. WHEREAS Sally, my wife, has, in my absence, eloped from my bed and board, and refused to return and live with me. These are, therefore, to forbid all persons harbouring, or trusting her, on my account, as I am determined not to pay any debt of her contracting, after this date.  JOSIAH ROGERS. Lemster, February 2d, 1797.
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Farmer’s Weekly Museum, Walpole NH, 2 Oct 1797, Vol V, issue 235, page 3
ELOPEMENT.  WHEREAS Deborah Brown, my wife, has eloped from my bed and board, and neglects to return; these are to forbid all persons harbouring or trusting her on my account, as I will not pay any debt of her contracting, after this date.  DANIEL BROWN. Charlestown, September 13, 1797.
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Farmer’s Weekly Museum, Walpole NH; Vol V, Issue 255, Page 1
ELOPEMENT.  WHEREAS Aseneth Whitney, my wife, has eloped from my bed and board, with two small children. I here, in these lines, forbid all persons harbouring her, or trusting her upon my account; for I will not pay any debts of her contracting after this date.  ASA WHITNEY, Westminster [VT] Feb 3, 1792.
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Farmer’s Cabinet, Amherst NH; 15 Oct 1805, Vol III, Issue 50, page 4
TAKE NOTICE.  WHEREAS SARAH MY WIFE, without any reason, has for sometime past behaved in a very unbecoming manner, and lately, in my absence, has stripped my house of many articles and left me in a deplorable situation, having made an elopement from my bed and board. This is to caution all persons against harboring her or trusting her on my account, as I will not pay any debts she may contract after this date.  Nevertheless, if the said Sarah will return to my house, and behave in a becoming manner according to marriage covenant, I will overlook all that is past, and maintain her in a decent manner.  ROBERT STUART.  New Boston, Sept. 2, 1805
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Concord Gazette, Concord NH, 5 April 1808, Vol I, Issue 44, page 4
ELOPEMENT. WHEREAS Judith my wife, has left my bed and board, against my orders, and has unreasonable run me into debt, and threatens to so to do.  This is to forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account, as they would avoid the penalty of law; for I will not pay any debt or debts of her contracting, after this date.  ISAAC WARDWELL, Salisbury [NH] March 17, 1808
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Concord Gazette, Concord NH; Date 5 April 1808, Vol 1, Issue 44, Page 3
ELOPEMENT. Whereas Rachel my wife, has left my bed and board, and refuses to live with me. This is therefore to forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account; as I am fully determined not to pay any debts of her contracting after this date. GEORGE RINES. Canterbury, March 28th, 1808
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Concord Gazette, Concord NH, 12 Sep 1809, Vol 3, Issue 15, page 3
ELOPEMENT. WHEREAS Anna my wife has left my bed and board, against my orders, and has unreasonably run me in debt, and threatens so to do. This is to forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account, as they would avoid the penalty of the law; for I will not pay any debt or debts of her contracting after this date.  JOHN CLARK JR., Chester, September 2, 1809.
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Concord Gazette, Concord NH, 19 June 1810, Vol 4, Issue 3, Page 1
ELOPEMENT. WHEREAS Elizabeth, my wife, has eloped from my bed and board, and refused to live with me, I therefore forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account, as I shall not pay any debts of her contracting after this date.  SAMUEL ADAMS.  Londonderry, June 4, 1810.
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Democratic Republican, Walpole NH; 21 Dec 1812, Vol 1, Issue 25, Page 4
NOTICE. The Subscriber would inform the public that he shall refuse paying any debts that may be contracted by JOAN his wife, after this date–This is on account of her elopement.  BENJ. BECKWITH.  Alstead, Dec 7, 1812.
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New-Hampshire Sentinel, Keene NH; 24 July 1813, Vol XV, Issue 747, page 3
ELOPEMENT. Whereas, my wife Deliverance has eloped from my bed and board, and has taken her only child, and refuses to live with me as a wife ought to do. This is to forbid all persons harboring or trusting them on my account, as I will pay no debts of their contracting after this date.  JESSE BOWEN.  Winchester, July 21, 1813.
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Concord Gazette, Concord NH, 20 Dec 1814; Vol VIII, Issue 30
ELOPEMENT.  Left my Bed and Board Betsey Sargent a wife of Joshua Sargent this is forbid all persons trusting, or harboring her on my account as I shall pay no debts of her contracting after this date. JOSHUA SARGENT.  Loudon, Dec 12, 13, 14, 1814.
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New-Hampshire Gazette, Portsmouth NH, 19 May 1818, Vol LXIII, Issue 25, Page 4
ELOPEMENT EXTRAORDINARY–John Oxley, aged 70 and Nelly Mountain, aged 74, eloped from Doncaster, about 12 o’clock on Sunday night, and entered into the bands of matrimony at Sheffield the following morning, each for the fourth time! — Lon. paper.
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New-Hampshire Patriot, 29 October 1821; Vol III, Issue 44, page 4
ELOPEMENT. ELIZABETH my wife having left my bed and board in my absence without my consent, and taken with her four of my children to sit. Abra Elizabeth, Horatio Nelson, James Stanels Munroe, and Mary Soprona–and carried away with her chief of my household goods; this is therefore to forbid all persons harboring or trusting the said Elizabeth or either of the children aforesaid on my account, as I shall not hold myself accountable for any expense or debts which they may contract after the date of this notice. I have good reason to believe that a person by the name of John Garland, a cabinet maker by trade, who has resided in Pittsfield for ten or twelve years last past, was the cause of my wife’s elopement, as they have been suspected not only by myself, but my neighbors, of having had an unlawful connexion. This same Garland separated from his wife not many years since, at which time his amiable, neglected and injured wife publicly represented his conduct and character. For the benefit of those who wish to promise virtue, I would observe that said Garland’s habits have not since improved, but grown worse if possible; and I would friendly caution the public not to harbor him, if they would wish to avoid the unhappy reflection of having helped an abandoned, disgraceful and profligate wretch.  SILAS WHITEHOUSE. Pittsfield, Oct 20, 1821

=====RUN AWAY SLAVES=====

RAN-AWAY from his Master.  James Dwyer of Portsmouth, in the Province of New Hampshire, Truckman, this Day, a Negro Man Servant named Scipio, about thirty five Years old, about 5 Feet 8 Inches high, well sett, and of a yellowish Complexion. Said Negro was born and brought up among the English; he understands Husbandry, mows well, and affects to be thought a Man of Sense. He had on, and carried with him when he Ran away, a Saxon blue Frize Jacket with small Metal Buttons, Slath Sleves lined with white Bays, a brown Fustian Under Jacket without Sleves, Scarlet Everlasting Breeches, Yarn Stockings almost white, a Pair of new Shoes, one Cotton and Linnen white, and one Wollen Check Shirt, and an old Hap and Cap.
Whoever shall apprehend said Runaway, and bring him to his said Master in Portsmouth aforesaid, or secure him so that he may have him again, shall have Three Dollars Reward, and all necessary Charges paid by James Dwyer.  Portsmouth, Aug 2, 1757. N.B. All Masters of Vessels and other Persons are hereby cuation’d against entertaining, concealing or carrying off said Runaway, as they would avoid the Penalty in the Law.
–New Hampshire Gazette, 5 August 1757, Issue 44, Page 2, Portsmouth NH

RAN-away from his Master Mr. Ichabod Chesley of Durham, a NEGRO MAN named Toney, about Thirty Years of Age, speaks good English, a lusty stout Fellow; Had on when he went away, a black and blue full’d cloth round tail Jacket, a stripped cotton Jacket, grey Yarn Stockings, a pair of new Pumps, and brass Buckles; has lost one Join of his Fore-Finger of his Right Hand. Whosoever shall take up said Run-away, and convey him to his Master, or Mr. Abner Clough of Salisbury in the County of Essex, shall have THREE DOLLARS Reward, and all necessary Charges paid by Ichabod Chesley.
–New-Hampshire Gazette, 19 August 1757, Issue 46, Page 2, Portsmouth NH

A Run-away NEGRO Fellow taken up by me the Subscriber of Peterborough Slip, so called, in the Province of New Hampshire, aged about Twenty five Years, above five Feet ten Inches high, pock broken; had on a coarse brown Jacket, a striped Linnen Cap and Two Trowsers.  Whoever is the Owner of said NEGRO, may have him again, paying me the Charges.  Andrew Jack.  Chester, August 24, 1759.
–The New-Hampshire Gazette, 14 Sep 1759, Issue 154, page 2, Portsmouth NH

RAN-AWAY from his Master, John Hight, junr. of Portsmouth, on Friday the 18th of September last, a Molatto Servant Lad, about Fifteen Years old, named Stephen Hall: He had on when he went away, a grey Jacket, striped Woollen Shirt, an old Cap, neither Shoes nor Stockings. Whoever has taken up said Runaway, and will bring or send him to his said Master, shall have TWO DOLLARS Reward, and all necessary Charges paid by me, John Hight.
N.B. All Masters of Vessles and others, are forbid harbouring, concealing or carrying off said Runaway, as they would avoid the Penalty of the Law.  Portsmouth, October 1, 1761.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 16 October 1761, Issue 263, page 4;Portsmouth NH

RAN-AWAY on the sixth Day of March 1763, from his Master John Moody of New-Market, in the Province of New-Hampshire, a NEGRO Servant named Neptune, of about 25 Years of age; and near six Feet high. He had on when he went away, a light colour’d homespun Coat with Brass Buttons, lin’d with homespun, and a green Ratteen Jacket, and a new Felt Hat; his under Jaw has been broken, so that he can’t open his Jaws; and one of his great Toes has been cut off: Whoever will take up said Runaway and return him to his said Master in New-Market in New-Hampshire, or secure him so that his Master may have him again, shall have the value of Five Dollars, in New Hampshire Old Tenor, Reward, and all Necessary Chargers, by me, John Moody.
–New-Hampshire Gazette, 31 March 1763, Issue 339, page 4, Portsmouth NH

RAN-AWAY on Monday the 11th of July last, from his Master, Bradstreet Gilman, a NEGRO MAN, about 21 Years of Age, a short thick-sett Fellow, named Primas; had on when he went away, a brown homespun Coat, with pewter Bottons (sic), a white Woolen Shirt, a Pair of old blue Board-Cloth Breeches, no Shoes nor Stockings. Whoever will agprehend (sic) said Runaway, and convey him to his said Master, shall be well rewarded, and all Charges paid by BRADSTREET GILMAN.  Exeter, August 10th 1763
–New-Hampshire Gazette, 19 August 1763; Issue 359, Portsmouth, NH

Ran away from his Master, Francis Mathes of Durham, about three Weeks ago, a NEGRO MAN, named Adam, about 38 Years of Age; a thick sett Fellow, goes with his Knees very close together:–Had on a light Colour’d round Jacket, with a Striped Jacket underneath Black and White, a Pair of old Snuff colour’d Plush Breeches, and an old Felt Hatt; Whoever shall take up said Runaway and convey him to his said Master, or secure him in any of his Majesty’s Goals, of that he may be had again shall have TWO DOLLARS Reward, and all necessary Charges paid by me, Francis Mathes.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 30 December 1763, Issue 378; Portsmouth NH

RUN away from Benjamin Fernald of Kittery, in the County of York, the 29th Initant, a Negro Man named ADAM, about 27 Years of Age, a short thick Fellow, about five Feet and one Inch or two high, born in New England, speaks good English; He had on when he went away, a blue sea Jacket, gray Stockings, striped woollen Shirt, and frequently wears a Wigg: If any Person can, and will apprehend said Runaway, and bring him to the Subscriber, or confine him in any of his Majesty’s Gaols so as the Subscriber can have him again, shall have SIX DOLLARS Reward.  Benjamin Fernald.  Kittery, May 30th, 1764
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 1 June 1764, Issue 400; Portsmouth NH

RUN away from his Master William Wentworth of Kittery in the County of York, a Molatto Man named CATO. He speaks good English, is about 30 years of Age and was brought up on a Farm, is a streight limb’d Fellow and stammers in his speech, if spoken to suddenly, he wears his Hair and sometimes a dark Wig, he is 5 feet 8 inches high, he had on when he went away, an old bearskin Coat, two check Shirts, and striped swainskin Westcoat, three pair of Stockings, a felt Hatt, whoever will take up the said Runaway, confine or bring him to his Master, shall have Six DOLLARS Reward, and all necessary charges paid by me, WILLIAM WENTWORTH.
N.B. All Masters of Vessels are cautioned against carrying away the said servant, as they would avoid the penalty of the law in that Case.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 1 June 1764; issue 400; Portsmouth NH

RUNAWAY from his Master Daniel Rogers, Esq. of Durham, last Saturday, a NEGRO MAN, named Cato, formerly went by the Name of Mingo–He was of a middling Size, well set spry Fellow, born in the Country; about 30 Years of Age–Had on when he went away a blue Ratteen Coat, light colour’d Sarge (sic) Jacket, Leather Breeches, and old Bever Hat–He’s a great Lyer, and very Cunning–Whoever will take up said Negro, and convey him to his said Master, shall have Five DOLLARS Reward, and necessary charges paid by Daniel Rogers.– N.B. All Masters of Vessels are forbid carrying of said Servant, as they would avoid the Penalty of the Law.
— The New-Hampshire Gazette, 12 June 1767, Vol. XI, Issue 558, page 4, Portsmouth NH

Run-away about three Weeks ago, from Saco, a Negro Man, Primis, who formerly belonged to James Gray of Saco Falls, now the property of Daniel Meserve jun: of Madbury, his Heigh(t) about 5 Feet & ten Inches.–Had on when he went away a blue Wastecoat, a red broad cloth outside Jacket, skirts cut off near the Pockets.  Whoever takes up said servant & conveys him to his said Master Daniel Meserve of Madbury, shall have Four Dollars & all necessary charges paid.
— New- Hampshire Gazette, 10 June 1768, Vol XII, issue 609, page 4, Portsmouth NH

RAN-AWAY from Old-York on Sunday January 29th, 1769, from me the Subscriber, a NEGRO MAN named TONEY, about thirty-six Years of Age, about five Feet and three Inches high. Had on when he went away, a blue german Sarge Coat, a red Cloth Wastecoat, Buff Leather Breeches.  Whoever will take up said Run-away, or confine him, shall have FOUR DOLLARS Reward, and all necessary Charges paid by me, Edward Grove.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 3 February 1769; Vol XIII, Issue 643, page 2, Portsmouth NH

~~Runaway NEGRO~~
Ran away on the Evening of the 27th Instant from the Subscriber Jacob Hook of Hawke, in the County of Rockingham, Esq: a NEGRO MAN Servant named Prince, about 24 Years of age, five feet seven inches high, a thick stocky Fellow, has a Scar in his Forehead near an Inch long, very crooked Legs and large Feet; was born in Boston, and Speaks English very well; carried off with him two home made Olive colour’d Coats and a Bengal one, a green Tarrien Jacket and a pair of striped Trewsers, and a new Felt Hat (which it is supposed be bad on) and a large Quantityt of other Cloaths, which must make a large Pack.  Whoever shall take up said NEGRO, and voney him to his said Master, shall have Five Dollars Reward and all necessary Charges paid by JACOB HOOK.  N.B. All Masters of Vessels and Others, are cautioned against concealing or carrying him off.  Hawke Sep 29, 1773
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 8 November 1773, Vol XVIII, Issue 885, Page 4, Portsmouth NH

======RUNAWAY SERVANTS=====

 Etching, Sketch for the Blue Boy by Gainsborough, from Drawings of Gainsborough, 1906, page 87 http://archive.org/stream/drawingsofgainsb00gowe#page/n87/mode/2up


Etching, Sketch for the Blue Boy by Gainsborough, from Drawings of Gainsborough, 1906, page 87
http://archive.org/stream/drawingsofgainsb00gowe#page/n87/mode/2up

Run away last Monday from his Master, Mr. John Davis of this Town, Taylor, a Servant Lad, nam’d Daniel Frazier, a thick Sett Fellow; Whoever will bring him to his said Master, free from Charge, shall have one Penny half Penny Sterling Reward, or two Yards of common List.–All Masters of Vessels and others, are cautioned against harbouring or carrying off said Runaway.
–New-Hampshire Gazette, 2 January 1761, Issue 222, page 2, Portsmouth NH

Run-away and deserted from his Master’s Service, David Welch, Servant Boy to me this Subscriber, John Lord of Berwick, on the 8th Day of this Instant April–These are therefore to forbid all Persons from harbouring or detaining said David Welch, as they may depend on being prosecuted o the severity of the Law in that Case made and provided, for thus harbouring and detaining said Runaway.  JOHN LORD.  Berwick, April 8th, 1768.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 29 April 1768, Vol XII, Issue 603, page 4, Portsmouth NH

Runaway from his Master, William Thomas of Rye, the 12th Inst. a Servant Boy named James Fitzgerald, speaks broken English, aged about 13 years. Had on when he went away, a strip’d Jacket, Oznabrigs Shirt, a pair of Trowsers, no Shoes nor Stockings; has been scaled all over his Neck, and has a considerable dent in his Chin.–Whoever will take up said Runaway and convey him to his said Master, or confine him in any of his Majesty’s Gaols, so that he may have him again, shall be well Rewarded for their Trouble, and all necessary Charges paid, by William Thomas.  N.B. All Masters of Vessels and others, are forbid harbouring, entertaining, concealing, or carrying off said Runaway, as they will answer it at their Peril.  RYE, September 14.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 16 Sep 1768; Vol XII, Issue 623, Page 3, Portsmouth NH

RUNAWAY from James & Mathew Haslet, Leather-Dresser and Breeches-Makers, in Portsmouth, a Servant Boy, named Samuel Dotey Hamilton, in the 19th Year of his Age, about 5 feet high, wears his own Hair: had on when he went away, a snuff colour’d home-spun Coat & Jacket, Leather Breeches, white yarn Stockings, and a pair of flower’d Silver Buckles.–Whoever takes up said Runaway, and voneys him safe to his Masters, shall have One Farthing Reward, paid by James and Matthew Haslett. Portsmouth, March 23d, 1769.  N.B. All Masters of Vessels and others, are forbid harbouring, concealing or carrying off said servant, as they would avoid Trouble.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 24 March 1769; Vol XIII, Issue 650; page 3, Portsmouth NH

RANAWAY from Jonathan Knowls, junr. in North-Hampton, the 12th of this Instant, a servant BOY named Peter Grant, about 16 Years of Age, a short thick set Fellow: Had on when he went away, a cloth-color’d homespun Coat and Jacket; Leather Breeches and Yarn Stockings; Whoever takes up said Runaway and coneys him safe to his Master, shall have Two Shillings Reward paid by JONATHAN KNOWLS, jun.  N.B. All Masters of Vessels and others are forbid harbouring, concealing, or carrying off said Servant, as they would avoid Trouble.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 28 April 1769; Vol XIII, Issue 655, page 3, Portsmouth NH

RUN-AWAY from his Master, William Gibbs, of Portsmouth, a Servant Lad, named William Booth, the 5th of May instant, has lost one of his Legs, &c. This is to forbid all Persons harbouring or entertaining the said Runaway, as they would avoid the Penalty of the Law.  No Reward is offered, as said Servant has broke his Indentures several Times, and I am determined he shall never live in my House again, he having been detected of Stealing, and is now in York Goal (sic), where he may tarry till those who put him there, have full Satisfaction in that way.  And all Persons are forbid carrying off, or any Way detaining said Servant, when she shall be released from his present Confinement.  William Gibbs (his Mark.) Portsmouth, May 16th, 1769
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 19 May 1769; Vol XIII, Issue 658; page 3, Portsmouth NH

RUNAWAY from me the Subscriber, an indented Servant, named Jeremiah Robinson, last Sunday fe’nnight, is about 19 years of Age, 5 foot, 4 or 5 inches high, slim built; had on a blue Broad Cloth Coat, strip’d Linnen Jacket, brown Breeches, &c., Whoever takes up said Servant, and coneys him to his Master, shall have One Dollar Reward.–All Masters of Vessels and others, are forbid harbouring or carrying off said Runaway, as they would avoid the Penalty of the Law in that Case made and provided. Stratham, July 5.  Ephraim Barker.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 14 July 1769; Vol XIII, Issue 666, page 2, Portsmouth, NH

Runaway from the Subscribers, last Sunday night, a Servant boy named Geo. Ulmer, 15 Years or Age, about 4 feet high, has a down tho’ impudent look.  Had on, a snuff colour’d Homespun Coat, one or two Jackets and Leather Breeches.–One Dollar Reward will be given for bringing him to Portsmouth, tied Neck and Heels. All Masters of Vessels, and others are forbid harbouring, concealing or carrying him off, on their Peril.  James & Mathew Haslet.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 13 September 1770; Vol XIV, Issue 171, page 4, Portsmouth NH

RUNAWAY from his Master, an Indebted Servant, named Ham Nasson, near 18 years of Age, 5 Feet 8 Inches high, dark Complexion and wears his Hair, is a Jalner [Joiner] by Trade: had on a light broad Cloth Coat, Stript Jacket, Leather Breeches, &c., Whoever takes up said Runaway Servant, and conveys him to the Subscriber in Portsmouth shall receive One Shilling Old Tenor, which is equal to — Copper, as a Reward.  All Masters of Vessels and others are forbid carrying off, or harbouring him on their peril.  Portsmouth, Sept. 20.  Samuel Hill.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 21 Sep 1770; Vol XIV; Issue 727, Portsmouth NH

RUN-away from the Subscriber, a Servant, named Joseph Clough, 19 Years old, 5 Foot high, long Visage, fresh color’d. long dark Hair tied behind, was bought out of Jail the 3d of April, for Elijah Winslow; had on when he went away, a light colr’d Sarge Coat, flop’t Hatt, button’d behind, old Leather Breeches, speckl’d Thread Stockings, an old striped Hollard Shirt; his Mother lives at Hampton Falls; he — he worked at Dunbarton. he was convicted for being concerned in stealing a Silver Coin from Col. Folsom, of Exeter.–Whoever will apprehend said Lad, and confine him so that his Master may have him again, shall receive Four DOLLARS Reward, and all necessary Charges paid, by Philip Bailry. Portsmouth, April 9th, 1771.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 12 April 1771; Vol XV, Issue 756, Page 3, Portsmouth NH

(A Runaway BOY.) An indented Servant, named John Folsom, fixteen (sic) Years old, about five Feet high, round Shoulder’d with very strait light color’d Hair, and a remarkable homely Countenance, deserted the Service of his Master, Joshua Pickering, of Greenland, last July: Whoever will take up said Servant, and convey him to his said master shall be entitled to one Shilling L.M. as a Reward for his Trouble.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 17 May 1771, Vol XV, Issue 761, page 4, Portsmouth NH

Ranaway from the Subscriber a Man Servant twenty Years of Age, five Feet ten Inches high, wears his own Hair, is of light complexion; had on a light Sarge Coat, striped Gingham Jacket, Deer Skin Breeches, wersted stockings, silver Buckels; he went by the name of Daniel Trask–Whoever shall take up said Runaway and bring him to his Master again, shall have One shilling Old Ten Reward, and me Thanks, By me Jonathan Shillab. July 20th, 1772.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 14 August 1772, Vol XVII, Issue 825, Page 4, Portsmouth NH

Runaway from the Subscribers, a Servant Boy, named Nicholas Doe, 16 Years Old, about 5 Feet high, thin favour’d, red Nose & strait hair; had on a redish Coat, no Jacket, and — Trowsers, carried off a seat Gun &c. Whoever shall take up said Boy and Gun, and convey them to his said Master, shall have Two Dollars Reward & all necessary Charges paid.  All Masters of Vessels are forbid carring him off.  Enoch page.  Nottingham.  Aug 25th.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 3 September 1773, Vol XVII, Issue 881, page 3, Portsmouth NH

Ranaway from his Master Mark Hunking of Barrington, in New Hampshire, a Negro Servant named Caesar: Had on when he went away, a striped homespun lappel’d Waistcoat, a Toe Shirt, black Serge Breeches, grey Jacket, a pair of Breeches and Jacket of a black and Hemieck dye, striped Toe Trowsers, black and whie Yarn stockings. He is a strait Limb’d Fellow about 5 Feet nine Inches high, very white Teeth, smiling Countenance; was bro’t up to Farming Work.–Whoever shall take up said Runaway and secure him, so that his Master may have him again, shall have Four Dollars Reward and all necessary Charges paid by Mark Hunking.  N.B. All Matters of Vessels and others are forbid carrying him off, as they would avoid the Penalty of the Law.  Barrington, July 12, 1774.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 29 July 1774, Vol XVIII, Issue 927, page 4, Portsmouth NH

======RUNAWAY APPRENTICES and SEAMEN=====

DESERTED from the Brig LOCKHART, the 18th of October Inst. Paul Junkins, Master, a Sailor named MICHAEL TOOL, about 30 years of Age, a well set likely Fellow, about five Feet eight Inches high, an Irish Man, speaks pretty good English: Had on when he went away a short blue Jacket, Tarr’d Trowsers, a small round Hatt, light Stockings, and a Pair of new Shoes.  Whoever will apprehend or discover said Runaway to that he be brought to Justice, shall received FIVE DOLLARS Reward of Nathaniel Barrell, Oct. 25
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 26 October 1764; Vol 420; page 2, Portsmouth NH

RUNAWAY the Third of this Inst. January, from his master, Benjamin Mackay, of Portsmouth, a fair Complexion Apprentice Boy, named John Bowler, about 16 Years of Age, thick sett; had on when he went away, a light blue Pea Jacket; a new Leather Breeches, and blue Stockings; wore his own Hair.  All Masters of Vessels and others are hereby cautioned against entertaining or carrying off said Boy, as they would avoid the Penalty of the Law.  Whoever will take up said Boy, shall have One Shilling Lawful Money Reward, and all necessary Charges paid by me, BENJAMIN MACKAY.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 19 January 1770; Vol XIV, Issue 692, Page 4, Portsmouth NH

RAN-AWAY the 26th of June last from his Master William Brewster of Portsmouth, an Apprentice BOY named Jehoshua Brewster, about nineteen Years of Age; he is thick set, and about five Feet high; Had on when he went away, a Camblet Coat, a Serge Jacket, Buff Breeches, Felt hat, and wears his own Hair; which is black, and short curl’d. Whoever shall take up said Apprentice Boy, and convey him to his said Master, shall have Two Dollars Reward, and necessary Charges paid by me, William Brewster. N.B. All Masters of Vessels and others are hereby cuation’d against concealing, entertaining, or carrying off said Apprentice Boy, as they would avoid the Penalty of the LAW.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 4 May 1770; Vol XIV, Issue 707; page 4, Portsmouth NH

RANAWAY from his Master Daniel Brewster of Portsmouth, about five Weeks ago, an Apprentice BOY, 19 years of Age, named Ebenezer Burbean,–Had on when he went away a light colour’d Kerfey PeaJacket. Whoever takes said BOY and coneys him to his said Master in Portsmouth aforesaid, shall have Two Dollars Reward and necessary Charges paid by me, Daniel Brewster. N.B. All Masters of Vessls and others are hereby cuation’d against concealing, entertaining, or carrying off said Apprentice Boy, as they would avoid the Penalty of the LAW.
— New- Hampshire Gazette, 25 May 1770; Vol XIV, Issue 710, page 4, Portsmouth NH

RAN AWAY from the subscriber, on the 30th of July last, an Apprentice BOY named Samuel Lolard, in the 15th Year of his Age. Had on when he went away a Check Linnen Shirt, and Serge Breeches, and a Felt Hat; wore dark strait Hair.  Whoever taken up said Runaway and will bring him to his Master shall have One Shilling Lawful Money Reward.  N.B. All Persons are cautioned against harbouring, conealing or carrying off said Servant, as they would avoid the penalty of the Law.  Isaac Williams.  Portsmouth, Aug. 2, 1770
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 3 August 1770, Vol XIV, Issue 720, page 3, Portsmouth NH

RUNAWAY from me the Subscriber, an Apprentice Boy named Thomas Meserve, 16 Years of Age, thick set, 5 feet high, something Cat ham’d–had on a blue Kerley jacket, Scarlet Plush Breeches, black cut Wig. &c.–He carried off with him a Sum of Money stolen from his Master.–He Runaway from Cape Ann &c is supposed to be new concealed in some bad House in Portsmouth.–Whoever takes up said Runaway and Thief, and conveys him to me at Cape Ann, or Mr. Thomas Chadburne in Portsmouth, shall have two Dollars Reward and necessary Charges paid.  Moses Woodward.  Aug. 9.  All Masters of vessels and others are forbid harbouring, concealing or carrying off said Boy.

A Run-away BOY, named Jonathan Priest, 18 Years of Age, about five Feet high, round shoulder’d thick set, deserted the Service of his Master, Oliver Heald of Temple, the 6th Inst. April:–Whoever takes up said Boy, and coneys him to his Master, shall have One Pistereen, and no more.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 12 April 1771, Vol XV, Issue 756, page 3, Portsmouth NH

Runaway from Robert Barber, the 24th June last, a Prentice Boy, named Levi Champman, fixteen (sic) Years of Age, of light Complexion, light Hair, round Shoulders, and gees very stooping, and h—– of his Ankles, a bunch made by a cut, carried with him a dark colour’d Clarrit Homespun Coat, Pewter Buttons, a dark color’d Jacket and Breeches without lining, two woolen Shirts, one cotton and linnen ditto, one pair of blue yarn Stockings, and one new Felt hat.
AND AT THE SAME TIME RUNAWAY from Benjamin Pease, a Prentice Boy, named John Mannary, Shoemaker by Trade, 19 Years of Age, of a very small Stature, his left Eye very sore, his Hair growing out; carried away with him a whole suit of peper and salt color’d Cloaths, a light color’d blue homespun Coat, a gray Jacket, a pair Leather Breeches, three Shirts, one pair blue yarn stockings, one pair new Shoes and new Felt Hat.  Whoever takes up said Runaways and conveys them to their said Masters, shall have Four Dollars Reward, and necessary Charges. Robert Barber, Benjamin Pease.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 19 July 1771, Vol XV, Issue 770, Page 4, Portsmouth NH

Runaway from the Subscriber, a Lad of about Eighteen Years of age; he had a bald spot on his Forehead, with Coat and Breeches of home spun Linnen Cloth, and Jacket of Stript Stuff; named Amos Coffey(?) Any person who takes up said Runaway and returns him to me, shall have a handsome Reward of —-.  Alexander Houtten.  Londonderry, Nov 26th 1771.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 20 Dec 1771, Vol XVII, Issue 791, page 3, Portsmouth NH

New Hampshire Sentinel, 20 April 1805, Keene NH; Vol VII, Issue 318, page 3
NOTICE. RAN away from the Subscriber, an indented Apprentice boy, named JONAS DAVIS, on the 10th inst. about 18 years of age. All Persons are forbit trusting, harboring, or employing said boy, as they would wish to avoid the penalty of the law, and as I shall not pay any debt of his contracting after his elopement.  DAVID GILMORE.  Jaffrey, April 11, 1805.
N.B. Said Boy is known by the name of Bonaparte. It is expected his tour of to Italy, to conquer and ascent the throne of Lombardy!

======AND OTHER RUNAWAYS=====

WHEREAS I have given a Note of Hand to Andrew Gliden of Durham, bearing Date November 1st 1764, and becomes payable the 1st of May next, of One Hundred and Fifty Pound Old Tenor; and as said Gliden is Runaway and the Note is not found, I shall pay said Note to Gliden’s Wife.  Richard Bryant.  Nottingham, April 17, 1765
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 26 April 1765; Vol IX; Issue 446; Portsmouth, NH

BROKE OUT OF his Majesty’s Goal (sic) in Portsmouth, on the 24’h of March last, Capt. Joseph Kelley, belonging to Nottingham West, about five Foot ten Inches high, something pock broken and wears his Hair. Had on when he went away, a blue Cloth Coat, Leather Breeches, &c.–. Whoever will take up said Runaway, and bring him to his Majesty’s Goal in Portsmouth, or secures him in any other, in that he may be had again, shall have four Dollars Reward, and all necessary Charges paid, by Eliphalet Daniels, Prison Keeper, in behalf of the Sheriff. Portsmouth, April 11, 1770
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 20 April 1770; Vol XIV, Issue 705; page 4, Portsmouth NH

RUNAWAY or Stolen from Monsieur Bunbury, about three Weeks ago, an Elgish Water Spanel Bitch, Mouse colour with a brass collor on, with said Bunbury’s Name and the Words New England 1769 engrav’d on it–A Reward of one Dollar will be given to the Person who returns her to his House.
— New-Hampshire Gazette, 15 June 1770, Vol XIV, Issue 713, page 3, Portsmouth NH

[the end]

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2 Responses to New Hampshire: Run-Aways, Desertions & Elopements of the 18th Century

  1. Pingback: 2016 Black History Month in New Hampshire | Cow Hampshire

  2. Janice, thank you for bringing this post to my attention. I’ve added the names from the run away slaves section to the Slave Name Roll project. And I especially enjoyed reading the elopements!

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