An indentured bricklayer from Ireland, Michael Tracy began working at Mount Vernon in 1768. Washington purchased Tracy's indenture from a Mr. Piper in July of 1768 for eighteen pounds, four shillings. However, Tracy's indenture appears to have been sold again in July of 1770. Andrew Wales, a brewer in Alexandria placed an advertisement searching for a "Michael Tracey," a runaway indentured servant who was described as twenty-five years old, five feet, seven or eight inches tall, with a fair but freckled complexion, marred by smallpox scars. Tracy was also described in the ad as having worn "his own hair, a little curled," and was "by trade a bricklayer, and has some [notion] of the slight of hand, forward in speech, though but little of the dialect."1 Tracy appeared on the Mount Vernon tithables list in June of 1769.2
1. Mesick, Cohen & Waite, "Building Trades," Mount Vernon: Historic Structure Report (Mount Vernon, VA: Mount Vernon Ladies' Association), 2-44; "July 1768," The Diaries of George Washington, Vol. 2, eds. Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia), 77 & 77n. See also The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, Vol. 8, ed. W.W. Abbot (Charlottesville, VA: Unviersity Press of Virginia), 112, 112n5; Virginia Gazette, 26 July 1770.