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An indentured English joiner, Thomas Spear ran away from George Washington's employ on the night of April 19th, 1775, along with brickmaker William Webster. The two men escaped "in a small yawl, with turpentine sides and bottom, the inside painted with a mixture of tar and red lead." Twenty dollars a piece was offered for their return.

In the runaway advertisement, Washington described Spear as "a joiner, born in Bristol, about 20 years of age, five feet six and a half inches high, slender made, has light gray or bluish eyes, a little pock marked, freckled, sandy coloured hair cut pretty short, his voice is coarse and somewhat drauling." Washington further claim that Spear "took with him a coat, waistcoat, and breeches of light brown duffil, with black horn buttons, another light coloured cloth waistcoat, old leather breeches, check and osnaburg shirts, a pair of new milled yarn stockings, a pair of old ribbed do. new osnaburg trousers, and a felt hat, not much the worse for wear."1

 

Notes:
1. George Washington, "Advertisement for Runaway Servants, 23 April 1775," The Writings of George Washington, Vol. 3, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office).

See also: “To George Washington from James Cleveland, 21 May 1775,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-10-02-0280. [Original source: The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, vol. 10, 21 March 1774?–?15 June 1775, ed. W. W. Abbot and Dorothy Twohig. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995, pp. 365–367.]

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