Runaway Slaves2021-05-28T15:10:50-04:00

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Runaway Slaves

This advertisement about a runaway enslaved woman contains fascinating clues about her life.

Content Warning:  This resource addresses physical abuse and sexual exploitation.

Rebeccah Morehouse’s Pegg

“Rebeccah Morehouse’s Pegg,” The New-York Gazette: or The Weekly Post-Boy, December 13, 1764. New-York Historical Society.

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RUN-AWAY,
Last night the 12th instant. From Rebeccah Morehouse, opposite to Alderman Benson, at the shipyards, New-York, a tall, slim, straight, negro wench, named Pegg, about 40 years of age, of a yellowish complexion, has had the small pox, but is smooth faced, and talks good English, has the middle finger of her left hand crooked and cannot straighten it; was born at Oyster-Bay, but has resided several years in New-York, and formerly belonged to Mr. Pell; is sensible, cunning, and artful, and can wash, iron, and cook; had on a short red cloak, a white hat, and a pair of men’s shoes, and had with her a calico gown and a variety of other clothes.
Pegg, the enslaved woman owned by Rebeccah Morehouse, ran away last night. Pegg is a tall, thin, light-skinned Black woman with good posture. She is about 40 years old. She had smallpox, but she has no scars on her face. She speaks English. Her left middle finger is crooked. Pegg was born in Oyster Bay. She has lived in New York many years. She was once owned by Mr. Pell. Pegg is smart, sneaky, and crafty. She can wash, iron, and cook. She was wearing a short red cloak, a white hat, and men’s shoes. She brought other clothing with her.
Whoever will bring home the said wench to her mistress or to the subscriber, ship-carpenter at the ship yards, shall have 2 dollars reward if taken in town, or three dollars, if taken out of town, beside all reasonable charges.
John Leversage
If you catch Pegg in the city and return her to Rebecca Morehouse or me, you will get a two-dollar reward. If you catch her outside the city, you will get a three-dollar reward. We will also pay any reasonable expenses you make while bringing her back.
All masters of vessels and others are forewarned not to entertain or carry her away as they will answer it at their peril. If any ship captain or other sailor helps Pegg escape by sea, he will be punished.

“Rebeccah Morehouse’s Pegg,” The New-York Gazette: or The Weekly Post-Boy, December 13, 1764. New-York Historical Society.

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