"Apt to get drunk at all Opportunities": White Pennsylvania Runaways, 1750-1762


Pennsylvania received one-tenth of all male indentured servants from the 1720s through the 1740s, and about one-fifth of the women in that period. According to one authority, over 67,000 German immigrants arrived at the busy port of Philadelphia from 1720 through 1760, at least half of whom were servants. Mr. Boyle’s transcription of the runaway ads, taken from fourteen different colonial newspapers (including papers from Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York), provide valuable demographic information on more than 3,000 additional individuals, with name, age, sex, height, place of origin, clothing, occupation, speech, physical imperfections, and sometimes personal vignettes.

Joseph Lee Boyle

2015, 485 pp.

ISBN: 9780806357829