Friday, November 22, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Billie and Scipio

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
March 23, 1769


RUN away from the Neabsco Ironworks, in Virginia, on or about the 10th of October last, a country born Negro man slave named BILLIE, the property of the Honourable John Tayloe, Esq; he is about 30 years of age, very black, well made, 5 feet 8 inches high, puts on a sour look when taxed with any thing amiss.  He had on and took with him, when he went away, a blue broad cloth coat, black cotton velvet jacket, and sundry other sorts of cloaths, besides shoes and stockings of various kinds.  He is by trade a ship carpenter, and is such a proficient in that business as not only to repair, but to build a sorts of small craft.  The day that he went off, he was accompanied by a dark Mulatto fellow named SCIPIO, the property of Mr. John McMillan, of Prince William county, in Virginia, of much the same age and size as  himself.  They crossed Potamack river together, in a schooner's boat, to the Maryland shore, where they left her, and have, from that time, kept themselves undiscovered.  As Billie was some time last summer brought from Carolina (to which place, under the sanction of a forged pass, he had travelled as a freeman) it is more than pos[s]able that if he is not now engaged by some ship builders to the northward, that he will endeavor to go on board some craft, bound for Charles-Town, or to some place in Carolina, where he expects to be free.

Whoever takes up the said Negro, or Mulatto, and brings one, or both, to the subscriber, or to Mr. John Calvert, manager of Col. Taylor's mine-bank in Baltimore county, or will secure them, so as they may be had again, shall receive, for each, a reward of 5 l. if taken forty miles from home, or the above reward, if at a greater distance, from the said Mr. John Calvert, or from THOMAS LAWSON.

N.B. Billie plays on the violin

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