Pennsylvania Gazette News Articles

Contributed by John and Gene Sharp

The Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the United States' most prominent newspapers from 1723, before the time period of the American Revolution, until 1800. It was first published by Samuel Keimer and was the second newspaper to be published in Pennsylvania under the name "The Universal Instructor in all Arts and Sciences: and Pennsylvania Gazette" On October 2, 1729, Benjamin Franklin and Hugh Meredith bought the paper and shortened its name. Franklin not only printed the paper but also often contributed pieces to the paper under aliases. His newspaper soon became the most successful in the colonies. Besides news of Great Britain the Gazette also carried news of local interest and ads for merchants in Philadephia and the counties.

The following transcribed section is of the 1752 election results for the Province of Pennsylvania and for the elective offices of Representative to the Provincial Assembly, County Sherriffs and County Coroners (the Provincial Govenor and some Judgships were still apponted by the King and Partlement in London). Pennsylvania elections even as a Crown Province were keenly contested and the subject of considerable local interest.

The Pennsylvania Gazette transcriptions below also have a notice for some runaways servants of Major George Washington, who was just starting to become known outside of his native Virginia. In addition to reward notices for actual criminals on the run, the 18th and early 19th century newspapers such as the Pennsylvania Gazette abound in notices for runaway apprentices, servants and slaves. Many such runaways were trying to get to a major urban area where they could find work and not be recognized. Slaves were mostly fleeing from the south towards northern cities such as Philadlphia or New York. Actions to recover runaways seem to have occupied a great deal the County Sheriff's time. The spellings, grammar, ect., are those found in the original papers.

John & Gene Sharp


October 12. 1752

The Philadelphia Gazette

Philadelphia, October 12.

Last Week Nathan Smith and Richard Skinner were committed to the jail of this City for stealing a Coverlid and Tablecloth from Isaac Ashton of Abington Township.

Monday Night last a Man was taken up, and sent to Prison on Suspicion of being James Rice, alias Dillon, one of the Murderers described in this Paper, having a Woman with him who was also taken up the Night following; but it appears that his Name is James Talbot, and he is a Convict Runaway Servant, belonging to Major Washington1, on Potomac River, in Virginia; and that the Woman's Name is Mary Belly, also a Servant to the same Gentleman. They offered a Silver Spoon and other Things to sale here supposed to belong to their Master.

Yesterday the Ship Prince William, Capt. Bachop, arrived here from Londonderry. And Capt. Henderson is in the River from the same Place.

On Saturday next the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Province meets here. Remainder of the Election for Representatives & etc.

For Lancaster County, Representatives Arthur Patterson, Calvin Cooper, Peter Worral, James Wright. Sheriff, Thomas Smith. Coroner, John Dogherty.

For Kent County, Representatives, Benjamin Chew, John Brinkley, John Vining, Andrew Caldwell, Vincent Lockerman, John Caton. Sheriff, John Clayton junior, Coroner, French Battell.

For Sussex County, Representatives, Jacob Kollock, Ryves Holt, Benjamin Burton, Andrew Wyncoop, John Clowes, David Hall, Sheriff, William Shankland, Coroner.

John Rodney.

For York County, Representatives, John Wright, David McConaugby. Sheriff, John Adlum. Coroner, Alexander Love.

For Northampton County, Representative, James Burnsides, Sheriff, William Craig, Coroner, Thomas Wilson. Commissioners, Robert Gregg, Peter Traxler, Benjamin Shoemaker, Assessors, Frderick Shull, George Custord, John Holder, James Rawlston, John Walker, Joeph Everhart,

1: Major George Washington is of course our first President. "Servant" in 18th century can also be a euphemism for slave.


York County News Items

These transribed items mostly concern the duties and responsibilites of the York County Sherriff and Coroner which were elective offices. Runaways and bnakrupcy proceedings seem to have occupied a great deal the Sheriff's time. The spelling are those found in the original papers. - John  and Gene Sharp

November 28, 1754

The Pennsylvania Gazette

ESCAPED from the sheriff of York county, on the 11th of this instant November, one Hanus Outmandorf, a Dutchman a middle size well set fellow, a baker by trade; Had on when he went away , a light color half worn jacket, with red lining, short blue jacket, without sleeves, old felt hat, old shoes and stockings, and linen trowsers. It is supposed he is gone to his wife who lives near one of the brick yards between Philadelphia and Germantown. Whoever takes up and secures him in any county goal, shall have Three Pounds reward; or if brought to York, Three Pounds, and reasonable charges, paid by JOHN ADLUM, Sheriff

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September 25, 1755

The Pennsylvania Gazette

NOTICE is hereby given that EDWARD RUNBIE who was lately advertised for running away from his bail, is now in custody in York Gail , in York county, and that the horse, saddle and bridle he took with him are also secured. His bail is desired to come and pay charges and take him and the horse & etc away.

JOHN ADLUM, Sheriff


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