Princeton NJ, March 20, 1819 Dear Hunter, My Black man Joe has absconded from me on last Thursday night a week ago, & this evening I heard of his crossing the Bridge at Trenton on the next Friday morning on his way (as he told) to Philadelphia
Princeton NJ, March 20, 1819
My Black man Joe has absconded from me on last Thursday night a week ago, & this evening I heard of his crossing the Bridge at Trenton on the next Friday morning on his way (as he told) to Philadelphia. – He had been out in the town here at a negroe frolick all night, rioting, & the magistrates talked of having them all up and punished, which scared him off, & indeed I helped myself for I wanted to break him of these bad habits. – He was brought up in my family & I thought I could not have kicked him away, & his father & mother is in the neighborhood, whom I set free, and they are respectable & very much distressed about him. – He had only four years from the 1st of next month to stay with me, when he is to be free, as he is Twenty one years of age about the 1st of April next. – I think you would know the Boy if you was to see him – He is pretty good looking – about 5 feet 8 inches high – not very black – too fond of strong drink – took nothing with him but what he had on as he went away early in the evening, which was a pretty good home made great coat of Bottle [?], with a large cape – corduroy pantaloons, shoes & stockings – shoes lately half soled – a shortish kind of homespun dark brown body coat pretty well worn – but not recollected – an old fur or wool hat. – I think he is heartily tired of his absence by this time, & no doubt he is some where in the City, now I want you to hire a Constable to have him looked up, and if found I am willing to give ten dollars which you will please pay for me, & then I was thinking you could send him home by the stage by some person that was coming on here, that is, if you thought by his condition, or other appearances, it would be safer, or otherwise have him confined & send me word; at all events let me hear from you in a few days of your success. We are all in pretty good health & send a great deal of love to yourself & Mr. Patterson’s family with your own – perhaps you can relax from your [?] studies all winter & pay us a visit, with Joe in your first.
I am with much esteem & friendship
Dear Hunter, yours sincerely,