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The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter

Undated entry, 1775

some few thoughtless africans are sheltering themselves under the Royal stand(ard) offered to them

Wednesday, June 26, 1776

Last night after going to bed, Moses, my son's man, Joe, Billy, Postillion, John, Mulatto Peter, Tom, Panticove, Manuel and Lancaster Sam, ran away, to be sure, to Ld. Dunmore, for they got privately into Beale's room before dark and took out my son's gun and one I had there, took out of his drawer in my passage all his ammunition furniture, Landon's bag of bullets and all the Powder, and went off in my Petty Auger. . . .These accursed villains have stolen Landon's silver buckles, George's shirts, Tom Parker's new waistcoat and breeches; and yet have not touched one thing of mine.

Saturday, June 29, 1776

At 7 in the morning after their departure some minute men at Mousquito Point saw the Petty Auger with ten stout men in her going very fast on the Middlesex shore. They pursued and fired at them, whereupon the negroes left the boat and took to the shore where they were followed by the minute men. By their firing they alarmed 11 King and Queen minute men who were waiting for the Roebuck's men, should any of them come ashore there. It is supposed that Moses and many of the negroes were killed.

Wednesday, July 3, 1776

Monday at Court we heard the K[ing] and Queen men below had killed a mulatto and two of the blacks out of the 8 of my people who ran away and the remaining 5 surrendered; how true it is I don't know.

Friday, July 5, 1776

Hearing so many contradictory stories about Moses and his gang, I sent Beale off this morning to get fully informed either in Lancaster, Middlesex, or Gloster.

Tuesday, July 9, 1776

Beale returned but brought no account of Moses and his gang. . . .They had catched other people's negroes but not mine. Beale reported that the men who followed my people in the Petty Auger when they were driven ashore was the Towles Point guard in a boat of Burgess Ball. (Col. Carter thinks they could readily have overtaken the Petty Auger if they tried.)

Another report from Guthrie, who I have a long time known to be an egregious liar, that some runaways told him that they saw some slaves who had run away from Dunmore, who told him that they saw Moses on the Island; who swore to them if he could get back he would return to his master; for Dunmore had deceived all the Poor Slaves and he never met so barbarous or so vile a fellow in all his life.

Saturday, July 13, 1776

. . . John Selden met Purcell coming up and bid tell me that Dunmore last week sent off a load of negroes to one of the Islands which so alarmed the rest that the county of Gloster was disturbed with their howlings.

Monday, July 15, 1776

Last night John Beale came up. . . . He says that two French, who deserted from Dunmore's camp on the Island after our people had drove them off, declared we killed abundance of their men; and that no negroes were kept by Dunmore but were fine active fellows, but were all sent away to some of the West India Islands, and out of the strong and active scarce one in ten escaped death by distempers or ill usage except when a man was wanted in his vessels.

Thursday, February 13, 1777

. . . Yesterday J. Beale sent me word that 3 of my people, vizt., a young fellow Toney, Jacob, and a Johnny from B[eale's] P[lantation] had run away and gone on board the Man of war lying. . . . He was very sure that this war would bring us all to beggary.

Monday, February 24, 1777

There is a Story also brought down by a certain Rig Graham about Moses, my son's waiting man. . . . for Colo. Robt Lawson in the army told him that he knew Moses very well and saw him in Philadelphia. After this Graham told others that Moses was taken coming home to his Master who he had run away from; but they imprisoned him in Philadelphia. All this is said after many other stories, some of his waiting on Capt. Squires, who was with Dunmore at Gwins Island where he ran away. Some that he died there of the Smallpox or in Maryland at St. George's Island of the Contagious fever.

Source: Jack P. Greene, ed., The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, 1752B1778, II (Charlottesville, Va., 1965), pp. 960, 1051-1052, 1054-1057, 1075, 1084-1085.