I thought this 1760 ad in the New York Gazette was interesting. I was more accustomed to seeing ads in which the escapee was “running away” from enslavement. But there were also ads like the one below, which mimics the language in runaway slave ads in many ways.
Apprentices were bound by contract to serve a term with a master tradesman, in this case an innkeeper. It would not be hard to imagine that situation being abusive or exploitative in some cases. In other cases, I would imagine a young person like Samuel Philipse might decide that he really didn’t want to be a innkeeper. Rather than serve out his contractual obligation, he might decide to runaway. His motive here is unknowable.
Samuel’s “New-York Provincial Regimental Coat” was the uniform given to colonists that served as militiamen during the 7 years war (a.k.a. the French and Indian War). I found Samuel on the muster roll for a local militia company in 1760, which states he was 16 years old in 1760 and a native of Rhode Island. I wonder if he was running away from his enlistment in addition to his contract? New York Colony’s provincial militia took part in the attack on Quebec in 1760 and perhaps he was trying to avoid that.