Editorial Note: The subject of beards is one of the most hotly debated topics within the 18th Century re-enacting community. Whilst the norm was to shave, there are plenty of references otherwise.
In 1776 or 1777, "Christopher Ludwig [Ludwick], a baker of Philadelphia... being employed... to manage the ovens, he assumed the title of Bakermaster-General of the army, and made a vow never to shave his beard until a fortunate conclusion of the contest." Alexander Graydon, Memoirs of My Own Time (Phila., ), 142.
Captain John Chilton, 3rd Virginia Regt., "26th. [July 1777] Before we Marched Capt. Wallace Capt. Powel myself, Lt. Mercer Lieut. Tibbs, Lieut. Baynham & Ensn. Peyton were denied our Posts in Battalion, for this reason, there was a Genl. Order for every Officer to attend Roll call at Retreat - I had not seen my chest for near a week. I was consequently very dirty with a long beard. I had enbraced this opporty. of shaving & shifting and was about 1/2 shaved at the beat. I said the Men turn out and also said Mr. Black go to hear the Roll call, for this I was arrested ..." John Chilton Diary, 26 July 1777, A. Keith Family Papers, 1710-1916, Virginia Historical Society.
"When the 42nd [Regiment of Foot] left New York for Halifax in 1783 one of its soldiers recorded in his diary: 'Them among us who have grown hair upon the face of our countinence some very much and others a little bit, have been told to get it shaved off good and well for the review which we are preparing for now. Ensign Campbell says that runners [sideburns] will be overlooked but no full-haired faced will be passed. Top lips to be shaved to and all.'" Philip Katcher, Armies of the American Wars 1753-1815 (New York, N.Y., 1975), 64. Unfortunately the source for this information was not cited by the author.
Consider Addition, About 35 years of age, 5 feet 10 inches high red hair and beard, and gray eyes rev war deserter (April 9th 1777 the Pennsylvania Gazette) Valley Forge ...General Washington commented on the mens need for shaving.
Simon Kenton was mistaken for James Harrod or Black Beard" in another words.. kenton could of had a beard. Draper 12C 23, 12C24
WILLIAMSBURG, October 27, 1774. FOR the Information of all whom it may concern, I give this publick Notice that James M'Donald (or M'Daniel) Labourer, Edward Sweney, Butcher, Edward Lupton, Shoemaker, and Patrick Ryan, were, on the 17th Day of this Present Month, brought to the Bar of the General Court, then sitting, to take their Trials, for a supposed Murder by them committed in Pittsylvania County, where they were apprehended. Ryan was sworn as a Witness; and the other three, being convicted of Manslaughter, were burnt in the Hand.-----It appearing to the Court that they were accused of a Certain Felony in the Province of North Carolina, they were remanded to Jail. They were transported to his [sic] Country as Convicts, and have been in the Possession of Mr. John Hook, Merchant in Bedford, who sold or consigned them to Mess. Chambers and Montgomery, Merchants in Salisbury, North Carolina, whence they fled from Justice.-----M'DONALD (or M'Daniel) is 20 Years old, has short brown curled Hair, thin Visage, blue Eyes, of a slender Make, and about 5 Feet 5 Inches high.---SWENEY is of M'Donald's Height, 32 Years old, had short dark Hair, blue Eyes, a downcast Look, and is well made.---LUPTON is 25 Years old, has dark short Hair, blue Eyes, thin Visage, of a slender Make, 5 Feet 10 Inches high, and is a very saucy impertinent Fellow.---RYAN is 25 Years old, has dark short Hair, Hazle Eyes, long Visage, a full Beard, and is 5 Feet 4 Inches high. They are all Irishmen,-----I shall be ready to deliver them to any Person, or Persons, who may make a proper Application. PETER PELHAM, Jailer.
April 7, 1775 The Virginia Gazette
Ten Pounds Reward. RUN away from the subscriber, near the upper church in Middlesex, on Saturday the 18th ult. a convict servant named JOSEPH HIGGINSON, one or two and twenty years of age, who is a native of London, but can neither read nor write; he is a small man, being little better than five feet high, has a remarkable down look, bends back in the knees when he stands, has no beard, but a remarkable strong voice for one of his size, and straight dark hair, not long enough to tie. He has been in the country four years last September, and was sold by Mr. Hodge to one Strother, by Stother [sic] to Roger Bell, who sold him to Reuben Daniel of Orange county, from whom I had him. He served his time to a screwplate maker, but I have since taught him to do all sorts of jobbing work very well; and although he pretends to understand brass and silver work, he is but an indifferent hand in those branches. He had on, and took with him, a Virginia cotton coat, kersey-wove, of a pale lead colour, white breeches, the same stuff as his coat, old English leather breeches, a mixed red Wilton jacket without sleeves, a coarse blue jump jacket, a pair of white cotton stockings, one pair of pale blue Virginia yarn do. a pair of mixed red coarse sale do. a pair of old shoes, turned pumps, and since he has been gone I understand he has bought a pair of new black grain dogskin shoes. I think he had a pair of silver buckles and a stone set brooch, but I am not certain. He had likewise a fine holland shirt and a muslin neckcloth, one osnabrug shirt, and a fine small hat almost new. I hear he was seen on his way towards, York. Whoever apprehends the said servant, and secures him in any jail of this colony, so that I get him again, shall have 5 l. reward: if taken up in any other province, and brought home, I will give the above reward of 10 l. I hereby forewarn all persons from harbouring him, or giving him employment; and as I suppose he will endeavour to make his escape by water, I caution all masters of vessels from taking him on board, or carrying him out of the country. SAMUEL DANIEL. [symbol] As I had my house robbed the night before he went away, and two new cotton shirts carried off, I suspect him to be the thief.
Harrod also “ put fire to Billy Bush’s red beard" Draper 12cc65-98
RAN away, on the 30th of September last, from Mr. Patrick Creagh, of the City of Annapolis, Two Servant Men: One named John Connor, a Sailmaker by Trade, much Pock-fretten and freckl'd in the Face; has Red Hair and Beard, wears a Wig or Cap, is an Irish Man, and talks upon the Brogue: Had with him a dark brown Pea Jacket and Breeches, and is supposed to have some other Clothes; He came this Year from Bristol, in the Ship Essex, Capt. Henry Morgan, Commander. The other named Ralph Taylor, a North-Country Man, is a Middle-siz'd Man, of a slow Speech, wears his Hair, which is of a brown Colour, and is a Convict; Had on a brown Coat, and Oznabriggs Trowsers. Went away (also) with them, a Servant Woman, named Sarah Miers, a Dutch Woman, and talks broken English, pretty Tall, Round Shoulder'd. Likely in the Face, and had a Flat Nose: They took with them some Wearing Apparel, viz. a dark Grey Coat trimm'd with Black, a Woman's Blue Cloak, fac'd with White Silk; a Seesucker Gown, one White Linen Ditto; one strip'd Calimanco Ditto, a brown Camblet Petticoat, a Woman's Bermuda hat, lin'd with Blue Silk, and several other Things, viz. Bedding, Linnen, and in particular a Red Rugg. They went in an old carvil Work Long- Boat, with one Mast, and a Square Sail. Whoever secures the said Servants, and brings them to the Subscriber, living in Annapolis, shall have Five Pounds Current Money as a Reward, and reasonable Charges: and if taken out of this Province, they shall have Six Pounds in Gold Reward, and all reasonable Charges, paid by Patrick Creagh.
Friday, October 8, to Friday, October 15, 1736 The Virginia Gazette
FIVE POUNDS Reward. RUN away from the subscriber, in New-Kent county, Monday night last, an English convict servant man named THOMAS BELCHER, about 28 years old, 5 feet 7 and 8 inches high, well made, fair complexion, light hair, which he wears, reddish thin beard, and speaks effeminately; his occupation is farming, which he understands, but pretends to a knowledge in many other kinds of business, was imported into Patapsco river, Maryland, July 1765, had on and took with him a felt hat, almost new, an old brown cut wig, a light duffil coat half worn, with round white metal buttons, country cloth jacket and breeches of white cotton filled with yellow wool, a pair of old brown sagathy breeches, an oznabrig shirt, country made mixed yarn hose, a pair of white cotton ditto, a pair of country made shoes, nailed round with hob nails, and a pair of old pumps, with carved brass buckles. It is supposed he was seen passing Todd's Bridge the morning following, in company with some man who wore a blue coat; he may likely have a forged pass and discharge, and may probably attempt an escape by water. All masters of vessels are forbid harbouring or employing him. Whoever will apprehend and secure the said servant, and give me intelligence thereof, so that I get him again, shall receive at the rate of six- pence per mile, for any number he may be from home under forty, for any greater number at the rate of nine-pence per mile, if out of the colony, five pounds more than the law allows, and if brought home all reasonable charges. March 14, 1769. JOSEPH WATKINS.
March 16, 1769 The Virginia Gazette
RUN away from the subscriber, in Prince Edward, the 19th of June last, a white Mulatto man slave named TOBY, about 22 years of age, of the middle stature, spare made, has grey eyes, light curled hair, little or no beard, stoops in his shoulders, is of a brisk motion; there is a difference in his thumbs, a small scar in his face, and was brought up to the planter's business. I expect he will endeavour to pass for a free man, if not a white man. TEN POUNDS reward if taken in Carolina, and FIVE POUNDS, besides what the law allows, if he taken in Virginia. BENJAMIN WIMBISH.
April 23, 1772 The Virginia Gazette
harrod = black beard.
June 1, 1775 The Virginia Gazette
RUN away from the subscriber, in Spotsylvania, the 20th of May, a convict servant man, named GEORGE NEWTON a farmer, born in Yorkshire, imported in the Justitia this spring, a stout man about 6 feet high, much freckled, has a very red beard, and walks clumsily. I am informed he has a scar on the fore part of his head, and some scars on his left arm, which he says was occasioned by shot. He has been in some office about the customhouse in London. He took with him two oznabrig shirts, almost new, one of them died of a purple colour, a pair of oznabrig trowsers, rather too small for him, a felt hat, bound, a pair of old country shoes, a jacket without sleeves, much worn, a Dutch blanket, a white linen shirt, a stock, and brass stock buckle, a pair of new worsted hose, mixed brown and white, and one pair of white yarn stockings. I suspect he has other clothes with him. He also took away with him a negro man, named GEORGE, about 5 feet 3 inches high, well made, and understands working in stone and wood; his fore teeth in the upper jaw is a good deal worn; the finger next to his little finger, on his left hand, is stiff in the first joint, occasioned by a cut, and when the others are shut, stands out; he has lost part of a toe, and, as well as I remember, it is the toe next his great toe, and on the left foot. He took with him some oznabrig shirts, a kersey jacket, with yellow metal buttons, a pair of white yarn stockings, a blanket, a pair of country made shoes, with some other clothes. They say they intend getting on board some ship, but I suspect they will endeavour getting on board the man of war. All masters of vessels, or other persons, are forewarned from harbouring or taking them on board. I will give FIVE POUNDS reward for both, or THREE POUNDS for Newton, and FORTY SHILLINGS for George, besides what the law allows, if conveyed to me, near Fredericksburg, or FORTY SHILLINGS each if secured in any gaol, so that I get them again. If they are not well secured they will make their escapes, being both cunning, artful fellows. JAMES TUTT. N.B. I suspect a negro man, named Tim, belonging to the honourable John Tayloe, is gone off with them. John Stovall was seen on the Green River in Kentucky 1785ish wearing his famous goose hat and ironically enough, a beard. draper 1A;46
"men in pittsburg who held and abused slaves and redemptioners would not for 'a fine cow shaved there beards on sunday.' "
the hermit from doddridge...
"thier appearance excited much suspicion. they were almost entirely naked and were garnished with 6 weeks growth of beard" 344
george rogers clark's men on his march to kaskaskia... "with garments soiled and travel-stained, and with beards of 3 weeks growth..." 481
"the latch of the door was drawn, and there entered a dark looking man, of gigantic stature and form, with stiff, black hair, eyebrows and beard. He apparently eight and twenty, was dressed in a hunting shirt..." 640
August 9, 1764 The Pennsylvania Gazette
FORTY SHILLINGS Reward.
BROKE out of Newtown Goal, Bucks County, on the 19th of last Month, a Dutchman, named Jacob Morhard, about 30 Years of Age, about 5 Feet 6 Inches high of a pale Complexion, with short dark coloured Hair, had a <<very long red Beard>>, has fore Eyes, and a Film on his LEft eye; his Fore finger on his Left hand is crooked, and a Piece of the End of it is gone. Had on, when he went away, old Leather Breeches, old coarse Shirt old blue Jacket, without Lining, a coarse Felt Hat, with the Brim cut, no Shoes not Stockings. Whoever takes up and brings him to Newtown Goal aforesaid, shall receive the above Reward from GEORGE DUNN, Deputy Sheriff.
August 23, 1753 The Pennsylvania Gazette
RUN away from the subscriber, living in Robeson township, Berks county, near Reading, an Irish servant man, named William Moore, about 30 years of age, five feet six inches high, thick and well set, of a dark complexion, pock mark, his hair cut off, <<but commonly keeps his beard pretty long>>; has a very slow gait, and is not much given to discourse: Had on when he went away, an old felt hat, but no cap, good ozenbrigs shirt, two trowsers, old blue stockings, and half worn shoes, with brass buckles, an old blue jacket, and a brown coat, about half worn; also took with him a pair of black buckskin breeches, almost new, with brass buttons, and an old shirt. Whoever takes up and secures said servant, so that his master may have him again, shall have Forty Shillings reward, and reasonable charges, paid by JOSEPH MONEY
May 28, 1772 The Pennsylvania Gazette
EIGHT DOLLARS Reward.
RUN away from his bail, in Tuskarora, Cumberland county, in Pennsylvania, one THOMAS MOORE, an Englishman, a Taylor by trade, about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, 30 years of age, of a swarthy complexion, spare faced, with a blemish on one side of his eyes, <<a very large beard>>, and a remarkable long nose, much pockmarked; had on a new pair of buckskin breeches, too large for him, an old short coat, of a lightish colour, an old patched jacket, old shoes, with buckles, and an old wool hat, but may change his clothes; took with him an iron grey mare, 3 years old, and a whitish shagged dog, lately clipped about the head and neck, says he worked in Baltimore, and in Philadelphia, and in most parts of this province. Whoever apprehends said MOORE, and secures him in any goal, and gives me notice, shall have the above reward, paid by May 11, 1772. THOMAS BEALE.
April 23, 1772 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Pilesgrove, Salem county, West New Jersey, April 20, 1772. FOUR DOLLARS Reward.
RUN away, on the night of the 14th instant, from the subscribers, a certain JOHN HUXELY, says he was born in New England, near 6 feet high, a little knock kneed, has a curly cross look, talks very thick and fast, and has a slammer in his speech, <<sandy beard, with long whiskers>>; wore an old lightish coloured coat and jacket, old hat and stockings, new shoes, with brass buckles; stole, and took with him, one new check shirt, a new pair of striped ticken trowsers, made with a fall, and a good razor, with a black handle. Whoever takes up said Huxely, and secures him in any of his Majesty goals, so that he may be bought to justice, shall have the above reward, and reasonable charges, paid by JACOB PAULLIN, or ABRAHAM RICHMAN
April 4, 1777 The Virginia Gazette
Twenty DOLLARS reward. Deserted from Elk Ridge landing, Maryland, the 5th of February last, four soldiers belonging to capt. Charles Flemings company of the 7th Virginia Regiment... had with him a bundle in a blanket, and a rifle. Joel Johnson, a low well set man, about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, wears his own dark hair and <<very large whiskers, full faced;>> had on a hunting shirt dyed black, fringed round the capes, ruffles, tail, and down the breast, belted with the skin of a rattlesnake, had with him a bundle in a blanket...
And this- sideburns? November 24, 1763 The Pennsylvania Gazette Oley, November 14, 1763.
RUN away last Sunday Night, from William Pott, in Oley, a German Servant Man, lately come into this Country, named Thomas Sholl, about 23 or 24 Years old, 5 Feet 9 Inches high, has brown Hair, a long and Pock marked Face, and slow in talking: had on when he went away, a Worsted short Jacket, with red and white Stripes across, and two Rows of Buttons, a blue Jacket without Sleeves, with red Lining, blue Coat, with red Lining, and large Metal Buttons, blue Breeches, new Stockings and good German Shoes, with Metal Buckles, good Felt Hat, and <<a pretty Side Beard at his Cheeks>>. Whoever takes up and secures said Servant, so as his Master may have him again, shall have Forty Shillings Reward, and reasonable Charges, paid by WILLIAM POTT.