The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: May 4

WILLIAMSBURG, May 4, 1774.
STRAYED or STOLEN, from the Subscriber, on the 18th of last Month, a BAY MARE about thirteen or fourteen Hands high with a hanging Mane, short and very thick, a Star in her Forehead, about five Years old, if any brand Brand unknown, trots and gallops, and has good Spirit. Whoever brings her to me shall have TWENTY SHILLINGS. SARAFINO FORMICOLA.

Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon) May 5, 1774

About this entry:

Sarafino Formicola, an Italian by birth, was said to have come to Virginia with Lord Dunmore in 1771. In 1773 he advertised in the Gazette that he was returning to England in September. However, he was advertising for this stray horse in May of 1774. During the next four years he advertised for several other strays - a dark gray mare, a sorrel and a dark bay. In 1779 he took over the Charlton House Tavern and advertised that he would not be responsible for strayed or stolen horses! He moved his tavern business to Richmond the following year when the state government moved. George Washington mentions staying at his tavern in Richmond in his diary in April 1786.

Sources: CWRR Charlton House, GW Diaries

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