WILLIAMSBURG, September 3, 1772.
Lost from on Board the Snow Nancy, now lying at Osborne's, on James River, the 30th of July, a Negro Boy named LAY, about twelve Years old, has been in England, talks good English, is about four Feet three inches high, of a pleasant Countenance, rather lighter than Blacks are in general, with a remarkable double Chin, of the Kessie or Suso Country. He is supposed to have been stolen, or decoyed, by some of the Purchasers of the said Snow's Cargo. Whoever apprehends him, and returns him to Mr. John Fisher at Osborne's, Mr. Feild Merchant at Petersburg, Mr. John Lawrence at Norfolk, or to the Printer, shall have FIVE POUNDS Reward. JAMES E. COLLY. N.B. Any Person concealing him after this Notice shall be prosecuted with the utmost Severity of the Law.
Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon) September 3, 1772
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A "snow" is a small sailing-vessel resembling a brig, carrying a main and fore mast and a supplementary trysail mast close behind the mainmast; It was also used as a warship. Osborne's was a busy wharf on the south side James River in Chesterfield County where ocean-going ships could dock. Warehouses filled with tobacco brought from plantations in the Piedmont could be sent on to England from there. By the same token, English merchandise and slaves would have been available for planters to purchase.
Sources: OED, Archaeological Investigations …Osbornes Town Site F232.C52 K363