JAMES CITY, September 28, 1773.
COMMITTED to James City prison, on the 28th of this instant (September) a black fellow, about 5 feet 10 inches high, says his name is James, and that he belongs to Mr. John Armistead, in Mecklenburg county; part of his right ear is cut off. Also a yellow fellow, who says his name is Williams, and that he belongs to Mr. William Penn, in Amherst county; he is about the height of james, has a short flat nose, and a sear on his left knee. The owners are desired to pay charges, and take them away. JOHN CONNELLY
Virginia Gazette (Rind) September 30, 1773
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Runaway slave advertisements routinely mention marks of punishment on the body. James could have lost part of his ear for hog stealing. The second time a slave was caught stealing a hog he "shall stand two hours in the pillory and have both his eares nailed thereto and at the expiration of the said two hours have his ears cutt off close by the nailes".
Sources: Virginia., v3, p179.