WILLIAMSBURG, October 25, 1776.
To be SOLD, A YOUNG mulatto woman who is an excellent spinner on the flax wheel, a good knitter, can cut out and make up linen as well as any servant in Virginia, and is capable of doing any house business. For terms, inquire of the Printer.
Virginia Gazette (Purdie) October 25, 1776
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About this entry:
The skills listed for this servant indicate training with a milliner. If this mulatto woman actually belonged to Alexander Purdie (whose only business interest was operating a printing establishment), the ad indicates she was not useful to him as a house servant. Purdie's first wife Mary who died prior to 1772, may have been a milliner. In August of 1772 he twice advertised for sale an inventory of millinery goods. He obviously wanted to sell the millinery cargo before he married Peachy Davenport in December 1772, and probably retained this servant until deciding to sell her in 1776.
Sources: CWRR Purdie House