Sunday, February 23, 2014

Barbara Saunders, Royal Artillery, States her Case

Sometimes - often, in fact - we find single pieces of information that defy our efforts to discover corroborating or elaborating material. It remains tantalizing, a fragment of a broader untold story. A perfect example is the newspaper advertisement below, taken out by the abandoned wife of a British deserter. To date, we have found nothing more about John Saunders or Barbara Saunders. If anyone can discover anything more about this discordant couple, it'd be wonderful to learn of it!

To the Public.
Whereas John Saunders, late Gunner in the British Artillery, in the City of New-York, my lawful Husband, by and with the Advice of some dissolute and evil minded people, like himself, deserted from said Artillery, and absconded from me, upwards of four years ago, leaving me pregnant with two children, since dead.
And whereas the said John Saunders, hath now married in the City of Philadelphia (as his lawful Wife is credibly informed, and verily believe to be true). And whereas great scandal may arise, as well in this City as at the City of Philadelphia, amongst divers of its inhabitants, to the great disturbance and tranquility of me the Subscriber, owing to the contriving, devising, composing, and publishing to the world that he never was married, in order to vindicate his re-marrying, as above set forth, that I think it my duty, for the vindication of my character, to convince the respectable public, that I was lawfully married to him, in this City of New-York, upwards of six years ago; and that I know of no reasons for his absconding from me, and deceiving the woman that he is married to at said Philadelphia. And further, that I will not run him in debt, neither will I pay any for him; neither will I ever have any further Connections with him.
In witness whereof, I have, at said City of New-York, put my Hand to this Advertisement, this thirteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty three.
Barbara Saunders.
[Royal Gazette (New York), 14 may 1783]

Learn more about British soldiers in America!

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