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  • ***A mercenary who would often dress in all black and blacken his face. From Dutch swartrutter or swartruiter (black rider) mightly from German schwarze rotte (black gang).

    Swartrutters were groups of men who wore black clothes and blackened their faces. These gangs were a threatening presence in the Netherlands during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. — "African American Slave Narratives: An Anthology" , Sterling Lecater Bland, ‎2001

    April 13, 2013