Bell Anthology - Virginia Records

The Raymond M. Bell Anthology



Washington County and Virginia Records
 Court of Common Pleas
 Slave Wins Case
      Lucy, a negro, in February 1799, filed a suit against Reason
 Pumphrey  (a well-known resident of Washington County until 1786 
 when he moved to Ohio County, now West Virginia).  He claimed that 
 she was his slave.  She claimed that she was not and that she was 
 free.  January 1-1799 Pumphrey detained her, saying that he had her 
 registered in July 1782 under the name of Ruth, age 13.  She won 
 the case getting $1 in damages, not the $500 she asked for.
 
 Hero Jailed
      Colonel David Williamson, frontier defender, died in the county 
 jail April 12-1809.  He bought a gold watch and was sued in May 
 1803 for non-payment.  He was sent to jail in May 1806 for contempt of 
 court.  Every 3 months the case came up and he was resentenced, 
 the last time December 1808.  Before the case was settled he was dead.
 
 Breach of Promise
      In April 1782 Judith Dodd sued John Williamson of Ohio County 
 (cousin of Colonel David) for breach of promise.  He had promised 
 to marry her and had married someone else.  The sheriff ordered him 
 to appear April 2.  John and his father, Moses, had to post a bond 
 for 1000 pounds.  The matter was referred to 7 referrees, who ordered him 
 to pay her 20 pounds ($53) in hard, not paper, money.  It must be equal 
 to 48 ounces of silver or 3.2 ounces of gold.  (His first wife died 
 and for his second wife he chose the above Judith.)
 
 Estate Accounts  Register of Wills Office
 
 Conrad Philabaum killed by Indians 1782 at Rice's Fort (Sep 14)
 Accounts filed by widow Salome 1787 and 1797
 "We being greatly on the frontier line, Oh this horrid scene 
 happened as we were all forted at Mr Rice's and between our cabin 
 and his blockhouse.  This happened, my husband and son as they 
 fell in the enemy's hand, my husband scalped, lying in his blood, 
 to me a great surprise and affecting sight, the loss of a good 
 husband and obedient son."  Conrad was killed in the field, 
 son George in the fort
 
 Matthew Grey killed by Indians 1781 west of Waynesburg (Mar 9)
 Accounts filed by widow Susanna 1788
 The estate is charged for the upkeep of her son from March 9-
 1781.  This gives the date of the killing.  Such charges were 
 customary.  Susanna was a daughter of Francis Baskins of Paxton.
 
 Francis Frazer died 1786 Peters Township
 Accounts filed 1790 and 1793
 Francis was a schoolmaster and when he died some of the parents 
 owed him money.  To prove it his school attendance book from 
 July 5-1785 to June 7-1786 was filed.
 John Clemens died 1814 Buffalo Township
 Accounts filed 1815
 John was a storekeeper at Taylorstown.  The inventory lists every-
 thing in the store  300 items.  From the list one can imagine 
 walking into the store and paying 2  cents for a sheet of sandpaper, 
 6 cents for a handkerchief, 7 cake of soap, 8 violin base, 12  cents 
 for a pair of suspenders or a pound of sugar or a paper of ink powder.  
 A tin horn was 20 cents, a pound of tea 24 cents (no coffee).  For 25 
 cents one could buy a pound of snuff, a sugar dish, a chisel, a psalm 
 book or a pound of chocolate.  A clothes brush was 30 cents.   
 If one had more money a whip was $1.40, a barrel of salt 1.80, 
 a muslin shawl $2 or a bonnet $2.50.
 The inventories for John and 3 brothers have been preserved.
      John Clemens Feb 13-14, 1815 300 items value $1985  storekeeper
      Abraham Clemens Jul 7-1841 80 items value $230  farmer
      Jeremiah Clemens Feb 20-1827 300 items value $9950  tavern-keeper in
            Mercer County, Kentucky
      James Clemens Jul 3-1860 330 items including 126 slaves value 
           $119,935  cotton planter in Madison County, Alabama
 - - - - - - 
 Jacob Wolf, who lived several miles west of Washington, was given 
 permission by the Ohio County, Virginia court (which then claimed
 jurisdiction) on June 6-1780 to open an ordinary (tavern) charging 
 $4 for breakfast or supper, $6 for dinner, lodging with clean 
 sheets $3, horse overnight with hay $6, pasturage $3.
                                                 
 						Raymond Martin Bell
 
 
 

This article was transcribed by Bonnie Hill of Emmett, ID in February 1998.


Raymond M. Bell Anthology     Genealogy in Washington Co., PA

Published with permission of Raymond M. Bell.