Deed from Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, 25 August 1830
and , Deed for property in , Susquehanna Co., PA, to JS, 25 Aug. 1830; printed form with handwriting of ; signatures of and ; witnessed by and ; two pages; JS Collection, CHL.
Single leaf measuring 15⅝ × 12½ inches (40 × 32 cm). Printed form filled in with ink. Portions of the paper are ruled with graphite. On the verso, the document bears a docket in the handwriting of , identifying it as a deed from to JS, and an endorsement in the handwriting of Norman I. Post, recording fees and taxes paid. Seals on recto, likely stamped after signing, and embossed seal on verso with possible image, partially legible: “[SU]SQUEHANNA. CO. [S]EAL.”
On 6 April 1829, JS entered into an agreement with his father-in-law, , to purchase for $200 a thirteen-and-a-half-acre portion of the Hales’ property in , Pennsylvania, including a frame home, a barn, and other improvements. The agreement required JS to pay $114 by 1 May 1829 and the balance of $86 by 1 May 1830. JS paid the first installment but when he missed the second, Hale allowed him to pay interest on the payment and extended the due date, rather than rescinding the contract. By 26 August 1830, the property was transferred to JS.
The deed, featured here, acknowledges that JS made payment in full on 25 August 1830. At the time and signed the document, two brief additions were inserted, as was a notation acknowledging the insertions. Two witnesses also signed the deed: JS’s friend and Justice of the Peace . The following day an addendum was added in which Isaac and Elizabeth Hale jointly acknowledged before Lane that the document represented “their act & deed,” and Elizabeth separately affirmed that she signed “of her own free will & not from any fear or Coersion on the part of Her said Husband,” a statement confirming that she received a privy examination separate from her husband as required by law in land transactions involving the “estate of the wife.” This interest was commonly called the wife’s “dower interest.”
Within a few days of concluding this transaction, JS and departed , never to reside there again. They moved to ’s home in , New York, staying there until they moved to in January 1831. In June 1833, JS and Emma sold the Harmony property for $300 to , the neighbor on the east side of the property.
Agreement with Isaac Hale, 6 Apr. 1829; Knight, Reminiscences, 3; Susquehanna Co., PA, Tax Assessment Records, 1813–1865, Harmony Township, PA, Tax Record for 1829, p. ; Tax Record for 1830, p. , microfilm 1,927,832, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.
Knight, Joseph, Sr. Reminiscences, no date. CHL. MS 3470.
This Indenture, Made the twenty fifth, day of August in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty Between <& his wife> of the township of & County of Susquehanna & State of Pennsylvania of the one Part and Joseph Smith, J,r, of the other Part of the place aforesaid
WITNESSETH, That the said Partys of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of two Hundred Dollars to him them in hand paid by the said Party of the second part at and before the ensealing and delivery hereof, the receipt and payment whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted bargained, sold, aliened, enfeoffed, released, conveyed and confirmed, and by these presents, doth grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff, release, convey and confirm unto the said Party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns all that certain Piece o[r] parcel of Land situate and lying in the Township of and County of Susquehanna and state aforesaid, and being a part of a lot of Land in the warrentee name of George Ruper, and a part of the farm on which the said now lives on, Butted & bounded as follows, Beginning at Post on the <North> bank of the Susquehanna River. thence North half a degree East <West> one hundred and Eleven Perches to a Post thence North eighty nine and half degrees East twenty perches to a Post thence South half a Degree East one hundred and nineteen Perches to a Sugar Maple tree on the bank of Said River, thence down the Said River as it winds & turns to the Place of Beginning, Containing in the whole thirteen acres & Eighty Perches be the same more or less— Bounded on the East by Lands owned by & on the North & west by Lands of —
TOGETHER, with all and singular the houses, out-houses, edifices and buildings thereon erected and being—and all ways, water-courses, woods, fences, gardens, minerals, rights, liberties, privileges, advantages, hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or any wise appertaining—and the reversions and remainders, rents, issues and profits thereof—and also all the estate, right, title, interest, use, trust, property, possession, claim and demand whatsoever of him the said whether in law or equity, or otherwise howsoever, of, in, to, or out of the same—TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Piece or parcel of Land with the hereditaments and premises, hereby granted and released, or mentioned or intended so to be, with the appurtenances, unto the said Parties of the second part his heirs and assigns, to the only proper use, benefit and behoof, of the said Party his heirs and assigns forever And the said party<s> of the first for himself his heirs, executors, and administrators, do covenant, promise, grant and agree to, and with said party of the Second part his heirs and assigns, by these presents, that, he the said party of the second part and his heirs, the said hereby granted premisses or tracts of Land with the hereditaments and premises hereby granted and released, or mentioned or intended so to be, with the appurtenances unto the said Joseph Smith Jr. their heirs and assigns, against them the said Party<s> of the first and his heirs, and against all and every other person or persons whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim of in or out of the Said Premisses shall and will warrant and forever defend, by these presents.—IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the said Party<s> to these presents has hereunto set his Hand and Seal.—Dated the day and year first above written.
Sealed and Delivered)
in the presence of)
<The words “& his wife” intertined [interlined] & the word North interlined>
The addition of Elizabeth Hale’s name here, as well as the later date on her affirmation at the end of the document, suggests that Isaac Hale was not initially aware on 25 August that Elizabeth’s permission was needed for the transaction. It is likely that Justice Lane suggested the insertion before he witnessed the execution of the deed so that it conformed to existing legal requirements.
As a measure of length, a “perch” is equal to sixteen and one-half feet. As a measure of area, a “rod” is equal to 272¼ square feet. Eighty rods is one-half acre, so the deed is indicating the Hales transferred thirteen and one-half acres. The total acreage may have actually exceeded fourteen acres.
TEXT: Stamped seal, “LS” (locus sigilli, the place of the seal). By 1830, Pennsylvania no longer required actual wax seals on deeds but still required this or a similar mark to be either printed or inscribed on the document next to the signatures.