Saturday, June 9, 2012

Documents which E-X-P-A-N-D our understanding of family history, Part 5

What we can learn from apprenticeship records

Doc 2: CCPL Microfilm MF G.028.2028002

After several weeks of diversionary family research, which took the form of investigating those who lived closest to the Carter and Braddock families, I have assembled more material for later, and returned to the research at hand...apprenticeship.

To the left is a photocopy from microfilm of the original instrument, the apprenticeship indenture, which I have transcribed below:

CRAVEN COUNTY                   )

This Indenture, made the twelfth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty three between
the worshipful William J. Blackledge Esquire, Chairman and
Presiding Justice of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of the county aforesaid,
of the one part, and William Temple of the same county,
of the other part, Witnesseth that the said Presiding Justice, in pursuance of an Order
of said Court, doth put, place and bind unto the said William
Temple an orphan named Isaac Carter a free
boy of colour aged 13-- years, with the said William Temple
to live after the manner of an Apprentice and Servant, until he shall attain the age of
twenty-one years. During which time, the said Apprentice his said Master
faithfully shall serve, and his lawful commands gladly obey, and not absent
himself of his Master's service without leave; but in all things as a
good and faithful Servant shall behave.

And the said William Temple, doth covenant, promise,
and agree, with the said Presiding Justice, that he will teach and instruct, or cause to be
taught and instructed, the said Apprentice to read and write, and also the art and
mystery of a farmer, and constantly find and provide
for the said Apprentice, during the term aforesaid, sufficient Diet, Washing, Lodging and
Apparel, fitting for an Apprentice; and also all other things necessary both in sickness
and health, and at the expiration of said apprenticeship, will pay to said Apprentice Six
Dollars and furnish him with a new suit of Clothes and a new Bible.

In Witness whereof, the parties have hereunto set their Hands and Seals, the
          day and year aforesaid,
Signed, Sealed and delivered,
in presence of
J.S. Stanly [signature]                                                his

                                                     William                 X               Temple        [seal]


                                                        Will J. Blackledge [signature]                 [seal]

An what comes next, you might ask . . . .
Imagination can take one only so far; and so, I started looking for every substantial clue which might lead me to concrete images to aid me in recreating the courtroom scene for my family history memoir.

What did that courthouse and that courtroom look like to the young Isaac Carter? Besides serving as the Presiding Justice of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, who was William Blackledge among his peers, and among his neighbors? And J.G. Stanly, the Clerk of Courts . . . what did these men look like? Were there any portraits made of either of these public officials? How many cases were heard that day. . . of what nature . . . and how long into the day did the young Carter children have to wait to have their case brought before the court?

At this point I have no answers; but, I will continue to pursue my leads until I come to some more concrete conclusions.

And what about the terms of this apprenticeship indenture? There is much to imagine there . . . at the age of twenty-one, receiving his new suit of clothes, six dollars and a new Bible. What ever became of that Bible? Did he take it with him when Isaac enlisted in the U.S.C.T. 14th Heavy Artillery in March of 1864? And did it ever pass into the hands of generations to follow?

Now you might begin to understand how I get departed from the state of my original course. I want to explore every avenue before painting his portrait with words.

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