Court Minutes 1824 - Gadsden Territory

 

These minutes are a collaborative effort of Pamela Vojnovski, who made copies of them, and of Barbara Boynton and Donna Warlick who typed from the originals and proofed them.

Note by County Coordinator:   Gadsden was still a Territory at this time and had no complete county government, with employees to do the work. There were just appointed figures, like the judges, sheriff, tax collector, and clerk of the court. The judges would assign men living on the roads to be the overseer of the road maintenance on a certain road. The judge would assign another man to "apportion the hands" on the road for a certain overseer. The phrase "apportion the hands" meant to decide how many hands (workers) would be needed and then request that many slaves of large land owners living near the road when it was time to actually do the work.

Note by County Coordinator:   The minutes were full of abbreviations that persons who have never read old documents would not understand, including names of people. Those abbreviations have been removed for ease of reading and to make people's names retrievable when querying. A blank indicates the word or words were unreadable. A question mark indicates unsure of transcription.

Abbreviations used herein:
"viz" means "that is"
Jno. is abbreviation for John or Jonathan
Jas. is abbreviation for James
Sam'l is abbreviation for Samuel
Alexr is abbreviation for Alexander
Wm. is William
"dec'd" means "deceased"
"Admr." means "Administrator"
"Esqrs." means Esquires. Esquire was, at this time, used as a title of courtesy usually placed in its abbreviated form after the surname as in John R. Smith, Esq. While in present day United States it is usually associated with attorneys, in earlier times and in other countries, it was used for landed gentry.

The first official term of the Gadsden County Court was in April 1824. There were pre-qualifying
events that took place in 1823, such as Jonathan Robinson being appointed by Governor Duval as
Judge, the Clerk of the court being qualified, and the sheriff being qualified. These were then ratified
at the first session in April 1824.

April 1824 Term

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County, December 10th, 1823

This day personally appeared before me W. P. Duval Governor of the Territory of Florida the within named Jonathan Robinson, Esq. who took the oath to support the constitution of the United States and faithfully and impartially to discharge the duties of judge of the county court of Gadsden.

Given under my hand the day and year above written, W. P. Duval
Recorded this 3rd day of April 1824, E. A. Robinson, Clerk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

This day personally appeared before me Jonathan Robinson Judge of the county court of Gadsden the within named E. A. Robinson who took the oath to support the constitution of the United States and faithfully and impartially to discharge the duties of Clerk of the county court of Gadsden.

Given under my hand the day and year above written, Jonathan Robinson, Judge G. C.
Recorded the 3rd day of April, 1824, E. A. Robinson, Clerk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

I do hereby certify that Michal Harvey Esq. was this day qualified by me in term of the law in such case maid and provided as a justice of the peace for said court.
September 11th 1823 David L. White
Recorded this 5th day of April 1824 E. A. Robinson CGC [CGC means Clerk, Gadsden Court]

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

I do hereby certify that David L. White Esq. was this day qualified by me in term of the law a justice of the peace for said court.
September 11th 1823 M. Harvey, JP [JP means Justice of the Peace]
Recorded 5th April 1824 E. A. Robinson

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

I do hereby certify that Robert Forbes was this day qualified by me as Sheriff of said county agreeable to law.
December 30, 1823 Attest David L. White, JP
Recorded 5th April 1824 E. A. Robinson Clk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

I do hereby certify that Joseph McBride was this day qualified by me as a justice of peace for said county agreeable to law.
December 30, 1824 Attest David L. White JP

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County, 12th January 1824

This day personally appeared before me Jona. Robinson judge of the county court of Gadsden of the Territory of Florida the within named George McCall who took the oath to support the constitution of the United States and faithfully and impartially to discharge the duties of Justice of the Peace of the County of Gadsden.
Given under my hand the day and year above George McCall (LS)
witness: Jona. Robinson, JGGC

April 5, 1824 this day the county court for the County of Gadsden was opened agreeable to law. Present his Honor Jonathan Robinson Judge, Michael Harvey, Joseph McBride, David L. White, Justices of the Peace.

The following persons being returned by the sheriff as Grand Jurors was called, viz:
Geoge Bullock
Randal Johnson
Jesse Bird
John Lines
Daniel Buie
Daniel Love
William Cameron
Alexander Love
Alexander Duglass
Daniel McKenzie
Daniel B. Duglass
Allen W. McKenzie
Cullin Edwards
Daniel F. McNeil
John Edwards
Archibald Smith Sen
Thomas Fain
Archibald Smith Jr
Mark Harvey
Elias Wester
Henry Yonge

And the following persons were returned by the sheriff as petit jurors viz:
William L. Caldwell
William Edwards
John Chumney
Samuel Edwards
Thomas Dawsey
Thomas Edwards
William Ellis
James Fulton
Abraham Geiger
Elijah Harvey
Moses Manning
L. B. Hollinger
John Parramore
David Howard
John Smith, Sr.
Andrew Johnston
John Smith, Jr.
Bryant McCuller
David Smith
Alexander McDaniel
Macom Smith
Alexander McMillin
Stephen T. Townsend

There being no business for the petit jurors orderly dismissed.

After qualifying the following persons as grand jurors the Court proceded to appoint the following persons as Constable for said county viz:
1st John Edwards who entered into bond as required by law and gave his security
Cullen Edwards and was duly qualified in open court. Bond filed in this office.
E.A. Robinson CGCC

2nd Isham Johnston, Jesse Townsend and Andrew Johnston entered jointly and severally into Bond for said Isham Johnston as Constable who was duly qualified agreeable to law.
E. A. Robinson CGC

The petition of sundry inhabitants of this county for the opening a road from the Florida line on the trail leading from Ft. Hughes by Rubin Stricklands to the public seat of this territory near the old deserted fields of Tallahasse is this day by order of this court granted and Thomas Fain, Cullin Wooten and Daniel Campbell are appointed by the court to examine and mark out said road and report to this court at their next term their proceeding herein as directed by law.
Recorded 6th April 1824 E.A. Robinson, Clk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

The petition of sundry inhabitants living on the Attapulgus praying for a road to be laid out beginning at the Georgia line above Moschito Creek where the trail from Ft. Scott to St. Marks crosses said creek and from thence the direction of said trail to where it crosses the Little River is now granted by this Court and Henry Yonge, Mark Harvey and Alexander Duglass be appointed commissioners to examine mark out and report same to the next Court in terms of the law.
April 5th 1824 Recorded 6 April 1824 E.A. Robinson, Clk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

The petition of sundry inhabitants of this county living in, on and near Little River praying for a road from the Georgia line above Moschito Creek at the Ft. Scott trail and from thence on by John Smith’s Sr direct to the present bridge on Little River and from thence to Murray’s Ferry on the Ocklockony, is this day granted by the court.
And said Jason Gregory, Jesee Bird, William Caldwell herein appointed commissioners to examine, mark out and report to the next court their proceedings herein as required by law.
April 6th 1824 Recorded 6 April 1824 E. A. Robinson Clk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

The petition of sundry inhabitants of this county praying that a road be opened from the top of the Hill on the Southeast side of Moschito Creek in this Territory by or near Thomas Fain along an Indian trail crossing Little River below the mouth of the Oclockonee and from thence on to the seat for the seat of government of the Territory aforesaid. The above petition granted and the court do appoint Arch’ Smith Sr, Cullin Edwards and Hezekiah Wilder to examine mark out and report to the next term of this court as the law directs. The above to be called Thomas Fain’s road.
April 6 1824 Recorded 6 April 1824 E.A. Robinson Clk

Bridge Rates
Waggon & team -- 50
Pleasure carriages 4 wheel – 50
Jerseys Carts & Giggs -- 25
Man & Horse -- 12&1/2
Foot Passenger -- 6&1/4
Cattle per head -- 2
Sheep, Goats & Hogs -- 1
Lead Horse -- 6&1/4

Ordered by the court that the above rates be allowed Jona. Robinson as full compensation for Toll for and during one year from this date 6th April 1824.
Recorded 6th April 1824 E. A. Robinson Clk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

The petition of certain inhabitants of said county praying that a road may be laid out from McCullochs Ferry on the Appalachicola River to intersect the road from the Georgia line coming from Meschiter Creek by and near John Smith’s Sr on to the present bridge on Little River is this day granted by this court and Arch’d Smith Jr, Alexander Love and Arch’d Buie are appointed by the court as commissioners to examine mark out and report thereon at the next term of this court as the law directs.
April 6th 1824 Recorded 6th April 1824 E. A. Robinson Clk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

The court this day proceeded in conformity with an act of the Legislative Counsel of said Territory approved the 11th of June A. D. 1823 to appoint three commissioners whose duty it becomes to select the public site for said County, and did appoint Collin Wooten, Henry Yonge and Joshua Harley as commissioner for said purpose and to make their return to the court at the present site the first Saturday in July next.
April 6 1824 Recorded 6 April 1824 E.A. Robinson, Clk

N. 2 McCulloh’s Ferry Rates, viz
Wagon and Team $1.00
Jereys, Carts & Giggs .50
4 wheel pleasure carriages .75
Man and horse .25
Foot passenger .12-1/2
Led horse .12-1/2
Cattle per head .03
Baggage of all kind per flat load 1.00

Ordered by the court that above rates be allowed said McCulloh as full compensation for ferriage fees and during the term of one year from this date 6 April 1824
Recorded 6th April 1824 E.A. Robinson, Clk

N.3 Murrays Ferry Rates on Ocklockny
Loaded waggen .50
Pleasure 4 wheel carriages .50
Jerseys, carts & Giggs .25
Man and horse .12-1/2
foot passenger .06-1/4
cattle per head .02
Sheep, goats & hogs .01

Ordered by the court that the above rates be allowed said Murray as full compensation for ferriage fees and during the term of one year from this date 6 April 1824.
Recorded 6th April 1824 E.A. Robinson

N.4 Richardsons Ferry on Ochlockny, Rates of viz
Loaded wagons & team .50
Two horse team .37-1/2
Jerseys, carts & Giggs .25
Mules & horses .12-1/2
foot passenger .06-1/4
cattle per head .02
Every flat load ferried over .50

Ordered by the court that the above rates be allowed Richardson as full compensation for ferriage fees and during the term of one year from this date 6 Apr 1824
Recorded 6th April 1824, E. A. Robinson

April 6, 1824
This day the court proceded to levy the county taxes for the present year for county purposes, viz:
Tax on all retailers of goods, wares and merch’d {merchandise} $10.00
Tax on all retailers of spirits for each store or stand $10.00
Tax on all itinerant traders or peddlars for each waggon,
cart or other vehicle they may carry goods in $20.00
Tax on every show man, jugler, slight of hand person $25.00
Tax on eachBilliard E. O. or other gaming table or devie $25.00
Tax on each and every auctioneer $25.00
Tax on each and every toll Bridge or Ferry $ 5.00
Tax on each white male pole from 21 years upwards $ .37
Tax on each black male and female from 17 to 50 years $ .37
Tax on each head of cattle $ .05
Tax on stud horse or jack $ 5.00
Tax on tavern keeping $5.00
The county surveyor to receive $5.00 per day

6th April 1824
Ordered by the Court that the sum of Thirty five dollars and twenty seven cents and one half cents be paid by the Clerk for Books Stationary and c, purchased for the use of the county. The above order settled agreeable to order of the court.
Jona Robinson, pres. JGCC E. A. Robinson Clk

6th April 1824
Ordered by the court that the sum of one dollar be paid John Edwards Constable for his attendance the during term.

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County April Term 1824
Present his honor Jonathan Robinson Judge

We the grand jurors for the County of Gadsden congratulate the Hon Court and the inhabitants of the county that few subjects worthy of presentment have come under their knowledge during the present term but situated as the white population of this county are surrounded by many of the aberiginal inhabitants who though very friendly and well disposed are yet liable to be used and impelled to the most attrocious acts by the misrepresentations of bad and designing men, they feel sorry to be compelled to present as a grievance that Stephen Richards the Indian interpreter who residing beyond the jurisdiction of court is in the habit of using the influence which his situation as interpreter gives him of poisoning the minds of said Indians by false representations against the white population of this Territory. They also present as a grievance the practice of vending spirituous liquors to the Indians.

Daniel F. McNeil
Allen McKenzie
Randal Johnson
Matthew Fain
Jesse Bird
Joshua Harley
Henry Yonge, Foreman
Mark Harvey
John Lines
William Cameron
Elias Wester
Arch’d Smith, Jun
Cullen Edwards
John Edwards
Daniel McKenzie
Daniel Buie
Arch’d Smith, Senr
Thomas P. Fain

The Grand Jury require that Honorable Court will have the foregoing presentment published in the Pensacola Gazette and West Florida Advertiser.
Henry Yonge, Foreman

Ordered by his honor that the foregoing presentment be published once in the said Gazette.
Attest Jona Robinson, Pres. JCCG, M. Harvey, J.P., Joseph McBride, J.P. David L. White

The preceeding of the present term were read over by the Clerk and the Court preceeded to sign the same.
Jona. Robinson Pres’ JCCG, M. Harvey, JP, David L. White, JP
Joseph McBride, JP

July 1824 Term

July 3rd/4 1824 - The Court met agreeable to its appointment for the purpose of receiving the report of the commissioners appointed to select the public site for the County of Gadsden. Present his Honor Jonathan Robinson, Michael Harvey, Joseph McBride and David L. White, Esquires. The Court received the report and on inquiry discovered that Joshua Harley one of the Commissioners was not qualified in term of the law.
Therefore ordered that the Commissioners again proceed to select and report to this court on the third Saturday of this month.
Jona Robinson, Pres., M. Harvey, JP, Joseph McBride, JP, David L. White, JP

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

We the undersigned appointed Commissioners by the County Court of the County aforesaid to select a convenient and eligible situation for the permanent seat of Justice having maturely reflected on the subject and of opinion as there is a great probability of the county being very soon divided owing to the great extent of its geographical limits, that at present it is inexpedient to make any permanent location, therefore recommend that the Court as being most consistent with the public interest that the same house now in use be continued as the seat of justice until after the meeting of the next Legislative Council.
Henry Yonge, Joshua Harley Recorded 4th July by E.A. Robinson CGC

Gadsden County, July 17, 1824. This day the Court met to receive the report of the commissioner who were appointed to select the site for this county the within was handed as the report, ordered by the court that this place be the public site until otherwise provided by law.
Recorded this 17th day July 1824 by E. A. Robinson, Clk

October 1824 Term

4th October 1824- This day the county court for the County of Gadsden was opened agreeable to law. Present his Honor Jona. Robinson, Judge, Michael Harvey, Joseph McBride, David L. White, Justices of Peace.

The following persons being returned by the Sheriff as grand jurors was called, viz:
George Bullock
Henry Yonge
Jason Gregory
David Love
Jesse Bird
Randal Johnston
Arch’d Smith, Jr.
Allen McKenzie
Daniel F. McNeil
Thomas C. Clark
Thomas Delphy
Joshua Harley
Andrew N. Johnston
Randal Johnston
Edmund Doyle
Wm. Stafford
Cullen Wooten
Arch’d Buie
Joseph McCulloch
Arch’d Smith
William Wyett

The above names when summond as grand jurors- 4 Oct. Term 1824

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

Ordered by the court that the petition of sundry inhabitants of said county for a road beginning at the Georgia line as the Fort Scott trail on Mosckeote {Mosquito} Creek and continuing on Parham’s Trail across Little River to Murray’s Ferry and also a branch to commence about one mile on the East side of Little River to go direct to Drury Vickers Ferry and from thence to the Public Site of this Territory is this day granted by the court and do appoint William Norwood, George Little, L. B. Hollinger, Andrew Johnston and Thomas Edwards, Isham Johnston as commissioners to examine and mark out and report thereon to the next term of this court as the law directs.
Recorded 4th Oct 1824 By E. A. Robinson Clk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

Ordered by the court that the petition of sundry inhabitants of said County for a road beginning at the Georgia line at Stricklin’s trail to Vickers Ferry on the Ocklockony and direct to the Public site of this Territory is this day granted by the court and Collin Wooten, Thomas Fain and John Markin, Daniel Cambell, Thos. Speight as Commissioners to examine, mark out and report thereon to the next court as the law directs.
Recorded 4th Oct. 1824 E. A. Robinson, Clk

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

Ordered by the court that J.(?) J. (?) Richardsons Bond shall be given to John Lines.
Oct. 4 1824- The above order has been complied with. Recorded by E.A. Robinson, Clk, GC

Territory of Florida, Gadsden County

Ordered that the sheriff pay to Arch’d Smith senr and Collin Edwards the sum of two dollars and fifty cents each for services performed in marking out a road and c.

Ordered by the court that the sheriff pay to Jason Gregory & Jessie Bird the sum of two dollars each for services performed in marking out a road & c.

Ordered by the court that the sheriff pay Collin Wooten & Arch. Smith senr, the sum of three dollars each.

Ordered by the court that Hezekiah Myers be appointed constable for Gadsden County by giving bond with sufficient security to the Clerk.

Ordered by the court that all persons who have failed to give in their cattle and other taxable property agreeable to the assessment made by this court at April term last and who shall persist in giving in on oath as now possibly directed be fined each the sum of fifteen dollars for contempt and the further sum of One Dollar as distraining fee to the sheriff as also----------- in other cases and it is now further ordered that the sheriff proceed three months after this day to collect distrain & c as above directed.
Oct. 4, 1824 Jona. Robinson, Pres., David L. White, M. Harvey

Ordered by the court that the sheriff proceed to collect of Micajah Crupper the sum of twenty dollars county tax for this present year as also the further sum of one dollar distraining fee & mileage as in other cases.

Ordered by the court that the Sheriff pay to John Edwards the sum of one dollar for his services for the present term.

Ordered by the court that the sheriff deliver to the Clerk in four weeks a list of the names and the amount collected from each citizen of the county, their agent or attorney who have given as agreeable to the assessment of this court at April term last their taxable property and have also pays over to the Clerk all moneys and vouchers collected by him and that the Clerk post up on the Court house door a tax list of all names as aforesaid rendered him by the sheriff with the amount opposite each persons name as collected by him as fine income of services of the county.

 
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