Monday, January 28, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: William Drake Indenture

"This Indenture made this Twenty first day of March in the year of our Lord Anno Domini Eighteen Hundred and Twenty Between William Drake Trustee of the State of NoCarolina and County of Nash of the one part & Lawrence Battle of the same State and County of the other Witnesseth that whereas John Arrington Jnr of the same State and County as aforesaid executed a Deed in trust to one the aforesaid William Drake for Certain purposes therein Named on the fourteenth day of September eighteen Hundred and Nineteen which Said Deed was duly proven and Registered as the Law Directs & then agreeable thereto I the aforesaid William Drake did legally impose to the highest Bidder as the property of the aforesaid John Arrington Jnr at this Court House Door Four Hundred And Twenty acres of Land adjoining Benj a Atkins & Atkins on [?] Called the Burgh Land for which Lawrence Battle gave One Hundred And Six Dollars and five Cents he being the highest bidder Also at the Same time & plan all the aforesaid John Arrington Jnr sight title Interest [?] [?] Tract of Land known by the Name of the Alston Land supposed To Contain four thousand acres  - And on Peach tree break Adjoining George Bodder & others & the [?] on [?] adjoining Jayms O. Atkins for which Lawrence Battle gave Two hundred & Sixty Dollars he being the highest bidder all of which Lands was publickly and fairly Sold Therefor then for and income collection of the Sum of Three Hundred and Sixty Six Dollars and five Cents To me In hand paid by the aforesaid Lawrence Battle before the Sealing and Delivering of these persons I the aforesaid William Drake trustee do hereby bind myself, my Heirs & to him the said Lawrence Battle his Heirs & forever to Defend the Right title Interest benefit and behoof to him The Said Lawrence Battle his heirs and assigns forever of all the aforesaid Lands Interest benefits & so far as my official authority Extends in the same In testimony thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal the Day and Date first above written.

Wm Drake Trustee {Seal]

Signed Sealed and Delivered
In the presence of us}
James Avent}
James Allann}
Benj [?] Blunt}

Nash County/Feby Session 1821

the within Deed was In Open Court Duly proven by the Oath of James Avent and an motion ordered to be registered.

And is registered by [?] Ellis PR"

Nash County (NC) Deeds, Vol. 10, 1818-23 p. 212-213
 At this time, I do not know how this particular William Drake fits into my Drake family.  He appears as a witness to several Drake deeds in both Virginia and North Carolina, which leads me to believe that he is a close relative.

Can anyone explain to me exactly what this indenture is?  My interpretation is that William Drake was entrusted to sell others' land.  I suspect it was more complex than that.  I would appreciate any help.


  1. My understanding is that as trustee, William was holding the land (literally) in trust for someone else. It may be that you can find out who he was holding the land in trust for, and selling it on behalf of, by researching in contemporary court records (probably the minutes for the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions). It may also help if you can figure out how William (or the person he was holding the land in trust for) came into possession of this land; that is, at a minimum, go back and get the indenture where John Arrington executed a "deed in trust" to William and see what that document says.

    Usually, a trustee was acting on behalf of someone who was not legally competent to act on his or her behalf, such as a married woman. That's my experience, and I could be wrong!

    Good luck!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing this great information! I will do some more looking the next time I visit the NC Archives and see if I can unearth more information about this.