This is a $450 bond posted by James Raney upon taking the oath to become a Justice of the Peace in Lawrence County.
A justice of the peace is a judicial officer tasked with keeping the peace. They could be appointed or elected and can serve as a judge for legal matters. Generally, their duty was basic law enforcement. This particular bond for James Raney is atypical for a justice of the peace because it mentions one specific citizen. For his obligation to the bond, Raney is tasked with general law enforcement and specifically to keep Peter Halderman's land, houses, and cotton gin from being burned. This suggests that Halderman had been threatened or perhaps even already attacked. Halderman was a rather wealthy merchant and landowner in Lawrence County with a vague story. He was originally a slave owner but eventually emancipated all of his slaves prior to the Civil War. In 1850, he co-signed bonds for free blacks to remain in the state of Arkansas.
Territory of Arkansas, County of Lawrence, Strawberry Township: of the United States of America
Be it remembered that on the 4th day of September in the year of our Lord eight
teen hundred and thirty James Raney of the county and township A.Try[sic]
aforesaid, Jacob Ogden of the county and township A.Try.[sic] and
of the county and township A.Try.[sic] of the county
and township A.Try.[sic] personally come before me Thomas McCarroll Justice
of the peace witness and for said county and acknowledge themselves to
be in debted[sic] to John Pope governor of the Territory of Arkansas and
his successors in office to the just and full sum of four hundred and fifty
dollars good and lawful money of the territory to the land on our
respective goods and chattles[sic], lands and tenements respectively
The condition of the above obligation
is such that if the above bounded[sic] James Raney will observe
and keep the peace of this United States and of this Territory towards
all of its citizens particularly Peter Halderman of the county and
township aforesaid and all of his property, houses and cotton
gin burn nor cause to be burnt none of the aforesaid houses
for the shore[sic] and full term of nine months from this
date then this obligation to be void els[sic] to remain in full
forse[sic] and efect[sic].
In testimony whereof we have
set our hands and affixt[sic] our
seals this the 4th day in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and thirty
Document, 8" x 13.5"
Documents; Manuscripts; Law enforcement; Law enforcement officers; Municipal officials; Municipal government; Police; County government
Strawberry, Lawrence County (Ark.)
MSNE.0018, Box 1, Folder 54
Lawrence County (Ark.) bonds, MSNE.0018
Arkansas State Archives
Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives
Justice of the peace bond for James Raney, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.
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United States History
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