Date Original



This indenture contracted Manly Manson, an orphan, to serve as an apprentice to Uriah Smith, a blacksmith, until the age of 21. During that time, Uriah Smith was obligated to send Manly to school, provide room and board, and teach him how to be a blacksmith.

Biographical/Historical Note

Indentured apprenticeships were the original vocation educations. Young adolescents, often orphans, would sign a contract to serve their master or mistress for seven years. During that time, they'd receive on-the-job training in a profession like farming, blacksmithing, weaving, tailoring, millinery or other valuable skills. In 1825, Sinclair Manson died in Lawrence County, leaving behind his son, Manly Manson. George Hudspeth acted as guardian for Manly until he was old enough to contract as an apprentice. Uriah Smith was well-respected and blacksmiths were in high demand. This would have been an excellent opportunity for Manly.


This indenture made and entered into this 16th day
of August in the year of our Lord one thousand
eight hundred and thirty one between George S.
Hudspeth Guardian of Manly Manson one of the heirs
of Sinclair Manson deceased of the one part and Uriah
Smith of the other part all of the county of Law-
rence in the Territory of Arkansas. Witnesseth[sic] that
the said George S. Hudspeth Guardian of the said Manly
hath put the said Manly and by these presents[sic], by
the approtation[sic] of the County Court of said County
or Lawrence, doth voluntarily and of his own free will
and action put the said Manly Manson as an appren-
tice to the said Uriah Smith, to learn the art, trade and
mystery of Blacksmithing (or to be a Blacksmith)
to serve the said Uriah Smith from the day of the
date hereof until said Manly arrives at the full
age of twenty one years old, during all which time the
said apprentice his master faithfully shall serve
his secrets keep, his lawful commands every when
readily obey, he shall do no damage to his said
master or mistress[sic] nor - - - by others
without giving within thereof to his said master
and mistress[sic], he shall not waste the goods
of this said master or mistress[sic] or lend them unlaw-
fully to any, he shall not commit fornication
nor contract matrimony within said term, he
shall not play at cards, dice, nor any other
unlawful game whereby his master of mistress
shall or may suffer damage with their own goods, or
the goods of others without license from his said
master or mistress, he shall neither buy nor sell
he shall not absent himself day nor night from
his master's service without his leave, nor haunt ale-
houses, taverns or play houses, but in all things
behave himself as a faithful apprentice ought to do
during the said term. And the said Uriah
Smith shall use the utmost of his endeavors to
teach or cause to be taught or instructed the
said Manly Manson in the art or mys-
tery of a Blacksmith which the said Uriah Smith
now followeth[sic], and procure and provide for him
sufficient meat, drink, clothing, lodging and working
suitable and fitting for an apprentice during the
said Term for which he is bound to serve, and
further the said Uriah Smith is to send the
said Manly to school for the term or space of
at least nine (9) months. And at the expiration
of the Term of service for which the said Manly
is hereby bound to serve the said Manly is to
be furnished with a freedom suit of new clothing
worth thirty dollars, consisting of one hat, one
coat, one pair of pantaloons one vest, one shirt
and one pair of shoes and socks and Ten dollars in cash provided he com-
plies on his part with this indenture.
And for the true performance of all
and singular the commands and agreements aforesaid
the said parties bind themselves each unto
the other firmly by these presents[sic]
in witness whereof the said parties
have interchangeably[sic] sit their hands
and seals hereunto dates the say and
year above written
In presence of
David W. Lowe
G.S. Hudspeth
Uriah Smith
To wit- I do hereby certify that the foregoing indenture
was duly recorded on the 8th day of October AD 1831 in
Probate Book B pages 175, [17]6 and 177
In Testimony whereof I have hereto set
my hand and the seal of our Court this 8th
October 1831
David W. Lowe Clerk County Court Lawrence County ARK Terr.
Indenture of Manly Manson, an orphan of Sinclair Manson Dec.
Approved, J.S. Campbell
Judge of County Court
Recorded Probate B pages
175, 176 and 177
Recording $0.63
Certificate and Seal 0.20
Paid $0.83
Filed October 4th 1831 D.W. Lowe [Clerk]

Physical Description

Document, 8" x 14"


Documents; Manuscripts; Law; Apprentices; Blacksmithing; Blacksmiths; Vocational education; Guardian and ward; Orphans


George S. Hudspeth

Geographical Area

Lawrence County (Ark.)




MSNE.0070, Box 15, Folder 1514

Resource Type



Lawrence County (Ark.) Circuit Court records, MSNE.0070


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives

Recommended Citation

Apprenticeship indenture, blacksmithing, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.


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Apprenticeship indenture, blacksmithing