Date Original



This is an order to summon Peyton R. Pitman to appear before a Justice of the Peace on the charge that he has failed to maintain a proper ferry.

Biographical/Historical Note

After what must have been a less than ideal river crossing, Bowen Reynolds filed a complaint with the local Justice of the Peace accusing Peyton Pitman of failure to maintain a proper ferry. In these times, ferries were the primary way for crossing rivers and critical to good transportation. A bad ferry could ruin a business if the cargo was lost. Because of this, ferry operators had to post hefty penal bonds in order to be in business.


Territory of Arkansas County of Lawrence Current River Township: the United States of America
to the Constable of the Township
of Current River in the County of
Whereas information hath this day bin[sic] given to me
John L Cochran a Justice of the peace within and for
said county by Bowen Reynolds of the county of
Haywood and state of Tennessee that Payton R Pitman
of the county of Lawrence aforesaid doth keep a stated
ferry over and a cross[sic] the River Currents (formerly Pitmans
and Rodneys ferry) in the name of or under the character
of a bond ferry as required by law and that the said
Peyton R Pitman by neglecting to do his duty in
this behalf hath no kept a good and sufficient
boat as by law he is required these are therefore
to require you to summons the said Peyton R Pitman
to appear before me or some other justice of the said township
on Wednesday the twenty first day of this instant
between the hours of ten in the forenoon[sic] and three
oclock in the afternoon of said day at my dwelling
house to answer the said Bowen Reynolds who
as well for the county of Lawrence aforesaid as
for himself doth prosecute of a plea that he render
unto them the sum of thirty dollars and to shew[sic]
cause why the same shall not be levied upon him
for the said offences according to law given
under my hand and seal this 12th day December AD 1831
John L Cochran
Justice of the peace
Execute this summons at the
dwelling house of the with in[sic] named
defendent[sic] by reading the same in
his presants[sic] on this 15th instant and
return it this 21st December 1831
Isaac Gray Constable

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 13"


Law; Law enforcement; Documents; Ferries; Manuscripts; Rivers; Transportation; Maintenance and repair; Crimes


John L. Cochran

Geographical Area

Current River Township, Lawrence County (Ark.)




MSNE.0070, Box 55, Folder 118

Resource Type



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


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives

Recommended Citation

Ferry upkeep: Lawrence County v. Peyton R. Pitman, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.


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United States History


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Ferry upkeep: Lawrence County v. Peyton R. Pitman