Date Original

1833 November 18; 1833 December 10


These court documents include an appellate judgement, appeal court proceedings, and an execution in the case of Peyton R. Pitman v. William Watson.The first document is a copy of the Appellant Judgement which has a list of the accounts costs and states that William Watson had taken oath to remove two suits brought against Payton R. Pitman. The second document is the appeal court proceedings, which lists the names of the six jurors, who found in favor of the defendant, William Watson.The third document is an execution showing that Payton R. Pitman finally won an appeal to collect damages for William Watson in the sum of fifty-four dollars and fifty cents. This document also includes a comprehensive list of the court fees that added up to a fairly substantial amount.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ferries were necessary for transporting people, livestock, and goods across the rivers in Arkansas. It could be a risky business and ferrymen were expected to maintain their boats in well-working order to serve the population moving back and forth across the waters. The sinking of a ferry could cause serious injuries, cost lives, loss of property, and ruin businesses. Peyton R. Pitman was a well-known ferryman in Arkansas due to his location near the military road's entrance into the territory. An interesting note about this case is the presence of Richard Searcy, as Pitman's attorney. Searcy was an active lawyer and holder of various political positions in Northeast Arkansas throughout the territorial period.


[Page 1] William Watson
November 1832 To Peyton R. Pitman - - -
To paying Richard Searcy as attorney
his fee Twelve dollars and fifty cents
of which I claim half of said fees
viz.[sic] six dollars and twenty five cents _
$ . Cts[cents]
The above is services renderd[sic] by said searcy in a
case wherein Bowen Reynolds wn[was] plaintiff and
Peyton R. Pitman defendant in a[sic] several suits
agains[sic] said Pitman when said Watson were - - -
This day persally[personally] appeared Peyton R Pitman before
me a Justice of the peace within and for the
County of Lawrence Ark[ansas] Ter[ritory] and after being sworn
deposeth and saith that the above accounts is
Just and True and further he saith not
sworn To and subscribed this
22nd day of June 1833
before me Burwell J Wiley
Just--- of Th--
[to the side]P.R.Pitman
To Buswell J Wiley Esquire
This is to certify that william Watson has taken
the necessary oath to Remove two suits Brought
against said watson by Peyton R. Pitman
for accounts, and I do herewith bandmit to you
all the papers in relation of said suits
William Jarrett J.S.
June 15th_ 1833
personaly appeard[sic]James G Russel and confess
himself --ntly bound with The above Defende[sic]
for an appeal To The circuit corte[sic]
I do certify that the within is a True Transcript
from my Dockes[sic]
This 15th november 1833
Constabls[sic] cost
service summ--- 37 1/2
Milage 10
[total] 47 1/2
Burwell J Wiley
Justis[sic] of the peace
Justis Cost
for summon 25
Judgement 50
this certified coppy 50
[total] $125[$1.25]
[sidways writing] Wm[William] Watson
P R Pitman
Files[sic] November 18, 1833
D W Lowe ck[clerk]
(upside down)
To Burwell J Wiley Esquire
Lawrence County Arkansas Territory
Al[all] the Risk and request of William Watson
I do Hereby Deputise Lewis M Russel
as constable for the purpose of transmiting
the within papers
William Jarrett, J.P.
15th June 1833
[Page 2] Territory of Arkansas
Lawrence County
Columbia Township
Peyton R. Pitman
William Watson
In an action braught[sic] To recouce[recourse]
half of his Fines for Keeping
insufficent Ferry-Boat
an application of Peyton R. Pitman the plantiff
Summons issued on the 15th day of june A.D. 1833 Return
=able on the 22nd day of the same month. and on the said 22nd
day of june 1833 the constable returned the Summons
Executed and the parties appeared. and the Defendant
not being ready for trial where upon the 29th day of the
same june was set for trial day, and now on the
29th day of june 1833, the parties again appear ready
for Trial and chose as a jury between them James
Bigger, John Mansker John W. Alexander Benjamine
J. Allen Robert B. Mock and Jessie Johnson and
they being Sworn well and truly the issue jainex, went
into the Examination of witnesses, and after hearing
all the Testimony introduced by the parties, the jury went
out and after being out some Time came in with this
virdict “We the jurors find for The Defendant sign
=ed James Bigger foreman)
Therefore it is considered and a judged That
the plaintiff take nothing for his suit and that
the Defendant do have and necoun[recover] of the said
plaintiff his costs and charges on his part. in
and about this Suit expanded
William Jarrett J.P.[Justice of the Peace]
Justices Fees
For issuing Summons _____25
For Swearing 6 jurors _ _____ __ 37 1/2
For entering judgement _ __ 50
For entering bail _ ______ 20
$1.32 1/2
Constables Fees
For Serving Summons 37 1/2
Milage _ _______ 10
6 jurors fees 1 50 / 47 1/2
19th june 1833 Peyton R. Pitman The plaintiff in
the above suit payed an appeal on the above judge
=ment which is granted him, and James Mcdonald
appeared personally and Acknowledged himself jointly
bound with Peyton R. Pitman the appealant on the
foregoing judgement for the costs of said appeal
William Jarrett J.P.
I William Jarrett a justice of the peace with
=in and for the county of Lawrence A.T.[Arkansas Territory] do hereby
Certify that the within (Article) is a true
Copy from my doquet[sic] of the proceedings had
before me in the case of Peyton R. Pitman
against William Watson
given under my hand this 3rd day of
November 1833
William Jarrett J.P.
Payton R. Pitman
v. Appeal
William Watson
Copy and---
Peyton R Pitman
Wm Watson
action for insufficant
ferry Boat
Dissmissed from court
for the want of Juris--
Filed November 18. 1833
DW Lowe Ck[clerk]
[Page 3] To the Sheriff of the County of Lawrence Greeting:
WHEREAS Peyton R Pitman
at our Cicuit Court, before
our Judge, hath recovered against William Watson
the sum of Fifty four dollars and fifty cents
in damages; and also the sum of Twenty two dollars seventy two
cents which to the said Peyton R Pitman
were adjuged for his costs in
that suit expended, as appears to us of record: These are therefore to command you, that, of the goods and
chattels, lands and tenements of the said William Watson
you cause to be made the aforesaid Damages
and costs, that you have the same before the Judge
of our said Court, on the Third, Monday of May next, to render to the said Peyton R
Pitman the Damages
and costs aforesaid. And for want of sufficient goods and chattels, lands and tenements, whereon to levy and make the same, we command you that you take the said
William Watson
if he be found in your bailiwick, and him safely keep, so that you have his body before
the same Judge, on the said 3rd Monday of May to satisfy the said Peyton R
Pitman of the aforesaid
Damages and costs; and that you certify to our Judge
how you execute this writ, and have you then there this writ.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand as CLerk, and
affixed the seal of office, this 10th day of December 1833, and of the
Independence of the United States the fifty eighth (back)
R--d[Read] this Execution on the 12 of December 1833
Received May the 17th 1834 on the within J.M. Kuykendall shff[sic]
execution Sixty dollars by me Mathias Mock D H Shiff[sic]
Peyton R Pitman
v. | Original Exn[execution]
William Watson
Damage $ 54.50
Jury fee 8.00
Clerks fees 7.08
Shff Kuykendall 3.51
--- - mo-k .33
F W Taylor 4.00
Justice Baer[sic] and
Wm[William] Jarrett 2.07 1/2
74.49 1/2
M Moer $ 1.22 1/2
Jury before
Jas[James] Bigger 25
John Mansker 25
John W Alexandar 25
B J Allen 25
Robt[Robert] B Mock 25
Jepe[sic] Johnson 25
2.27 1/2
This Execution 2.00
Total $79.22
this Execution Satis[sic]
-----[payed] in full Mathias Mock D J Shiff
Received the full amount of my fees on the
within Execution
DW Lowe Clerk

Physical Description

Document, 12" x 7.75"


Ferries; Frontier and pioneer life; Law; Rivers; Transportation


Lawrence County Circuit Court; William Jarrett; D.W. Lowe

Geographical Area

Lawrence County (Ark.)




MSNE.0070, Box 13, Folder 1232

Resource Type



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


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives

Recommended Citation

Court case, Peyton R. Pitman v. William Watson in a ferry boat dispute, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.


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Court case, Peyton R. Pitman v. William Watson in a ferry boat dispute