Date Original

1816 December 07


This document is an indictment for perjury against Robert B. Musick. It is noted by the foreman, Eli Hillhouse, that the jury found it to be a true bill or an accurate statement of facts.

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert B. Musick was among the early Pioneers in Lawrence County, but eventually settled in Hempstead County in southwest Arkansas. In this court case, Musick is accused of lying under oath about having knowledge of a note he was said to have given to George Ruddle for the sum of twenty-three dollars and ten cents. The language used in this document is also a great example of the changes that legal language has gone through over time with the use of words and phrases such as "wickedly," and "against the peace and dignity of the United States and this Territory."


Territory of Missouri
County of Lawrence
In the Circuit Court of said
County and the Term of September
One thousand eight hundred and sixteen
The Grand Jurors empanilled[empaneled] Sianged[signed] and
sworn to enquire in and for the body of the County aforesaid
upon their oaths present ssay[and say]._ that one George Ruddle
having a note purporting to be a promissory Note given
by one Robert B Musick to said Ruddle for the sum of twenty
three Dollars and Ten Cents upon which said promissory note
the said George Ruddle made application to one William Moore
Esquire a Justice of the peace in and for the township
of White River in the County aforesaid for a Summons against
Robert Musick upon said promissory note according to
Law.- where upon the aforesaid Justice did issue a writ
of summons according to the aforesaid application to the
proper officer that the said Robert B Musick should be and
appear before him said Justice and answer the aforesaid demand
And the grand Jurors aforesaid upon the aforesaid
oaths do say that the aforesaid Robert B Musick late
of the aforesaid County- on the aforesaid last saturday in
July last part, and being the twenty Seventh day of said
month in the year One thousand eight hundred Sixteen
at White River Township in the County aforesaid did then and
there appear before said Justice of the peace . . . . . . .
pleaded that the promissory note aforesaid and produced
as evidence of the demand in the aforesaid action had
never been given, nor signed or subscribed by him and he
the said Musick did take his Corporal oath, and was
then and there duly sworn by said Justice of the peace upon
the holy evangelists of almighty God that the plea which
he said Robert B Musick then and there pleaded as aforesaid
cntained[contained] the truth, the said Justice of the peace having then
and there compitent[sic] authority to administer the same oath,
to said Robert B Musick in that behalf, and it then and
there on the trial aforesaid became a material question whictin[sic]
the said Robert B Musick executed and delivered the note
aforesaid to said George Ruddle, and thereupon the said
Robert B Musick being so present and sworn as aforesaid
deveinig[sic] and wickedly - - - - - and maliciously to
cause said George Ruddle to lose the amount of said
note, and not having the fear of God before his eyes
but being moved and seduced by the instigation[sic] of the
Devil then and there before said Justice of the peace did
falsely, wilfully, and corruptly, and of his own proper
act and coment[sic], Say dipose - and swear that he [did]
never did execute and deliver the promissory note aforesaid
to said George Ruddle_ Whereas in fact and in truth
The said Robert B Musick [had] before that time Towit[sic]
before the institution of said suit, [he] had duly made
executed and delivered to said George Ruddle_ his writing
commonly called a promissory note his own proper hand
being thereto[sic] subscribed_ for the amount of the aforesaid
demand__ and which was - and is the same note produced
and sworn as aforesaid in the said suit__
And so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath
aforesaid Do say that the said Robert B Musick on the
said twenty seventh day of July last past, at White
river Township aforesaid before the said William Moore
Justice of the peace in and for said Township as aforesaid__
and the said Justice having competent authority to
administer the said oath to said Robert B Musick as
aforesaid, by his own proper act and coment, in manner
and from aforesaid did falsely, wilfully - and corruptly
upon his oath aforesaid, commit wilful and corrupt
perjury. -- to the great displeasure of almighty GoD[sic].
to the evil example of all others in like cases offending___
contrary to the form of the Statute in such care made
and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the
United States, and of this Territory. __
J S. Hempstead - - -
No 1 to December T[erm] 1816
United States
Robert B Musick
A True Bill_
Eli Hillhouse
as fourman[sic]

Physical Description

Document, 15" x 10"


Frontier and pioneer life; Law; Debt; Crimes


J.S. Hempstead

Geographical Area

Lawrence County (Ark.)




MSNE.0070, Box 11, Folder 946, Item 1

Resource Type



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


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives

Recommended Citation

Court case regarding perjury, United States v. Robert B. Musick, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.


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Court case regarding perjury, United States v. Robert B. Musick