Accomack County, Virginia Court Order Abstracts, Volume 19: 1753-1763 [2 vols.]


The nineteenth volume of Accomack County, Virginia’s court orders begins with the court held on 27 June 1753, and ends 659 pages later with the court of 31 January 1764. During this volume’s ten and a half years, twenty-two justices took turns presiding over almost 290 court sessions; they also contracted for a new courthouse that stood for more than 140 years. The clerk’s cramped handwriting testifies to murders, rapes, thefts, profanity, slander, bastardy, punishment, jail breaks, and fraud. He also wrote about the more mundane—the taxes, the land disputes and the debts, lots of debts. The court dealt with colonists from all levels of society. The introduction spotlights the more interesting, revealing or unfortunate incidents found among the court orders issued during those years, including accounts of courthouse and prison improvements, domestic abuse, the economy, grist mills, partitioning of estates, orphans, indentured servants, burglary and slaves rising up against their masters or overseers. This chronological collection of court orders reaches into the everyday lives of ordinary Virginians living on the Eastern Shore. A full name plus subject index adds to the value of this work, which is intended as a guide to the original court order books.

JoAnn Riley McKey

2011, 5½x8½, paper, index, 2 vols., 618 pp.

ISBN: 9780788453717