After Dawn picked me up at the airport, we picked out an engagement ring, then went to the Lebanon County Historic Society and got a copy of the original agreement transferring Speedwell Forge from James Old to his son-in-law, Robert Coleman. (You can see which of those interests me more.) I’d never held a 200-year old document before; that was pretty cool. Christine, the librarian, not only made us a copy, but she scanned it in and burned a CD as well!
What’s really interesting about this document is how easy it is to read. Bear in mind, 200 hundred years ago handwriting was much different than today, and Webster didn’t publish the first dictionary until 22 years after this was written. Except for the stylized “s” (looks like an “f”), this could have been written yesterday. Note the reference to Pennsylvania money — the dollar wasn’t adopted until 1786, and Pennsylvania didn’t enter the Union until 1787!
Articles of Agreement made and concluded upon by and Between James Old of Lancaster County Iron Master of the One Part And Robert Coleman of the said Count Iron Master of the other Part Witnessing that the said James Old has agreed and hereby doth agree in Consideration of the Sum of Seven Thousand Pounds lawful Money of Pennsylvania in Gold or Silver to be paid as herein after mentioned to him his Heirs Executor Administratory or Assigns by the said Robert Coleman his Heirs Executors or Administrator to grant bargain and sell assure and convey unto the said Robert Coleman his Heris and Assigns All that Capital Messuage [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][a dwelling house and its adjacent buildings and land] or Lands commonly called or known by the Name of Speedwell Forge Lands and of and in all other the Lands Tenements Hereditaments [any property that can be inherited] & Premises to the said James Old belonging Situate in the Townships of Warwick, Elizabeth & localties Together with all Singular the Appurtenances Tools & Utensils (Except one half of the grain in the Ground) Which Grant & Assurance shall be made on or before the first day of May next by the said James Old & Margaret his Wife to the said Robert Coleman his Heirs and Assigns for ever free from all Incumbrances And the said Robert Coleman for himself his Heirs Exector or Admn. doth hereby Covenant and agree to pay the said James Old his Heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns the Sum of Seven thousand Pound in Manner following that is to say Two thousand five hundred Pounds part thereof on the first day of May next of four Hundred & fifty Pounds on the first day of May for ten Years next following without Interest. In Witness whereof the said Parties have hereunto set their Hand & Seals the second Day of April in the Year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred & Eighty Four It is agreed before Sealing & Delivery that the Bond from William Old to the said Robert Coleman is to be Discounted in the first Payment–
Sealed and Delivered
in the Presence of us James Old
Received May 7th, 1784 of Robert Coleman two Thousand
five Hundred Pounds in full for the first Payment of
Speedwell Forge. I say received by me James Old
[I have no idea what this word is] Charles Faupel