Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Chatham County (N.C.) Court Documents, 1790-1822

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, September 2009

Summary Information
Title: Chatham County (N.C.) court documents
Creator: North Carolina. Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (Chatham County)
Inclusive dates: 1790-1822
Extent: 23 items
This collection consists of 23 court documents from the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of Chatham County, North Carolina, including court orders and other legal documents relating to debt actions.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1963. M-1254.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Chatham County (N.C.) Court Documents, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


This collection is organized chronologically.


Chatham County, North Carolina, was formed as a settlement by Quakers in 1751, and was established as a county in 1771. During the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, the county was governed by justices of the peace, who operated Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions and appointed state General Assembly representatives as well as the county sheriff and other officials.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Chatham County, N.C., court documents, contains 23 court orders and other legal documents relating to debt payments from the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of Chatham County, North Carolina. These papers shed light on the North Carolina residents' financial affairs, and show court and attorney fees. Many of the documents are writs ordering the seizure of property to fulfill debts. One writ, dated August 23, 1821, ordered John Cocke to sell two slaves, Rose and Eliza, to pay back a $79.82 debt. Another writ required that Asa Stone sell her furniture, mare and colt, and other livestock to satisfy a ninety-one dollar debt owed to Mary Lucas. Items were often written one day and issued weeks later.

Subject Terms

    • Court administration--North Carolina.
    • Chatham County (N.C.)
    • Debt--United States.
    • Pittsboro (N.C.)
    • Slavery--North Carolina--History.
    Genre Terms:
    • Legal documents.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   20, Small Collections  
    Chatham County (N.C.) court documents [series]
    Folder   6  
     July 14, 1790
     July 25, 1806    [Note: fragment copy]
     July 25, 1807
     August 10, 1807    [Note: 2 items]
     November 9, 1807
     November 23, 1820    [Note: 3 items]
     August 20, 1821
     August 22, 1821
     August 23, 1821    [Note: 2 items]
    Folder   7  
     August 23, 1821    [Note: 4 items]
     August 25, 1821
     August 29, 1821
     September 5, 1821    [Note: 2 items]
     September 24, 1821
     August 21, 1822
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library also holds:

    London, Henry Armand. An Address on the Revolutionary History of Chatham County, N.C., Delivered at the Centennial Celebration at Pittsborough (Present Day Pittsboro), N.C., on the Fourth Day of July, 1876.. Sanford, N.C., Cole Print. Co., [1894].


    "History" information was taken from the "Early History" page at the Chatham County website.