Zael Ward notebook  1833-1843
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Collection Scope and Content Note

"Zael Ward's Docket Book" (164 pages) contains notes on civil cases that Ward heard as justice of the peace in Harmony, New York; financial accounts; and records of marriages he performed in Harmony, New York, and Cottrellville, Michigan.

The first 5 pages consist of miscellaneous notes, including a mention of a bee swarm (p. 1) and a state-by-state list of election dates for an unspecified year (p. 2). Pages 6-61 contain notes on court cases that Ward heard as justice of the peace in Harmony, New York, between January 28, 1833, and May 22, 1837, concerning financial disputes. The cases are organized chronologically, and record the names of the involved parties, a brief recapitulation of the dispute, and the amount of any damages awarded. Pages 60-62 also have brief journal entries made in 1833, 1838, and 1841, and the remainder of the book contains Ward's personal financial accounts between 1837 and 1842 (pp. 63-141 and 154-163), interspersed with additional notes.

The first several pages of accounts (pp. 63-68) concern boarders who stayed with Ward in 1838 and 1839, as well as miscellaneous labor costs. The vast majority of the transactions record the purchase of foodstuffs and other items, most often meat, fish, potatoes, sugar, flour, and butter, as well as payments for labor and household items. Additionally, Ward documented his financial accounts with specific individuals, frequently noting the dates of settlement, often in the early 1840s. Scattered among these accounts are a set of travel and labor costs charged to St. Clair County, Michigan (p. 85); a legal memorandum dated at Chautauqua County, New York, on September 1, 1834, regarding an illegal alcohol purchase (p. 128); notes that Ward paid a school tax (p. 130); and the abbreviated text of a petition (p. 140). Ward also kept a list of marriages he performed in Harmony, New York (March 7, 1833-October 20, 1836), and Cottrellville, Michigan (July 23, 1842), on pages 142-152.

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