County historical documents for sale on eBay

Stash includes anti-dueling oaths signed by Rappahannock officials

A sizeable most intriguing batch of Rappahannock County historical documents dating to the early 1900s, including letters signed by U.S. congressmen and anti-dueling oaths signed by local government officials, has shown up for sale on eBay for $688.

“The content is great here — very varied — about what was going on in Rappahannock County in the 1910s and in Washington, Virginia,” says the unidentified seller, who lists their address as Richmond. “Anybody who was an elected official in Rappahannock County in the 1910s is here. This group [of relics] will keep you busy for a VERY long time.”

Photos via eBay

The approximately 100 documents and 170 envelopes, enclosures and cards are “from the personal papers of W.C. Armstrong,” says the seller, who further describes the unique offerings as “a big group of Rappahannock County Circuit Court Clerk items from the 1910s.”

“A few from his predecessor Mr. Settle, most of these items are addressed to Armstrong as clerk of the court and involve county matters,” the item states. “I am certain these made their way to the trash can of the day or were duplicates once recorded at the courthouse in another way, but they were kept and they were kept by the family for over 100 years.”

Among the more interesting relics are two congressional letters signed by U.S. congressmen, a Sperryville undertaker’s invoice, and anti-dueling oaths.

“Many of the documents,” says the seller, “are better ones: deeds, invoices, dunning statements, at least three detailed jury instructions for trials, annual surety bonding of elected officials, and MANY anti-dueling oaths where local officials had to swear they had not participated in duels!”

The collection of items also contains attorney letters, indentures, a land grant summary, and account statements. One envelope contains 25 bank checks, most with revenue stamps.

One letterhead identifies the “Office of J.E. Sutphin, County Surveyor for Rappahannock, Flint Hill, VA.”

Another is an invoice sent from “Hitt, Son & Menefee, Undertakers, Sperryville, VA,” and surrounds the handling of a Woodville resident’s remains.

The eBay item — No. 352219078138 — lists an expiration date of Feb. 23.

Editor’s note: The Rappahannock News does not know the seller of these relics, nor was the newspaper contacted by the seller or anybody else. Instead, the eBay item was discovered during the newspaper’s periodic searches of the popular online auction site for anything Rappahannock County related.

About John McCaslin 187 Articles
John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.

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