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1744.08.15 — Indenture document for Timothy Buggy, August 15, 1744

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1744.08.15 — Indenture document for Timothy Buggy, August 15, 1744


The first part of the document has Oliver, Warham, and Eliakim Smith assert their legal legitimacy as the “select men and overseers” representatives of the “poor” people who sign themselves into indentured servitude in Hadley, Massachusetts. The next part introduces Timothy Buggy, who the Smiths are representing. It explains how Timothy is an able-bodied worker but chooses not to work, elaborating on Timothy’s lack of assets, productivity, and employment. The Smiths found Timothy to fall into the category of beggars (Un-willing to work) and assigned him to Charles Phelps as an indentured worker. This assignment would last for three months, and Charles would be at full discretion to assign Timothy any work he finds suitable. In return, at the end of the term, Charles would pay back the amount equivalent to the labor he received for Timothy to be parceled out by these Hadley figures of authority (the Smiths) in accordance with the law.


Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers (Box 4, Folder 32)
University of Massachusetts Special Collections and University Archives




Public domain


Indenture document



To all People to whom these presents shall come We Oliver Smith, Warham Smith, and Eliakim Smith the major Part of the select Men & overseers of the Poor for the town of Hadley in the County of Hampshire & Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Send Greeting

Whereas Timothy Buggy a transient Person who for several Months last past has been, and now is found residing in the said Town of Hadley, is a Person of able Body to work and Labour, and has no Estate otherwise to maintain himself, yet lives Idly, mispending his Time in loitering and Intemperance, and uses or exercises no daily lawful Trade or Business to get his living by, & the said Town of Hadley is thereby exposed to be at Charge & Expense for his Support in case of sickness whereby the said Timothy is (as we judge) by virtue of the Laws of this government liable to be sent to the and committed to the House of Correction or Work House from the said Town of Hadley or to be by us found out to Service to such Person or Persons as we shall judge suitable

Know ye therefore – That we the [s]aid Oliver, Warham, and Eliakim, have and hereby do put place and bind out to Service him the said Timothy Buggy unto Charles Phelps of said Hadley gentleman to be employed and kept to work by the said Charles for the space of three months from the Day of the Date hereof & We hereby give unto the said Charles full Power to direct, govern, and employ him the said Timothy during the said Term in and about such Business as he can best perform, or other Husbanding Business (the ^ Charles to pay unto us at the End of the said Term so much Money as the said Timothy shall reasonably earn by his said Labour, to be by us disposed of according to Law) (agreable to his the said Charles’s obligation bearing even Date herewith)

In Testimony whereof We the said Oliver, Warham, & Eliakim have hereunto set our Hand and affix our Seal this fifteenth Day of August in the fourteenth year of his Majesty Reign Domini. One Thousand Seven Hundred & Seventy four

Sign’d & Seal’d in
Presence of us –
Stephen Goodman Oliver Smith
Elyna Cook Sr Warham Smith
Eliakim Smith