Manuscript
Page: Front

Indenture of Justin Hitchcock

Page: Front | Back
Date: 1766
About this artifact

By the time a young man was 14, he and his parents had usually determined his future. If he showed academic promise and the family had the necessary money, he might attend college. Otherwise he would receive training for a trade through the apprenticeship system. This 1766 indenture was witnessed by the master, Moses Church, the intended apprentice, his father, and two others. It states that Mr. Church will teach Justin Hitchcock the craft of hatmaking and in addition, will provide sufficient meat, drink, lodgings, and wearing apparel for him. Justin promises to stay with Mr. Church until the age of 21 and to be "in all things a good honest and faithful servant and apprentice." Justin Hitchcock apparently thought this document important and saved it in his family papers. Justin also wrote an 87-page autobiography in which he recorded his impressions of and described his role in Shays' Rebellion.

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Courtesy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA