Colonial St. Clair Primary Sources

Arthur St. Clair settled in Ligonier Valley, Pa., in 1764, where he erected mills and  served in various colonial offices that included:

  • Surveyor of the District of Cumberland in 1770; 
  • Justice of the Court of Quarter Sessions;
  • Justice of Common Pleas; 
  • Member of the Proprietary Council;
  • Justice, Recorder, and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court; 
  • Prothonotary of Bedford and Westmoreland Counties. 


What follows are some recently uncovered primary sources: 


St. Clair, Arthur -   Manuscript appointment dated August 5th, 1771, and signed by Arthur St. Clair, in full:

At a Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace held at Bedford for the County of Bedford the sixteenth day of July last, Thomas Henton, James Dunlap, George Wisecarver, William Riddle, Thomas Rose and James Dalton are appointed by the court to view a certain road petitioned for by James Anderson and others separating from the great road, which leads from the town of Bedford to ? at a small distance westward of the Smiths Run from thence extending by the aforesaid James Andersons and joining the said Great Road about one mile to the Westward Shawanee Cabin Creek Cabin in the Township of Bedford and if they or any four of them judge it necessary they are to lay out said road in such a manner as may be most convenient to the Public and least injurious to private property and make Return of the same by Courses and districts to the next Court.  

Given under my hand and Seal of the Said Court at Bedford the fifth day of August Anno Domini 1771

Ar St. Clair

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 The document measures 8” x 12.5” and is in the hand of a clerk with a strong and clear Arthur St. Clair autograph not affected by folds.  The document signed is laid, watermarked, rag-content paper; many edge nicks, brittle along edges, separation at ends of folds with numerous tiny holes at intersection of folds and along folds, otherwise fair condition.


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Bedford County Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace -  The courts of quarter sessions or quarter sessions were local courts traditionally held at four set times each year in the Kingdom of England (including Wales) from 1388 until 1707, then in 18th-century Great Britain, in the later United Kingdom, and in other dominions of the British Empire.  They were known as Courts of General Sessions in Pennsylvania and were held in that State until the constitution of that Commonwealth was rewritten in 1968 and the courts' jurisdiction was placed under the pre-existing Courts of Common Pleas in each county.

Arthur St Clair et al petition protesting against a proposed road.   He and nine other signers request that the proposal be reviewed.  It reads:

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To the worship falls the justices of the Court of General blank blank of the blank at Bedford for the county of Bedford the 13th day of October 1772 humbly

That your petitioners have been informed that worships have appointed certain men to lay out of road from Bedford mills to the glades of Stoney Creek and yang to blank Creek. 

That the road such blank blank townships who have not petition for such road that we think the road should not be of blank and blank blank to same townships which will can never devise any advantage from it.

We therefore pray your worships to grant a review up on the road plan for an appoint proper persons to review the same and make report to your worships at next term or what time they may appoint if they find the same of public life or man and your petitioners as in duly ?
Arthur St. Clair
Richard Butler
William Butler
John Boyd
?
Tho Hay
Charles P ?
G Hamilton
James
William Pewich

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Clear and strong signature, laid, watermarked, rag-content paper; tiny holes at intersection of folds, small nicks at ends of folds, otherwise very good to fine condition.   


Wilson, James and St. Clair, Arthur – An Magistrate Arthur St. Clair 1772  Pennsylvania  court order signed with an “October 1772”  ink endorsement  “Wilson,” on the reverse of the partly-printed document, which is one page, 12.5” x 3.5”.    The document reads in part:

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 George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. to the sheriff of Bedford County, We command you, that you take   Philip Tabor late of your county yeoman if he be found in your Bailiwick and him safely keep so that you have his Body before our Justices in Bedford at our County Court of Common Pleas there to be held the fourteenth day of October next to answer John Wilson of a plea that he render to him twelve pounds lawful Money of Pennsylvania, which to him he owes and unjustly detains.  And have you then there this writ witness John Fraser, Esquire at Bedford the Seventeenth Day of July in the twelfth year of our Reign.                 Ar St.Clair


 Reverse: To October 1779, John Wilson and Philip Tabor, Capd, £12, 133, Served Proctor, Wilson”

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Clear  and strong signature only in the tiniest way affected by fold, laid, watermarked, rag-content paper; small nicks at ends of folds, otherwise fine condition.  



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Arthur St Clair,  1772 manuscript arrest writ,  signed “Ar St. Clair,” one page, dated 1772 at Bedford county, 12.5” x 6”.  Reads in part:

“George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. to the sheriff of Bedford county …We command you, that you take Linescom” etc. 

Document dated “in the twelfth Year of our Reign.”    Clear and   strong signature only in the tiniest way affected by fold, laid, watermarked, rag-content paper; tiny holes at intersection of folds, small nicks at ends of folds, otherwise very good condition. 

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Arthur St Clair,  1772 Part-printed summons (has notation "a true copy and a clerk signature of Arthur   St. Clair.  It reads in part: “George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. to the sheriff of Bedford county …We command you, that you summon James Little” etc.  Document dated “in the twelfth  Year of our Reign.”  13” x 5.5, laid, rag-content paper;  small hole at intersection of folds with a small loss of text, otherwise good condition. 

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Arthur St Clair,  1772 Manuscript court order for men to lay off the rout of a road.    Signature is a secretarial Arthur St. Clair on a 14” by 12” document folded into two leaves, text only on pages 1 & 4.  This is a laid, watermarked, and rag-content 1772 document with some separation at folds, small holes at intersection of folds and along folds,  and a stain.  

Image courtesy of www.Historic.us

Image courtesy of www.Historic.us





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