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Off Topic/Non-philatelic Disc. : 1789 New Addition to my Document Collection - Had to share

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hblairh
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23 Dec 2015
09:15:49pm
I just won this today... an awesome addition to my document collection

1789 Estate Inquisition from Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania
The main Document is 16 inches tall by 13 inches wide
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Many of the signers were Revolutionary War Officers including

Henry Crist
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Nicholas Lotz (Lutz)
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And Captain (later General) Jacob Bower
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General Bower Served for the entire Revolution and again in the war of 1812, Starting in 1775 with the rank of Sargent. He was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

This is one of my best pieces from just after the revolutionary war. I'm so excited to have won it.

Blair

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
24 Dec 2015
08:50:52am

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re: 1789 New Addition to my Document Collection - Had to share

That is too cool! It's just oozing with history and provenience! Reading is about a half hour from me.

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ikeyPikey
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24 Dec 2015
09:04:14am
re: 1789 New Addition to my Document Collection - Had to share

And they called it an 'inquisition' ...

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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
hblairh
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24 Dec 2015
12:23:43pm
re: 1789 New Addition to my Document Collection - Had to share

Basically it was an inquisition before the Orphans Court... the man died intestate (without a will) and owned a substantial piece of land. "And Therefore praying the court to award an inquest, to part and divide the said real estate, to, and among the said children, if the same can conveniently be done, without prejudice to, or spoiling the whole..."

if they deemed the land indivisible then they were to assess a value to the land. this was the case in this instance and the land was VERY valuable. They assessed it a value of "300 pounds in gold or silver coin now current in Pennsylvania"

an incredible sum of money in that day and age...

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hblairh
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25 Dec 2015
09:30:22pm
re: 1789 New Addition to my Document Collection - Had to share

A little added information that has come to the surface through research:

The man who's estate this came from was named Elias Retge (Also spelled Redcay). You can read more about him Here

The land spoken of in the document is described in the article linked above:

"On June 12, 1773, he sold his property at Gibraltar to his only son Elias, Jr., and moved to Cumru (now Brecknock) township, in what was called "the Forest." There he purchased one hundred and thirty-four acres, through which ran the Allegheny creek, and on the banks of that stream he erected a sawmill, which he conducted successfully until the time of his death. He also followed farming on this land. He died in 1786, aged about seventy years, and is buried in the
St. John's graveyard at Gibraltar."

You can read more about General Jacob Bower Here

and about Nicholas Lutz (Lotz) here

The fun to me is in the research.

Blair



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