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Chancery Courts as a Window on Social History

By Shannan Kain

“Bail Bond”

Source: Territory of Washington vs. Alfred S. Bennett, Washington Territory, 1864

Subject: Bail Bonds

Synopsis: I found the 1864 “Bail Bond” to be of special interest. I assumed the bonding agent would be “licensed” or connected to the court and held liable for all defendants he bonded. As I discovered, each case that required a bail bond, also required a separate and unique contract of liability to be drafted.

Text:
Know all men by these presents that we, Alfred S. Bennett as principal and F. M. Stouball, Garrett Vanhorn and Wm. M. Durham, all of Walla Walla County-Washington Territory, as sureties, are held and firmly bound with The Territory of Washington in the final sum of Three Hundred dollars, lawful money of the United States, to the payment of which sum will and truly be made we herby bind ourselves our heirs, executors administrators and assigns firmly by these presents, as witness our hands and seals this the 14th day of April, 1864.
The conditions of this bond is this, that wherever the above bounden, Alfred P. Bennett was on the 9th day of April, 1864 bound over by J.D. Saman, one of the Justices of the Peace in and for Walla Walla County W.T. To await the action of the Grand Jury at the next term of the District Court to be held at Walla Walla City W.T. commencing on the second Monday in May, 1864, on a charge of Libel, or Defamation of Character. Now if the said Alfred S. Bennett shall will and truly appear at the said District Court at Walla Walla City-W.T. to be held on the second Monday in May1874 and not default therefrom but be in attendance from day to day, until discharged by.

Territory of Washington
Bond for Appearance at District Court
May 11th 1864
Approved and Filed
J.D. Saman
Justice of the Peace

Transcribed by: Shannan Kain