Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Spencer County, Indiana, History mss., 1822-1861, consist of documents related to the history of Spencer County. Materials include legal papers concerning indictments for gaming at cards, betting on elections, assault and battery, carrying concealed weapons, sale of foreign merchandise (coffee) without license, divorce petitions, estate inventories and settlements, and promissory notes.

Among the names found on many of the papers are those of county clerks James Wakefield and Thomas P. Britton (Britton himself was often indicted for gaming and assault), justice of the peace John E. Cotton, attorney James Clifford Veatch, and pioneer settler Daniel Grass (estate inventory and settlement).

Individual pieces include a legacy to the Spencer County Library from the estate of Daniel Grass, Sept. 25, 1837; promissory note of Friend Harrison Barnett, Apr. 15, 1841, with an appended protest bearing the embossed seal of notary public John Douglass of Vanderburgh County; and an undated inventory setting the value of a flatboat at $35.00, recorded by Thomas P. Britton, clerk.

The grand jury indictment for the April term, 1837, against James Morgan and John Shrodes for permitting the playing of cards in their "Ordinary and Grocery" by certain persons (including Thomas P. Britton) has been published on pages 311-312 of Goodspeed, History of Warrick, Spencer, and Perry Counties, Indiana, Chicago, 1885 (Main F532 .W4 G6).

The April, 1837, divorce case of Jerusha (Ray) Murphy vs. Ethan Allan Murphy is cited on page 310 of the Goodspeed history.

Collection size: 361 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.