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By the time a young man was fourteen, 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 handwritten 1766 indenture was witnessed by the master, Moses Church, the intended apprentice, his father, and two others. It assures 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 felt the importance of this document and saved it in his family papers.


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Indenture between Justin Hitchcock and Moses Church

creator   Luke Hitchcock (1724-1777)
creator   Moses Church
date   May 5, 1766
location   Springfield, Massachusetts
height   12.0"
width   7.5"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Legal Documents/Indenture Contract
accession #   #L99.017

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See Also...

"Remarks and Observations" by Justin Hitchcock

Silhouette of Deacon Justin Hitchcock (1752-1822)

Indenture of Zechariah Gilson of Northfield

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