Court Summons

Loudon County, Virginia - 1838

To the Sheriff

On October 1, 1838 the Clerk of the Circuit Superior Court issued a summons to be served by the Sheriff of Prince William County, Virginia. This court order was to be served on Mary F. Spence to answer for nonpayment of a debt. Using a pre-printed form, the blanks areas were filled in by the Clerk, William A. Powell.
It would appear that even in this early time of the United States' Postal Service, the posts were sufficently dependable to allow timely, legal communication. Unfortunately, a letter must be handed over to the postal service to permit its delivery. Though the date of writing is the 1st. of October, this summons was not dispatched through the sending Post Office in Leesburg, Virginia until the 18th. of November!

Summons
Read the complete Summons text.

The arrival of the Summons in Brentsville some 40 miles distant, is not clearly discernable from the markings.

Virginia Map

On the 25th. of December it was posted for return to Mr. Powell, the Court Clerk. On the rear of the re-folded form, the Sheriff or his Deputy have certified the serving of the summons on M. F. Spencer. The date of service is not clear, but it could be the 2nd of December.

Certification

Return Addressing
See the Unfolded Entire.
According to two dealers, specializing in early U.S. Postal History, this mailing is one of the earliest folded letter examples from the Virginia region. It pre-dates a catalog listing by several years. Any additional information would be appreciated!

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12/20/2002