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Mice are NOT our friends!

If you have documents (or textiles) stored in cardboard boxes in closets, attics, basements or storage units; please don't leave them that way. Mice (and moths) will eat their way in through the smallest openings and feast on your, in this case, papers.


Pictured is an 1829 Indenture ($800, 80 acres) that was kept folded (into a square) in a box for too many years and sadly, you can see what happened. The mouse or mice ate the corners for food and/or bedding, doing irreparable damage.


This Indenture made this [thirteenth] day of

July one thousand eight hundred and [twenty] nine, between James Madison and Dolley P. his wif[e]…..the County of Orange of the one part and William Smith of the same county, for the other part - Witnesseth that the said James Madi-son and Dolley P. his wife for and in consideration of the sum of eight hundred dollars to said James by the said Willi-am in land paid, at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged. Have granted, bargained and sold, and by these presents do grant, bargain and sell unto the said William Smith his heirs and assigns a certain tract or parcel of land situate, [missing text] D. Clark, eight acres, and bounded as fo[missing text] [to]wit - Beginning at three persimmons and an old [missing text] ["r" or "e"] , corner to James M. Macon's land on a point of [an?] hil[missing text] the said William Smith's line, running thence South twenty four degrees thirty minutes west, one hundred and seven and eight tenths poles to a stake, one and 4/10 poles South of a Cedar, in said James M. Macon's line, corner with a tract of land conveyed by the said James Madison to Reuben Newman, thence with the said Newman's line, South sixty two degrees five minutes east, one hundred and twenty "f" 5/10 poles to four old oak and two white oak saplings Corner with the said Reuben Newman on the said James Madison's line, thence North twenty three degrees thirteen minutes East one hundred and four poles to a poplar and two white oak saplings [insert] on the South side of a branch of the said William Smith's line, Thence North sixty one degrees six minutes West one hundred and twenty one poles in the beginning - being part [page end]


(Note: "Dolley" was spelled correctly on the first page but is misspelled in the section below - "Dolly".)


of the land purchased by the father of the said [James] Madison of H[missing text] Winslow- To have and to hold the said Tract or pa[rcel of] land, be the quantity contained within - above

Desc[ription] [bou]ndaries more or less than eighty acres together with [missing text] d singular the privileges, appurtenances and advantages [illegible] belonging, wherein the said William Smith his heirs and assigns - And the said James Madison doth hereby for himself, his heirs, any creditors and assigns [illegible - has? Tas?]

tors/tirs[?], covenant and agree to and with the said William Smith, his heirs and assigns, that he will forever warrant and defend the title to the said land, to [illegible] the said William Smith,

his heirs and assigns, from and against the claims of all persons whatever. In Testimony whereof the parties afore-said [illegible] to [illegible] their lands, and assigned their seals the day and year first herein written.

[mouse damage where signatures are]

Signed, sealed & [illegible] J[ames]Madison {seal}

In presence of } Dolley{P.? Madison] {seal}

The words - "on the south side of a no signature {seal}

Branch" included before signing.


Orange County, to wit:

We John Henshaw & Ambrose Sr. Madison justices of the peace in the county aforesaid, in the state of Virginia, do hereby verify, that James Madison, a party to a certain deed bearing date on the 13th day of July one thousand eight hundred and twenty nine, and here to arranged personally appeared before us in our County aforesaid and acknowledged so the same to be his act and deed, and desired us to

certify the said acknowledgement to the Clerk of the County Court of Orange [cis?] and in that the said deed may be recorded. Given under our hands [scratch out] & seals this 13 day of [Page end]


July [one]thousand eight hundred and twenty nine.

John Henshaw {seal}

A. Madison {seal}


Orange County, to wit:

We John Henshaw & Ambrose Madison - justices of the peace in the County aforesaid, in the State of Virginia, do hereby certify, that Dolly P. Madison - the wife of James Madison, party to a certain deed, bearing date on the 13th day of July one thousand eight hundred and twenty nine, and herewith assigned, personally appeared before us in our County aforesaid, and, being examined by us privately and

apart from his heirs, and having the deed aforesaid and fully ex[plained] to her, she the said Dolly P. acknowledged the same to [text missing] nd, and declares that she has willingly

[text missing] and delivered the same, and that she wishes not[text missing]it. Given under our hands and seals the 13th day [of July] one thousand eight hundred and twenty nine.

John Henshaw {seal}

A. Madison {seal}



The damage on all pages shows where the most accessible corner of the document was destroyed by a mouse or more.




















The Clerk of Court's statement is missing a little of the text, but the majority is legible.











Digital images are great and easy to read, but, they are not "the real thing."

Helpful information about storing items you wish to preserve.





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