Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wolf Scalp Bounty

In 1788 the corner of southwestern Pennsylvania that made up Washington County was still wilderness. Wolves were a common problem. The county offered a bounty for wolf scalps. The image below is a fantastic find, written on 8 September 1788 by my 7th-great-grandfather Henry Vanmatre when we was Washington County Commissioner. The receipt was provided to Thomas Hughes (husband of Elizabeth Swan Hughes, daughter of John Swan), giving him one pound five shillings in exchange for a well-grown wolf scalp.
Photo provided by Caliban Books
The image is part of a larger set of 100 bounty receipts currently held by Caliban Books in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Huge thanks go to the staff at Caliban Books for sending me a photo of one written by Henry Vanmatre. There are six other receipts signed by Henry, to the following individuals:
- Peter Daley, 1787
- James Hughes, 1788
- John Rosso, 1789
- Samuel Lakin, 1789
- Daniel Steward, 1789

It is great to see his signature on this document, from almost 226 years ago.

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