Monday, February 16, 2015

Charlotte buys a farm

The last transaction in the Sullivan County, Tennessee land deeds involving the Hampton family occurred in February 1840. When my 6th-great-grandfather Samuel Hampton sold his farm and distillery in 1838 to his son-in-law, Gasper Smith, he wrote in an agreement to continue living on the property with wife Rachel in exchange for the mill, twelve head of cattle, horses, and all of his farming tools. Gasper also paid $1000 for two horses, all the cattle remaining on the farm, a milk cow owned by Samuel's youngest daughter Charlotte and all the grain on hand. I can picture Samuel giving Charlotte some of the proceeds from this sale, as two years later Charlotte bought 22 acres of neighboring land.

I am writing up this land deed (Deed Book 12, Page 453) from Sullivan County as I find it a bit remarkable for the era. Charlotte was single at the time, 32 years old, and she did not marry until later in 1840. She had grown up on her father's farm and was probably very capable around the animals. The land deed was made 175 years ago tomorrow, and the seller was James King. He had sold Charlotte's father Samuel his land on Cedar Creek in Sullivan County ten years earlier in 1830.

"This Indenture made this 17th day of February 1840 between James King of Washington County, Virginia and Charlotte Hampton of Sullivan County, Tennessee. Witnesseth that the said King has this day bargained and sold to the said Charlotte Hampton the following described parcel of land lying on Cedar Creek for the consideration of two hundred and fourteen dollars to him in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged - Viz. Beginning at a white oak at the mouth of Jacob Hawkes lane and [unclear] with his Hawkes line S 65 W 79 poles to two white oaks on the top of a nob thence N 73 E 14 poles to a small white oak thence S 9 E 34 poles to a white oak thence to the beginning containing 22 acres be the same more or less.

To have and to hold the said parcel of land to the sole use and behoof of her the said Charlotte Hampton and her heirs forever and the said King for himself and his heirs doth covenant with the said Charlotte Hampton and her heirs that they the said King and his heirs to the said tract of land with all its appurtenances unto the said Charlotte and her heirs shall warrant and will forever defend against the claims of all persons whomsoever. In witness whereof the said King hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal this date above written. James King {seal}

Test. John G. King"

The image below is not Charlotte, but I thought it might help picture her for me (and my kids). This is from the Getty Museum's collection, by American photographer Louis Fleckenstein, titled "Woman and a Tree".

Source: Getty Museum

Several months after buying the land, Charlotte married her neighbor, Adam Akard, in November 1840. He was a widower, and was 54 at the time. Akard died two years later. Charlotte appears in the 1850 US Census in Sullivan County. Of the three children listed in this census record, only one, Margaret, could have been a child of Adam Akard. I haven't yet researched what happened to Charlotte, whether she remarried or kept the farm. There were no other Sullivan County land records involving Charlotte. But I also did not ask the Clerk's Office to look for Charlotte Akard. I am parking this here for now, in case there are cousins who descend from Charlotte Hampton who stumble on this page.
1850 US Census, Sullivan County, Tennessee

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