1792 James Rowan Signature on Bail Jsay


This is a 'bail without jsay' form that was signed by Magistrate James Rowan for a Robert Ellis in partial payment of his debt to Conrad Leatherman. A Bail without Jsay harks back to the English court system and refers to a debt amount that has changed due to a change in the value of the monies being used to pay off that debt. At this time in our country - after the Revolutionary War - was a time of inconsistancy in the value of the currency. The term 'without jsay' literaly means 'without wig' and possibly refers to a magistrate who is signing the form. 

James Rowan (1756 - 1831)  was commissioned Ensign of the Eighth Company of Foot in the Second Battalion of the Militia of York County. He was also on  a list of men who were included in a group fined for non-completion of service or non-attendance at military drill and dated 30 June, possibly 1777. He was fined 3 pounds 10 shillings for the offense.

He was born 1751 in Gettysburg Pennsylvania, died September 10, 1831 in Cumberland Twp. Adams County PA and belonged to the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church. He married MARY BOGGS November 18, 1770, had 8 children, was one of the original taxpayers of the township in 1799 (Hamiltonban). He was a magistrate in York(town), a 'road reviewer' (part of a committee that laid out and inspected roads in the area), and died peacefully in 1831 one year before his son James died at sea on ship 'Potomac' while on active service for his country.

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