Farris Indenture, Beverly 1808

This document is another indenture of a child by the Overseers of the Poor in Beverly. It places Thomas Farris in the care of Ebenezer Smith, Junior to learn the art of cabinet making. Date 1808, Farris will remain an apprentice until 1821.

This Indenture witnesseth, That Thomas Farris of Beverly in the County of Essex, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being a minor, of the age of Sixteen years having no father, mother or Guardian within the Commonwealth, aforesaid, with the approbation1 of the Selectmen of the town of Beverly aforesaid, hath put himself & by these presents doth voluntarily & of his own free will and accord, and with the approbation of the said Selectmen, put and bind himself apprentice to Ebenezer Smith Junior of said Beverly, Cabinet Maker to learn the art, trade or mystery of a Cabinet Maker and with him the said, Ebenezer Smith Junr. after the manner of an apprentice to serve from the day of the date of these presents, until the seventh day of March, which will be in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & thirteen when the said apprentice will arrive at the age of twenty-one years During all which Time the said apprentice his said master well and faithfully shall serve, his secrets keep, his lawful commands duly obey. He shall do no damage to his said Master, nor suffer it to be done by others without giving seasonable notice thereof to his said Master. He shall not waste the goods of his said Master nor lend them unlawfully to any. At cards, dice or any other unlawful game, he shall not play. He shall not absent himself by day or by night from the service of his said master, without his leave; nor haunt or frequent alehouses2, taverns, or gaming places. He shall not contract matrimony3 within the said term; nor shall he commit any acts of vice or immorality which are forbidden by the laws of the Commonwealth; but in all things and at all times, he shall carry and behave himself towards his said master and all others, as a good and faithful apprentice ought to do, during all the term aforesaid.

And the said Ebenezer Smith, Junior doth hereby covenant and promise to teach and instruct or cause the said apprentice to be instructed in the art, trade or calling of a Cabinet Maker by the best ways or means he may or can (if the said apprentice be capable to learn) and during the said term to find and provide unto the said apprentice good and sufficient meat, drink, clothing, lodging and other necessaries fit and convenient for such an apprentice, during the term aforesaid, and at the expiration thereof shall give unto the said apprentice two suits of wearing apparel, one suitable for the Lord’s day, and the other for working days. And also to teach and instruct the said apprentice or cause him to be taught or instructed to write and cipher4 as far as the rule of three if the said apprentice be capable to learn.

In testimony whereof the said parties have to this, and one other indenture of the same tenor and date, interchangeably set their hands and seals, the twelveth Day of August in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and eight.

Signed, Sealed & Delivered In the Presence of us,

Ebenr. Rea
John Francis

Thomas Farris
Ebenr. Smith, Jr.

How can two Walk together except they do agree?

1 Approbation = approval
2 Alehouses = bars
3 Contract matrimony = get married
4 Cipher = learn mathematics


Thomas Farris, Indenture (1808). Beverly Historical Society, Beverly, MA. *

*now Historic Beverly