Indenture of Letitia Beard

This 1794 indenture, or contract, binds Letitia Beard "to learn the art, trade and mystery of a housewife."  

Partial Transciption:

This Indenture Witnesseth, That
Letitia Beard with the Consent of her Mother Elizabeth Beard Hath put herself and by these
Presents, the sd Letitia doth voluntarily and of her own free Will and Accord, put herself
Apprentice to Susanah Evans of the City of Philadelphia to learn the Art, Trade, and
Mystery, of a housewife, and after the Manner of an Apprentice to serve her from the Day of
the Date hereof, for, and during, and to the full End and Term of nine years and five months
next ensuing. During all which Term, the said Apprentice her said Mistress faithfully shall
serve, her Secrets keep, her lawful Commands every where readily obey. She shall do no
Damage to her said Mistress nor see it to be done by others, without letting her or giving
Notice thereof to her said Mistress. She shall not waste her said Mistress Goods, nor lend
them unlawfully to any. She shall not commit Fornication, nor contract Matrimony within the
said Term. She shall not play at Cards, Dice, or any other unlawful Game, whereby her said
Mistress may have Damage. With her own Goods, nor the Goods of others, without Licence
from her said Mistress she shall neither buy nor sell. She shall not absent herself Day nor
Night from her said Mistress Service without her Leave: Nor haunt Ale-houses, Taverns, or
Play-houses; but in all Things behave as a faithful Apprentice ought to do, during the said
Term. And the said Mistress shall use the utmost of her Endeavour to teach or cause to be
taught or instructed the said Apprentice in the Trade or Mystery of housewifery and procure
and provide for her sufficient Meat, Drink, apparel, Lodging and Washing, fitting for an
Apprentice, during the said Term of nine years and five months, to give her twelve months
scooling, and at the Expiration of sd term to give her two compleat suits of apparel one of
which to be new.
And for the true Performance of all and singular the Covenants and Agreements aforesaid,
the said Parties bind themselves each unto the other, firmly by these Presents. IN WITNESS
whereof, the said Parties have interchangeably set their Hands and Seals hereunto. Dated
the Twenty-eighth Day of Jan.y Annoque Domini, One Thousand Seven Hundred and ninety
four.