Thursday, December 5, 2013

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is an instrument in writing whereby a person appoints another as his agent and confers authority to perform certain specified acts or kinds of acts in his behalf. [Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, 1990]  That is what William Griffith did when he appointed Joseph McConnell to receive his part of  Reuben Cook's estate in Caldwell County, Kentucky in 1835. Living far away from Caldwell County very likely would have prevented Griffith from acting in his own behalf.

Powers of attorney are sometimes recorded in deed books or in county court order books or they may be found among loose county court papers and never recorded. The following document was filed in Caldwell County Powers of Attorney 1833-1840 in the county clerk's office in Princeton.

"Know all men by these presents that I William Griffith of Louissiania parrish of East Felisania have nominated Constituted and appointed and do by presents nominate Constitute and appoint Joseph Mcconell  McConnell my true and lawfull agent and attorney in fact for me and in my name to draw receive and Convey agreeable to my order my part of legacy a comeing from Reuben Cooks estate and whatever my Lawfull attorney Shall do for me in the premises Shall be as binding on myself and my heirs as if done by me in my own proper person.

"In witness whereof I the said Griffith have hereunto set my hand and Seal this the 23 day of September 1835.  [signed] William Griffith.  Witness - Wilson L. Pollard, John H. Campbell, Jeptha Griffith.

"State of Kentucky  Caldwell County    I Nathan S. Dallam clerk of the County Court for the aforesaid County, do certify that the foregoing Letter of attorney from William Griffith unto Joseph McConnell was this day produced to me in my office & proven by the Several oaths of Jeptha Griffith & Wilson L. Pollard two subscribing witnesses thereto to be the act & deed of sd. William Griffith for the purpose therein contained, and that I have truly recorded the same & this certificate in my sd. office, Given under my hand this 15 day of October 1835. [signed] N.S. Dallam, CCC"

Published 12 December 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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