This is a leather covered “execution” notebook which was used by Botetourt County Deputy Sheriff Albert Baker Pitzer from January 12, 1858 until May 13, 1861. The strap wraps around the notebook and was secured by the buckle. It was probably placed in a saddlebag while riding a horse from one location to the next.
At this time in history “executions” did not mean being put to death. These court orders were from Sheriff Joseph Pitzer, who was his brother. The handwritten records list the court case on the left and the receipt section on the right. They are monetary judgments that needed to be enforced by the deputy. Each record appears to contain the actual signature of the person receiving the court-ordered payment.
According to Driver’s 2nd Virginia Calvary (after the notebook entries stopped ) Albert served as a sergeant in Company B from May 17, 1861 until November 2, 1861. Albert, Rufus and Andrew L. Pitzer were also mentioned as Botetourt sheriffs in Stoner’s “Seedbed of the Republic.”
This notebook was donated to the Botetourt History Museum in 2022 by Ronald Hurt of Vinton. He found it in the possessions of his father, Richard Zirkel Hurt. A much more expansive article can be found about this notebook in the November 2022 BCHS newsletter written by Susan Hays. It is called “A Touch of History “ and is mailed to all BCHS members. The newsletter can also be obtained at the BCHS Museum, which is open every day. Check the website: bothistscoc.Wordpress.com.