The court document ordered tobacco farmer Robert Ashby Jr. to pay the local mercantile 3 pounds he owed, plus a fine of 79 pounds of tobacco. It was dated 1753. And it was issued in Stafford, Va.

So how that document and another one dated some 20 years later ended up in an attic in South Worthington in 2005 was puzzling. Dr. George Bresnick was digging through “the proverbial old trunk in the attic” at a neighbor’s South Worthington home when he stumbled across the documents.

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