On this day in 1674, Nathaniel Bacon signed a promissory note to landowner Thomas Ballard. Bacon, a recent arrival from England, agreed to pay Ballard 500 pounds sterling over the course of two years in return for Curles Neck Plantation in Henrico County, Virginia. He also acquired from Ballard a smaller tract of land near the falls of the James River that became known as Bacon’s Quarter.
There are no contemporary images of Bacon; this is his earliest known signature. Two years later he would lead Bacon’s Rebellion.