James Smith Autograph Letter Signed "Ja Smith," one page, 8.5" x 13". York, February 12, 1784. Addressed by Smith on verso "To/The Honble/William Agust. Atlee Esqr./su. Judge of the Supreme Court/of/Pennsylvania" and "favour of/Col Smyzer." In full, "A melancholly accident has happened in this County about seven, or eight miles from the Town. Magdalena the Wife of Casper Carver, having been found perished in the Snow about one mile & a half from her own House & near her sons House where she was probably going. I have known the man upward of twenty years & he was allways deemed an Industrious honest man, he has three small Children to take care of & no housekeeper, since the Melancholly event. Mr. Hartly & myself were spoke to on the Occasion and we reccommended sending, as soon as possible, the Inquest and depositions to the Judges of the Supreme Court for their direction. Col. Smyzer waits upon you with the paper - he was on the Inquest & can inform you more particularly. I presume upon the facts everybody must think as the Inquest did and at another time and place, it might have rested on their findings without more: but as, alas, too many instances of unfortunate accidents have happened in this County, too much caution cannot be used, if possible to prevent the like in future, as far as human care can avert such evils." Tattered right margin does not affect the writing. Light soiling and creases. Remnant of wax seal on verso with resulting seal tear at blank lower edge. Born in Ireland, James Smith immigrated to the United States in 1727 with his father. Studying law, he was admitted to the bar in 1745. After organized the Pennsylvania Militia and the two regiments of the Flying Camp in Perth Amboy, N.J., in 1776, he served as a Member of the Continental Congress (1776-1778) and signed the Declaration of Independence. William Augustus Atlee served as Judge of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from 1777-1791. Pennsylvania land records show that on March 17, 1783, Casper and Magdalena Carver purchased two tracts of land in Paradise Township, York County, from Jacob Miller. Autograph Letters Signed of James Smith are scarce and desirable.

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    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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