Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,298

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 October 15 Rare Books Signature Auction Featuring the Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part III - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search