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    John Adams Annotated Legal Document Signed Twice ("John Adams" and "Adams"). Two and one-quarter pages, 7.25" x 12.5", Boston, March 30, 1769. Here, the future American revolutionary leader and second president represents two Bostonian clients by answering their summons to court. Adams, a thirty-four-year-old Boston lawyer at the time, writes the final seven lines in this document (located on pages two and three), "Said Robert [Jenkins] & Henry [Bass] And the Defendants come and defend & say that they are not guilty in manner & form as the plaintiff has within declared against them & therefore put &c. And the said John Banister reserving Liberty of waving this Demurrer and joining the afore tendered on the Appeal says that the sd. Robert & Henry plea is not sufficient answer to the declaration aforesaid & thereof prays Judgement. [signed] John Adams. And the said Robert & Henry say their plea is sufficient." Adams has also signed "Adams" in the lower left corner, below the docketing, on the fourth page.

    The document begins by summoning Adams' clients to court: "George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith He. To the Sheriff of our County of Suffolk, his Under Sheriff or Deputy Greeting. We command you that you summon Robert Jenkins Jr. Yeomen and Henry Bass Merchant both of Boston in said County (if he may be found in your Precinct) to appear before our Justices of our Inferior Court of Common Pleas . . . to answer to John Banister of Middletown." The case concerned the inheritance of "two Dwelling houses with the Yards, Gardens & Appurtenances." The document is also signed by "Ezek. Goldthwait Cler."

    After graduating from Harvard, John Adams (1735-1826) became a lawyer, against his father's wish that he become a minister. One year before this case, Adams moved his family from Braintree to a rented house in Boston to concentrate on his growing law practice. He quickly became the city's most assiduous lawyer. Following the Boston Massacre one year later, Adams, working against public opinion, represented the British soldiers. His early law career helped him lay the foundation for his later work as an American revolutionary leader and president. All text is bold and clear in this legal document, including Adams' two signatures. Usual toning with separation at central horizontal fold of page one. Fold separations on third page have been gently repaired with tape. Docketed on the fourth page.

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    October, 2010
    14th-15th Thursday-Friday
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