Description

    John Adams Legal Document Twice Signed, "J. Adams" and "John Adams," with notations in his hand. One partially-printed page, 7.75" x 15.25", Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 26, 1768. In the lower margin of the recto, Adams has written, "and the said Samuel Pratt and Sarah Pratt came and defended . . . [illegible] and Say that they never promised in manner & form as the Plantiff had above declared against them and thereof . . . [illegible] [signed] J. Adams." Docketing on the verso contain three signatures: "John Sewall," "Peter Ball Dep. & Sheriff", and a large and bold "John Adams."

    The document begins by summoning Adams' clients-Samuel and Sarah Pratt-to court: "George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith &c. To the Several Sheriffs of our County of Suffolk . . . Greeting. We command you to attach the Goods or Estate of Samuel Pratt of Needham in our said County of Suffolk Gentleman, and Sarah Pratt of Newton in our County of Middlesex Widow to the Value of One hundred & Twenty Pounds, and for want thereof to take the Body's of the said Samuel & Sarah (if they may be found in your Precinct) and them safely keep, so that you have them before Our Justices of Our Inferiour Court of Common Pleas next to be holden at Charlestown."

    After graduating from Harvard, John Adams (1735-1826) became a lawyer, against his father's wish that he become a minister. During the year of 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 two years later, Adams had the unpopular task of representing the accused British soldiers. His early law career helped him lay the foundation for his later work as an American revolutionary leader and U.S. president. All text is bold and clear in this legal document. Smoothed folds. This document consists of three original parts that have been affixed to one another, giving the appearance of uneven toning. Also included is an engraving (6" x 8") of Adams.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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