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    [John Hancock and Samuel Adams] Printed Revolutionary War Act. Four pages, 7.5" x 13", Boston, Massachusetts, June 22, 1781. This act ordered Massachusetts towns to supply beef for General Washington's army. In part: "Whereas the supplies of beef hitherto made by the several towns and plantations in this Commonwealth, for the purpose of [furnishing our army] with that [article], are found to be insufficient; and without a further punctual and adequate supply, our brethren who are now hazarding their lives for our defence, must soon be obliged to quit the field, and leave the country to the merciless ravages of our enemies. And whereas the Commander in Chief of the army hath represented, in the most pressing terms, the necessity of an immediate supply of provisions, to enable him to carry on the operations of the present campaign with vigour. . . . That the inhabitants of the several towns and plantations in this Commonwealth be, and are hereby required, to furnish the quantity of live beef, including hides and tallow, set to such towns and plantations respectively, as is in the schedule hereunto annexed, or such sums of money as in the judgement of the superintendant shall enable him to purchase the same. . . ."

    At the bottom of the second page is a listing of Massachusetts towns and plantations arranged by counties. The list fills the third and fourth pages where it is signed in type at the conclusion by the Speaker of the House, Nathaniel Gorham; President of the Senate, Samuel Adams; and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, John Hancock. The weight of the beef required is listed next to each town. Also included is a timetable requiring one-sixth of the town's quota to be delivered monthly beginning on or before July 10th, ending on December 10th. "Willmington" [sic] is written in the upper left margin of the first page of this document and, after the listing of "Wilmington" on the third page, the words "is Wtt 602½ pr month" have been added in ink. The quantity of beef listed is 3614; six beef deliveries of 602½ each amounts to 3615.

    On October 19, 1781, four months after his act was passed, British General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown to General Washington, ending the Revolutionary War. This toned document contains some chipping and margin tears, but remains an important and collectible Revolutionary War document. Near fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    17th-18th Friday-Saturday
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