Description

    Joshua Wentworth Autograph Document Signed "Josh. Wentworth," one page, 7.25" x 12". Integral leaf inlaid to 8.25" x 14". Portsmouth, N.H., March 18, 1776. Addressed by Wentworth on "To/The Honorable/Mesheack (sic) Weare Esq./President of the Councill/for the Colony of N. Hamps./at Exeter." Begins "Colony of New Hampshire. To the Honorable The President & Council And the Honorable House of Representatives for the Colony aforesaid in General Court Assembled." In part (spelling uncorrected), "The memorial of Joshua Wentworth, Agent, for all Prizes taken & brought into the Port of Piscataqua by any of the Arm'd Vessels in the service of the Continent, To Your Honours shew'z That your Memorialist having two Vessels & Cargo's under his Care in this Port, which was taken by Sundry of the Arm'd Vessels aforesd. And being Inform'd that Your Honours had appointed Doct. Joshua Bracket Judge of the Court of Admiltry for this Colony; apply to him to know wether he was prepared to Viewe Petitions for Libbleing said Prizes..." After vessels were captured, those who felt they were entitled to share in the cargo (prizes) would libel (institute a suit) in the Admiralty Court. Late in 1775, the Continental Congress urged upon the colonies the enactment of laws in regard to privateering. Captured prizes, which might include non-British vessels carrying contraband goods, had to be brought into a United States port and there be libelled, tried, and as was usually the case, condemned and sold at auction. Admiralty Courts were established to hear such trials and render judgment. Dr. Joshua Brackett, judge at Portsmouth, was assisted by a jury of twelve men. General Washington had appointed Joshua Wentworth as provincial prize agent of New Hampshire in 1775. Elected a Delegate to the Continental Congress on April 1, 1779, Wentworth did not attend. Slight separation at slightly charred left edge of mid-horizontal fold on first page. Strengthened with brown tape at browned mid-horizontal folds on verso of letter and on the integral address leaf. Else in very good condition.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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