DescriptionJosiah Bartlett Autograph Document Signed Twice. One page, 7.75" x 12.5", Rockingham County, New Hampshire, January 12, 1778. Josiah Bartlett was a physician and a lifelong public servant, serving variously as a delegate to the Continental Congress, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, a Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court and finally Governor of the state.
Here, acting as a judge in New Hampshire's Court of Common Please (despite his never having obtained a license to practice law), Bartlett hears the testimony of one Loruhanna Bean, "Single woman & Spinster. Taken on oath before Josiah Bartlett Esqr., Justice of the Peace." Ms. Bean tells the court that "John Leavit . . . has frequently visited her at her father's House in Brentwood for ten or Eleven months past; that sometime [around] the Beginning of August last past He the said John Leavit by Wheedlings & promises of Marriage then & there in her said father's House had carnal knowledge of her Body and Did Beget her with Child, with which she is now pregnant which is likely to be born a Bastard."
The testimony, entirely in Bartlett's hand, bears an addendum at the bottom in another hand, which requests that "a Warrant may issue to apprehend the said John Leavit that he may be brought before you or some other Justice of the Peace to be examined concerning the promises & Dealt with according to Law." This interesting and unusual document is moderately age toned; small piece of paper loss at extreme lower right corner. Fine condition.
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