Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    John Adams Autograph Endorsement Signed "J. Adams." One partially-printed page, 8.25" x 6.75", Charlestown, Massachusetts, February 28, 1769. Prior to beginning his remarkable career of public service to his country, John Adams provided legal assistance in many small cases like this one - disputes over debts owed. At the time he began his law career in 1761, King George's rule held sway, and this document reflects as such, with the heading: "George the Third, by the Grace of GOD, of Great-Britain, France and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, &c."

    The case concerned here is titled Hall vs. Hall, and this document commands the Sheriff of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, to "Attach the Goods or Estate of Abigail Hall of Medford in said County . . . to the Value of Five hundred Pounds, and for want thereof to take the Body of the Said Abigail (if she may be found in your Precinct) and her safely keep, so that you have her before Our Justices of Our Inferiour Court of Common Pleas next to be holden at Charlestown, within and for Our said County of Middlesex, on the Third Tuesday of March next."

    On the verso, Adams has written: "and the Said Abigail comes and defends &c and Saith she never promised in manner and form as the said Stephen has within declared against her and thereof puts &c / and the Said Stephen reserving Liberty of waiving this Demurrer and joining the Issue tendered at the Superior Court, Says the Said Abigails Plea is an insufficient answer to his Declaration and thereof prays Judgment. [signed] J. Adams."

    With an engraved portrait of Adams bearing a facsimile signature.

    Adams soon rebelled against British rule, and participated in the outcry against the Writs of Assistance (a general and open-ended search warrant granted to British officers). He became a prominent public figure through his activities against the Stamp Act, in response to which he wrote and published a popular article, Essay on the Canon and Feudal Law. His passion and publicity ever growing, Adams' political career gained steam, and he served respectively as a delegate to the first and second Continental Congresses, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, U.S. ambassador to the Great Britain, and vice president, before he was elected president in 1797.

    Condition: The two horizontal folds, which are moderately toned, are beginning to separate at the upper and lower edges. Lower margin is toned. Several small pinholes scattered throughout do not affect the text.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,009

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 17 The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part IV Featuring The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part IV Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424