JOHN ADAMS + SAMUEL QUINCY BOSTON MASSACRE TRIAL ATTORNEYS SIGNED Dec. 5, 1770 For Sale
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JOHN ADAMS + SAMUEL QUINCY BOSTON MASSACRE TRIAL ATTORNEYS SIGNED Dec. 5, 1770 :
JOHN ADAMS and SAMUEL QUINCY Signed Boston Court Document on the Exact “BOSTON MASSACRE” Trial Court’s Decision Date - Signed by Both ADAMS as Defense Attorney & SAMUEL QUINCY the Prosecuting Attorney for the British Soldiers on December 5th, 1770
December 5, 1770-Dated JOHN ADAMS Signed Legal Document at Boston on the Exact Date of the “BOSTON MASSACRE” Trial Court Decision Signed by Both JOHN ADAMS Defense Attorney for British Soldier’s and SAMUEL QUINCY the Prosecuting Attorney
JOHN ADAMS (1735 - July 4, 1826). 2nd President of the United States (1797-1801), American Founding Father, Lawyer, Statesman, Diplomat and Leading Champion of American Independence in 1776, Defended the British Soldiers involved in the “Boston Massacre,” a Leading Federalist.SAMUEL QUINCY (1735-1789). Attorney & Barrister, Solicitor General, was a Loyalist and the Solicitor General for the colony, Counsel for the Prosecution, was Appointed as Special Prosecutor for the “Boston Massacre” trials.
December 5, 1770-Dated “Boston Massacre” Court Trial Period, Partially-Printed Legal Court Document Signed Twice, "Adams" and "John Adams" both on its verso and also Signed, “Saml Quincy,” 1 page, measuring 8" x 6.5", Suffolk County, Boston (Massachusetts), Very Fine. This important historical linked Legal Document is Dated and Signed at Boston by JOHN ADAMS and SAMUEL QUINCY on the Exact Court Date the "BOSTON MASSACRE" Trial Verdict was announced, on December 5th, 1770.John Adams was attorney for the British Soldier's Defense and Samuel Quincy was their Prosecutor. Here, the Defense and Prosecuting attorneys are both together, representing clients in yet another Boston court action, simultaneously while in Boston Court dealing with the "Boston Massacre" Trial. This Legal Document is regarding the case of Daniel Crane vs. Christopher Prince, being a Writ (warrant) for the arrest of Prince, a Boston shopkeeper, or a directive to seize his goods, because of an unpaid debt of ninety-five pounds due to Crane. There are additional related notes by both attorneys with statements on the blank reverse side, plus a statement from the deputy Sheriff.The reverse has a Docket: "Writ - Crane vs. Prince". Below is noted: "Mr officer / attach the value commanded or take goal (jail) Special Bail. - " Followed by a legal statement regarding Christopher signed, "Saml. Quincy." Below is a comment penned in rich brown being fully in the hand of attorney John Adams, using his full complete name which reads as follows, in full:"and the Said Daniel agreeing to the Presentation aforesaid, says the Said Christophers Plea is not a Sufficient answer to the Plaintiff's Declaration aforesaid and thereof prays Judgment - (Signed) John Adams".The back-and-forth notations continue: "and the Said Christopher Says his Plea is Sufficient - (Signed) Saml. Quincy". A large signature, simply Signed, "Adams" (as attorney) is written at an angle on the reverse side lower left corner.The Sheriff then notes: "Suffolk Ct Boston - December 10th, 1770 - I attached the Schooner called the Barshbee Shoen (sic) to me By the Within named Christopher Prince to be his Estate and I gave him a sumons (sic) - (Signed) Benja. Cudworth Dept Sheriff". -- "Decr 10th 1770 attach ye Schooner Barshbee (sic)".Officially Signed at the conclusion on the front side, "Ezek(ie)l Goldthwait" as Clerk of the Court. Goldthwait spent most of his life in public office. From 1740 to 1776 he served as Suffolk County Registrar of deeds, and, for two decades beginning in 1741, he was simultaneously the Town Clerk for Boston. In addition, at various times he held the posts of Selectman, Boston Town Auditor, and Town Meeting Moderator.John Adams, the "Boston Massacre" Trial Counsel for the Defense, was an American Patriot, the foremost Boston attorney of the time. Adams became instrumental in the cause for independence as a representative to the Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence, became a commissioner to France, the first Vice-President, and second President of the United States. The "BOSTON MASSACRE" trial began on October 24, 1770, when Captain Preston, the British officer commanding the 29th Regiment, is tried. A jury acquits Preston on October 30 after the evidence fails to establish that he gave the order to fire. A few weeks later on November 27, 1770, the trial of the eight British soldiers involved begins. Six of the "Boston Massacre" British soldiers are acquitted on all charges. Two soldiers are convicted of Manslaughter. Those verdicts were handed down on December 5, 1770, the exact date of the current document.The original paper and wax seal are still intact. Some expected folds and wear with minor marginal tone, well printed on period clean laid paper. Within the paper is a rather remarkable and highly unusual internal watermark design, which appears to show a British soldier holding his musket, bayonet in place, at the ready to attack with the words "PRO PATRIA" (Britannia)! This Document also accompanied by a separate 19th century Engraving of a younger John Adams with his full signature printed in facsimile below.While not specifically related to the "Boston Massacre" incident itself, this document is a remarkable, perfectly timed and dated Boston Legal Document, signed by both historical figures directly involved with the 1770 "Boston Massacre" Trial. This Document being Signed and completed in the Boston Court on the same day the fateful "Boston Massacre" Trial verdict decision was rendered.
The “Boston Massacre” resulted from British soldiers of the Fourteenth and the Twenty-ninth Regiments occupying Boston as a police force for two years. They were quartered in private homes and public buildings. Soldiers were even taking extra jobs around the town. Tension and hostilities grew between civilians and soldiers until it finally erupted on the night of the “Massacre”.The trials for the Captain and for the eight enlisted men, two of the longest trials in Colonial history, are a landmark in American legal history. It was the first time a judge used the phrase "reasonable doubt." The hearsay testimony of Massacre victim Patrick Carr was allowed in court because it was given on his deathbed. And a Medieval relic, the Benefit of Clergy, was used by two soldiers found guilty of manslaughter to escape the death penalty.The accused soldiers of the Twenty-ninth Regiment include:Captain Thomas Preston, Corporal William Wemms, James Hartigan, William McCauley, Hugh White, Matthew Kilroy, William Warren, John Carrol, and Hugh MontgomeryThe British soldiers were tried before the Superior Court of Judicature, the highest court in Massachusetts. As English subjects, they had a right to a fair trial by jury and competent defense counsel. Loyalists wanted the soldiers pardoned, but were prosecuting in the King's name. American Patriots wanted the soldiers found guilty, but also wanted to show the town of Boston as fair.Samuel Quincy (1735-1789), Counsel for the Prosecution, was a Loyalist and the Solicitor General for the colony, was appointed as special prosecutor for the trials. Samuel was the handsome and urbane older brother of defense lawyer Josiah Quincy Jr. Samuel Quincy left Massachusetts with the British in 1776 and died in exile in England in 1789.Ezekiel Goldthwait (1710-1782), was born in the North End of Boston to a merchant family originally from Salem, was prosperous indeed. The Goldthwait family lived on Hanover Street in the North End in a “Mansion House,” according to the ten-page inventory recorded after Ezekiel’s death. He also owned houses on State Street and Ann Street; a chaise; considerable china, silver, glassware, and furniture; over thirty pictures (none of which was described specifically); some two hundred books; and a gold watch. Goldthwait commissioned the famous painter John Singleton Copley to paint the portraits of himself and his wife toward the conclusion of his public career. In June 1771, Copley charged Goldthwait 19.12 for each painting and 9 for each frame (the original bill is in the Museum’s archives). The portraits of Ezekiel and Elizabeth Goldthwait remained in the family until they were given to the Museum in 1941.Copley’s paintings of Ezekiel and Elizabeth Goldthwait rank among his most successfully unified pendant portraits. The Goldthwaits are each depicted at three-quarter length, seated in darkened interiors, he at a desk and she at a table. Their bodies are turned toward each other but both look out at the viewer. The portraits are painted in the same subdued rich browns, a muted palette Copley substituted for the dazzling rococo colors he had employed during the previous decade. A powerful light issuing from a single source at the left plays against the quiet tones and dramatically illuminates the face and hands of each sitter. Copley charged each portrait with a sense of uncontrived immediacy, showing his sitters interrupted in the course of their actions to regard the viewer: holding quill and papers, Ezekiel turns from writing at his desk, and Elizabeth pauses as she reaches for a piece of fruit. (Museum of Fine Arts Boston)
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