Legal Papers of John Adams

Legal Papers of John Adams

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Overview

Like many another statesman, John Adams entered the political arena by way of the legal profession. Here, gathered together in three volumes, is an inclusive presentation of the important legal cases in which he was involved. Student notes and Commonplace Book, which show the influences on the young law student in 1758 and 1759 are followed by Adams' Pleadings Book, a collection of forms providing a cross-section of the law in eighteenth-century Massachusetts and showing his work as teacher as well as student.

The sixty-four cases documented are divided into sixteen legal categories such as Torts, Property, Domestic Relations, Town Government, Conservation, Religion, Slavery, and Admiralty. They are preceded by editorial headnotes which discuss the background, significance, and importance of each category and case. Careful and thorough footnotes explain textual and legal problems; a register of John Adams' contemporaries furnishes sketches of his colleagues on the bench and bar; and an exhaustive chronology records his growing practice. But the bulk of the material consists of Adams' own notes and minutes, supplemented by court records, letters, depositions of witnesses, and the minutes of other lawyers, as well as extracts from Adams' correspondence and diary to make the record of each case as full as possible. Many of the cases concern events, personalities, and legal struggles directly related to the American Revolution.

The entire third volume of this imposing collection is devoted to the so-called "Boston Massacre." Confronted by a fascinating mass of conflicting evidence, charges and countercharges, and confused and confusing witnesses, many Americans will be surprised to discover that they must revise their notions about what actually happened on that March evening in 1770, why it did, and what ensued.

These three books comprise the first segment of Series III of The Adams Papers. The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation has made possible the editing of these volumes by means of a generous grant to the Harvard Law School.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674522503
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 01/01/1965
Series: Adams Papers , #26
Pages: 434
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.75(h) x (d)

About the Author

L. Kinvin Wroth taught at the University of Maine School of Law and is a graduate of the Law School of Harvard University.

Hiller B. Zobel was an associate in the admiralty department of the Boston law firm of Bingham, Dana & Gould and is a graduate of the Law School of Harvard University.

Table of Contents

Foreword, by the Honorable Bruce Bromley


Descriptive List of Illustrations


Preface, by the Editor in Chief


Introduction, by the Editors

Sources for this Edition

The Editorial Method

Practice and Procedure

John Adams the Lawyer


The Massachusetts Bench and Bar: A Biographical Register of John Adams' Contemporaries


Acknowledgments


Guide to Editorial Apparatus

Textual Devices

Adams Family Code Names

Descriptive Symbols

Location Symbols

Other Abbreviations and Conventional Terms

Short Titles of Works Frequently Cited

LAW STUDY


Editorial Note

Adams' Student Notes, ca. 1758

Adams' Commonplace Book, ca. 1759


ADAMS' PLEADINGS BOOK


Editorial Note

The Pleadings Book, 1771-1773


TORTS


No. I. Bassett v. Mayhew; Mayhew v. Bassett; Mayhew v. Allen, 1762-1768

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Referees' Hearing

Paine's Minutes of the Referees' Hearing


No. 2. King v. Stewart, 1773-1774

Editorial Note

King's Petition to the General Court

King's Remonstrance

Writ of Review-Stewart et al. v. King

Cushing's Report of the Argument

King to Silas Burbank

Burbank's Release

Deposition of Silas Burbank

Deposition of John Newbegin

Deposition of Jonathan Wingate

Threatening Letter Sent to King

King's Offer of Settlement

Deposition of Jonathan Sayward

Adams' Minutes of the Review

John Adams to Abigail Adams


No. 3. Cottony. Nyc,1767

Editorial Note

Adams' Diary

Adams' Minutes of the Trial

Paine's Minutes of the Argument

Adams' Notes of Authorities

Adams' Minutes of the Argument

Adams' Minutes of the Evidence

Adams' Diary


No. 4. Burnam v. Mugford, 1770-1771

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Trial


No. 5. Gill v. Mein, 1768-1769

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Trial


No. 6. Gray v. Pitts, 1771

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Trial (Inferior Court)

Adams' Minutes of the Trial (Superior Court)

CONTRACTS


No. 7. Porter v. Steel, 1770-1772

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Review

Wetmore's Minutes of the Review

COMMERCIAL LAW


No. 8. Alcock v. Warden, 1766

Editorial Note

Adams' Report of the Argument


No. 9. Apthorp v. Gardiner, 1766-1768

Editorial Note

Writ, Declaration and Return

Plea

Special Demurrer and Joinder

Adams' Minutes of the Argument


No. 10. Bancroft v. Lee, 1768-1772

Editorial Note

Adams' Notes of Authorities

Adams' Minutes of the Trial

Adams' Minutes of the Argument (1771)

Adams' Minutes of the Argument (1772)

Wetmore's Minutes of the Argument


No. 11. Crowningshield v. Lee, 1768-1770

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Trial


No. 12. Longman v. Mein; Wright & Gill v. Mein, 1770-1771

Editorial Note

Correspondence of James Murray, John Fleeming, and Sheriff Stephen Greenleaf

Adams' Notes of Authorities

Adams' Diary Notes on the Right of Juries

PROPERTY


No. 13. Prout v. Minot, 1761-1766

Editorial Note

Prom's "Bill in Chancery"

Adams' Minutes of the Argument


No. 14. Keen v. Turner, 1768-1769

Editorial Note

Paine's Minutes of the Trial

Adams' Minutes of the Trial


No. 15. Clap's Will, 1767-1768

Editorial Note

Adams' Address and Minutes of the Argument


No. 16. Clap v. Randall, 1769

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Trial


No. 17. Hill v. Whiting, 1770-1772

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Argument

Opinion of Judge Trowbridge


Nos. 18 and 79. Prescott v. Keep, 1771-1776; Prescott v. Priest, 1771-1773

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Trial

Adams' Abstract of Title

Adams' Minutes of the Trial

Cushing's Report of the Trial


Nos. 20 and 21. Wilkins v. Fuller, 1771-1772; Smith v. Fuller, 1770-1778

Editorial Note

Wetmore's Minutes of the Wilkins Trial

Adams' Minutes of the Referees' Hearing in Wilkins' Suit

Wetmore's Minutes of the Smith Trial

DOMESTIC RELATIONS


No. 22. Broadstreet v. Broadstreet, 1771-1774

Editorial Note

Adams' Notes of Authorities and Minutes of the Hearing


No. 23. Dougherty v. Little, 1768

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Trial

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW


No. 24. Roxbury v. Boston, 1766

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Argument and Decision


No. 25. Plympton v. Middleboro, 1766

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Argument

Paine's Minutes of the Argument


No. 26. Chelsea v. Boston, 1769

Editorial Note

Adams' Petition

No. 27. Brookline v. Roxbury, 1767-1772

Editorial Note

Adams' List of Questions Presented

Adams' Notes of Authorities

Record

Brookline's Account

Writ of Certiorari

Fitch's Assignment of Errors

Notification


No. 28. Essane v. Dotey, 1767-1768

Editorial Note

Jane Dotey's Examination

Record

Adams' Assignment of Errors

Reasons for the Judgment


No. 29. Gage v. Headley, 1768

Editorial Note

Adams' Minutes of the Testimony


No. 30. Josselyne v. Harrington, 1769-1771

Editorial Note

Record

Fitch's Assignment of Errors

Adams' Minutes of the Testimony

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