Legal Papers of John Adams, volume 2

Shearjashub Bourne to John Adams

Oliver Whipple's Minutes of the Argument


The position of this statement in the MS on the page facing and directly op posite the notes of Lot Lewis' testimony, note 12 117 above, as well as its substance, suggest that it is a note by JA of the basis of his objection to admission of evidence on the Lusanna's Gibraltar trip. See text at note 11 169 below. JA may refer to 2 Hawkins, Pleas of the Crown 437:

“And therefore it is agreed, That if one be indicted or appealed for killing another with a Sword, and upon evidence it appear that he killed him with a Staff, Hatchet, Bill or Hook, or any other Weapon with which a Wound may be given, he ought to be found guilty, for the Substance of the Matter is, whether he gave the Party a Wound of which he died; and it is not material with what Weapon he gave it, tho' for Form's sake it be necessary to set forth a particular Weapon. . . . Yet it seems clear, That Evidence of poisoning, burning, or famishing, or any other Kind of killing wherein no Weapon is used, will not maintain an Indictment or Appeal of Death by killing with a Weapon.”