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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


This foot note contained in document ADMS-05-03-02-0001-0001
4. 5 Boston Town Records 243 (26 March 1770); 18 Boston Record Commissioners, Reports 20. The depositions are most conveniently available in Kidder, History of the Boston Massacre. “The Committee, the Justices, and most of the witnesses,” wrote Hutchinson later,
“were well wishers to the American cause. The professed design of taking the depositions, was to prevent ill impressions against the town. The depositions were not generally in a form of words prepared by the deponents, but, when they had declared their knowledge of facts, the form and words of the depositions were settled by the Committee or Justices—There was no cross examination and no body present to ask any questions to elucidate any parts of the depositions—no scrutiny was made into the credit, and characters of the deponents.” C. B. Mayo, ed., “Additions to Hutchinson's History” 18–19.
Loyalists, too, sought “evidence” by depositions. See the collection of affidavits taken in New Jersey from various officers and men of the 29th Regiment during the summer of 1770. The originals are in the PRO, but copies appear in 12 Gay Transcripts 98–107, 112–114, 119–120, MHi.