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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


This foot note contained in document ADMS-05-03-02-0001-0001
5. Hutchinson to ——, 25 March 1770, John Almon, Remembrancer for 1775 181 (London, 1775). Lynde, Diary 194 dates this event as 14 March 1770, the day after the March term opened. Min. Bk. 91, SCJ Suffolk, March 1770. The anonymous author of the report in the Bernard Papers dates it later:
“[March] 22d. Two of the Judges being sick, the court came to a Determination to adjourn to the 2d Tuesday of June but before they had gone thro' all the necessary form a Committee consisting of A[dam]s, M[olineu]x, Wa[rre]n, H[ancoc]k and others waited upon them in court, and in a very pathetic Speech, made by Mr. A[dam]s, Represented the necessity of proceeding to the trial of the Criminals this Term, particularly those concerned in the late bloody Massacre. In short the plain design of this speech was, that Gentlemen, you must comply with our demand and the court only adjourned for a few days.” 3 Bernard Papers 73, MH.
At the Town meeting on 19 March, a three-man committee, including Sam Adams and John Hancock, were instructed
“to draw up a Memorial to the Lieutenant Governor and Council praying that special Justices may be appointed for the Superior Court now sitting in the room of those who may be necessarily prevented by sickness from attending their duty; that so the Tryals of the many Criminals now committed may not be postponed.” 18 Boston Record Commissioners, Reports 15.
Oliver, Origin and Progress 87–88, indicates that the courtroom visit occurred later in the term. There may have been more than one visit. See note 29 below. See also 3 Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, ed. Mayo, 205.