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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


This note contained in document ADMS-05-03-02-0001-0001
96. JA to Jedidiah Morse, 5 Jan. 1816, LbC, Adams Papers, printed in 10 JA, Works 201. More specific criticism came from witness Richard Palmes, writing in March 1771:
“To judge of the accuracy of Mr. Hodgson in the account of the trial, said to be taken by him, and published by permission of the Court, let the reader compare with his, my minutes of Mr. Bliss's conversation with Capt. Preston, where I find Preston returning some answer to Bliss, which Mr. Hodgson entirely leaves out, making Bliss rejoin 'God damn ye fire,' without any immediate provocation. Again, Mr. Hodgson makes me represent Montgomery as sallied back by a piece of ice, or perhaps he stept back: Whereas I never had a tho't of said piece of ice or frozen snow sallying him back, but declared only, I tho't he stept back. But to put the matter out of all doubt, Mr. Hodgson goes over the question again, and makes me declare, I was certain, that Montgomery was struck, and sallied back before he fired; Whereas I am certain I never mentioned the word sallied on that examination, nor gave other answer than the above.
“Mr. Hodgson confounds my remembrance in such manner, that I could not determine the difference between a piece of ice and a club, for what purpose this fetch, judge impartial reader!” Boston Gazette, 25 March 1771, p. 2, col. 2.
Palmes' testimony is set out in Rex v. Wemms, note 19. See also Rex v. Preston, note 62. How the witness came to possess a variant transcript of his own testimony is a question; his motive in publishing it is another mystery, partly illuminated by his comment that “the Sentiments of People seems various concerning the Testimony I gave, relating to the Concern of Capt. Preston, and the Soldiers, in the horrid Massacre of the 5th of March, 1770.” Boston Gazette, 25 March 1771, p. 2, col. 1.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/