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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-05-02-02-0007-0002-0001

Author: Hurd, John
Recipient: Loring, Joshua Jr.
Date: 1769-04-13

John Hurd to Joshua Loring Jr.1

[salute] Dear Sir

The inclosd Informations were preparing by Mr. Claggett,2 and under Consideration of Mr. Parker the Deputy Judge of Admiralty, { 260 } when he received a Letter from the Honorable Judge Auchmuty suspending him from the Office.3 Mr. Claggett returnd them to the Surveyor General, and by his directions I forward them to you, to be laid before Mr. Auchmuty, who will know best to putt them in proper order; and if he thinks the Evidence sufficient forward them for Execution, as the Governor has already advisd. There will be further and more particular Information soon collected from some of the principal people at Law which shall be immediately sent along. I am with great Esteem and regard Dear Sir Your Most hum Servt.
[signed] John Hurd
Mr. Claggett is about leaving Us and sails soon for England. We shall miss him in some of our Affairs.
P.S. You have also inclosd a Diary of Willm. Ham Assistant Deputy, which may be of some use; after shewing it to the Judge You'll please to return it to the Surveyor General's Office.
1. RC, presumably in Hurd's hand. Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185. Docketed by JA: “Mr. Hurd's Letter.” Enclosures not found. Hurd (1727–1809), Harvard 1747, was the son of Jacob Hurd, Boston goldsmith. After an unstable commercial career in Boston he developed New Hampshire land interests, became Wentworth's personal secretary, and held other administrative positions. He became an early settler in the upper Connecticut Valley and at the Revolution was a patriot. After losing in several political struggles, he returned to Boston in 1779, where he finished his life in the commercial community. 12 Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates 164–171. Loring (1744–1789) was Deputy Surveyor of the Woods, as well as the last royal sheriff of Suffolk County. A tory, he is best known as General Howe's Commissary of Prisoners, a post for which he has received much abuse. Stark, Loyalists of Mass. 424–425; Jones, Loyalists of Mass. 199–200.
2. Wyseman Clagett (1721–1784), Attorney General of New Hampshire from 1765 to 1769. Son of an English barrister, he had been admitted an attorney in the King's Bench before his emigration to Antigua in 1748. He came to Portsmouth in 1758, where he took up practice and was soon made a justice of the peace. His severity with petty offenders was such that “I'll Clagett you,” became a popular threat. In 1769, as Hurd's postscript, below, indicates, he moved to England. Upon his return in 1771, he took up the patriot cause, serving in the Provincial Congresses and later on the State Committee of Safety and Council. From 1781 to 1784 he was a special Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court and Solicitor General. DAB.
3. William Parker (1703–1781), Harvard A.M. (hon.) 1763, Deputy Admiralty Judge for the Province of New Hampshire. Admitted to the bar in 1732, Parker served in a variety of legislative and judicial posts, ending his active career as a Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court (1771–1775). Charles H. Bell, The Bench and Bar of New Hampshire 26–28 (Boston, 1894). Since New Hampshire was under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Vice Admiralty Judge, Parker owed his authority to a deputation from Judge Auchmuty. He was apparently also commissioned by Governor Wentworth. See Ubbelohde, Vice Admiralty Courts 153–154; Jeremy Belknap, The History of New Hampshire, 1:421 (Dover, 2d edn., 1831). The cause of his suspension has not been determined, but he was still in office in 1773. Ibid. He had also sat on a case appealed from New Hampshire to Auchmuty's new District Court of Vice Admiralty at Boston in 1772. Lawrence S. Mayo, John Langdon of New Hampshire 42 (Concord, 1937). See p. 104 above.

Docno: ADMS-05-02-02-0007-0002-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1769-04-20

Adams' Draft of the Information1

Court of Vice Admiralty, Boston, 20 April 1769

Province of the Massachusetts Bay Court of vice Admty. 20th. April 1769To the Honble. Robert Auchmuty Esqr. Judge <of his Majestys said Court or to his lawfull Deputy> Commissary Deputy and surrogate of the Court of Vice Admiralty of Boston in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay
{ [facing 260] } { [facing 261] } { 261 }
John Wentworth Esqr. Surveyor General of all and singular his Majestys Woods on the Continent of North America shews that on the Twenty fourth day of March last he seized for his Majestys Use, at the several Places hereafter mentioned in said Province, the following white pine Logs; vizt at a Place called little Ossipee in the County of York in said Province Three hundred white Pine Logs from twenty four to fifty four Inches Diameter, and from Eighteen to Twenty four Feet long; at a Place called Narragansett in the County of York in said Province Three Logs from twenty five to Thirty Inches Diameter; at Faybans Mills so called in Scarborough in the County of Cumberland, Three hundred Logs.
At a Place called Dunstons Landing in Scarborough aforesaid, two Masts, vizt one of forty Inches Diameter and fifty seven Feet long, another of forty four Inches Diameter and Eighty seven feet long.
At a Place called Blue Point in Scarborough aforesaid one Mast of forty four Inches Diameter and Ninty three feet long, one of twenty Eight Inches Diameter and Eighty Eight feet and an half long; At a Place called Pepperellborough in the County of York aforesaid one Mast forty two Inches in Diameter and Sixty feet long, one of forty two Inches in Diameter and Eighty four feet long, one of Thirty Six Inches in Diameter and Eighty four feet long, one of forty two Inches in Diameter and fifty seven feet long, one of Thirty Six Inches Diameter and fifty seven feet long. At Narragansett in the County of York aforesaid Three Logs from twenty five to Thirty Inches Diameter; All cutt out of Trees growing in this Province, and not in any Township, or within the Bounds Lines or Limits thereof, or if growing within the Limits of any Town, those of twenty four Inches Diameter at twelve Inches from the Ground, not growing within any Soil or Tract of Land granted to any private Person before the Seventh Day of October Anno Domini 1690, and those under Twenty four Inches Diameter, not being the Property of any private Person or Persons, and felled by some evil minded Persons within Six Months last past, without his Majestys royal Licence first had and obtained; and by them removed to the aforesaid Places, contrary to the Laws in that Case made and provided.2
Wherefore as this matter is within the Jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the said John Wentworth prays sentence for the Forfeiture of said Logs to his Majestys Use, agreable to Law.
1. Copy in JA's hand. Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185. Docketed by JA: “Wentworth vs. Logs. Form.” The caption of the document indicates that Auchmuty sat on the case in his capacity as Judge of the Massachusetts provincial court, rather than as Judge of the new district court to which he was appointed in the fall of 1768. See No. 46, notes 41–43; p. 102, note 16, above. Compare Ubbelohde, Vice Admiralty Courts 148–155.
2. For the statutes, the requirements of which are neatly summarized in the foregoing sentence, see No. 55, notes 6–932–35, 12–1738–43.
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/