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Sale 38 Lot 7

ROBERT TREAT PAINE(1731-1841) American jurist, member of the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence and first Attorney General of Massachusetts. Fascinating content, partly-printed D.S. "Robt Treat Paine" as Attorney General, 1p., folio, Massachusetts, July 2, 1780, rendering a decision on the property of one John Powell of Suffolk County, a British Loyalist who fled to the safety of British lines after Massachusetts fully declared itself as separate from Britain, in part: "...Robert Treat Paine, Esq., Attorney General...For the people of Massachusetts Bay...And in their behalf complains of John Powell late of Boston in the County of Suffolk...Since the nineteenth Day of April...Levied War, and has conspired to levy War against the Government and People of this Province...And then and there adhered to the King of Great-Britain, his Fleets and Armies, Enemies of the said Province...". After declaring the land legally and officially seized and possessed, Paine goes on to specify the precise location and surveyed measurements of Powell's land, and includes a crucial addendum in his own pen, in part: "...him the said John Powell & his heirs...". This document, a printed form letter with blanks to fill in individuals' information, shows an interesting aspect of the American War for Independence: the rebel American government's plan to seize all Loyalist property for profit as a matter of course and deny future claims by any heirs after the war's conclusion, thus severing all ties with Mother England in an important legal arena. Light even toning, toned folds, some a bit weak, overall very good condition, with a fine, dark signature.
Estimate $ 3,000-4,000

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