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2   John Adams  $300 $484 $533 6 You must login to place a bid.

#2 - John Adams

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Penned to Hancock’s London partner while preparing a defense of the Boston Massacre

Rare partial self-contained third-person ADS, signed within the text, one page, 7 x .75, August 13, 1770. In full: “Boston, August 13, 1770. Rec’d of John Adams Thirty Pounds lawfull Money, in Behalf of George Hayley Esqr of London. I say rec’d by me.” Several vertical folds, a subtle stain near the end of his name, and closely cropped edges, otherwise fine condition. Hayley was John Hancock’s friend and close business associate in London, and Adams seems to have legally represented him in a small Massachusetts real estate dispute earlier in 1770.

A highly successful lawyer, Adams had controversially agreed to lead the defense of the British soldiers who perpetrated the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, and was to represent them in court at the end of October, just two months after issuing this document. Though he feared it would hurt his reputation, Adams believed that all men were entitled to a fair trial and deserved equal justice. His success in the trials—Adams secured the acquittal of Captain Thomas Preston and six British soldiers, with the remaining two convicted only of manslaughter rather than murder—elevated his reputation even further. Remaining steadfast in his ideals, the principled stance Adams took in defending his enemy—he had already spoken out against 'taxation without representation' and would sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776—is revealing of his strong character and the qualities that led to his success as a leader. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.

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