• Justice Of The Peace Appointment Signed By Revolutionary War Hero John Brooks

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    Offering a 10 x 17 justice of the peace appointment for Moses Davis of Edgecomb, Maine, who helped ratify the U.S. Constitution, and signed by John Brooks, 11th Governor of Massachusetts, a Revolutionary War officer at Lexington and Concord.  Dated February 6, 1818, the document is also signed by Alden Bradford, the 6th Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Maine was part of Massachusetts at the time.


    MOSES DAVIS was a cabinet maker, a farmer, lawmaker and a respected leader of Edgecomb, Maine. Davis was selected to represent the town in the General Court (state legislature) in 1774. He was also elected a delegate to the Massachusetts conventions that led to the Articles of Confederation in 1781 and ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788. He voted to support the Constitution. War was looming with Britain on May 21, 1808, when Davis received two visitors, majors Moses Porter and Moses Carlton, who were charged with building batteries from Castine Harbor to the mouth of the Kennebec River. Porter wanted to buy land from Davis to build a fort that would defend Wiscasset and enforce Thomas Jefferson’s hated embargo. Davis’ farm was right across from Wiscasset. Davis deeded more than three acres of land for $300 to the federal government.  The fort was finished in time to celebrate James Madison’s inauguration as President. Jefferson actually lifted the embargo three days before leaving office.


    JOHN BROOKS was a doctor, military officer and the 11th governor of Massachusetts from 1816 to 1823. He was one of the last Federalist officials elected in the United States.  Brooks was an officer in the Revolutionary War, the Reading, Massachusetts Militia. He led his troops in the Battles of Lexington and Concord and served under George Washington in the New York and New Jersey campaigns of 1776. In 1777, he was part of the relief force for the Siege of Fort Stanwix and led a successful assault against British positions in the key Second Battle of Saratoga. He played a significant role in the 1783 Newburgh Conspiracy in which he helped quash ideas of mutiny in the Continental Army.  After the war, he continued to practice medicine and was active in the state militia, helping to put down Shay’s Rebellion.  He served in the War of 1812 after which he was elected governor.


    ALDEN BRADFORD served as the 5th Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1812 to 1824.  Born in Duxbury, MA, he graduated from Harvard in 1786 with a degree of LL.D.  He was then ordained as a Congregational church pastor, serving in Wiscasset, Maine.  At times a bookseller and journalist, his works included a History of Massachusetts and Memoir of the Life and Writings of Rev. Jonathan Mayhew.  Bradford was a descendant of William Bradford, Plymouth Colony Governor.


    Beautiful wafer seal intact. Several smaller holes near the bottom, away from text.  Ghosting of the seal at the bottom, likely due to the document being folded. Verso includes additional text involving Davis’ oath of allegiance to the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth.


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