• Wentworth Cheswell, Remarkable Black Revolutionary War Patriot, Document Signed As Justice Of The Peace

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    One page, 8 1/4 x 8 1/4, Rockingham, New Hampshire, dated July 13, 1811. A legal document signed "Wentworth Cheswell" as Justice of the Peace of New Market, New Hampshire, addressed to the Constables of Rye. Cheswell orders them to attach the Goods or Estate of Joses Phillbreck of Rye to the value of $14, or to bring him to answer to George Sullivan for the debt.

    On verso is the sheriff's deposition and written out legal costs. The original invoice for Phillbreck is also attached.

    WENTWORTH CHESWELL (1746-1817) was a relatively recently discovered African American Revolutionary War Hero who broke many stereotypes of the day. He was a schoolmaster, leader of his church, helped found the town library, was the first Black elected to office (Town Constable and Selectman), supported taking up arms against the British, was a Member of the Committee of Safety, enlisted in 1777 under Col. John Langdon participating in the Battle of Saratoga, and was elected in 1778 to New Hampshire's Constitutional Convention. Cheswell is also known as The Paul Revere of New Hampshire, as he made a similar all-night ride from Boston to warn the people of New Hampshire of the British Invasion. After the War, Cheswell was a successful storekeeper, as well as the Town Auditor, Coroner, Assessor, Town Moderator, and Justice of the Peace.

    Both documents have flattened folds and edge chipping. Light uneven toning. Bold and neat signature by Cheswell.

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