Adams Papers

To John Adams from Jason Haven, 15 January 1776

From Jason Haven

Dedham Janry 15 1776


My Freedom in troubling you upon the Affair, which is the Subject of this Epistle, may need an Apology. Your Candor and Goodness will excuse it. The Design is benevolent to the Publick, as well as to a particular Friend. I partake in the general Satisfaction of this Province, in your being appointed chief Judge of our Superior Court. I doubt not the Publick will reap great advantages from the Improvement of your Talents, in that important Station, as well as in several others. I understand it is with you, and your Brethren on the bench, to appoint the Clerks. I take the Liberty to recommend Mr. Joshua Henshaw Jr.1 as a Person I think well qualified for that office. He is Son to Colo. Henshaw late a Counsellor. He now lives at Dedham, is a Man of a fair and amiable Character, of liberal Education, of good political Principles, A very good Penman. Mr. Samuel Adams has a particular Acquaintance with him. He is put out of Business by the Troubles of the Times. If your Clerks are not appointed, your Influence to introduce him into that Office, would be acknowledged as a singular Favor by your most obedient humble Servt.,

Jason Haven2

P.S. Pray make my most respectful Compliments to your Lady. I should be extremely glad to wait on you at my House. You’rs ut Supra,


RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “For The Honble. John Adams Esqr. Braintree”; docketed: “Jason Haven Jan 15th 1776.”

1Joshua Henshaw Jr. (1745–1823) had been in business in Boston with his father, a distiller. When the siege began, the Henshaws moved to Dedham, where they met Rev. Haven. Although this letter failed to bring Henshaw the clerk’s position, he was appointed a justice of the peace on 30 Jan. Thereafter he served in a variety of positions, notably as register of deeds for Suffolk co. (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates description begins John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873– description ends , 15: 400–403).

2Rev. Jason Haven (1733–1803) served as minister in Dedham from 1756 until his death (same, 13:447–453). For the remarks of JA and AA on Haven as a minister, see Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 1:14–15, and Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963– . description ends , 1:263.

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