Adams’ Minutes of the Argument1
Barnstable Superior Court, May 1767
Otis.2 Certificate of General Assembly.
Law very much altered of late Times.
To prevent Gothic Contentions and single Combats.
Strange 747.3 Order for Allom. Forgery at common Law.
Protection from a Member.
Possibility of Damage.
Reason of the Thing. Injury.
Q. If Cotton had forgd this Paper, whether he would have been liable to an Indictment for a Misdemeanor?4
4. Bac. 506.5
Made a false Record. Forgery of a Writ.
Great Slander and Defamation.
Court unanimous Nyes Words actionable.
1. In JA’s hand. Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185.
2. James Otis, counsel for Cotton.
3. Rex v. Ward, 2 Str. description begins John Strange, Reports of Cases in the courts of Chancery, King’s Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, London, 1755; 2 vols. description ends 747, 93 Eng. Rep. description begins The English Reports; 176 vols. A collection and translation into English of all the early English reporters. description ends 824 (K.B. 1727): Trial for forging an order for a quantity of alum. Held: a criminal forgery even though it did not appear that defendant had actually obtained any alum as a result of the forgery.
4. This is apparently JA’s query.