Adams Papers

Adams’ Minutes of the Argument: Barnstable Superior Court, May 1767

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.

High Proceedings.

Strange 747.3 Order for Allom. Forgery at common Law.

Protection from a Member.

Possibility of Damage.

Reason of the Thing. Injury.

Paper indictable.

Public Record.

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.

1In JA’s hand. Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 185.

2James Otis, counsel for Cotton.

3Rex 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.

4This is apparently JA’s query.

54 Bacon, Abridgment description begins Matthew Bacon, New Abridgment of the Law, London, 1736–1766; 5 vols. description ends 506. The treatise at this point catalogues the actionability of various words, but does not mention forgery; see note 9 above.

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