Wetmore’s Minutes of the Argument1
Essex Superior Court, Salem, November 1771
At the Superior Court November the defendant offered to give in Evidence on plea of non Cul his right to Caesar by purchase &c. The Council for Caesar objected that it cou’d not be admitted on this plea and the Court doubted. It was compared to the Cases in Trials pr pais2 and Gilbert L.E. [Law of Evidence]3 where title agreements &c. are good evidence, when they don’t go in discharge of trespass but in denial of plaintiffs declaration. And the Cause was contin’d. A special verdict was proposed.
1. Wetmore Notes. Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 184.
2. 2 Duncombe, Trials Per Pais description begins Giles Duncombe, Trials per Pais: or Law concerning Juries by Nisi Prius, etc., London, 1665. description ends 549: “The Defendant may prevail on Not guilty in Trespass, by making Title to the Land.”
3. Gilbert, Evidence description begins Geoffrey Gilbert, Law of Evidence by a Late Learned Judge, London, 1756. description ends 242: “Evidence on Not guilty for the Defendant in Trespass. The Defendant may prevail in this Issue, First, By making Title to the Land; for then he satisfies the Declaration, for he proves that he did not enter into the Plaintiff’s Close, but his own; and consequently that is a very just Disproof of the Plaintiff’s Declaration.”