Adams Papers

From John Adams to John Lowell?, 15 December 1770

To John Lowell?

Decr. 15. 1770

Dr sir

Being generally Speaking a son of Liberty, notwithstanding the Cloud of Toryism that has lately, you know, passed over me,1 a Number of Gentlemen have retain[d] me, with you, in Defence of that great and inestimable Right, Liberty and Priviledge by Charter of digging Clams upon the Ipswich Clam Banks. The Proprietors of Ipswich have sued Varrill before a Justice &c.—Varrill2 will shew you the Copies. Will it not be best (if the Ptfs should enter) for [unknown amount of text missing][the Propri]etors will bring the next Action before the Superiour Court and have this great constitutional Question decided at last by the Kings Bench.—I wish you a pleasant and profitable Court and am with great Esteem your Brother3

John Adams

RC (NNPM). MS mutilated; only the upper portion of the sheet remains, with the opening sentences. The closing lines and signature are on the verso.

1Presumably a reference to his unpopularity for defending the soldiers charged with the Boston Massacre.

2No case involving “Varrill” is recorded in JA’s docket book for 1770–71.

3That is, cocounsel. John Lowell may be meant, for he served in this capacity in Patch v. Herrick, which involved litigation over the Ipswich clam bank (JA, Legal Papers description begins Legal Papers of John Adams, ed. L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel, Cambridge, 1965; 3 vols. description ends , 2:4–9).

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