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Jacob Boardman     $45.00
Jacob Boardman
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Jacob Boardman autograph check reproduction.


During the early part of the Revolutionary war, the colonies were sometimes short on gun powder and other military items. In Massachusetts, the colonists were willing to confiscate gunpowder and arms from ship captains and others if they refused to sell it for the war effort, something that played out when the colony attempted to buy from CAPTAIN JACOB BOARDMAN, one of its Committee on Safety members.


JACOB BOARDMAN had expressed concerns that inadequate quantities of gun powder would direly impact colony’s efforts to achieve independence.


On December, 15, 1775, he wrote to the Council and the House of Representatives stating that he and several others had raised money to buy a vessel and travel to Europe to procure gun powder and weapons to use in the fight for independence “lest the American cause should suffer…”  He sought approval for the trip.  The House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay Colony approved and agreed to pay five shillings per pound “on delivering the same to the commissary of this Colony.”  Boardman and his crew returned several months later. A legislative resolution was passed stating that if Boardman refused to sell the powder that the General Court attempt to purchase it at a higher price. When Boardman and his men refused, the General Court authorized a committee to seize it. (Research included)


We offer a superb 1776 ADS by notable patriot JAMES SULLIVAN, who was also an associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, a politician and statesman.  The document, dated February 15th, 1776, is a pay order, apparently a down payment for the gunpowder. The one-page document, 4 ½” x 7 ¼”, addressed to Henry Gardener, states:


 “Please pay Jacob Boardman sixty pounds of lawful money on the Council’s warrant of the 4th of January last, in my favor.


“Ja. Sullivan”


JAMES SULLIVAN (1744-1808) was the brother of Revolutionary War General John Sullivan, served as the state’s Attorney General for many years, and as Governor from 1807 until his death.  Legal historian Charles Warren calls him one of the most important legal figures of the time in Massachusetts.


Sullivan was involved in drafting the Massachusetts constitution and in the state’s ratifying convention for the U.S. Constitution. During his years as judge and attorney general, he was responsible for drafting and revising much of the state’s legislation as part of the transition from British rule to independence.


GARDENER was a prominent lawyer active in the Committees on Correspondence and the Provincial Congress. He served as the provincial treasurer through the Revolutionary War. He served as moderator when Stow, MA, citizens voted to support independence from England.




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