Lot 165: Boston Massacre

RR Auction

2015-11-30 14:50:52

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Lot 165: Exceedingly rare string-bound printed pamphlet of Peter Thacher's speech known as 'An Oration Delivered at Watertown, March 5, 1776: To Commemorate the Bloody Massacre at Boston, perpetrated March 5, 1770,' twelve pages, 6.5 x 8.5, printed and sold by Benjamin Edes, 1776. Signed in the left margin with an ink ownership signature of soldier William Jennison, "W. Jennison's." Thacher's oration opens, in part: "My friends, when the ambition of Princes induces them to break over the sacred barriers of social compact, and to violate those rights, which it is their duty to defend, they will leave no methods unessayed to bring the people to acquiesce in their unjustifiable encroachments. In this cause, the pens of venal authors have in every age, been drawn with Machiavellian subtlety, they have laboured to persuade mankind, that their public happiness consisted in being subject to uncontrouled power; that they were incapable of judging cornering the mysteries of government; and that it was their interest to deliver their estates, their liberties, and their lives, in to the hands of an absolute Monarch." A handwritten note by Jennison on the reverse of the final page reads, in part: "On Monday evening the 5th of March 1770 a party of British Soldiers of the 29th regiment of foot under the command of Capt. Preston, fired on the Inhabitants of the town of Boston; whereby 5 were killed, and 7 wounded; two of the latter soon died, the others after some time recovered…The names of those 5 killed were—Crispus Attucks—Samuel Gray—Samuel Maverick—James Caldwell and Patrick Carr." Heavy overall dampstaining and many edge tears, otherwise very good condition. William Jennison marched as a sergeant with his father's minuteman company on the Lexington Alarm on April 19, 1775. He later saw action at the Battle of White Plains before entering the naval service as midshipman and sergeant of marines aboard the frigate Boston. An exceedingly rare pamphlet from Revolutionary America. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 466 Wednesday, 9th December 2015 Estimate: $4000-6000
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