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John Adams Signed Commission for George Washington's Aide-de-Camp Based on Act Rewarding Rev War Veterans and Missionaries "propagating the gospel among the Heathen"-- With Bonus John Marshall Signature!

A land deed signed by 2nd U.S. President John Adams (1735-1826) as "John Adams" at lower right. Recorded at Washington, D.C. on September 17, 1800. The document is partly printed and partly handwritten on a single vellum sheet measuring (sight size) 13.125" x 9.675." Cosigned by then U.S. Secretary of State John Marshall as "J Marshall," who would be nominated by Adams to the U.S. Supreme Court just five months later, in February 1801. Bearing a fairly intact presidential seal at lower left. In very good condition, with expected light folds, gentle soiling, and scattered foxing. Matted and displayed behind glass, to the right of an engraving of Adams after an original portrait by Alonzo Chappel, and above two engraved plaques. Not examined out of the frame. The overall frame size measures 27.875" x 18.675" x .875." Provenance: Accompanied by information relating to the item's purchase in 2004, along with a small packet of biographical information about the landowner, Revolutionary War veteran Hodijah Baylies, further elaborated below.

President John Adams granted 400 acres of land in modern day Ohio to Hodijah Baylies (1756-1843).

"Know Ye, That in pursuance of the act of Congress passed on the first day of June 1796, entitled 'An Act regulating the grants of Land appropriated for Military services, and for the society of the United Brethren for propagating the gospel among the Heathen'; and of the several acts supplementary thereto passed on the second day of March 1799, and on the eleventh day of February and first of March 1800, there is granted unto Hodijah Baylies Major in the late army of the United States; in consideration of his military services; Four certain tracts of land estimated to contain each, One Hundred acres…"

Hodijah Baylies enlisted in the Continental Army shortly after his graduation from Harvard in 1777. Baylies participated in many significant engagements during his military service, which lasted for the duration of the Revolutionary War. Baylies was captured during the Battle of Charleston in 1780, and he also fought at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. He gathered administrative experience under General Benjamin Lincoln; he later served as aide-de-camp to General George Washington between May 1782 and just after the war's end. His postwar life included ownership of the family business, the Baylies Iron Works in modern day Taunton, Massachusetts as well as a probate judgeship in Bristol County, Massachusetts. Up until his death at age 86 in 1843, Baylies had been one of the oldest surviving field officers of the Revolutionary War.

Baylies's land record from 1800 can be found in the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records database. His eligibility for this land was based on his war record, not on his membership with the Society of the United Brethren (aka Church of the United Brethren in Christ.) Members of this Protestant sect formally established in 1800 had roots in the Mennonite and German Reformed ecclesiastical traditions. Its German-speaking churchgoers could be found throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. The federal government awarded land to United Brethren missionaries attempting to convert Native Americans in the region. Baylies was given 400 acres of land in Holmes County, Ohio, which is advertised today as being part of Amish Country! Thus, Revolutionary War veterans like Baylies and Protestant missionaries owned adjoining land in the Ohio River Valley.

Provenance

The item comes with:

1. Email correspondence between the buyer and dealer Daniel Weinberg of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc., from the period November 27 - December 13, 2004.

2. A sales receipt for the Adams and Marshall signed document in the amount of $7,620, accompanied by a December 17, 2004 printed letter signed on "Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc." letterhead, along with the original transmittal envelope.

3. High-quality color print-outs showing a detail of the signatures; and a detail of the back of the document, now concealed under the mat and frame.

4. A small packet of information regarding Hodijah Baylies, compiled by a student from the University of Connecticut, and an archivist at Old Sturbridge Village Research Library.

5. The U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records includes this September 17, 1800 land deed for Hodijah Baylies.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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