Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

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Item Details

Lot #27
DepartmentPolitical Broadsides
Sold For$16,000.00(hammer price)
 $19,200.00(price including buyer's premium)
Last UpdatedMay 2, 2019


By the Great and General Court of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. A Proclamation. The Frailty of Human Nature, the Wants of Individuals, and the numerous Dangers which surround them, through the Course of Life, have ... impell'd them to form Societies, and establish Governments. As the Happiness of the People is the sole End of Government, so the Consent of the People is the only Foundation of it ... therefore every Act of Government, every exercise of Sovereignty, against, or without the Consent of the People, is Injustice, Usurpation and Tyranny ...". With a list of grievances and a call for an independently elected government that doesn't recognize the sovereignty of the crown, and boldly concluding "God Save the People" instead of "God Save the King".

Written by John Adams and others as the Massachusetts General Court absolved its allegiance to the Crown in January 1776, this was one of the first documents in which Americans championed independence and was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence, drafted with similar language in the following months.

Believed to be published by Benjamin Edes, Watertown, Mass., 1776. Dated in print January 23, 1776 and signed in print by Perez Morton, William Cooper, et al. Ordered to be read at the opening of court sessions and at town meetings, and recommended to be read at church services. Though the proclamation was seemingly widely distributed at the time, very few copies are known to still exist. Approx. 17" x 13.75"."


Matted but unframed. Evidence of conservation, including being laid down on heavier paper. Toned, with lighter band around perimeter and a darker band approx. 1.25 wide down right margin, approx. .5" away from text block. Vertical and horizontal creases, with small area of loss at center crease lines. At least one other small area of loss. Light scattered foxing/soiling. Archival taped verso at top left and right margins. Small pencil inscription lower margin."

The description of the item above may not be the final version used in the catalog. The descriptions are as yet unedited and may contain mistakes. The description, estimates and photos could all be wrong. In rare cases they may not end up in this sale. Once the items have received their lot number the descriptions will have been changed if needed.

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