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Pair of 1770-1771 Documents Mending for Negro Men and Negro Women - Americana

Inv# AM2211
State(s): Maine
Years: 1770-1771

Two early documents regarding "Mending for Negro Men and Negro Women" from Benj'a Kent Esq. to John Sheppard. Some paper loss.

Benjamin Kent (1708–1788) was a Massachusetts Attorney General (1776–1777) and then acting Attorney General during much of Robert Treat Paine's tenure (1777–1785). He was appointed seven successive terms. Prior to the American Revolution, Kent was notable for his representation of slaves suing their masters for their freedom, which contributed to the demise of slavery in Massachusetts. He was a member of the North End Caucus and prominent member of the Sons of Liberty, which formed to protest the passage of the Stamp Act of 1765. The efforts of the Sons of Liberty created the foundation for the Boston Tea Party. Kent called for independence early in the American Revolution.

Kent graduated Harvard College in the class of 1727. In 1731, he served as chaplain at Fort George, Maine, and preached to the settlers at Brunswick. He was ordained as minister of the Marlborough Congregational church in 1733, where charges of heresy were soon leveled against him "due to his public questioning of the doctrines of the Trinity, of Absolute Election, and of Infant Damnation." Following his dismissal, Kent successfully sued the Town of Marlborough for the balance of his fees and salary due. Kent then studied for the bar and began practicing in Boston in 1739, when there were only seven lawyers in the city, among whom he was at first "the Chimney sweeper of the Bar, into whose black dock entered every dirty action." He lived on the north side of King's Street (present-day State Street, Boston) by the north end of the First Town-House, Boston. He handled divorces, and represented numerous slaves in their attempts to gain their freedom, including the case of a slave Pompey suing his master Benjamin Faneuil. Kent was the first lawyer in the United States to win a case to free a slave Jenny Slew, in 1766. He also won a trial in the Old County Courthouse for a slave named Ceasar Watson (1771). Kent also handled Lucy Pernam's divorce and the freedom suits of Rose and Salem Orne. On 1 April 1776, Kent became Attorney General of Massachusetts. Kent was occasionally a guest at the Old Colony Club, whose members included John Adams. Kent has been described as one of Adams's "role-models in the elite of the Boston bar." Read more at

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Condition: Good
Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.
Price: $600.00