condition: good size / dimensions: 18+ x 13 (13 x 8½)
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Submitted for your consideration is a Land Deed from the year 1779 for a twenty (20) acre tract in Amherst NH. Seller is John Cole, and buyer is Aaron Wilkins (of Middleton MA - north of Boston), with Samuel Stevens and Moses Nichols as witnesses. The date of the signing is April 30, 1779. Both John Cole and Moses Nichols were Revolutionary War soldiers, and both signed this document. In fact, Moses Nichols signed it twice; once as a witness, "Moses Nichols", and again as Register of Deeds, "Colonel Moses Nichols".
According to history of the town of Amherst New Hampshire, a John Cole from Amherst was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, as per the following excerpt from that book;
John Cole, a private in Captain Crosby's company, was killed in the battle (of Bunker Hill), and Robert B. Wilkins, of Captain Spaulding's company, was wounded in the right elbow by a musket-ball.
Obviously, it cannot be the same person. However, there were apparently two Revolutionary War soldiers by the same name of John Cole from Amherst NH, since he signed a bounty on August 05 of 1778, committing to enlist with Colonel Moses Nichols, and march to Rhode Island to join General Sullivan (Battle of Rhode Island ~ August 29, 1778). Please see pic above detailing the list, and make note that Nichols and Cole have signed the bounty in succession (right column, middle). It doesn't take a handwriting expert to confirm the striking similarities in both signatures when compared to this 1779 Land Deed. Please take note of the signature in left column, directly opposite of Moses Nichols. That would be Timothy Nichols (1756-1846), little brother of Moses Nichols, who would later fight in Wyman's 1st New Hampshire Regiment. He signed it "juner", which I presume was meant to be "junior". Their father, Timothy Nichols Senior, died in September of 1759 at the Battle of Quebec during the French and Indian War. This bounty reads as follows;
Amherst August of 5 1778
We the Subscribers Being Enlisted as Soldiers to march to the State of Rhode Island to join General Sullivan have Received Each Ten Pounds Sum of the Settlement aforesaid as order of the Committee of Safety for the State of New Hampshire.
Additionally, the town history for Amherst NH cites Dr Moses Nichols as one of the committee who signed, "...the results of the Grand Congress" on December 27th of 1774, as excerpted here;
The first reference on the old town records in relation to the
Revolution is under date of December 27, 1774, when the town voted "to approve of the results of the Grand Congress, and strictly adhere to them," and chose a committee consisting of Colonel John Shepard, Lieutenant Benjamin Kendrick, Nahum Baldwin, John Shepard Jr., Esqr., Dr. Moses Nicholls, Daniel Campbell, Esq., Josiah Sawyer, Joseph Gould, Paul Dudley Sargent, Thomas Burns and Samuel Wilkins, to carry into effect the association agreement in this town. If any break over said agreement, the committee [are] ordered to publish the same in the newspapers.
Moses Nichols commanded the 5th New Hampshire State Militia, which was active in the American Revolution from 1777-1780. The Fifth NH fought under General Stark at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777. One year later, in August of 1778, they served with General Sullivan at the Battle of Rhode Island. The following is an excerpt from the town history of Amherst, where Nichols is mentioned again in March of 1779 (one month prior to the signing of this Land Deed), as a Colonel who filed a report of all Amherst men available for duty;
In a return made by Colonel Moses Nichols, March 19, 1779, we have the names of the men employed by the town to fills its quota in the Continental army in the years 1777, 1778 and 1779, the period of their enlistment, and the regiments and companies in which they served, as follows:
This excerpt is from the biography of Moses Nichols via Wikipedia;
Moses Nichols (June 28, 1740 – May 23, 1790) was an American physician, soldier, and leading citizen of Amherst, New Hampshire.
Nichols was born in Reading, Massachusetts, to Timothy Nichols and his wife Hannah Perkins. On July 7, 1761, Moses Nichols married Hannah Eaton of Lynn, Massachusetts.
He was appointed colonel of a regiment of New Hampshire Militia (5th NH Militia Regt.) in 1776. In 1777 he led them to the Battle of Bennington and in 1778 the Battle of Rhode Island. In 1780 he led his regiment to West Point where it formed part of the garrison. He attained the rank of Brigadier General.
Moses Nichols was often moderator at Amherst's town meetings and was five times a delegate to the Provincial Congress at Exeter, New Hampshire.
Finally, the following passage is from the Find-A-Grave Memorial (# 31096661) for General Moses Nichols. Please see pic of his headstone above;
GEN. MOSES NICHOLS - Commenced practice as a physician in Amherst about 1761; served several years as one of the selectmen and as a representative. At the commencement of the War for Independence, he took an active part in behalf of the popular cause. He was appointed colonel of the fifth regiment 5 Dec 1776 in place of Colonel Lutwyche, of Merrimack, a loyalist. He commanded the right wing of Stark's army at Bennington and his regiment commenced the attack upon the Hessian entrenchment. In 1778 he was placed at the head of a regiment sent to assist Gen. Sullivan at Rhode Island, and in 1780 he was in command of a regiment at West Point at the time of Arnold's treason. After the close of the war he was appointed brigadier-general of the fourth brigade of New Hampshire militia. On the organization of the state government under the temporary constitution 5 Jan 1776 he was appointed register of deeds for Hillsborough county, and held the office until his death.
Aaron Wilkins, son of Uriah and Lydia Wilkins, was born Oct. 20, 1745 in Middleton Mass. He married Lydia Smith, born Nov. 9, 1755, (who) died Mar. 25, 1837 in Amherst, N.H.. Aaron was killed by a falling tree, Apr. 23, 1800. They settled in Amherst in the spring of 1779.
Last line to passage above is consistent with month and year on this Land Deed; April of 1779.
Fwiw, Aaron and Lydia Wilkins would have nine (9) children over a sixteen year span. All but one child would reach the age of maturity, which ain't a bad average for the 18th century.
According to the book "Middleton Massachusetts; A Cultural History", by Lura Woodside Watkins, no less than three (3) Wilkins boys were among the eight (8) Middleton volunteers who responded to the alarm, when the "Shot Heard Round The World" was fired at Lexington;
The Revolutionary war started April 19, 1775 for Middleton residents when eight volunteers responded to the alarm. They were Captain Archelaus Fuller, Captain Benjamin Gardner, Joseph Nichols, Sergent Benjamin Peabody, Corporal Elijah Wilkins, Corporal Aquilla Wilkins, Private Enos Wilkins and Private Israel Curtis. Lura Watkins estimated that about 125 residents of Middleton enlisted before the war ended.
So, Revolutionary War history is definitely attached to this 1779 New Hampshire land deed - in spades.
The amount of sale is two-hundred and forty (240) pounds. The American Revolution was in full bloom during April of 1779, the fifth year of the war. By then, it had all but rendered Continental Currency as worthless (reduced to just 1/40th of its original value by 1780). This is likely why the medium of exchange here is the British Pound in Sterling. Seems ironic since they were fighting to get away from same currency, but makes sense for fact that our currency was in a spiral tailspin.
This historical document has been custom matted and framed by Cape Cod Photo and Art Supply Co., Orleans, Massachusetts, as per sticker on enclosed backing.
CONDITION = VERY GOOD. Well preserved, but not devoid of what should be expected for a 230-year-old document. Some splitting/separation of paper, small holes, etc, are evident - but nothing major. No significant maladies, such as staining, water damage, major paper loss, etc. Pretty nice overall, and ready-to-hang.
Please forgive the lack of sharpness in my pics. Phone camera has "auto-focus", which translates to "auto-blur" on most small text/script. Unfortunately, there ain't nuthin' I can do about it, except ask you to understand that the actual text/script is crystal clear. This will become evident enough when you see it in person, of course.
DIMENSIONS (approximate inches):
Frame = 18+ x 13
Deed = 13 x 8½
PLEASE NOTE ~ The pics of the Bounty List, and Headstone for Moses Nichols, are provided here for sake of reference only - and not part of this offering. You will not receive the Bounty List, or a Headstone. FYI.
Price is FIRM @ $350.00/cash (Hagglers need not inquire). Buyer to pick up in CONCORD NH.
Please read and abide by the following;
IMPORTANT: Please do NOT expect a reply from "Is the item still for sale?", or anything of the generic kind that phishing robots often send. If you can read the ad, then "the item" is still for sale. So, please NAME the item(s), and include a PHONE NUMBER - if you want a reply. I sincerely appreciate your kind understanding.
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