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Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent (1731-1791) Papers

Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent (1731-1791) Papers

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NATHANIEL PEASLEE SARGENT (1731-1791) PAPERS, 1743-1802, 1918-1931





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Sargent, Nathaniel Peaslee, 1731-1791
Title:Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent (1731-1791) Papers
Dates:1743/1802, 1918/1931
Quantity:1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract:The Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent Papers contain the judge's court notes in pamphlet-type notebooks and loose papers, letters, orders, Grand Jury charges, receipts, land surveys and related documents, verdicts, wills, accounts, and personal writings on the history of Haverhill and the American Revolution.
Collection Number:MSS 489

Series List


SERIES I. Court Minutes
SERIES II. Correspondence and Legal Papers
SERIES III. Research Materials and Manuscript on Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent

Scope and Content Note

The Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent Papers contain the judge's court notes in pamphlet-type notebooks and loose papers, letters, orders, Grand Jury charges, receipts, land surveys and related documents, verdicts, wills, accounts, and personal writings on the history of Haverhill and the American Revolution. These records are all original to the time period of his life and slightly after. The second group of records in this collection is from a later period. They are mostly copies of original records of Sargent's and research material for an included, draft manuscript on his life, circa 1931. This collection has been organized into three series.


Series I. Court Minutes contains pamphlet-style notebooks, larger, bound notebooks, and loose papers that contain Judge Sargent's notes on the proceedings of courts that he presided over during his time as both an Associate Justice and a Supreme Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.


Series II. Correspondence and Legal Papers contains mostly letters and receipts of Judge Sargent's. There are also original orders he sent out for individuals to appear in court, official documentation of charges to be delivered to individuals facing them, and verdicts that he passed down on individuals appearing before the various court sessions he held. There are some personal writings of Judge Sargent as well. These consist of four documents chronicling the history of the city of Haverhill, a short treatise reflecting on the American Revolution, through which he lived and worked, and other assorted writings. A copy of multiple wills for some individuals, alongside a copy of Sargent's own will and supporting documents are also contained in this series. There are also two surveys of his property and lists of his material items and writings as well.


Series III. Research Materials and Manuscript on Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent contains research materials that Judge Ira A. Abbott used to help in the creation of his article on Sargent's life, Life and Times of Judge Sargent. His materials range from multiple correspondence, tracing lineage and facts about the Judge, to notes on certain individuals and areas important to Sargent's life. Folder 9 in box 3 contains copies of various documents from the first two series. There are also copies of records that do not appear in this collection in original form. It seems that the originals for this collection of copies may have existed in the Massachusetts Archives or American Antiquarian Society's collection, but it is not clear. There are also photographs of Judge Sargent's home and his family grave plot that are marked "illustration" and may have been used for the Life and Times article, but this is unclear as well.


The last folder in this series (B3 F12) contains the draft manuscript in full. It appears that it was published in the Haverhill Sunday Record, April 23 to August 13, 1933, under an edited name, Life and Times of Judge Sargeant: Being a Biography of Nathaniel Peaslee Sargeant of Haverhill, Mass., Second Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.


Biographical Sketch

Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent was born in Methuen, Massachusetts, on November 2, 1731, to Reverend Christopher Sargent and Susanna Peaslee Sargent. His father was descended from early settlers of Massachusetts. He attended Harvard College, graduating in 1750, and received a master's degree in 1753. He then began practicing law in Haverhill. In 1759 he married Rhoda Barnard of Salisbury, and they had seven children.


Sargent was elected in 1775 to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, which was the de facto government of the province at that time. He was offered a position on the Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature, the province's highest court, by the congress' council, where he would serve for the rest of his life. He was a charter member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1780). Following the independence of the United States, he was appointed to be chief justice in 1790 by Governor John Hancock. He died in 1791 in Haverhill.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Abbott, Ira A. (Ira Anson), 1845-1921
Cranch, William, 1769-1855
Parsons, Theophilus, 1750-1813
Sargent, Nathaniel Peaslee, 1731-1791
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Barnstable County)
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Boston)
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Falmouth)
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Ipswich)
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Middlesex County)
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Northampton County)
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Worcester)
Massachusetts. Superior Court of Judicature
Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court
Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court (Barnstable)
Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court (Concord)
Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court (Northampton)
Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court (Worcester)
Court records
Judges
Lawyers

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent (1731-1791) Papers, MSS 489, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

The manuscript Life and Times of Judge Sargent, written by the Ira A. Abbott in 1931, was originally given to the American Antiquarian Society. Its copyright was then given to the Haverhill Historical Society and the full, draft manuscript, along with corresponding notes and correspondence, was given to the Essex Institute on behalf of the Haverhill Historical Society and the librarian of the American Antiquarian Society, Dr. Clifford K. Shipton, on June 16, 1961. A letter from Caleb Strong (B3 F1) was removed from the Tucker Family Papers, MSS 165, and added to this collection. The provenance of the rest of the collection is unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by James King, May 2016. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, June 2016.


Related Material


Wikipedia.com. Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent. Wikimedia Foundation, 2001.


Court minutes, 1777-1790, Microfilm #188.


Tucker Family Papers, 1797-1862, undated, MSS 165


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