59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Legal Documents Collection, 1675-1930, undated

Descriptive Summary

Repository Martha's Vineyard Museum, Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441
Call Number RU 535.
Title Legal documents collection
Date [inclusive] 1675-1930, undated
Extent 2 boxes + 2 oversize folders (1.077 cubic feet)
Language The materials are in English.
Abstract This artificial collection contains depositions, estate records, indentures, petitions, powers of attorney, promissory notes, summonses, wills, and other legal documents donated to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum concerning various legal matters.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to the library's staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 535, Legal Documents Collection.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Judge Abner Braley in 1957 (Accession no. 1957.012).
  • Gift of Sinclair Hamilton in 1966 (Accession no. 1966.022).
  • Gift of Mrs. Ralph M. Packer, Sr., in 1972 (Accession no. 1972.030).
  • Gift of Mrs. D. O. Bettencourt in 1977 (Accession no. 1977.019).
  • Gift of Henry Beetle Hough in 1983 (Accession no. 1983.013) and in 1984 (Accession no. 1984.021).
  • Gift of the Nantucket Historical Association in 1987 (Accession no. 1987.038).
  • Gift of Ted Berry in 1991 (Accession no. 1991.068).
  • Gift of Prudence Burt in 2001 (Accession no. 2001.015).

Individual folders are labeled with accession numbers when known. The immediate source of acquisition and date of accession for the rest of the material is unknown.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Lara J. Ullman in July 2015 and machine-encoded by Clint Johnson in July 2015.

Related Materials

Related Materials

  • See also, RU 132, Deeds Collection.
  • See also, RU 534, Certificates and Appointments Collection.

Controlled Access Headings


  • Affidavits
  • Bonds (legal records)
  • Depositions
  • Estate inventories
  • Estate records
  • Indentures
  • Legal documents
  • Legal notices
  • Petitions
  • Powers of attorney
  • Promissory notes
  • Summonses
  • Wills

Geographic Name(s)

  • Chappaquiddick Island (Mass.)
  • Chilmark (Mass.)
  • Dukes County (Mass.)
  • Edgartown (Mass.)
  • Homes Hole (Mass.)
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)
  • Tisbury (Mass. : Town)


  • Dukes County (Mass.)--History
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--History

Scope and Content of Collection

This artificial collection contains affidavits, bonds, depositions, estate records, indentures, legal notices, orders, petitions, powers of attorney, promissory notes, summonses, wills, and other legal documents concerning various legal matters.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Contents of Collection

Box Folder

Affidavit: Made By Prince D. Athearn Concerning Wheat Property, 1838 September 27 

1 1

Affidavit: Made By Theophiulus Dimmuck of Falmouth Regarding Abraham Pease, 1785 January 13 


There is also a transcription in the folder.

1 2

Affidavit: Made By William Swain of Boston, Master of the Barge Lone Star, Concerning Taking and Selling 85 feet of Fire Hose from the Battleship Maine, 1899 July 11 

2 35

Announcement: Intention of Homes Hole Residents of Religious Inclination to Meet for Services at the Home of Isaac Daggett, 1779 January 27 


There is also a transcription in the folder.

1 3

Arbitration: A True Copy of an Award from March 4, 1708 Regarding a Property Dispute Between John Butler and Other Unnamed Proprietors, 1721 January 16 


The date on the folder is the date of the "Vera Copie" made by Ebenezer Allen.

1 4

Arrest Warrant: Issued by James Athearn, Justice of the Peace, for the Apprehension of Abel Willis, who murdered John Wright, 1780 August 20 

1 5

Bond: Nathaniel Cooper and Abel Sostom, both Indians of Edgartown, 1771 September 1 

1 6

Bond: For Mill Owned by John Norton, Christopher Beetle, and John Norton, Jr., 1776 January 28 

1 7

Brief: John B. Smith et als. vs. Amoz Smith et als. Brief for Plaintiff, 1888 October 

1 8

Certificate of Ownership: Ship Omega if Edgartown, Owned by Benjamin Worth, Sole Owner, of Edgartown, 1890 March 18 

2 36

Complaint: Against Tristram Mayhew and Stephen Clifford, Made by Timothy Mayhew, 1802 September 16 

1 9

Complaint: Against Aaron Norton, Made by Noah Norton, 1800 June 5 

1 10

Contract: Between Daniel Fisher of Edgartown, a Physician, and Thomas Cooke, Collector of Customs for the District of Edgartown on Behalf of the United States, For Daniel Fisher to Provide Sick and Disabled Seamen with Suitable Food, Lodging, and Medical and Surgical Assistance, 1829 October 1 


There is also a transcription in the folder.

2 37

Court Record: William Mayhew, Obed Pease, and Joseph Pease, 1789 February 10 

1 11

Court Record: Defendants Pled Guilty But Were Acquitted, 1822 May 2 

1 12

Deposition: Benjamin Goodspeed of Barnstable, 1782 March 26 

1 13

Deposition: Wadsworth Mayhew Regarding Property of Bethiah Mayhew of Chilmark, 1782 August 7 

1 14

Deposition: Baize Norton Regarding Dagget Farm, 1783 September 5 

1 15

Deposition: Baze Norton Regarding Daggett Farm, 1783 September 15 

1 16

Deposition: Cornelius Norton, 1787 September 22 

1 17

Deposition: Amy Pease, 1785 January 13 

1 18

Deposition: Benjamin Pease Regarding the Division of Land at Watcha Neck, 1785 

1 19

Deposition: Benjamin Pease Regarding Land on Chappaquiddick, 1814 March 12 

1 20

Deposition: Lois Pease, 1788 August 25 

1 21

Estate Related: The Estate of Mr. Bartlett Allan of Martha's Vineyard, deceased, with George Gracie, 1781 March 29 

1 22

Estate Related: "Statement Insurance on the Allendale Mill," a Notice, and an Order to Pay on Policies of Insurance, 1858-1859 


Material related to Zachariah Allen and the Allendale Mill.

1 23

Estate Related: Appointment of John Smith as Administrator of the Estate of Dorcus Bayly, 1719 March 18 

1 24

Estate Related: Public Auction Announcements for the Estate of Charles Butler, Being Sold by Lucy Butler, 1839 October 22, 1841 February 4 

1 25

Estate Related: Survey of the Estate of Charles Butler, Made by Jeremiah Pease, 1839 November 16 

1 26

Estate Related: Order of Notice Concerning the Estate of George W. Cleveland, 1854 January 16 

1 27

Estate Related: A List of Joseph Cleveland's Roteable Estate, undated 

1 28

Estate Related: Survey of Lot at Tower Hill Owned by C. F. Dunham, Survey Done by Joseph Mayhew, undated 

1 29

Estate Related: Jonathan Dunham's Account of His Administration on His Father's Estate, undated 

1 30

Estate Related: Inventory of Amaziah Fisher Estate, undated 

1 31

Estate Related: Papers Concerning the David Fisher Trust, Miss Ethelinda W. Mayhew was Beneficiary, 1925-1930 

1 32

Estate Related: A Valuation of the Property of James Fisher and David Pease, undated 

1 33

Estate Related: Maiden Estate of Mary Harlock, 1762 October 16 


Mary Harlock married Daniel Coffin.

1 34

Estate Related: William Jernegan and Timothy Daggett Rateable Estate, 1810 May 1 

1 35

Estate Related: Draft of Part of Kelley's Estate, 1842 November 7 


This is a plan of water front lots surveyed by Jeremiah Pease for Thomas M. Coffin, John P. Worth, Henry Marchant, and Joseph Mayhew.

1 36

Estate Related: Abstract of Title of Lot 12, 1st Division, Old Purchase, Edgartown. Originally owned by Jane Kelley, undated 

1 37

Estate Related: Measurements of Homestead of Lemuel Kelly (deceased) , 1842 November 

1 38

Estate Related: Bernard Luce to David Luce, Releasing David Luce from Obligations Concerning the Estate of Enoch Luce and the Welfare of his widow, Thankful Luce, 1819 November 2 

1 39

Estate Related: Notice to West Luce of his Appointment as Executor of Benjamin Luce's Will, 1817 April 7 

1 40

Estate Related: Administration on the Estate of Whetten Manter , 1781 October 31 

1 41

Estate Related: Appointment of Joseph Smith to Appraise the Estate of Peter Norton, Esq., 1793 March 10 

1 42

Estate Related: Inventory of Peter Norton Estate, 1811 

1 43

Estate Related: List of Thomas M. Norton Estate, undated 

1 44

Estate Related: Inquiry Regarding the Estate of William Norton (circa 1738-1807) from his daughter, Charlotte (Norton) Butler, after 1807 


There is also a transcription in the folder.

1 45

Estate Related: Debts Owed to the Estate of Abraham Pease (deceased), 1787 


There is also a transcription in the folder.

1 46

Estate Related: Note Concerning the Estate of Abraham Pease of Nantucket, 1790 October 5 

1 47

Estate Related: Copy of Inventory of the Estate of Benjamin Pease, circa 1788 

1 48

Estate Related: Report on the Value of Ephraim Pease's Estate Completed by Appointed Appraisers Matthew Mayhew, John Coffin, and Thomas Vinson, 1784 June 14 

1 49

Estate Related: Caveat - Purchase of the Maria T. Pease Homestead in Edgartown by Genevieve Leonard, 1916 November 14 

1 50

Estate Related: Memorandum of Title for the Maria T. Pease Estate, circa 1916 

1 51

Estate Related: Note to the Administrator of the Estate of Eliza P. Ripley from William E. Mayhew, 1896 March 27 

1 52

Estate Related: Bond of Administrator with the Will Annexed for the Estate of John A. Spencer, 1854 May 22 

1 53

Estate Related: Documents Concerning the Estate of Francis O. Swallow, Florence Mayhew Swallow was Executrix, 1901, 1925 

1 54

Estate Related: Inventory of Property, List Signed by Daniel Vincent, undated 

1 55

Estate Related: A List of Nathaniel Vincent Estates, undated 

1 56

Estate Related: Inventory of Property, List Signed by Jethro Worth, undated 

1 57

Guardianship: Certificate Appointing William Jernegan as Guardian of Love Daggett, a widow, 1785 February 19 

1 58

Guardianship: Certificate Appointing Jonathan Pease as Guardian of Homes Wass, Infant Son of the Deceased Homes Wass, 1785 December 22 

1 59

Guardianship: Certificate Appointing as Guardian of William Wass, a Minor and Son of the Deceased Homes Wass, 1785 December 22 

1 60

Guardianship: Certificate Appointing Benjamin Smith as Guardian of Thomas Pease, Jr., 1787 March 8 

1 61

Indenture: Of Benjamin Burges as Apprentice to John Pease, 1787 January 7 

1 62

Indenture: Of Patty Godfre as Apprentice Servant to Benjamin Mayhew, 1789 July 18 

1 63

Indenture: Of Ferdinand Lemotte (an orphan) to William Kelly, 1811 February 25 

1 64

Indenture: Of Joseph Silver to be a Servant to Argalis Pease, 1802 October 7 

1 65

Indenture: Of Nathan Walker as Apprentice to Richard Whellen, 1784 December 9 

1 66

Insurance: Policy for the Brig Nancy on a Voyage from Cape de Verde Islands to New York, 1811 September 10 

OS GEN 5 19

Insurance: Policy for the Brig Nancy on a Voyage from New York to Cork, 1811 November 27 

OS GEN 5 20

Insurance: "Policy of Assurance" for the Sloop Mechanic, Samuel Chadwick Master, 1812 July 18 

2 38

Insurance: Union Mutual Marine Insurance Co. Policy for John P. Norton While on the Ship Mary, 1852 July 19 

2 39

Judgement: Against Francis Lesage in Haiti for the Sale of Herring, 1817 March 20 


The document is in French. There is also a partial translation in the folder.

1 67

Miscellaneous: List of Grant Jurors and Pettit Jurors, undated 

1 68

Miscellaneous: List of Judges and Registers of Probate in the County of Dukes County, 1855 March 6 

1 69

Notification: From Daniel Fellows to Holmes W. Smith Regarding an Intention to Dispute and Disclaim Any "Right of Air Light" or Other Easement, 1839 June 11 

1 70

Notification: Request to take Deposition of Hannah Francis Issued by William Jernegan, Justice of the Peace, 1818 September 26 

1 71

Oath of Office: Draft of Oath of Office for Constable and Collector of Taxes for the Indians and People of Colour Living at Chapaquidic, undated 

1 72

Obligation: Between Obed Fisher and Rufus Fisher, 1817 October 28 

1 73

Official Document: Certification of Authenticity of Transcripts, 1855 August 11 

1 74

Order: Made by Mr. Upham, Aid-De-Camp, Regarding the Claims of the Inhabitants of Martha's Vineyard Concerning the Stock and Supplies Provided to General Grey in 1778, 1783 June 14 

1 75

Order: To the Sheriff of Bristol, Barnstable, and Suffolk Counties to Jail Two Men for Not Paying $998.86 to Edmond Hathway of Freetown, 1803 November 8 



1 76

Order: To the Sheriff of the County of Dukes County Regarding Sanford Hicks, 1800 December 17 

1 77

Petition: Petition Made by Simon Athearn to Sir Edmund Andros, Governor of New York , 1675 October 8 


This document is a copy and is misdated as 1765 instead of 1675.

1 78

Petition: Petition Made by Simon Athearn to the Governor of New York, 1691 June 6 


This document is a copy.

1 79

Petition: Petition By the Several Towns in the County of Dukes County on the Land of Martha's Vineyard to the Honourable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1783 October 15 

1 80

Petition: Petition of Joseph Huxford, Jr., for Liberty to Sell Real Estate of Thomas Arey (deceased), 1789 March 6 

1 81

Petition: Petition by Prince Look of Chilmark to Bring Suit Regarding a Parcel of Land in Chilmark, 1804 March 16 

1 82

Petition: Petition by Jonathan Pease to Sell the Interest from a Dwelling House in Boston and Make a Deed of Said Interest for Two Minors who Inherited Said Interest, 1785 December 30 

1 83

Petition: Petition by George Peters of Tisbury, Guardian of Joseph Tacamish (an Indian Minor), to Sell Property Owned by Joseph Tacamish, 1800 June 17 

1 84

Petition: List of Petitions Made Before Various Committees in Various Towns on Martha's Vineyard, circa 1827 

1 85

Power of Attorney: William Grant Authorizing Isaiah C. Ray as his Attorney, 1847 November 15 

2 1

Power of Attorney: Isaac Luce Authorizing Enoch Luce, 1780 November 7 

2 2

Power of Attorney: William E. Mayhew Authorizing Charles Mayhew as his Attorney, to Deal with Transactions Concerning the Estate of Joseph Mayhew, 1878 February 15 

2 3

Power of Attorney: W. E. Mayhew, H. H. Mayhew, and Mary W. Sprague Authorizing Charles Mayhew as their Attorney to Deal S. P. Coffin, executor of Fannie Coffin's Estate, 1887 March 24 

2 4

Power of Attorney: Abraham S. Norton Authorizing Peter Norton, Esq., as his Attorney in Matters Concerning Ichabod Norton, 1846 September 26 

2 5

Power of Attorney: William Rotch Authorizing Obed Norton as his Attorney in Matters Concerning William Butler, 1807 September 23 

2 6

Promissory Note: From Elihu M. Banks to Charles Mayhew, 1898 February 3 

2 40

Promissory Note: From William Brand and Co. to Col. Clinton, 1862 July 1 

2 41

Promissory Note: From Ichabod Norton on Behalf of Samuel Norton to Thomas Butler, 1798 January 22 

2 7

Promissory Note: From Tristram Norton to Philip Luce, 1808 June 1 

2 42

Promissory Note: Ephraim Pease to Hannah Butler, 1797 June 4 

2 8

Promissory Note: From Malatiah Pease and Barzillai Pease to Obediah Pease, 1787 May 29 


Malatiah Pease was the father of Barillai and Obediah Pease.

2 9

Promissory Note: From Isaac Phelps to Francis Butler, 1779 September 8 

2 10

Promissory Note: From P. R. Southwick to Dexter Harrington, 1851 October 

2 11

Promissory Note: From Allen P. Stewart to The Edgartown National Bank, 1906 April 9 

2 43

Promissory Note: From Theodore S. Wimpenny to Eliza M. Ripley, 1887 September 14 

2 44

Providence Papers: William Pease, 1793-1794 

2 12

Recognizance: Richard Almy, a transient person residing in Chilmark, 1799 November 20 

2 13

Summons: To Thomas Baylies to Answer the Petition of William Talbott, 1763 April 21 

2 14

Summons: To Robert Chase, Moses Trussell, Paul Thorndike, Lewis Agier, Chase Pease, and Lot Norton Regarding a Plea of Trespass Issued by Simon Tyler, 1819 December 14 

2 15

Summons: To John Fish Sent by Enoch Coffin, Town Clerk, 1777 May 9 

2 16

Summons: To Eliza Ide, Jefferson Slamm, and Others from the Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York, Mary A. Smith was the Plaintiff, 1868 October 29 

2 17

Summons: To Daniel C. Look and Henry E. Cottle for Payment of Taxes, 1910 January 1 

2 18

Summons: To Zadock Simpson to Appear Before David Davis, Esq., Justice of the Pease, Regarding Destruction of Property, 1863 September 19 

2 19

Summons: Joseph Smith, Zachariah Norton, Thomas Butler, and Elvarten Parker to Give Evidence Relating to a Plea of Trespass, 1777 May 7 

2 20

Summons: To Allen P. Stewart et al. of Edgartown, From Walter S. Osborn, Collector of Taxes for the Town of Edgartown, For 1908 Taxes, 1908 December 16 

2 45

Summons: To Rebecca Waldron (and others) Regarding Foreclosing a Mortgage, 1855 December 30 

2 21

Testimony: Francis Mayhew Regarding Grey's Raid, after 1778 


There is an unsigned "Dear John" letter dated 1792 April 22 on the same page. There is also a transcription in this folder.

2 22

Will: Ezra Cleveland (1746-1822) of Edgartown, before 1822 


There is also a transcription in the folder.

2 23

Will: Joseph Dunham of Edgartown, 1849 September 19 


This is a copy. There is also a transcription in the folder.

2 24

Will: Sylvanus Hussey of Sherborn in the County of Nantucket, 1765 


This is a copy. There is also a transcription in the folder.

2 25

Will: Anna Luce of Tisbury (Widow of Philip Luce) Leaves Everything She has to Her Daughter, Nancy Luce, 1848 April 15 

2 26

Will: Christopher Luce of Edgartown, 1792 November 10 


FRAGILE. This is a true copy.

2 27

Will: Philip Luce of Tisbury Leaves Everything He Has to His Daughter, Nancy Luce, 1847 January 1 

2 28

Will: Silvanus Luce of Tisbury, 1803 November 3 

2 29

Will: Joseph Mayhew of Edgartown, 1845 December 26 


This is a copy of the original.

2 30

Will: William Mayhew of Edgartown, 1829 April 13 


This is a copy of the original.

2 31

Will: Benjamin Bartlet Norton of Edgartown, 1825 May 16 

2 32

Will: Andrew Ryan of Edgartown Leaves Everything He Has to His Wife Jane Ryan, 1786 June 6 

2 33

Various Legal Documents Relating to a Land Dispute Between the Mayhew and Daggett Families, 1681-1692, 1761, 1795, 1815 

2 34