Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 242

Price Realized: $ 1,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(LAW.) Manuscript rules, constitution, and founding minutes of the "Gentlemen of the Bar in the County of Middlesex." [14] manuscript pages, 7 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches, on 4 folding sheets of laid paper, titled "Rules and Regulations of the Bar in the County of Middlesex," transcribed in an unknown contemporary hand including the secretarial signature of president Artemas Ward; vertical fold, closed separations at folds, minor wear and toning. Cambridge, MA, 17 December 1807

Additional Details

The preamble to this interesting document describes how "the counsellors and attornies residing in the county . . . are desirous to cement and confirm their union, to cultivate a hearty benevolence, and an ardent concern for each other's welfare." The six articles of their constitution cover membership, the training of students, conduct of members, and more. The document closes with the minutes of the organization's founding meeting at Porter's Tavern in Cambridge, MA, where Revolutionary War general Artemas Ward was chosen as their founding president, and future congressman Samuel Hoar as their secretary.

This organization was part of the first wave of American bar associations, which were essentially short-lived social clubs. Their more institutionalized successors began with the American Bar Association in 1878. The present-day Middlesex County Bar Association dates its founding to 1899. Middlesex County covers a large swath of Massachusetts immediately northwest of Boston, including Cambridge, Lowell, Lexington, and Concord.