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Hubbard, Joshua. Minute Books of Joshua Hubbard: An Inventory, 1769-1808: Finding Aid.

Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard Law School

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS.012015121
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Hubbard, Joshua
Title: Joshua Hubbard, Minute Books of Joshua Hubbard: an inventory
Date(s): 1769-1808
Quantity: .75 linear feet
Language of materials: English

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Acquired by purchase.

Processing Information:

This finding aid describes material acquired in two separate acquisitions. The books have been arranged chronologically by the archivist. James Hubbard began numbering his docket books in approximately 1780. The number he assigned to a book when available is noted in the container list below.

Processing Information:

Processed by Edwin Moloy, July 2016

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Historical and Special Collections staff for further information. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Historical and Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Historical and Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Historical Information

Joshua Hubbard was a wealthy landowner and member of a prominent family in the town of Kittery, in York County, located in what is now the state of Maine. During a busy and varied career that included being a lawyer, farmer and, seemingly, retailer of sundry goods, Hubbard served as Deputy Sheriff, Sheriff, Justice, and town selectman in Kittery, and was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for York County. He kept diligent records of his legal services, court decisions, and personal and business transactions in what we presume were a total of 46 numbered and dated minute books.
As Sheriff and Justice, Hubbard handled a wide variety of local legal issues and traveled to the courts at Berwick, Salem, and Boston on a regular basis. He records serving countless writs, making arrests, and the amount of damages awarded in court cases over which he presided and whether payment was, in fact, made. He also surveyed many disputed property boundaries, executed estates, wrote out wills, was treasurer and apparent tax preparer for the town of Kittery, did property valuations for the young United States Government in 1798, and, as a landowner himself, sought to keep "trespassing" — i.e., illegal logging, a growing problem in timber-rich York County at the time, and a primary reason for the rapid increase in litigation in the area during the latter half of the 18th century — off his own property.
Although mostly terse and strictly businesslike in his entries, including legal matters that involve various members of his extended family, Hubbard occasionally lets his personal feelings get the better of him, particularly in the case of Daniel Chickering. Chickering married Hubbard's daughter, Abigail ("Nabby"), and then abandoned her for a time, forcing her to return to her father's house. Hubbard billed Chickering for everything he could think of, including "To taking your wife to Board and finding her one Room in my house your having absented your Self by night and left her destitute of all necessarys of life" (Feb 26, 1788) and "To keeping your everlasting Great Eating horse at hay for 5 weeks" (Dec. 20, 1787). A later incident, involving a run-in between Chickering and Hubbard on the road after church, is also recorded, perhaps as a legal precaution. On December 20th, 1805, Hubbard records payments to Mr. William Emery "By a Coffin for my Daughter" and Mr. Joseph Johnston, "By digging a Grave for my Daughter and tending the funeral &c on the 21st."

Series List/Description

Materials from this collection are described as one chronological series.

Scope and Contents

A collection of minute books in which Hubbard recorded both legal and personal transactions in detail, including: writs, arrests, wills, boundary disputes, damages awarded in court cases over which he presided, various payments and expenses, etc. Also included are three notebooks kept by his nephew James Hubbard, who inherited Joshua Hubbard's farm; these primarily record the sale of cider and vinegar from his farm, costs of hired labor, and bank loans.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Justices of the peace -- Maine -- Kittery
Practice of law -- Maine -- Kittery -- Early works to 1800
Practice of law -- Maine -- Kittery
Dockets -- Maine -- Kittery (Town) -- 18th century
Dockets -- Maine -- Kittery (Town) -- 19th century
Hubbard, James