Item #55312 Quaker marriage contract between John Borden and Sarah Shearman

Quaker marriage contract between John Borden and Sarah Shearman

Portsmouth: December 8, 1784. Folio printed pro-forma document (approx. 16½" x 13"), filled in and signed by the principals and 34 witnesses; docketed on verso and recorded by Thos. Gould, Jun., Middletown, December 10, 1784; watermarked paper, archival repairs along two vertical folds, and a horizontal fold. Inch or smaller tears in two margins, not affecting text. The Bordens and Shearmans (Sherman) were among the early Quaker families who settled Portsmouth, Rhode Island. This marriage contract, taken at the public meeting house in Portsmouth, certifies that John Borden of Portsmouth, son of Joseph and Catherine, married Sarah Shearman, daughter of Job (then deceased) and Martha. The contract is signed by the martial couple and thirty-four witnesses, likely all, or mostly Quakers. They include members of the Lawton, Mott, Anthony, Almy, Chase, Freeborn and other families. The current Quaker meeting house (built ca. 1699) still stands--it was occupied by British troops during the Revolution. In the year of this marriage, 1784, Moses Brown School was founded by the Quakers in Portsmouth; it was moved to Providence in 1819. Richard Borden arrived in Boston with his wife and two sons, fifteen years after the Mayflower had landed in 1620. In March 1638, Anne Hutchinson was put on trial in Boston, excommunicated and banished. She was a signer of the Portsmouth Compact, considered by many as the first declaration of religious freedom in the colonies. With the help of Roger Williams, the group of settlers purchased land from the native Americans at Aquidneck, which would become the site of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The original John and Richard Borden and their families were members of this group. Richard was to become a leader in the Portsmouth community, and was one of the founders of the Society of Friends in Portsmouth. He was the direct ancestor of this John Borden (1752-1828) and his second wife, Sarah Shearman (1764-1862). Sarah's ancestor, Philip Sherman, was one of the most conspicuous figures in the early affairs of the Colony of Rhode Island, and played a prominent part in public life. He was general recorder of the Colony, and in 1665-67 served as deputy to the General Court of Rhode Island. On April 4, 1676, he was one of sixteen men chosen to assist and advise the Council. On moving to Rhode Island, he left the Congregational church and joined the Society of Friends. Item #55312

Price: $1,250.00

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