[Boston. July 3, 1815]. [4]pp. on a single folded folio sheet, with blind embossed paper seal intact, docketed on verso of second leaf. Old folds with separation starting at most folds, two small holes (no loss of text), slight chipping to edges, light tanning, a few spots of soiling. Good plus. Item #WRCAM56584

A manuscript property deed which also appears to settle a dispute the important architect, Asher Benjamin, had with "James Ferriter Junior...Painter." Signed by Shubael Bell, Boston deputy sheriff, and countersigned by William Donnison, justice of the peace and another unidentified witness, the document describes the amount owed by Ferriter on a mortgaged property. Bell explains that he proceeded to arrange the sale of the property for which he posted public notices around the city and published ads in a local newspaper announcing the sale. He goes on to state that Benjamin was the successful bidder, and thus the property and title passes to him; Bell also gives the precise location of the parcel.

The Ferriter name was common throughout the greater Boston area at this time. Though we found a James Ferriter identified as a "ropemaker," we found no other record of him as a painter. Shubael Bell (1766-1819) was likely well-acquainted with Benjamin. Although he had moved into civil service as a deputy sheriff and jailer, he started his life as a housewright, following in the footsteps of his father, John Bell, a well- known builder. William Donnison (1757-1834) had served as an aide to John Hancock in the Revolutionary War; he was elected to the Court of Common Pleas in 1797.

Asher Benjamin's Federal and later Greek revival architectural style dominated late colonial design throughout New England and beyond to the South and the Midwest. "[T]here is scarcely a village which in moulding profiles, cornice details, church spire, or farm-house does not reflect his influence" - DAB. Benjamin was a prolific architectural writer as well and published THE COUNTRY BUILDER'S ASSISTANT (1797), THE AMERICAN BUILDER'S COMPANION (1806), THE RUDIMENTS OF ARCHITECTURE (1814), and the very popular PRACTICAL HOUSE CARPENTER (1830) among other well-known works. "The career of our first American architectural writer, Asher Benjamin (1773-1845), covered several decades of the early nineteenth century. Both the books he wrote and the buildings he designed had an influence on building in New England that is still visible" - Thompson.
Neville Thompson, "Tools of Persuasion: The American Architectural Book of the Nineteenth Century" in THE AMERICAN ILLUSTRATED BOOK IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY (1987), p.142.

Price: $750.00