Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania (1719-1806). Scarce ALS signed “Jas. Smith,” one page, 8 x 12, October 19, 1764. Written from York, an urgent letter to a gentleman from whom he had recently purchased land, in full: "A few days since I was informed by Mr. Swope that the Lot No. 77 in York which I purchased from you was offered him as a Vacant Lot, but as he had a friendship for me did not chuse to take it, & since Mr. Johnson further informed me that you mentioned you had sold me a Lot but you took it to be No. 88, & that had likewise the offer of No. 77—By which Accounts I have been much alarmed lest some person of less generous principles might apply & you should grant it, not recollecting it was the same you sold me. For I hope & am persuaded from the many favours I have received from you that you would not (knowingly) grant to another unless I had notice. When I was last in Philad'a, I did not know that the Office was open for granting Lotts, nor ever heard a Syllable of it 'till a few days since & as Cumb'd Court comes on next week It is not in my power to come dow 'till after Court—As I have paid upwards of Sixty Pounds, & have since laid out about forty pounds more in improving the Lot No. 77 & have for time past been providing materials, & have agreed with Workmen for Building a large Brik House on it, I earnestly intreat it may not be granted to another & I will come down as soon as 'tis in my power after court & wait on you about it—The Lot No. 78 on which I live was taken up many years before I bought it, but not improved on I paid a Valuable Consideration to the first taker up & improved upon it intending to apply for a New Teiket but forgot to do it. I take the Liberty to apply to you as a Councel for your Advice touching the last mentioned Lot As I am at a loss to know whether I can have a Confirmation on the Original Teiket or it ought to apply for a New. If you should be of opinion that I ought to apply for a New Ticket or Warrant I beg you will order it to issue, I have enclosed a small matter & as soon as I come to Town will chearfully pay all Office Fees." In very good to fine condition, with nearly complete separation along the topmost fold. From the Collection of Dr. Lawrence E. Miller.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.