Auction records of absentee estates, 1777-1778

Massachusetts General Court Committee of Sequestration


0.35 cubic ft. (3 v. in 1 doc. box).
Arranged by estate.
In 1776 the Massachusetts General Court appointed a Committee of Sequestration to inventory, lease, and otherwise manage estates abandoned by Loyalists, primarily in Boston, and to forward their confiscated goods or proceeds from their auctioning to state authorities, until its charge was withdrawn in 1781. Two prominent Boston loyalist merchants, Lewis Deblois and Edward Lyde, left Massachusetts in 1776 and were considered absentees. Deblois left Boston with the British evacuation on March 17, 1776 and went to London. Lyde, born in Boston in 1725, later returned from England to New York in 1789, where he died in 1812. Both had their property and large inventories of goods seized and sold by the state and were ultimately listed in the act of banishment, St 1778-79, c 24 (Oct. 16, 1778). Series lists goods by lots sold.
Vol. 1, Deblois sales, are in small lots numbered 1-280, sold Nov. 24, 1777 to Jan. 9, 1778. Items include snuff and tobacco boxes, knives, candlesticks, necklaces, tools, buttons, books, bellows, kettles, locks, and flatirons, with price of each indicated. Each lot sold is marked paid and/or delivered, with buyer's signature or name, and in some cases the town.
Vol. 2, Lyde sales, are in lots 281-543, sold Jan. 10 to Feb. 27, 1778. Items include bedsteads, chairs, tables and other furniture, knives, forks, and buckles.
For records of additional auctions, June-July 1777 and Mar. 10, 1778-Mar. 29, 1780, see: Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Massachusetts archives collection ((M-Ar)45X), v. 280, p. 68 et seq. Here also are records of book sales held, Dec. 1777 and Mar. 1779, and receipts showing deposit of auction proceeds into the Treasury by the committee.
Index: Vol. 3, by purchaser's first letter of surname, with lot no. and amount paid.
Agency history record (OCoLC)191851174 describes the history and functions of the Committee of Sequestration.

Related Resources

View this description in WorldCat: