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1531621

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Heyward, as a circuit court judge,

signs a summons ordering a defendant to answer a lawsuit

Thomas Heyward, Jr., 1746–1809.  Signer of the Declaration of Independence from South Carolina.  Partial Manuscript Document Signed, Thos Heyward Jur, one page, 6” x 9¼”, July 15, 1788. 

Heyward  signs a summons ordering William Blamyer to appear to answer a lawsuit filed against him.  Heyward has signed in his capacity as a judge of the South Carolina circuit court.  The return of service on the back, showing that the sheriff served the summons, is signed by the sheriff, J Kennedy. 

Heyward studied law in England before returning to the United States.  He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775.  He signed both the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Articles of Confederation in 1777.

After he left Congress, Heyward commanded a militia force and was captured by the British following the siege of Charleston.  He and other “ringleaders of the rebellion” were held prisoner on board a British ship outside St. Augustine, Florida, until they were released in a prisoner exchange.

Heyward has signed with a large 3½” signature.  The document has some wrinkles and considerable chipping and paper loss at the bottom, well removed from the signatures and affecting only one letter of the sheriff’s return. In addition, paper loss extending in 1” from the right margin affects two words of the summons text and has been repaired with tape; we cannot tell whether the repair is archival, but the tape is loose at the edge of the document, likely could be easily removed, and does not appear to have stained the document at all.  The document is vertically toned approximately 1” wide from the right, affecting Heyward’s “d Jurand one letter of the sheriff’s handwritten title.  Overall the piece is in fair to good condition under The Manuscript Society’s strict grading standards.  Unframed.

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