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December 14, 2020 | Originally Appeared in the Cape Cod Times 

Lost and Found

Eastham Historical Society may have found a priceless piece of history

By Denise Coffey [CAPE COD TIMES]

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December 14, 2020 - Cape Cod Times

Lost and Found

Eastham Historical Society may have found a priceless piece of history

Lost & Found

The Eastham Historical Society recently discovered a document in its archives that has the signature of Samuel Adams. The document, dated June 16, 1795, details the appointment of Elijah Knowles of Eastham to Justice of the Peace in Barnstable County. [MERRILY CASSIDY/CAPE COD TIMES]

Eastham Historical Society President Eileen Seaboldt, right, and volunteer director Joe Mistretta show a document that has Samuel Adams' signature on it. Members are working to authenticate the document, which was donated by Mr. and Mrs. George Myrick of Delmar, New York. [MERRILY CASSIDY/CAPE COD TIMES]

EASTHAM - Joseph Mistretta was dusting off some framed documents in the corner of the archive room at Eastham Historical Society when he found what could be a priceless document.

The piece of paper was an official recognition of the appointment of Elijah Knowles as Justice of the Peace in Barnstable County. Dated June 7, 1785, the document was signed by the Governor of Massachusetts, Samuel Adams.

Society President Eileen Seaboldt recalled the moment Mistretta, the society's director, showed her the document.


"He asked, 'Do you think this could be real?'" She remembers chills going up and down her spine when she looked at it.


The document is held between two pieces of glass whose edges are held together with masking tape.


Found just two weeks ago, the society is still in the discovery process, Seaboldt said. Their work has been hampered by COVID-19 protocols and their one-day-a-week schedule.


The document was donated to the historical society in the 1970's by Mr. and Mrs. George Myrick, of Delmar, NY. Seaboldt assumes it could have been in the archive room for more than 30 years...

For the full article, please visit the Cape Cod Times: Eastham Historical Society uncovers document with Samuel Adams' signature

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