Letter from James Otis, Jr. to James Otis, Sr., and portrait print of James Otis Jr., 1743 June 17

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Content Notes

Letter from Otis in Boston to his father, James Otis Sr. on June 17, 1743. In the short, half-page letter, Otis asks his father for money to pay for expenses relating to Commencement including the printing of theses, shoes, buckles, and any entertainment. He mentions that he will share entertainment expenses with his classmate Lothrop Russell.

Biographical Notes

James Otis Jr. was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts on February 5, 1724/5. After receiving an AB in 1743 and an AM in 1746 from Harvard, he went on to study law in Boston. Otis' work as a lawyer and writer helped the Revolutionary cause in the 1760s and 1770s. He served in the Massachusetts state government and continued as a lawyer while dealing with more and more pronounced mental illness. He died on May 23, 1783. His father, James Otis, Sr. (1702-1778) was a prominent Massachusetts lawyer appointed attorney general in 1748.