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A child was considered a minor until he/she attained the age of twenty-one. When John Sheldon died in August of 1806, the court of Massachusetts, on January 6, 1807, appointed his widow, Persis, to be the legal guardian of their two minor children, Seth, born 1787, and Polly, born 1794. It is important to note that guardianship was understood as a financial rather than an emotional relationship. The widow needed the official warrant even if she was the children's biological mother; it was not uncommon to appoint a male relative of the deceased father as guardian.


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Guardianship Appointment to Persis Sheldon

creator   Samuel Henshaw
date   Jan 6, 1807
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
height   5.5"
width   7.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink with manuscript
item type   Legal Documents/Government/Society Records
accession #   #L99.176

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See Also...

Letter to Widow Persis Hoyt Sheldon

Will of Persis Sheldon

Silhouette of Persis Sheldon (1785-1804)

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