Seal of the High Court of Chancery

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Impressions in paper of the Seal of the High Court of Chancery of Virginia. Original at the Arthur J. Morris Law Library Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

American Historical Record, August 1874

Page 375

An OLD SEAL.—The seal from which the enclosed is an impression was purchased some time since by a metal merchant. It bears the stamp of "James Poupard, Philadelphia," who is registered as an engraver in the Directory of 1793. Can you give any information regarding it? It is about to be presented to the Historical Society of this State.1

C. Harrod Vinton.

Philadelphia, May, 1784.

1 The impression shows the seal to be much worn. The devices, &c., seem to be these: In the centre of the seal sits the figure of a grave man draped in robes, sitting at the portal of a temple, over which is an illegible inscription in Greek. This figure holds a naked short sword in his right hand, and evidently represents Justice. On one side of him stands, partly enveloped in clouds, and evidently representing Truth, the figure of a naked woman pointing to the inscription over the portal. On the other side is the figure of a partly-draped man, with a helmet on his head, and holding in his right hand a mirror which reflects Truth, and in the other hand the fasces and axe, symbols of the Executor of Justice. Around the edge of the seal is the legend: "HIGH COURT OF CHANCERY. MDCCXC." Is it not a former seal of the High Court of Chancery of Pennsylvania?

Dunlap says there was an "M. Poupard, an engraver in Philadelphia, about 1790." May this not have been M. or Mr. James Poupard, above referred to? M. Poupard had been a player in a theatre in Martinique, and when he came to the United States, he turned his hand to engraving. Lawson, the celebrated engraver of birds in "Wilson's Ornithology," says Poupard married a woman of some property, who was a "fanatical Methodist," and that her husband, when with her, was "as far gone as herself; when away from her he was a very merry fellow, and amused his companions by reciting and acting."—[ED.]