Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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READ, John, lawyer, born in Mendon, Massachusetts, about 1673; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 7 February, 1749. He was graduated at Harvard in 1697, studied theology, and was for some time a popular preacher. Subsequently he studied law, and attained eminence at the bar. He was an active member of the provincial house of representatives, and of the council during Governor William Shirley's administration. He contributed greatly to the reform of legal phraseology, being the first to reduce the antiquated forms and redundant phrases of deeds of conveyance to simpler and clearer language.
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