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Jun 9, 2010 3:01 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Teacher finds 1792 document in classroom

A Massachusetts teacher cleaning up her classroom in preparation for a move has discovered a Colonial-era document buried in a pile of outdated textbooks and dusty scraps of papers.

Michelle Eugenio, a fourth-grade teacher in Peabody, found the yellowed sheet of paper two weeks ago. Dated April 1792 and protected by plastic, it appears to document the payment of a debt by a Vermont man named Jonathan Bates.

Peabody Historical Society President Bill Power verified the paper's authenticity. He tells The Salem News he was thrilled with the discovery. No one knows how the paper ended up at Peabody's Center School or how long it has been there.

Bates served in the Continental Army in 1780 and died in 1808 at age 63. He's buried in Williamstown, Vt.

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