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Lot 32: Hancock, John. Letter signed as President of the Continental Congress, 1 page (12 5/8 x 8 in.)
December 18, 2012
Calabasas Hills, CA, USALive Auction
32. Hancock, John. Historic letter signed as President of the Continental Congress, 1 page (12 5/8 x 8 in.; 321 x 203 mm.), “Philadelphia,” 19 July 1776, addressed in Hancock’s hand to: Convention New Jersey, the body of the letter entirely in the hand of Charles Thomas, Secretary to the Continental Congress during its entire fifteen year lifespan, above the letter, Thomas has also penned a Resolve of the Continental Congress, issued In Congress 17 July 1776, which directly prompts the action recommended in Hancock’s letter to the convention; light browning, skillfully repaired.
Less than two weeks after the Declaration of Independence, Continental Congress President John Hancock signs a Resolve of Congress and an accompanying letter addressed to the Convention of New Jersey stating that livestock on the sea coast are in danger and advising they should be removed.
Charles Thomas writes in full: In Congress July 17, 1776. Resolved that it be earnestly recommended to the convention of New Jersey to cause all the stock on the sea coast, which they shall apprehend to be in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy to be immediately removed and driven back into the country to a place of safety. Extract from the minutes.
Philad July 19th 1776.
Gentlemen, The Congress being informed that there is a large quantity of stock on the sea coast of your Colony, which are much exposed to the incursions of the enemy and that many of the proprietors of them actuated by motives of interest or disaffected to the cause of their country, would be glad to dispose of them to the enemy. I am ordered to forward to you the above resolution & Earnestly recommend it to you to cause the stock to be removed back into the country to a place of safety. I am Gentlemen, Your obed. Humble serv.
Hancock executes his trademark grand and imposing signature and the name of the letter’s addressee at the bottom of the letter, in full:
“John Hancock Presid. Convention New Jersey”
A Continental Congress-related historical document of great rarity--not only written by Thomson, who beheld the great drama of the American Revolution as enacted on the stage of the Continental Congress, but also signed by the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, Continental Congress President, John Hancock.