Description: Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island (1707-1785). Governor of Rhode Island for several terms between 1755 and 1768. Rare ALS, signed "Step Hopkins," one page, 6.25 x 7.75, September 1754, Newport, [Rhode Island]. Addressed in his hand "To- Mrs. Anne Smith at Smithfield." A warm letter in which widower Hopkins courts his future wife. He writes, in full, "While I am here employed in the drudgery of following Vice and Grand through the lurking places of Craft and design, You are peacefully Pursuing the Paths of Peace and Contemplating the Laws and designs of Heaven; go on ever in those happy Courses and enjoy that as happyness that is attendant thereon; Your prayers will endeavour to Preserve me from the Snares incident to the Station I am placed in. Mine shall attend you in your Journey which I hope may be very agreeable as your returne will be to him who with truth Subscribes himself." Professionally inlaid into a slightly larger sheet and in fine condition, with a tiny pin hole of paper loss, wax seal remnant in left margin, and scattered light soiling.Hopkins' first wife, Sarah Scott died in 1753. In 1755, he married widow Anne Smith Hopkins (1717-1782). Accomplished the year before the first of his four terms as Governor of Rhode Island and only months after his return from the historic Albany Congress, which approved Benjamin Franklin's plan to unify the colonies under a president appointed by the crown. Although rejected by the colonies, the Albany plan formed the basis for the Articles of Confederation of 1777. Hopkins is known for his very shaky signature on the Declaration. In this instance, twenty years earlier, his hand was far steadier. Hopkins in ALS form is rare. American Book Prices Current notes only four examples selling since 1975.
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