Revolutionary War–dated partly-printed DS, one page, 11.5 x 8, November 6, 1776. Hancock appoints Elijah Vors as a “Major in the Regiment whereof John Peterson Esquire is Colonel in the Army of the United States, raised for the Defence of American Liberty, and for repelling every hostile Invasion thereof.” Boldly signed at the conclusion by Hancock as president of the Continental Congress. Beautifully double-suede-matted and framed with a plaque and engraved portrait to an overall size of 31 x 19. In fine condition, with professionally repaired separations to intersecting folds (two vertical passing through single letters of the signature); the handwritten portions of the document are light but legible, while Hancock’s signature is strikingly bold.
Just four months after signing the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock struggled to raise enough troops to defend the massive forces being sent by Britain to end the Revolution. Resistant to developing a standing army, the Continental Congress had been enlisting soldiers for short periods of service—usually only one year—leading to crises at the end of each year as troops were released from duty. The winter of 1776-77 was by far the most difficult time, with the number of soldiers dropping to well under a thousand, almost entirely focused in the Northeast. This harsh winter led to massive reforms in the Army, resulting in an increased number of battalions, a broader geographical base, and longer enlistment terms. An incredible appointment of Major Elijah Vors—a higher rank than typically seen—in the most crucial year of the Continental Army’s development, boasting a striking, Declaration-era Hancock signature. Oversized. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.