Ink signature, “John Hancock,” on an off-white 3 x 4.75 slip, clipped from a larger document, and retaining its State of Massachusetts paper seal above the signature. In very good condition, with small horizontal tear through first letter of signature, horizontal fold passing through signature, some light toning and soiling, and a couple small pinholes. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Category Archives: John Hancock
Partly-printed DS, one page, 15.5 x 12.5, May 30, 1791. Governor Hancock appoints Leonard Stone to be a “Captain of a Company in the fifth Regiment second Brigade and Seventh Division of the militia of this Commonwealth comprehending the County of Worcester.” Signed in the left border by Hancock, and countersigned by John Avery. Document appears to be affixed to a mount and double-matted and framed with a color image of Hancock and a small plaque to an overall size of 37 x 23. In very good condition, with apparent repairs to separations along intersecting folds, some scattered light toning, foxing, and soiling, and some light mirroring from folding. The large paper seal is lightly toned and missing the bottom corner tip. Oversized. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Rare Faneuil Hall lottery ticket dated June 1765, 3 x 1.75, boldly signed at the bottom in black ink, “John Hancock.” Ticket reads, in full: “Faneuil-Hall Lottery, No. Five. The Possessor of this Ticket (No. 3990) is intitled to any Prize drawn against said Number, in a Lottery granted by an Act of the General Court of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay for Rebuilding Faneuil-Hall; subject to no Deduction.” Matted and framed with a portrait of Hancock to an overall size of 8.5 x 12. In very good condition, with overall dampstaining affecting the appearance of the signature but not the boldness or legibility of ink, and a small central cancellation cut.
In Colonial times, lotteries were a highly regarded method of financing worthwhile projects—such as the rebuilding of Faneuil Hall, the famous Boston marketplace and meeting hall that had been destroyed in a 1761 fire. At the time, such money-making efforts were seen as investments, and were endorsed by local leaders, including John Hancock. Interestingly, Hancock would later come to disdain public lotteries as a method of fundraising, concluding that they encouraged gambling while producing meager results. Although thousands of such tickets were printed in Colonial America, not all were signed by Hancock, and only a small percentage of those signed examples have survived the centuries. This is an excellent example. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
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.
Revolutionary War-dated partly-printed DS, one page, 11.75 x 11, July 1, 1781. Hancock appoints James Shaw as “Captain of the Eleventh Company in the Fourth Regiment of Militia in the County of Plymouth whereof Gen’l Nelson Esq’r is Colonel.” Boldly signed at the conclusion by Hancock as governor of Massachusetts. Beautifully double-cloth-matted and framed with a portrait and nameplate to an overall size of 22.5 x 27. In very good condition, with intersecting folds with slight separations, a couple vertical folds passing through single letters of the signature, light scattered creases, toning, and soiling, and trimmed edges. In October 1780, the Continental Congress, in consultation with General Washington, passed resolutions providing for what would be the last reorganization of the Continental Army—the regimental quota for Massachusetts was reduced from 15 to 10, and all officers had to be commissioned anew. This appointment is likely a byproduct of this major realignment. Oversized. The signature on this document is spectacularly bold, easily rating a 9 out of 10. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Two partly-printed documents, each 9.5 x 4.5, both being bills of lading: one filled out by Hancock and signed in the body, “John Hancock,” November 20, 1771, for the ship called Hayley, “bound for London,” with “Six hundred & forty nine Casks of Oil…Four Hundred Sixty One barrells of Tar & ten thousand White oak bb Staves”; and one filled out by Hancock, with his last name appearing in the body, May 3, 1763, for the ship Unity, “bound for Annapolis Royall to say Four Hogsheads on Indian Corn.” Scattered toning, a few small edge chips and tears, and pencil notations to both, otherwise fine condition. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.