Massachusetts: John Hancock

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Autographs Start Price:NA Estimated At:6,000.00 - 8,000.00 USD
Massachusetts: John Hancock

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Auction Date:2017 Jan 11 @ 18:00 (UTC-5 : EST/CDT)
Location:236 Commercial St., Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109, United States
ALS - Autograph Letter Signed
ANS - Autograph Note Signed
AQS - Autograph Quotation Signed
AMQS - Autograph Musical Quotation Signed
DS - Document Signed
FDC - First Day Cover
Inscribed - “Personalized”
ISP - Inscribed Signed Photograph
LS - Letter Signed
SP - Signed Photograph
TLS - Typed Letter Signed
LS signed “John Hancock,” one page, 7.25 x 8.25, April 11, 1790. As governor of Massachusetts, Hancock writes to “His Excellency Sam’l Huntington Esq’r,” a fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence who was then serving as Connecticut’s governor. In full: “Your Excellency’s favor of the 31st ulto. I have had the honor of receiving by Mr. Knowlton & according to your request I have produced of Richard Devens esqr. Commissary General of this State an account of the expenses attending the convicts on Castle island for one year which you have herewith inclosed by which you will perceive they are principally employed in the Manufacture of Nails. I have also inclosed two Acts of our Legislature respecting the Commitment of Convicts upon Castle island to hard labor for certain limited times agreeable to the aggravation of their Several offenses. I have received your Excellency’s Letter respecting the cultivation of the growth of Mulberry Trees in this State to which I shall pay all due regard.” In very good condition, with light toning to the front, separation to two folds, and reinforcement to a vertical fold on the reverse, passing through the downstroke of the “J” in “John.”

Home to a fort protecting Boston Harbor, Castle Island had been the last British stronghold in Boston during the Revolution, held until the evacuation following General Washington’s fortification of Dorchester Heights in March 1776. Though the British troops burned down the fort on their way out, the Continental Army quickly rebuilt it to be used as a crucial outpost in the defense of the harbor, where at times it was commanded by the legendary Paul Revere. In 1785, the state legislature designated the fort as a prison, and, for the first time in Massachusetts, required that prisoners perform hard labor; they were chiefly occupied by making nails, and by 1792 there were 77 prisoners employed at the craft. Offering several connections to the American Revolution, this is an especially appealing letter by the Declaration’s most prominent signer.