Apr 17, 2012 - Sale 2276

Sale 2276 - Lot 23

Price Realized: $ 13,200
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Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
BOLDLY SIGNED A MONTH BEFORE THE DECLARATION HANCOCK, JOHN. Letter Signed, as President of the Continental Congress, to Colonel Hugh Mercer, informing him of his appointment as Brigadier General, and ordering him to report to New York. 1 page, folio, with integral blank; complete separations at folds repaired with tissue, silking on pages 2 and 3. Philadelphia, 6 June 1776

Additional Details

Hancock writes to Hugh Mercer, a French and Indian War veteran then serving as a colonel in the Virginia militia: "I am directed by Congress to inform you, that they yesterday appointed you a Brigadier General in the Army of the United Colonies; and that they request you will immediately, on receipt hereof, set out for Head Quarters in New York." Hancock also asks Mercer to stop at Hancock's Philadelphia home en route, "as it is highly probable I shall have something in charge from Cong ... Hancock writes to Hugh Mercer, a French and Indian War veteran then serving as a colonel in the Virginia militia: "I am directed by Congress to inform you, that they yesterday appointed you a Brigadier General in the Army of the United Colonies; and that they request you will immediately, on receipt hereof, set out for Head Quarters in New York." Hancock also asks Mercer to stop at Hancock's Philadelphia home en route, "as it is highly probable I shall have something in charge from Congress ready for you by that time." Mercer would die heroically the following January in the Battle of Princeton.
Hancock concludes this letter with his characteristic bold signature and paraph. It was good practice for the Declaration of Independence, to which he would soon apply the most famous signature in American history. Published in Force,
American Archives, 4:VI:723, and elsewhere.