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Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1781.) Hancock, John. A Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving. Letterpress broadside, 19 1/4 x 12 1/2 inches to sight, signed in type by Hancock as governor; separations at folds, laid down in mat, slightly out of alignment along vertical fold with a few letters obscured, minor dampstaining, two faded early inked notes in margin. Boston: [Benjamin Edes and Sons?], 22 November 1781
In the month after the decisive victory over the British at Yorktown, Governor Hancock attributes America's hard-won independence to Almighty God, and declares that the coming 13th of December be "religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer." The proclamation begins: "Whereas it has pleased Almighty God, the Father of Mercies, remarkably to assist and support the United States in America, in their important Struggle for Liberty against the long continued Efforts of a powerful Nation; it is the Duty of all Ranks of People to observe and thankfully acknowledge the Interpositions of his Providence in their behalf." Among the "many signal instances" of divine providence are "revealing the Counsels of our Enemies, when the Discoveries were seasonable and important"; "preserving and even improving the Union of the several States"; "raising up for us a powerful and generous Ally," and "above all, in making their extreme Cruelty to the Inhabitants of these States, when in their Power, and their Savage Devastation of Property, the very Means of cementing our Union." A review of the dramatic events of 1781 concludes with a reference to General Washington: "After the Success of our Allies by Sea, a General of the first Rank, with his whole Army, has been captured by the allied Forces under the Direction of our Commander in Chief." An important linking of the church and state, issued upon the winning of the Revolution and filled with specific references to recent events of the struggle. Evans 17217; Ford, Massachusetts Broadsides 2302. 5 copies in ESTC, and no other copies known at auction since 1978.
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