Sep 24, 2020 - Sale 2546

Sale 2546 - Lot 33

Price Realized: $ 1,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
GIFT FROM JOHN HANCOCK (AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1783.) Joseph Willard. A Thanksgiving Sermon Delivered at Boston, December 11, 1783. 39 pages. 8vo, disbound; intermittent foxing, minor wear, additional page numbers added in manuscript; inscribed on half-title "The gift of His Excellency John Hancock, each member of the General Court, J. Woodward." Boston: T. & J. Fleet, 1784

Additional Details

A sermon by the president of Harvard which includes a 11-page capsule history of the recently concluded Revolution. It begins "How gloomy was our situation, for several years before the late war, when Great Britain was endeavoring to lay upon us burdens difficult to be borne. . . . Upon the exertions of our worthy and steady Patriots, the enemies of our Zion were never able to carry these their destructive plans into action" (pages 21-22). It discusses how "God ere long gave us some signal advantages . . . in the ever-memorable battle of Bunker-Hill" and praises the Declaration of Independence, "particularly of that band of patriots who proposed the measure and openly published it to the world, under the signature of that distinguished Patron of liberty . . . His Excellency John Hancock" (pages 24-25). Washington's leadership at Valley Forge is noted, as well as the capture of Burgoyne's army, Yorktown, and much more.
Governor Hancock apparently found this sermon inspiring and perhaps flattering, and distributed copies to all members of the Massachusetts legislature, as suggested by the secretarial inscription on the front page. Evans 18887; Sabin 104056 ("To celebrate the close of the Revolutionary War").