Official Commonwealth of Massachusetts appointment, dated April 1, 1783, signed by John Hancock (1737-1793), Massachusetts statesman and first signer of the Declaration of Independence. The one-page document, which is both printed and handwritten, appoints Philip Curtis to be a coroner in the county of Suffolk. It has been signed by Hancock as Governor of Massachusetts. Hancock's signature, which is the most famous signature in American history, has been beautifully scripted in black ink along the base, grading "10." The document has also been signed by another commonwealth official. This document dates from the final months of the American Revolutionary War, which officially ended six months later with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. John Hancock was one of the most important figures in America's struggle for independence. As president of the Continental Congress (1775-77) Hancock was instrumental in helping to both organize and fund the revolution. Today, of course, he is best known as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Hancock served as Governor of Massachusetts from October 25, 1780, through January 29, 1785, and then again from May 30, 1787, until his death on October 8, 1793. John Hancock is a requisite signature for any advanced historical autograph collection. The signature offered here, which mirrors that on the Declaration of Independence in style, is an outstanding example and one that would appeal to even the most discriminating collector. The document (8.5 x 10.5 inches) displays one vertical and three horizontal folds, light toning, and a few small tears, mainly along the fold lines (none affect the signature). The plain white state seal of Massachusetts remains firmly affixed by wax in the upper left corner. In Very Good condition overall. Matted and framed together with a vintage engraving (8 x 10.5 inches; Ex-Mt) of Hancock ("Copyrighted John C. Yorston & Co. 1896") to total dimensions of 24 x 17 inches. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $3,000++.
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