John Hancock Document Signed, 1792
John Hancock (1737-1793). President of the Continental Congress; first signer of the Declaration of Independence; first and third Governor of Massachusetts (1780-1785, 1787-1793). Partially printed DS, 1p, 12 x 15.5 in. (sight), laid paper, dated May 1, 1792, appointing George Leonard an ensign in the 4th Regt., 1st Brig., 5th Div. of Massachusetts Militia. Signed by John Hancock as Governor of Massachusetts, and affixed with the state seal. Professionally framed, 17 x 20.25 in. overall.
John Hancock (1737-1793) was a merchant and patriot, his signature on the Declaration of Independence being the most recognizable of the group (so recognizable that to sign a document is to put one's "John Hancock" on it). He was president of the Continental Congress, giving him the right to sign first. Although put forth as a candidate for President of the United States in 1789, Hancock did not seek the office; it is thought that he knew the honor would go to Washington. He spent his last years in failing health as a figurehead governor of his home state. Even the year before his death, however, he could still generate a strong signature.
Partial separation along folds. Light, scattered foxing. Signature large and bold and unaffected by folds. Not removed from frame for examination.