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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
123   John Hancock  $1000 $2936 $3230 11 You must login to place a bid.

#123 - John Hancock

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Revolutionary War commission for a chaplain employed in “the Defence of American Liberty” who witnessed Bunker Hill and Burgoyne’s surrender

Revolutionary War–dated partly-printed DS, one page, 13 x 8.25, January 1, 1777. As president of Continental Congress, Hancock appoints Hezekiah Smith to be “Chaplain of a Battalion whereof Thomas Nixon Esq. is Colonel, in the Army of the United States, raised for the Defence of American Liberty, and for repelling every hostile Invasion thereof.” Nicely signed at the conclusion by Hancock and countersigned by Charles Thomson as secretary. Repaired separations along intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing between first and last name in the signature), repaired paper loss to edges, and scattered staining and soiling, otherwise very good condition. Also includes a handwritten note in an unknown hand inviting the reverend to dine with “General Washington”; and an ALS from Isaac Paine, secretary to General Horatio Gates, granting Smith a four-month furlough. Additionally accompanied by a substantial amount of research information about Smith.

Shortly after the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April of 1775, Reverend Hezekiah Smith volunteered his services as a chaplain to Colonel John Nixon’s regiment in the Continental Army, joining them at the Battle of Bunker Hill that June. He went on to preach and counsel soldiers at several notable battles, including White Plains and both Battles of Saratoga, and was present to witness Burgoyne’s surrender. During his time in the army, Smith enjoyed the confidence and friendship of General George Washington, with whom he often dined. Signed during some of the darkest days of the American Revolution—and less than one year after placing his famous signature on the Declaration of Independence—this is an excellent document for a noted wartime preacher and friend to the commander-in-chief. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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