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Item 56 - Massachusetts: John Hancock Catalog 504 (Jul 2017)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $28,553.53 (includes buyer's premium)


Extremely rare bank check, 8.75 x 4, filled out in another hand and signed by Hancock, dated October 26, 1767. In full: “At thirty days Sight of this third Exchange (First & Second unpay’d) pay unto Mr. Samuel Abbott or Order, Three Hundred pounds Sterling, value received, and charge it without further advice, to account of George Hayley Esq’r., Merch’t in London.” Mounted and framed with an engraving of Hancock to an overall size of 20.5 x 11.75. Reverse of frame bears an affixed Walter Benjamin label. In fine condition, with splitting along intersecting folds, and light mirroring of the printed portions of the check.

Years away from becoming the president of the Continental Congress, Hancock, then a 30-year-old Boston selectman, resisted the 1765 Stamp Act through the boycott of all British imports, a popular move that soon earned him a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Parliament countered the repeal with the 1767 Townshend Acts, a newly regulated customs system that was again opposed by Hancock and colonial merchants alike, refusing to purchase British goods until the oppressive duties were repealed. As this check demonstrates, Hancock’s personal dealings with the British were not fully suspended. An incredible piece of Colonial pecuniary history, and the first Hancock check we have ever offered.

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