Friday, January 25, 2013

A Real John Hancock

A John Hancock signature. Sometimes a person is so inextricably linked to a specific event or time that it can be a little jarring when you find evidence of them in a completely different context. John Hancock is one of those people. The famous, though apocryphal, anecdote about his signature and King George's spectacles is so well known that seeing the same signature on a document that is not the Declaration of Independence can produce a brief moment of "wait, that doesn't belong here."

A document of handwritten text. A document of handwritten text.

The other document in question is an affidavit by John Wheelock from March 4, 1790 attesting that, for a consideration of £658, he is discharging all claims on the funds collected by Nathaniel Whitaker and Samson Occom that had been deposited with the Society in Scotland for use of the Moor's Indian Charity School through June 15, 1789. Wheelock was then president of the School, having succeeded his father Eleazar, and the funds in question had been raised to cover any expenses incurred by the School. The document is certified by Hancock as Governor of Massachusetts.

Ask for Mss 790204.1.

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