JOHN HANCOCK was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, who helped lead the Revolutionary War. He was also a wealthy merchant. Hancock was President of the first Massachusetts Provincial Congress, and from 1775 to 1777, was President of the Continental Congress. In 1780, he was elected Governor of Massachusetts.
Superb 35 pp, 8 x 12 ½, Boston: [Printed by Thomas Adams, printer of the Honourable General Court, 1790] Resolves of the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, pages 3-30, with continuous pagination through p. 35. Two separate bindings. A scarce printing with speeches of John Hancock alluding to the Declaration of Independence and the new U.S. Constitution and announcing that Congress had passed an act lending the states money to pay the debts they incurred during the Revolutionary War.
1) “Resolves of the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Together with Messages, &c. of his Excellency the Governour of the said Court: Begun and held at Boston, in the county of Suffolk, on Wednesday the Twenty-sixth of May, Anno Domini, 1790. His Excellency JOHN HANCOCK, Esq. Governour His Honor SAMUEL ADAMS, Esq. Lieutenant-Governour.”
After listing the members of the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives, “Friday, May 28. Art Twelve o’clock, the two Houses met in Convention in the Representatives’ Chamber…” Governour John Hancock then addressed the Convention in a short message, acknowledging his reelection, concluding he, “shall zealously endeavor, in all my conduct, to justify the partiality which has been frequently exhibited by my fellow citizens towards me.”
Samuel Adams then addressed the Convention, acknowledging his reelection (“repeated call”), concluding “May the administration of the Federal Government, and those of the several states of the Union, be guided by the unerring finger of Heaven!—Each of them, and all of them united, will then, if the people are wise be as prosperous as the wisdom of human institutions and the circumstances of human society will admit.”
On June 1, 1790, Governor Hancock again addressed both Houses (pages 7-9) by first alluding to the Declaration of Independence , signed 14 years earlier, and the U.S. Constitution which Massachusetts had ratified in 1788 . In part, “At a time when the attention of the country was necessarily called to a defence against an invading enemy, the people of the several states originated, or revised systems of governments. On these systems, the freedom and happiness of their posterity will essentially depend. The great plan for uniting powers and directing the force of so many independent states, rising unto one confederated and powerful Republic, could not in such a situation be properly attended to. To unite in one great system of National Government, so man separate Republicks, including extremes of climate, and possessed by people very carious in their habits of life, in their manners, and in their religious opinions, was indeed a work which demanded the utmost exertion of a human wisdom and required the most unembarrassed deliberations. This seems to have been reserved as an honorary task for the people of America. Whether all our expectations will be eventually answered from this plan, must be left to future experience…’
2) “Resolves of the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Together with Messages, &c. of his Excellency the Governour of the said Court: Begun and held at Boston, in the county of Suffolk, on Wednesday by the Twenty-sixth day of May, Anno Domini, 1790; and from thence continued by Prorogation and Adjournment to Wednesday the fifteenth of September following” Numbered pp 31-35
On September 15, 1790, Governor Hancock addressed both Houses in the Senate Chamber, notifying the members that “On the fourth of August last, an act was made an established, by the Congress of the United States – by which twenty-one million five hundred thousand dollars of the debts of the respective States, incurred for compensation, expenditures, for services, or supplies, towards the prosecution of the late war, or for the defence of the United States, or some part thereof, during the same, is permitted to be loaned on the credit of the United States…” Governor Hancock, the Treasurer of Massachusetts, determined the consolidated debt of the State to be $5,276,954 and 5/6 of a dollar. He then directs the members to “do the most speedy justice to our creditors…”
In very fine condition with expected toning. A superb early printing with specific references to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution as well as announcing an act lending the states money to pay the debts they incurred during the Revolutionary War.
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