Hancock, John (1737-1793). President of the Continental Congress (1775-1777); first signer of the Declaration of Independence (1776); first and third Governor of Massachusetts (1780-1785, 1787-1793). Partially printed DS, 1p, 8.5 x 13.5 in., Philadelphia. July 8, 1776. A military commission signed by Hancock as President of the Continental Congress, appointing Clement Biddle as Deputy Quarter Master Generall [sic] for the Flying Camp and Militia of Pennsylvania & New Jersey order'd to Rendezvous at Trenton, with the Rank of Colonel. Also signed by Charles Thomson (1729-1824) as Secretary of the Congress (1774-1789).
Philadelphia Quaker merchant, Clement Biddle (1740-1814) was one of the organizers of the "Quaker Blues" during the Revolution. The "Flying Camp" referenced in the appointment was a mobile reserve force authorized in June 1776 for the protection of the middle colonies. When the unit disbanded in November 1776, Biddle was named aide-de-camp to General Nathanael Greene. As a soldier, he fought at Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. Biddle served as Commissary General of Forage for the Continental Army at Valley Forge (1777-1778), and apparently through the next year before resigning in 1780. In 1781 he was quartermaster general of Pennsylvania troops. After the war he served as the first US Marshal, then focused on other occupations (notary, broker, etc.).
The printed form, which refers to the Delegates of the United Colonies, pre-dates the vote for independence, and it was signed by Hancock just four days after Congress had approved the Declaration of Independence.
A rare and desirable document.
Document with some fold breaks that were previously repaired on verso (as per previous owner's description). Hancock's signature remains strong, legible.
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