This 1754 letter from John Hancock to his sister Mary includes an early example of his famous signature. Written while he was a senior at Harvard, the letter includes an exhortation from Hancock to his sister to write to him more frequently: “I wish you would spend one hour writing to me. I do assure you I should take it as a great favor. There was…a report that you are going to be married soon. I should be glad to know to whom. I hope you will give me an Invitation.”
Hancock became a prominent Boston merchant and statesman during the American Revolutionary War. He was elected to the Massachusetts General Assembly in 1766 and served as Harvard’s treasurer from 1773 until 1777. He joined the Second Continental Congress in 1775 and was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1780, serving until his death in 1793. This and other Hancock letters now reside in the John Hancock Collection, which is held by the Harvard University Archives.
John Hancock, Ever-Loving Brother