John Hanson as President of the Continental Congress, Printed Document, Signed


Hanson is Perhaps America’s First President!

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John Hanson, as President of the Continental Congress and counter-signed by B(enjamin) Lincoln as Secretary of War both sign this commission for a Joseph Miller as a Lieutenant in the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. It is accomplished in manuscript.

In November 1781, John Hanson was elected as first President of the Confederation Congress. This position was commonly styled “President of the United States in Congress assembled” following ratification of the articles. Because of this, some of Hanson’s biographers believe him the first person to hold the office of President of the United States.

Benjamin Lincoln had been a Major General in the Revolution and our country’s first Secretary of War.  Hanson’s signature is quite scarce; and even more scarce is that this signature is during his one term as President in Congress. 

V.g.; signature clear and bold; seal intact; usual folds for documents of this period; light soiling; the bottom left-hand corner was originally cut off with no loss of text.  With engravings of both Hanson and Lincoln. A true rarity.

Hanson, John (1721-1783; President of the Continental Congress 1781-82) Partly Printed Vellum Document, signed “John Hanson Pres’d”.  Philadelphia:  17 May 1782.  Oblong folio; 1pg.; seal. 

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