John Hanson, Vellum Document Signed, Counter-Signed by Benjamin Lincoln


The First President of U.S.?

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John Hanson, as President of the Continental Congress, signature on a vellum document. This commission is also counter-signed by Benjamin Lincoln as Secretary of War.

Accomplished in manuscript, this commission is for a Joseph Miller as a Lieutenant in the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. 

In November 1781, Hanson was elected first President of the Confederation Congress. According to the ratification of the articles, this means he is the President of the United States in Congress assembled. This is why of Hanson’s biographers believe he was actually 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; scarcer is his signature during his one term as President in Congress. 

The signature is clear and bold; the document is very good with the 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. 

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.  Counter-signed by B(enjamin) Lincoln as Secretary of War.  With engravings of both Hanson and Lincoln.