A letter signed by John Hancock was among the highlights of a manuscript sale at Heritage Auctions in New York on April 9, realising $20,000.
It dates to November 27, 1775 and relates to defence of the area surrounding New York and New Jersey.
Hancock addresses "The Honble Lord Stirling Commanding the Continental Forces in the Colony of New Jersey at Elizabeth Town".
He writes: "I am Directed by Congress to order that you Collect the Troops Raised in New Jersey / except the Six Companies ordered to the Fortress on Hudson's River / and place them in Barracks in the Eastern Division of New Jersey as contiguous to New York as may be, there to Remain till further orders from Congress…
"I have wrote by order of Congress to the Convention of New York to furnish your Troops with as many Fire Arms as they can spare, & to Send them to you for the use of your Troops, which you will please to notice."
John Hancock's name is still used in American parlance in reference to a signature. This is due to the fact that he left a particularly large and flamboyant specimen on the Declaration of Independence.
Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about autograph auctions.