Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    John Hancock Autograph Letter Signed as governor of Massachusetts. One page with integral blank, 7.5" x 8.75", [Boston], September 30, 1783, to Rufus King regarding the health of his sister. He writes, in full:

    "Judging it would not be disagreeable to you to be inform'd of the Situation of your Sister's Health, I Take the oppory. of Mr. Gill's Visit to your place, to acquaint you that I last Eveng. came up from Point Shirley, where my Family is with my only Child under Inoculation, & left your Sister in Mrs. Hancock's Room as well as you could Expect, her Symptoms were such as undoubtedly would bring out the Small Pox in the course of last night, they are all in a fine way, & I dare say will have it very lightly. I carried your Sister down Sunday last week, in my Barge with Mrs. Hancock, & Mrs Hancock Takes all the Care she can of her." Inoculation was a common, if extremely dangerous, way to counteract smallpox. During the epidemic that had gripped the country through the years of the Revolutionary War, George Washington applied the procedure to his army. The process involved exposing otherwise healthy individuals to someone that was infected with the disease in the hope that they would contract it. If they survived, they would likely be immune to further exposure.

    A second Hancock signature appears on the address leaf, but has been partially covered with tape that has been applied to repair spots of separation. Tear across the face of the letter located approximately 1" above Hancock's signature has also been repaired and does not affect the legibility of the text. Chipped lower edge; slight separation of left vertical fold at upper edge. Small spot of staining also near the upper edge.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Flat Material, Small (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 998

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 October 25 Manuscripts - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 March 17 Western Americana & Texana Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2018 March 17 Western Americana & Texana Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $327,896