DescriptionWilliam Hooper Autograph Letter Signed. One page with integral address leaf, 7.25" x 9", Wilmington [North Carolina], April 10, 1774. Just five months before he attended the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Declaration of Independence signer William Hooper (1742-1790) penned this short letter home to his mother, in full as written:
"I wrote you not long since by Cap Rogers in a Kings Cutter. I have nothing to add but that this leaves your Sons & their Connections in good health & Spirits. This will be delivered to you by the intimate friends of us all, Doctor Cobham & Lady, I doubt not you will contribute as far as in your power to make them happy during their tarry in Boston. Pray make them acquainted with my worthy friend Mrs Phillips who by them I hope will answer my long letter. In a word introduce them to all your & my Friends, I cannot write them all. They deserve every Civility which can be rendered them. It will be a Sufficient claim upon your friendship that they are the intimate friends of your dutiful son."
Prior to the Revolutionary War, William Hooper was a well-respected North Carolina attorney, often representing the colonial government. In 1769, he was appointed Salisbury District's deputy attorney. Though he was slow to join the revolution against Great Britain, once he did, he quickly took a leadership role. In 1774, he was appointed to represent North Carolina in the First, and then later the Second, Continental Congress. Although he lingered in North Carolina too long to vote for the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, he did arrive in time to sign it in early August.
Dr. Thomas Cobham, despite his affiliation with William Hooper, remained loyal to the British throughout the war. Initially he had planned a move to England when war broke out, but was compelled to remain in North Carolina to assist the colonial government there. Upon the occupation of Wilmington by the British in January 1781, he joined the British Army and was made a surgeon at the naval hospital first in Charleston and later in St. Augustine, Florida. He remained in that post until 1786, returning to England in September of that year.
Smoothed folds. Hooper's signature is smudged slightly, probably from Hooper himself while signing. Small holes at upper left corner. Remnant of red wax seal on the address leaf.
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