Rare Books and Special Collections
University of South Carolina Libraries

Hancock Family Papers, 1767-1849

Collection: MSS 2007:4

Contact information:

Rare Books and Special Collections
University of South Carolina Libraries
1322 Greene Street
Columbia SC 29208
(803) 777-3847
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email: tclrare@mailbox.sc.edu

2008 University of South Carolina Libraries

Descriptive Summary
           Title: Hancock Family Papers, 1767-1849

           Collection Number: 2007:4
              Creator: National Endowment for the Arts.
              Extent: 1 archival box, 0.3 cubic feet.
Administrative Information
            Provenance: Gift, 2008.
        Processed by: Jeffrey Makala.

        Access Restrictions: Open for research.
         Preferred Citation: Hancock Family Papers, Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina Libraries.
          Publication Rights: For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections.

Scope and Contents Note

8 documents (1767-1781), document fragments, and 2 ledgers belonging to members of the Hancock family of Massachusetts. Received from the estate of Mary Grew via USC-Aiken, February 2007, as contents found within a desk belonging to John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence, President of the Second Continental Congress and Governor of Massachusetts (1780-1785).

Ebenezer Hancock (1741- 1819), John Hancock’s younger brother, operated a general goods store in Boston in partnership with Edward Blanchard in the 1760s, was later appointed later Deputy Paymaster General of the Continental Army, and resumed shopkeeping after the war. John Hancock, the wealthiest man in Massachusetts before the Revolution died intestate in 1793, and 1/3 of his estate passed automatically to his brother Ebenezer and included the Hancock House on Beacon Hill in Boston. Presumably this collection of papers was kept in the Hancock desk by family members.


          1. Receipt ledger leaf, listing three 3 accounts, one of which is Blanchard and Hancock, 1767-68.

          2. Thomas Robie to Ebenezer Hancock, Merchant, Boston, Oct. 13, 1768 re: shipment of nails and gunpowder.

          3. Robert Parker, London, to Meesrs. Blanchard and Hancock, Oct. 15, 1768.

          4. William Jennison to Ebenezer Hancock, Boston, Jan. 9, 1769 re: delivery of butter and pork.

          5. Nathaniel Jacobs to Ebenezer Hancock, Aug. 14, 1769, re: settling his account.

          6. Nathaniel Jacobs, Providence, Sep. 26, 1769, to Ebenezer Hancock, re: payments to his account.

          7. Samuel Holland, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, May 10, 1772, 2 bills of exchange for Mr. Thomas Martin, for 100 pounds sterling each,               sent to Richard Cumberland, Esq., Agent for the Provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia, Plantation Office, Whitehall, London. Martin’s               copy.

          8. Council Chambers, April 26, 1781. Notice to “Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives,” signed JH               [John Hancock, Governor of Massachusetts.]“Your resolve of this day requesting me to take measure effectually securing “certain               persons therein nam’d, points each a certain Stephen Pembleton of Penobscott Sound who last summer murder’d Wm. Joal of Broad               Bay,” if it was proper in all other respects, it would be necessary that I should be furnished with the Evidence of his being the murderer               before I give any Sanctions to the Resolve, but it seems to be against the 25th Article of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the               Commonwealth, I cannot therefore [convincingly?] sign the Resolve – JH

          9. 3 fragments, one addressed to Mr. Ebeneezer Hancock, Merchant, Boston.

          10. Receipt book (18.5 x 11cm), suede, recording goods (paper, coffee, ships’ cargo) and payments received from John Hancock by                 various shopkeepers, in their hands. Dated Boston, receipts from March 3, 1810 – Sept. 30, 1814.

          11. Ledger (26 x 13.5cm), half calf and marbled boards, documenting sales and transfers of shares in the Mount Washington Association,                 Aug. 13, 1835 – Feb. 26, 1849, all signed and attested by Charles L. Hancock, clerk.

          12. Two loose leaves from a receipt book (not included) belonging to Charles L. Hancock, 1836.

See: W. T. Baxter. “A Colonial Bankrupt: Ebenezer Hancock.” Bulletin of the Business Historical Society, 25(2) Jun. 1951, p. 115-124.