Lot 9: William Ellery Signed Document
11th July 2018
Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island (1727–1820). Rare Revolutionary War–dated manuscript commission, two pages, 8 x 12.75, May 8, 1778, docketed on the reverse in Ellery's hand, "W. Ellery's Commission as Delegate of the State of Rhode-Island, 1778 May 8th." Governor William Greene of Rhode Island appoints Ellery as "a Delegate to represent the said State for One Year in the General Congress of Delegates from the Thirteen United States of America, now sitting at York Town in the State of Pennsylvania." Boldly signed at the conclusion by Governor Greene and countersigned by Henry Ward as secretary. The crisply embossed Rhode Island seal affixed to the upper left remains fully intact. In fine condition, with tape reinforcements to splitting along the intersecting folds and hinge, and a light strip of toning passing through Ellery's docket. Ellery was first elected to serve as a delegate in Continental Congress for the newly declared independent state of Rhode Island on May 4, 1776. He arrived in Philadelphia on May 14, 1776, in time to vote for independence and become one of the 'Immortal 56' to sign the Declaration of Independence. The Congress fled from Philadelphia in December 1776, fearing the impending British occupation. They first went to Baltimore, then convened at York, Pennsylvania, before returning to Philadelphia in June 1778. Ellery served his Rhode Island constituency in Congress from 1776 to 1785, before being appointed as chief justice of Rhode Island in 1785. A superb and important early American document.
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