As January 23 is the birthday of founding father and owner of the penultimate signature, John Hancock, and National Handwriting Day, it seems the perfect time to share the National Archives’ latest signature crowdsourcing project:
One of our curators is working on an exhibit and would love your suggestions for signatures from National Archives records.
At the National Archives, we have a range of signatures from the infamous (Lizzie Borden), to signatures of individuals before they were famous (Julia Child’s OSS paperwork), as well signatures that had the power to change someone’s life or to change history, such as a Presidential pardon.
We would like your help to tag records with “signature” in our online catalog. Don’t be restricted to any categories of records. Tag records that you think are interesting or surprising.
To get started tagging, you’ll need to:
By recent information from Boston, Genl Howe is goeing to Send out a number of the Inhabitants in order it is thought to make more room for his expected reinforcements, there is one part of the information that I Can hardly give Credit to. A Sailor Says that a number of these Comeing out have been innoculated, with design of Spreading the Smallpox thro’ this Country & Camp. I have Communicated this to the General Court & recommended their attention thereto.
During the seige of Boston in the early part of the American Revolution, George Washington sent this letter to Congress, dated December 4, 1775, in which he passed along information he had heard from a sailor: that British General William Howe was sending people out from Boston who had been deliberately infected with smallpox so that they might pass on the disease to the Americans surrounding the city. Although skeptical at first, after seeing an increased number of cases in those leaving the city, Washington came to believe that smallpox was indeed “a weapon of Defence they Are useing against us.”