First Corps of Cadets Manuscripts Collection


The FCC Library and archival materials from 1741 through the twentieth-first century are being held in the Howard Gotleib Archival Research Center of Boston University. The book collection alone is over 3500 volumes and the manuscript collection is contained in scores of boxes that measure more than 200 linear feet.One of the more spectacular holdings is the series of letters related to 1) John Hancock’s dismissal as Commander of the Governor’s Independent Company of Cadets by Captain General Thomas Gage, Royal Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, dated August 1, 1774; followed by 2) the defiant letter of resignation from the Cadets back to Governor Gage in which they notify him that they are returning their standard because they no longer “consider themselves as Governor’s Independent Company of Cadets,” dated August 15, 1774; and, finally, 3) a testimonial letter from the Cadets to John Hancock expressing the wish that “our country may never want so illustrious a Citizen, to animate and conduct the cause of Virtue and Freedom” (dated August 18, 1774).

Photos of the manuscripts follow.

Hancock v Gage CoverHancock v Gage PreludeGage 1Cadets STD to GageCO Testimonial 1-4CO Testimonial 2-4CO Testimonial 3-4CO Testimonial 4-4Cadets Reconstitute.