Letters to Ebenezer Hancock from his mother, Mary Perkins, and his stepfather, Daniel Perkins, 1758 June 27 and 1758 November 16

About this Collection

Perkins, Daniel.
Harvard students’ letters.Personal correspondence.Family papers.
Collection Title
Letters to Ebenezer Hancock from his mother, Mary Perkins, and his stepfather, Daniel Perkins, 1758 June 27 and 1758 November 16
.03 cubic feet (1 folder)
Harvard University Archives
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Hancock, Ebenezer
Hancock family
Perkins, Daniel
Perkins, Mary
Harvard College (1636-1780).
Harvard College (1636-1780)--Students
Mothers and sons

Content Notes

These two letters were written to Ebenezer Hancock while he was an undergraduate at Harvard College. His stepfather, Daniel Perkins, wrote on June 27, 1758 and his mother, Mary Perkins, wrote on November 16, 1758. Both letters were sent from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where the Perkins lived. The letters contain general greetings and wishes for Hancock's well being, as well as parental advice regarding his behavior and comportment.

Biographical Notes

Ebenezer Hancock (1741-1819) was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on November 15, 1741. His father, John Hancock, died when Ebenezer was an infant and his mother, Mary, remarried to the Rev. Daniel Perkins. Ebenezer was raised by his mother and stepfather in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, while his older brother John was raised by their uncle, Thomas Hancock, in Boston. Ebenezer attended Harvard College and received an AB in 1760 and an AM in 1763. After a few attempts at preaching, he decided to enter into business rather than the ministry and formed a partnership with Edward Blanchard. Their business would prove unsuccessful, dissolving in 1768. In 1767 he married Elizabeth Lowell of Boston; they would have four children together. Ebenezer's brother, John Hancock, helped him reestablish credit and earn an income after his initial failures, giving him work as a debt collector and later, during the Revolution, having Congress appoint him Deputy Paymaster General for the Eastern District. Ebenezer served in this role for three years, traveling around the country with a military chest filled with currency. He also served on the Committee of Correspondence, Inspection, and Safety in Boston and by turns as a Selectman, a Moderator, a Justice of the Peace, and as inspector of the Massachusetts mint. Ebenezer Hancock died in Boston on March 11, 1819.