ALS dated 8 December 1775, signed by President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, commissioning Abraham Whipple as Captain of the armed ship Columbus of the Continental Navy.
The DELEGATES of the UNITED COLONIES of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode-Island, Connecticut, New-York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia, to,
Abraham Whipple Esquire
WE reposing especial Trust and Confidence in your Patriotism, Valour, Conduct and Fidelity, DO by these Presents, constitute and appoint you to be Captain of the Armed ship called the Columbus in the service of the Thirteen United Colonies of North-America, fitted out for the defence of American Liberty, and for repelling every hostile Invasion thereof. You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the Duty of Captain by doing and performing all Manner of Things thereunto belonging. And we do strictly charge and require all Officers, Marines, and Seamen under your Command, to be obedient to your Orders as Captain And you are to observe and follow such Orders and Directions from Time to Time, as you shall receive from this or a future Congress of the United Colonies, or Committee of Congress, for that Purpose appointed, or Commander in Chief for the Time being of the Navy of the United Colonies, or any other your superior Officer, according to the Rules and Disciplines of War, the Usage of the Sea, and the instructions herewith given you, in Pursuance of the Trust reposed in you. This Commission to continue in Force untill revoked by this or a future Congress. Philadelphia Decem. 8. 1775
By Order of the Congress
John Hancock PRESIDENT.
Attest. Cha Thomson Secy