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Commonwealth of
John Hancock, Esq;
Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the Commonwealth of


To Joseph Stebbens Esqr Greeting.

YOU being appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Fifth
Regiment of Militia in the County of Hampshire in
said Commonwealth whereof Hugh Mc Clallen Esqr. is
By Virtue of the Power vested in me, I do by these Presents, (reposing Special
Trust and Confidence in your Loyalty, Courage and good Conduct) Commission
you accordingly.---You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the Duty
of a Lieut Colº in leading, ordering and exercising said Regiment in Arms,
both Inferior Officers and Soldiers; and to keep them in good Order and Discipline :
And they are hereby commanded to obey you as their Lieut Colonel and you
are yourself to observe and follow such Orders and Instructions as you shall from
Time to Time receive from me or your Superior Officers,

GIVEN under my Hand, and the Seal of the said Commonwealth, the first
Day of July in the Year of our Lord, 1781 in the fifth
Year of the Independence of the United States of America.

John Hancock

By His Excellency’s Command,

John Avery Secy

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Joseph Stebbins (1749-1816) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, saw considerable action in the American Revolution. He was present at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 and participated in the decisive defeat of General Burgoyne's army at Saratoga in 1777. Stebbins had already been promoted to the rank of Captain when Governor John Hancock commissioned him in 1781 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 5th Regiment of Massachusetts militia. Because Americans had rejected inherited titles and aristocratic ranks, military titles were an important measure of status and gentility in American society. Joseph Stebbins retained the title "Colonel Stebbins" until his death in 1816.


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Military Commission of Lt. Colonel Joseph Stebbins (1749-1816)

publisher   Commonwealth of Massachusetts
date   Jul 1, 1781
location   Massachusetts
height   12.5"
width   10.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink with manuscript
item type   Legal Documents/Appointment/Discharge
accession #   #L98.015

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"Joseph Stebbins- A Pioneer at the Outbreak of the Revolution"


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