Bullet-Point Bio: John Hancock

-Lived from January 23rd, 1737 – October 8th, 1793.
-Was born in Braintree, Massachusetts.
-Lived from January 23rd, 1737 – October 8th, 1793.
-One of the delegates from Massachusetts.
-John Hancock signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
-He was the first to sign the Declaration and many, if not all of you, are probably
familiar with his famous signature!640px-johnhancockssignature-svg
-His father, Reverend John Hancock, baptized John Adams!
-After the death of his father, John, who was still quite young, was raised by his grandparents and an aunt and uncle.
-His uncle, Thomas Hancock, who had no children of his own, sent John to both Grammar school and Harvard.
-John graduated Harvard at age 17.
-After graduation, he worked as a clerk in his uncle’s business.
-It has been said that, “…He became an example to all the young men of the town. Wholly devoted to business, he was as regular and punctual at his store as the sun in his course.” -David C. Whitney, Founders of Freedom in America
-John was sent to England on business for his uncle in 1760 and lived there for about a year.
-At age 27, John became one of the wealthiest people in Massachusetts when his uncle died, leaving John his fortune.
-He used his money to bless others, including the poor and widows, and many people admired him for this.
-After the Boston Massacre, the citizens of Boston elected John as a chairman of the committee that was put in place to try to get the British troops removed from Boston. The success of this endeavor gained Hancock even more esteem in the eyes of the public.
-He married Dolly Quincy in 1775 and they had two children.  However, their daughter, Lydia, died while less than a year old and their son, John, died after a skating accident at the age of eight.

-“Shortly after [the battles of Lexington and Concord), Governor Gage issued a proclamation offering a pardon to any patriot who would lay down his arms, ‘excepting only from the benefit of such a pardon, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, whose offenses are of too flagitious a nature to admit of any other consideration than that of condign punishment.'” -Dennis Fradin, The Signers: The 56 Stories Behind the Declaration of Independence

-“Reportedly, while signing in large, bold letters on July 4th, 1776, Hancock said, ‘There! John Bull [a nickname for England] can read my name without spectacles and may double his reward on my head!'” – Dennis Fradin, The Signers: The 56 Stories Behind the Declaration of Independence

-“The printed version of the Declaration that was sent to all the colonies to be read on July 5th, carried only the signature of John Hancock, as the official document wasn’t drawn up and ready for all to sign until August 2nd. As a result, John Hancock’s name swiftly became second only to that of George Washington as a symbol of freedom in the colonies.” – Marilyn Boyer, For You They Signed

-Served as 4th president of the Continental Congress.
-In 1778, the Massachusetts legislature commissioned Hancock as Major General of the Massachusetts militia.
-Served as the first and third governor of Massachusetts.
-He was severely afflicted with gout, especially toward the end of his life.  This caused him to decline appointment to different public offices on at least a couple of occasions. However, he remained as involved as possible and gave of himself sacrificially for the good of his country.

~Savannah

 

Sources:
-Photo credit: Wikipedia public domain
– Wikipedia.org
For You They Signed, 2009, Marilyn Boyer

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