John Hancock is a well-known name in the History of America. He was a flourishing merchant of the 18th century and the president of the Continental Congress.
Fact 1 His Early Life
John Hancock was born on the 23rd of January, 1737 in Braintree, Massachusetts. His father was a clergyman and his mother was Mary Hawke. His father passed ay when was a child and later his mother sent him to his uncle and aunt Lydia and Thomas Hancock who adopted him as they were childless. He was a wealthy merchant and John grew up amidst affluence and luxury. He graduated at the age of 17 from Harvard College in business education in 1754 and thereafter he started working with his uncle. He proved his capabilities and honesty during his apprenticeship and so he was selected to go for a business mission to England.
Fact 2 John Hancock’s Career
In 1759, John went away to London to do something independently. But he had to return back in 1761 due to the death of his uncle Thomas who had left behind the family business and all his estates in his name. He inherited all this property that was considered to be the greatest amount of wealth that a person can own in New England. However, he soon got involved in political agitation as he had an independent mind-set and started working for independence movement with Samuel Adams against Great Britain. He was the patriotic leader of the Sons of Liberty.
Fact 3 His Political Career
As soon as he joined the revolution against British power, he became one of the major figures in the American Revolution. He was nominated for two positions in the middle of 1760. He first took over the affairs at the local level in Boston and then he became a part of the colonial legislature. Tax regulations of the British had created great unrest among American colonists. Hancock headed the public protests against the Stamp Act and Townshend duties. But like his uncle he proved that he too was a smuggler and his ship â€œLibertyâ€ was allegedly withheld by the British authorities for not paying required fees for his import businesses in 1768. He had to pay huge fines as a consequence and was summoned to court also. Since he was already a part of the American Revolution, this incident turned out violent and the mobs thronged the streets of Boston in agitation against the British. Eventually, military forces were sent to curb the violence. Later in 1770, the Boston Massacre reignited the revolutionists. Hancock became the chairman of the committee and organized protests against them.
Fact 4 The Later Developments
In 1775, when George Washington became the leader of the Continental Army, John Hancock was became the congress president. Being an affluent merchant, he supported the revolution financially also. During this time, he married Dorothy Quincy who belonged to a rich merchant family. In 1777, he decided to resign from his position of Continental Congress. He was accused of financial mismanagement by the Harvard where he had served as the treasurer since 1773. He had to repay the great amount.
Fact 5 His Last Days
Hancock was the first representative who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 on the 4th of July. It was a great day for all revolutionists. 13 American states became independent of British rule. He also became the first governor of Massachusetts in 1780. He worked till 1785. However, he was re-elected as the governor of Massachusetts in 1787 although he was accused of mishandling of the economy. On October 8th, 1793, John Hancock passed away while still in office and was buried in Boston.