IntroductionJohn Hancock is a man who is not only known for having the most prominent signature on the Declaration of Independence, but more importantly for becoming a greatly admired American Revolutionary War Hero and founding father of the United States of America. His father died when he was just a young boy and his mother sent him to live with an aunt and uncle who had no kids of their own and who eventually adopted him. As luck would have it they were extremely wealthy and he went on to inherit their fortune upon their death. His famous statement, "Let every man do what is right in his own eyes" during the Boston Tea Party, helped thrust him into the political spotlight. Throughout the years, many landmarks have been named after him. In fact, there are now ten states where a county has been named after him. The below lists of facts provides a short biography of John Hancock. This information written for both kids and adults includes why he is famous, what role he played in the American Revolution, and how Paul Revere helped him escape from the British.
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John Hancock Early Years Facts
- John Hancock was one of three children born in Braintree, Massachusetts to a middle class couple Mary Hawke Thaxter and Reverend John Hancock.
- His adoptive parents became independently wealthy running a successful import - export business. Hancock would eventually inherit the business and all the land that came with it, making him one of the wealthiest men in the colonies.
- He graduated from Harvard, at the age of 17 with a business degree.
John Hancock Political Years Facts
- Because of the business he inherited, the heavy taxation put forth by the British upon U.S. colonists directly affected him. This inspired him to begin working to eliminate the imposed taxes by the British along with their governance over the colonies.
- Early on in the American Revolution, Hancock used his wealth to take a behind-the-scenes role by raising money and organizing troops.
- John Hancock engaged in many public protests against the British in his pursuit for freedom for the colonies and was therefore not well-liked by the British. He was considered to be a rabble rouser or trouble maker so the British tried unsuccessfully to capture him.
- He took on many roles including president of the Continental Congress and the first and third governor of Massachusetts. He was even a potential candidate for the first presidency of the United States.
- After being warned by Paul Revere that the British were coming to arrest him, John Hancock fled from Lexington to the safety of Philadelphia.
John Hancock Interesting Facts
- John Hancock and Samuel Adams knew each other from a young age having grown up in the small town together.
- He was the first founding father to sign the Declaration of Independence as well as the first governor of Massachusetts. He was an extremely popular and well-liked governor.
- In 1775, John Hancock married Dorothy Quincy, the youngest of ten children from a wealthy family. They had a son and a daughter together, one who died as an infant and one who died at age nine.