John Hancock was born in January 1736. Hancock was an American statesman, merchant, and he became one of the few Patriot of the American Revolution.
In addition, John Hancock also served as the President of the Second Continental Congress, a position he held for a couple of years.
Continue reading and discover all these amazing facts about John Hancock
John Hancock Facts
1. John Hancock’s early days were filled with sadness
John Hancock was born in Massachusetts to a clergyman father and his stay at home mum.
John’s father died when he was a little boy, and his mom wasn’t able to take care of him, thus he was raised by his aunt and uncle Thomas Hancock, who was a wealthy businessman and merchant.
They lived in a massive mansion, sometimes referred to as Boston mansion.
His uncle didn’t have children so John would often feel alone in his big house.
2. Education was important for John Hancock
An interesting fact about John Hancock is that he graduated from Harvard College in 1754. He was top of his class, even though he often struggled with the subjects he studied.
After finishing college, Hancock decided to work for his uncle, who soon died in 1764.
During those 10 years, John was able to learn everything he needed to know in terms of business, as his uncle Thomas taught him continuously.
Also, John was now a very rich man, as he inherited his uncle’s lucrative import-export business. Hancock was, in fact, one of the richest men in New England.
3. Hancock was a very wealthy man
When Thomas Hancock died, John Hancock was devastated. He also became – almost immediately- very rich, as he had inherited a lucrative shipping business, something that was fairly new back then.
But this new-found richness served John in many ways. Right in the mid-1760s, the then British government decided to impose some regulatory measures to the American colonies they still had.
It was a defiant decision and sooner than later an anti-British sentiment started to increase within the American society. Therefore, Hancock used his wealth to aid the American Independence movement.
Hancock was very generous as well, and he would use his own personal money to invest and materialize public projects that would benefit his community, an interesting John Hancock fact.
However, not everything was good, and his lavish lifestyle was often criticized, especially by those closest to him such as the Revolutionary leader Samuel Adams.
4. John Hancock played an important role in the U.S American Revolution
Not only Hancock was able to financially aid those who would fight towards the American Independence, but he was also a very active member of the subsequent movements that led his country to have a new president.
In addition, John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence is easily recognized because it is the most flamboyant one of all of the signatures.
This has become the reason why Hancock became well-known, as his signature stood out from the rest on the iconic document.
5. John Hancock became a prominent politician
Hancock decided to enter local politics and he was soon elected a Boston selectman, in 1765.
In 1766, he became a member of the Massachusetts colonial legislature, where he won the elections.
As a colonist, John Hancock became aware of the British plans to impose some regulatory measures that would include tax laws. And because he was one of the richest men in the country, this simply couldn’t happen to him.
This situation – alongside an increased discomfort by the Colonist, led the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War which lasted from 1775 to 1783.
6. But Handcock also had problems with the British Government
In 1768, the Liberty, which was a ship owned by Hancock was seized by the British customs officials in Boston Harbor, something the merchant couldn’t believe.
An interesting John Hancock fact is that the British officials accused him of illegally entering and unloading a cargo shipment, without actually paying the required taxes that were imposed on him.
But, precisely because Hancock was a prominent figure in Boston, local residents decided to take the streets and protest against this unjust measure.
7. John Hancock was very important in the United States’ national politics
John was more than the head of the Continental Congress. He was part of the military as well, when in 1778 he led almost 5,000 soldiers as they were trying to recapture Rhode Island.
And even though the mission was a failure as they weren’t able to recapture Rhode Island from the British forces, Hancock became even more famous than ever before and he was ultimately elected to become the Governor of Massachusetts, a position he held from 1780 to 1785.
He was then reelected in 1787 and remained in this position until his death in 1793, an interesting fact about John Hancock.
But things weren’t great for John Hancock, and during his tenure as Massachusetts’ governor, his state was filled with high levels of inflation. There were other problems too, where farmers weren’t able to pay off the loans they received from the bank, thus most of them ended up in prison.
He was soon going to face a political and economic crisis in Massachusetts, and, at the same time, his health was suffering too, thus he ended up resigning from his position in 1785.
A year later, an armed rebellion that was called Shay’s Rebellion broke out, and everybody was violent towards one another.
The rebellion only lasted a year and Hancock became the Governor again, as he was reelected by voters.
Hancock was the Governor of Massachusetts until his heath, at the age of 56, but up until today, he is still considered as one of the greatest men in the United States.
It seems like John Hancock was loved by all when he was alive, and he is also loved now, many years after his death.
Hancock also decided to run for the U.S Presidency in 1789, but he didn’t receive many votes, thus George Washington became the President and John Adams became the Vice President of the country.
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