John Hancock - Former President of the Continental Congress, Birthday and Life

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John Hancock's Personal Details

John Hancock was one of the signers of the U.S

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 23, 1737
Died onOctober 8, 1793
NationalityAmerican
FamousFormer President of the Continental Congress, Harvard University, Leaders, Political Leaders
City/StateMassachusetts
SpousesDorothy Quincy (m. 1775–1793)
Childrens John George Washington Hancock, Lydia Henchman Hancock
Universities
  • Harvard University
  • Boston Latin School
  • Harvard College
Notable Alumnis
  • Harvard University
Birth PlaceQuincy, Province of Massachusetts Bay
GenderMale
FatherJohn Hancock Jr.
MotherMary Hawke Thaxter
Sun SignAquarius
Born inQuincy, Province of Massachusetts Bay
Famous asFormer President of the Continental Congress
Died at Age56

// Famous Former President of the Continental Congress

John Hancock's photo

Who is John Hancock?

The first signatory to affix his signature on the U.S. Declaration of Independence, John Hancock was a prosperous merchant cum politician. He was one of the leading figures of the American Revolution who even spent his personal wealth for the Independence movement. Orphaned at an early age, he was adopted by a wealthy childless relative who passed on his vast business to Hancock on a later date. The young businessman met the influential politician Samuel Adams whose patriotic views kindled his interests in politics. He became actively involved in politics when the British government passed the Stamp Act that imposed a tax on the British American colonies causing uproar of disapproval from the colonists. The policies of the British were not only against patriotic sentiments, but also placed several hurdles in transacting business deals. His acquaintance with Samuel Adams proved beneficial and he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Later on he became a member of the Provincial Congress and served on the Committee of Safety. He was elected president of the Continental Congress because of his experience and high social status, and owing to his position, he was the first one to sign the U.S. Declaration of Independence. He is remembered for the large and stylish signature he affixed on the document.

// Famous Political Leaders

Childhood & Early Life

John Hancock was born to a Congregational pastor in Massachusetts. He was named after his father, Rev. John Hancock, who died when the boy was only seven years old.

After the death of his father, his uncle Thomas Hancock, a rich childless merchant, and his wife adopted him. Thomas owned a highly successful business in Boston dealing in import-export of goods.

He studied at the Boston Latin School and graduated in 1750. After that he went to Harvard College and earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1754.

Career

He started working at his uncle’s business after completing his college education. At about the same time, the French and Indian War broke out.

His uncle had favorable political relations that enabled him to secure profitable contracts from the government during war time. Hancock gained a lot of first-hand experience and knowledge about running the business.

After staying in England during 1760-61 to establish relations with suppliers and customers in order to develop his business, he returned to Boston.

He became a full partner in his uncle’s business in 1763, and inherited the business and vast estates after the death of his uncle in 1764, becoming one of the richest men in the colonies.

The British parliament passed the Sugar Act in 1764 which caused resistance among the colonists. John Hancock, along with James Otis and Samuel Adams criticized the move.

He was chosen as one of Boston’s five selectmen in 1765. The same year the Stamp Act was passed, and he along with fellow businessmen protested against the Act by boycotting British goods.

In 1766, he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. By this time, he had become a well known political figure in Boston.

The British passed the Townshend Acts in 1767 which placed several restrictions on import-export trade. The Acts outraged the merchants like Hancock who called for a boycott of British imports until the Acts were repealed.

Hancock’s sloop ‘Liberty’ was confiscated by British officials in 1768 on the suspicion that he was using it to transport smuggled goods. Several charges were pressed against him though they were later dropped. This incident provoked many to label him a smuggler though no proof to validate this claim existed.

The Boston Massacre happened in March 1770 in which British soldiers killed five civilians. Hancock met Governor Thomas Hutchinson and Colonel William Dalrymple and talked them into withdrawing the troops from Boston.

When the British passed the Tea Act in 1773, the Bostonians’ resistance led to what became known as the ‘Boston Tea Party’. Even though he did not take part in the tea party, he publicly approved of it.

In 1774, he read a speech he had written in collaboration with Samuel Adams and others on the fourth annual Massacre Day oration. This speech was published and circulated widely which enhanced his image as a true son of America.

The Massachusetts Provincial Congress was formed in 1774 and Hancock was made its president. He also served on the Committee of Safety, and was selected as a delegate to attend the Second Continental Congress.

He was elected as the president of the Continental Congress in 1775. His social stature and multiple political roles made him a very influential patriotic figure who ran the risk of being captured by the British officials.

After the Declaration of Independence was approved on 4 July 1776, John Hancock, being the president of the Continental Congress, was the first one to sign the document on 2 August 1776. He is famous for the large and stylish signature he affixed on the Declaration.

Taking a leave of absence from the Congress in 1777, he returned to Boston where he was re-elected to the House of Representatives.

In 1780, he was appointed the Governor of Massachusetts. He was very popular in the state and easily won the re-elections by wide margins. He served in this position till 1785 when he resigned because of poor health.

Major Works

He is famous for being the President of the Continental Congress at the time of signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence on 2 August 1776. He was the first delegate to affix his signature on the document, which he did with flamboyance.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Dorothy Quincy on 28 August 1775. The couple had two children, both of whom died in childhood.

As a wealthy merchant, he lived a lavish and often extravagant life.

He was greatly admired for his philanthropy and was known to donate generously to widows, orphans and other needy sections of the society.

His later years were marked by various health problems including gout. He died at the age of 56 in 1793.

Trivia

He was criticized for leading a lavish and extravagant lifestyle.

Hancock, a town in Massachusetts, was named in his honour.

Some of his detractors had labeled him a smuggler though the accusation had no legal backing.

// Famous Alumni of Harvard University

John Hancock biography timelines

  • // 23rd Jan 1737
    John Hancock was born to a Congregational pastor in Massachusetts. He was named after his father, Rev. John Hancock, who died when the boy was only seven years old.
  • // 1750 To 1754
    He studied at the Boston Latin School and graduated in 1750. After that he went to Harvard College and earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1754.
  • // 1760 To 1761
    After staying in England during 1760-61 to establish relations with suppliers and customers in order to develop his business, he returned to Boston.
  • // 1763
    He became a full partner in his uncle’s business in 1763, and inherited the business and vast estates after the death of his uncle in 1764, becoming one of the richest men in the colonies.
  • // 1764
    The British parliament passed the Sugar Act in 1764 which caused resistance among the colonists. John Hancock, along with James Otis and Samuel Adams criticized the move.
  • // 1765
    He was chosen as one of Boston’s five selectmen in 1765. The same year the Stamp Act was passed, and he along with fellow businessmen protested against the Act by boycotting British goods.
  • // 1766
    In 1766, he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. By this time, he had become a well known political figure in Boston.
  • // 1767
    The British passed the Townshend Acts in 1767 which placed several restrictions on import-export trade. The Acts outraged the merchants like Hancock who called for a boycott of British imports until the Acts were repealed.
  • // 1768
    Hancock’s sloop ‘Liberty’ was confiscated by British officials in 1768 on the suspicion that he was using it to transport smuggled goods. Several charges were pressed against him though they were later dropped. This incident provoked many to label him a smuggler though no proof to validate this claim existed.
  • // 1773
    When the British passed the Tea Act in 1773, the Bostonians’ resistance led to what became known as the ‘Boston Tea Party’. Even though he did not take part in the tea party, he publicly approved of it.
  • // 1774
    In 1774, he read a speech he had written in collaboration with Samuel Adams and others on the fourth annual Massacre Day oration. This speech was published and circulated widely which enhanced his image as a true son of America.
  • // 1774
    The Massachusetts Provincial Congress was formed in 1774 and Hancock was made its president. He also served on the Committee of Safety, and was selected as a delegate to attend the Second Continental Congress.
  • // 1775
    He was elected as the president of the Continental Congress in 1775. His social stature and multiple political roles made him a very influential patriotic figure who ran the risk of being captured by the British officials.
  • // 28th Aug 1775
    He married Dorothy Quincy on 28 August 1775. The couple had two children, both of whom died in childhood.
  • // 2nd Aug 1776
    After the Declaration of Independence was approved on 4 July 1776, John Hancock, being the president of the Continental Congress, was the first one to sign the document on 2 August 1776. He is famous for the large and stylish signature he affixed on the Declaration.
  • // 1777
    Taking a leave of absence from the Congress in 1777, he returned to Boston where he was re-elected to the House of Representatives.
  • // 1780 To 1785
    In 1780, he was appointed the Governor of Massachusetts. He was very popular in the state and easily won the re-elections by wide margins. He served in this position till 1785 when he resigned because of poor health.
  • // 8th Oct 1793
    His later years were marked by various health problems including gout. He died at the age of 56 in 1793.

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John Hancock's FAQ

  • What is John Hancock birthday?

    John Hancock was born at 1737-01-23

  • When was John Hancock died?

    John Hancock was died at 1793-10-08

  • Where was John Hancock died?

    John Hancock was died in Quincy

  • Which age was John Hancock died?

    John Hancock was died at age 56

  • Where is John Hancock's birth place?

    John Hancock was born in Quincy, Province of Massachusetts Bay

  • What is John Hancock nationalities?

    John Hancock's nationalities is American

  • Who is John Hancock spouses?

    John Hancock's spouses is Dorothy Quincy (m. 1775–1793)

  • Who is John Hancock childrens?

    John Hancock's childrens is John George Washington Hancock, Lydia Henchman Hancock

  • What was John Hancock universities?

    John Hancock studied at Harvard University, Boston Latin School, Harvard College

  • What was John Hancock notable alumnis?

    John Hancock's notable alumnis is Harvard University

  • Who is John Hancock's father?

    John Hancock's father is John Hancock Jr.

  • Who is John Hancock's mother?

    John Hancock's mother is Mary Hawke Thaxter

  • What is John Hancock's sun sign?

    John Hancock is Aquarius

  • How famous is John Hancock?

    John Hancock is famouse as Former President of the Continental Congress