"Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. ... Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us."
--History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229.
John Hancock (1737-1793), orphaned as a boy, was adopted by a rich uncle who had no children of his own. He was educated at Boston Latin School and Harvard University. Just ten years after graduating from college, he inherited his uncle's very lucrative business and became the richest man in America at the time.
The influence of being a workingman, and then one of means may be what made Hancock so in touch with the people. He despised blind authority and those beliefs lead him to use his contacts and resources in the aid of the independence of the colonies. He spoke out strongly regarding British Rule and was often engaged revolutionary politics at first as a financier and later a outspoken public critic of British rule.
On March 5, 1774, the fourth anniversary of the Boston Massacre, he gave a speech strongly condemning the British. In the same year, he was elected president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress.
On May 24, 1775, he was elected President of the Second Continental Congress. In August of the same year, he married Dorothy Quincy.
Hancock is best remembered for his large, flamboyant signature on the Declaration of Independence, so much so that the word “John Hancock” is synonymous with “signature”.
Because of the popularity of the Hancock name, many people claim to be direct descendants. However, Mr. Hancock and his wife had two children neither of whom lived to see their teenage years. Lydia Henchman Hancock died an infant and John George Washington Hancock died at age 9, fell through the ice while skating in a pond in Massachusetts.
did john hancock have no siblings? member's of my father's family claim to have traced our family back to him, so i thought for most of my teen's and 20's to have been a descendant of his. i've since learned they were wrong, so the info has gotten skewed somewhere. would love to find out