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John Hancock

John Hancock was born January 23 [O.S. January 12] 1737 in Braintree, Massachusetts, the son of Reverend John Hancock and Mary Hawke. Hancock was a Massachusetts merchant and patriot of the American Revolution. He served as President of the Second Continental Congress and was the first Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is most famous for his signature on the United States Declaration of Independence.

On May 24, 1775, John Hancock was elected President of the Second Continental Congress. The President's authority was limited to that of a presiding officer.

It is a myth that his signature was large so King George could easily read it. The printer produced the first published version of the Declaration, the widely distributed Dunlap broadside, with Hancock's name the only congressman whose name appeared on it. Hancock's name was printed, not signed: his famous signature appears on a different document--a sheet of parchment that was engrossed (carefully handwritten) sometime after July 19 and signed on August 2 by Hancock and those delegates present. This is the copy of the Declaration of Independence on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. His name appears large because he was the President of Congress.

On October 8, 1793, John Hancock died in Quincy, Massachusetts. He was laid to rest in Old Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts.


There, I guess King George will be able to read that.
Attributed to John Hancock during signing of Declaration of Independence, although it is untrue.
RESOLVED, That it be, and hereby is recommended to the good People of this Colony of all Denominations, that THURSDAY the Eleventh Day of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer...to confess the sins...to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression...and a blessing on the Husbandry, Manufactures, and other lawful Employments of this People; and especially that the union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights (for hitherto we desire to thank Almighty GOD) may be preserved and confirmed....And that AMERICA may soon behold a gracious Interposition of Heaven.
It is the Happiness of his Church that, when the Powers of Earth and Hell combine against it...that the Throne of Grace is of the easiest access--and its Appeal thither is graciously invited by the Father of Mercies, who has assured it, that when his Children ask Bread he will not give them a Stone....
We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!