John Hancock

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John Hancock

Our nation had many great people who have changed our nation’s fate throughout the history. These people may not be remembered but have changed our nation’s direction. People like John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, George Washington, and etc. were remembered. But a person like John Hancock, about 1/300 of the population of Unites States of America knows about him. Even though he is not remembered, John Hancock is one of the most extraordinary people who have change the fate of our nation. John Hancock was born on January 23, 1727 in Braintree, Mass. He is the son of John Hancock and Mary Hawke. John Hancock (father) was a Harvard graduate and minister. They lived in a part of town which eventually became the city known as Quincy, Mass. where John Hancock became the childhood friend of John Adams. In 1742, Hancock’s father died and he was adopted by his uncle, Thomas Hancock. Thomas Hancock lived in Hancock Manor in Boston where he had no children and he was a successful privateer and a merchant. John enrolled in Harvard University, received a bachelors degree, after graduating form Boston Latin School in 1750. After graduating from Harvard he worked for his uncle and he was trained for eventually partnership. From 1760 to 1761, he lived in England. He was building relationship with customers and suppliers of his uncle’s shipbuilding business. In January 1763, Thomas Hancock made John his full partner of his business. Since his uncle was sick, he took over the business. A year later, in August, Thomas Hancock dies of illness. He took full control of the business and became one of the wealthiest in America. At first John Hancock did well. His ship sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with good for the people of London. His ships sailed back with god to sell the colonies. Many colonies needed and bought the goods made in England, the mother country. John Hancock made a lot of money. He was generous, too. He gave food and firewood to the poor in the winter. He also gave a lot of money to the churches of Boston. Many people liked John Hancock because he was a kind man. (Lee, 3-11) In 1765 the news was bad. England had enacted the Stamp Act, imposing taxes on Americans in 55 different ways. Americans, who had always managed their money in their own assemblies, considered, the act was unconstitutional. Naturally they were furious. John Hancock was also furious. He said there was nothing or no one on earth that could make him pay a penny of that “dammed tax.” He said it loudly and often. When Samuel Adams and other people heard it, they cheered him. The next year was good news. England repealed the Stamp Act. “The news was brought to Boston in John Hancock’s brig the Harrison,” and John announced it to the public. So after the news, John threw a grand party. “He festooned his house with flags, piled his table high with food, and lighted up all of his windows. When the house was full, he rolled out a 126 gallons cask of Madeira wine.” Everybody was cheering at him as the fireworks were set off. On May 1768, John Hancock was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. “The House elected him each year to the Governor’s Council, but the Governor rejected his appointments until 1771 when the Governor changed his mind.” Hancock turned down the position and said that he was no longer interested in politics. On March 1770, The Boston Massacre had occurred. After the Massacre, the citizens at the Faneuil Hall appointed a committee to meet with the Governor Hutchinson and Colonel Dalrymple to demand the removal of troops. Hancock warned the governor that “there are upwards of 4,000 men ready to take arms.” Dalrymple agreed to remove both regiments to the Castle Island. As soon as Samuel Adams popularity declined after the Massacre, Hancock said the he would never have a relationship with Adams. (Fritz, 5-14)

John Hancock was King George’s #1 on the Dangerous List. His head was wanted for 500 pounds. On May...
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