In 1763, his uncle died and Hancock inherited what was said to be the greatest body of wealth in New England. This placed him in a society of men who consisted mainly of loyalists, suspected by the working population because of their great affluence and social power. He however, soon became very involved in revolutionary politics and his sentiments were, early on and clearly, for independence from Great Britain. He was in company with the Adamses and other prominent leaders in the republican movement of New England. He was elected to the Boston Assembly in 1766, and was a member of the Stamp Act Congress.
In 1768 his boat, Liberty, was impounded customs officials at Boston Harbor, for a charge of running contraband goods. A large group of private citizens stormed the customs post, burned the government boat and beat the officers, causing them to seek refuge on a ship off shore. Soon after, Hancock abetted the Boston Tea Party. Hancock watched the early developments and strongly denounced the acts of violence. Finally he consulted with Samuel Adams, John Adams, and others to understand what was taking place. He soon realized that even his own employees were suffering under the taxation and administrat...
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...not national because he had not signed the constitution, he had not been a U. S. Senator, he had not been President, and he had not been a U. S. congressman. Yet, no founding father displayed greater virtue and resolution towards independence and none spent more of their personal wealth toward that effort. During the War of Revolution, it was mostly Hancock's money which armed and fed the volunteers from Massachusetts.
The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. John Hancock and fifty-five others signed the Declaration of Independence. Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence. He wrote his name in the center of the page in extra large script. John Hancock's signature was so flamboyant that it led to the phrase we use today, when people write their signatures, they are said to have written their 'John Hancock'.
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