Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Greatness of John Hancock

                    John Hancock can be considered great for several reasons.  He inherited a "profitable shipping business from his uncle" and became "one of the wealthiest men in the American Colonies before the American Revolutionary War."  He served as the president of the Second Continental Congress and also as the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

                    Hancock became active in politics in Boston with the help of Samuel Adams, an "influential local politician."  Hancock used his wealth to support the colonial independence effort and was very popular in Massachusetts - particularly after his sloop named Liberty was confiscated by the British and he was charged with smuggling.  He was one of the leading Bostonians during the crisis that set off the American Revolution.

                    John Hancock's main claim to fame is the fact that he was serving as president of Congress when the Declaration of Independence was adopted and signed.  As president, he was the first to sign the new document and is best remembered for his "large, flamboyant signature."  His name later became "an informal synonym for signature."  I remember many times hearing the term or being told to sign my "John Hancock."  "According to legend, Hancock signed his name largely and clearly so that King George could read it without his spectacles, but this fanciful story did not appear until many years later."

                    The Signer has the distinction of having many places and things in the United States named in his honor.  The U.S. Navy named two vessels after him:  USS Hancock and USS John Hancock.  A third ship was named Liberty in his honor during World War II.  There are ten states that have a Hancock County named in his honor.  There are also the following places with his name:  Hancock, Massachusetts; Hancock, Michigan; Hancock, New York; and Mount Hancock in New Hampshire.  Although it has no connection to his business, the John Hancock Insurance company was founded in Boston in 1862.  The insurance company passed his name on to famous office buildings:  the John Hancock Tower in Boston, the John Hancock Center in Chicago, and the John Hancock Student Village at Boston University. 

No comments:

Post a Comment