, Massachusetts , United States
|| January 12, 1737
|Died||October 08, 1793
|Contributor||U Ole Polecat|
|Last Modifed||Thomas Walker|
Dec 21, 2005 01:35pm
|Info||A graduate of Harvard, John Hancock worked for a mercantile house in Boston owned by his uncle. In 1765 he became a selectman of Boston and from 1769 to 1774 was a member of the Massachusetts General Court. He was a member of the provincial legislature of Massachusetts in 1766-1772 and served as president of the Provincial Congress in 1774. On 5 Dec 1774 Hancock was appointed a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress (1775-1781) and served as its president from 24 May 1775, when he was unanimously chosen to replace Peyton Randolph. As President of the Congress, Hancock was the presiding officer when the members approved the Declaration of Independence and first signer of the Declaration on 4 Jul 1776. The Congress had to hold its sessions in Baltimore, Maryland, from 20 Dec 1776 to 4 Mar 1777, but after General Washington's successes against the British in New Jersey, the Congress returned to Philadelphia on 12 Mar 1777. On 26 Sep 1777, British forces occupied Philadelphia forcing Congress to relocate to York, Pennsylvania. As the term of presidency was not limited at election, Hancock's term lasted for two years and five months until he took leave of absence (29 Oct 1777) for two months. The Congress ruled that a secretary will "officiate as president until a new choice is made." |
During the Revolutionary War, Hancock served as senior major general of Massachusetts Militia and a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention (1780). He was the first Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (25 Oct 1780 - 29 Jan 1785). On 16 Jun 1785 Hancock again was elected to the Continental Congress, but could not attend the session of Congress in November 1785 due to his illness. However, he was elected president of the Congress on 23 Nov 1785. Presidential duties were performed by the two chairmen � David Ramsay (23 Nov 1785 - 12 May 1786) and Nathaniel Gorham (15 May - 5 Jun 1786). On 29 May 1786, Hancock, who was unable to write himself, had his letter of resignation written. It was presented to the Congress on 5 Jun 1786 and the resignation was accepted.
Hancock was nine times elected Governor of Massachusetts serving several consecutive terms from 30 May 1787 until his death on 8 Oct 1793.
First Appeared on a United States Postage Stamp in 1976.
Vote totals for elections in which was nominated for the Hall of Fame for Great Americans (1900-1965): 1900-12, 1905-13, 1910-31, 1915-4, 1920-6, 1955-0, 1960-0, 1965-0.