More Founding Fathers anyone? The first person to sign the Declaration of Independence was John Hancock. Or at least as president of the Second Continental Congress, it is presumed that he signed first. And any way you look at it, his huge and very stylish signature on the document has made his name synonymous with signing your name in this country.
Fun facts about Mr. Hancock:
- Had a casual acquaintance with John and Samuel Adams from their early years growing up in Braintree, Massachusetts.
- John was a very bright young man – and graduated from Harvard at the ripe old age of 17!
- After his step-father passed away and left John his shipping business, Hancock was one of the wealthiest people in the colonies. Despite the wealth that should have made him a Royalist sympathizer, he became a leader in the Sons of Liberty in Boston.
- Hancock (and John Adams) were in Boston on the fateful night of Paul Revere’s midnight ride. Revere warned Hancock that the British wanted to capture him in time for Hancock and Adams to escape to Philadelphia.
- Although there are those who say that Hancock was upset that Washington was named commander of the Revolutionary Army rather than him, there is no evidence of it. And in fact, he named his son John George Washington Hancock.
- After the Revolution, he was beloved as the Governor of Massachusetts for 2 terms as well as a potential candidate for the Presidency.
Want to know more about John Hancock? Try these links:
Famous quote from John Hancock:
Hancock’s most famous quote is a misattribution – there are no accounts of any speeches at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. So the quote regarding Hancock signing so large that “King George could read it without his spectacles” is undoubtably false.