Hancock was president of the first and second
provincial congresses, president of the
Continental Congress and was elected
Massachusetts governor nine times.
Facts about John Hancock
The following facts about the life of John Hancock
provide interesting facts and an overview and
description of the
life and times and his involvement in the
American Revolutionary War.
1: John Hancock was born on January 23, 1737
Fact 2: His place of birth was Braintree,
Fact 3: His father was the Reverend John Hancock
of Braintree 1702 - 1744, a Congregationalist
Fact 4: His mother was Mary Hawke Thaxter, who
was born August 15, 1667, died May 8, 1752
Fact 5: His father was a well educated man who
had attended Harvard. He became the pastor of
the church of the North Precinct, Braintree,
Fact 6: John Hancock's father died when he was
only 7 years old - he was raised his grandfather
and then by his uncle. He was a boyhood friend
of John Adams. Hancock was known as Johnny when
he was a boy.
Fact 7: When John Hancock was 13 he was adopted
by his extremely wealthy uncle and aunt, Thomas
and Lydia Hancock. They had no children of their
own and John Hancock later took over the family
business, called the the House of Hancock, of
Imports and Exporting whale oil, fish and rum.
Fact 8: Education: John Hancock was educated at
Boston Latin School and Harvard where he
received a Bachelor's Degree in Classical
Studies in 1754.
Fact 9: John Hancock undertook various business
duties in London from 1760-1761 and witnessed
the coronation of King George III
Fact 10: John Hancock married Dorothy "Dolly"
Quincy on August 28, 1775
Fact 11: When John Hancock was 27 his uncle died
leaving John the House of Hancock
Fact 12: In 1765, John Hancock entered local
politics when he was elected a Boston selectman.
The following year, he won election to the
Massachusetts colonial legislature.
Fact 13: John Hancock suffered from gout for
most of his life.
Fact 14: John Hancock became a political
activist in the opposition to the Sugar Act in
1764, the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend
Acts of 1767. He came into conflict with the
acting Governor of Boston, the loyalist Thomas
Fact 15: He came into conflict with the acting
Governor of Boston, the loyalist Thomas
Fact 16: John Hancock was one of the leaders of
the Sons of Liberty, together with Samuel Adams
(the cousin of John Adams). He shared leadership
of the Massachusetts Patriots.
Fact 17: In 1768, one of his merchant ships, the
Liberty, was seized by Customs Officials (see
Fact 18: John Hancock played a prominent role in
the events following the Boston Massacre in
Fact 19: December 16, 1773: The Boston Tea Party
- Massachusetts patriots dressed as Mohawk
Indians protested against the British Tea Act
Fact 20: On April 19, 1775, John Hancock and
fellow patriot Samuel Adams avoided arrest after
Paul Revere made his legendary midnight ride to
warn them the British were coming.
Fact 21: John Hancock became president of the
first and second provincial congresses
Fact 22: John Hancock was president of the
Continental Congress from 1775 to 1777
Fact 23: John Hancock was elected Massachusetts
governor in 1780 - he held this role nine times
Fact 24: John Hancock was the first to sign the
Declaration of Independence
Fact 25: John Hancock was 39 years old when he
signed the Declaration of Independence.
Fact 26: John Hancock died of natural causes at
his home on Charter Street in Boston, on May 10,
1818 aged 83
Fact 27: John Hancock was buried at Granary
Burial Grounds, Boston