John Hancock was a Founder and the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Biography of John Hancock
John Hancock was a Founding Father, President of the Second Continental Congress, first signer of the Declaration of Independence, and nine-time Governor of Massachusetts. Despite being one of the wealthiest men in the colonies, Hancock risked his life and fortune for the cause of American liberty.
John Hancock — Quick Facts
Key facts and important details about John Hancock for kids doing research and students studying for the AP U.S. History (APUSH) exam.
- Born January 12, 1737, Braintree (Quincy), Massachusetts.
- After his father died, he was adopted by his wealthy uncle, Thomas Hancock.
- Graduated from Harvard College in 1754.
- Upon the death of his uncle in 1764, he reportedly became the richest person in Massachusetts.
- Elected to the Boston Assembly, 1766.
- Publicly condemned the Boston Massacre in a speech presented at the funeral of slain Bostonians in 1770.
- British order to arrest Hancock and Sam Adams resulted in the Battle of Lexington in 1775.
- Delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1780.
- Served as President of the Second Continental Congress from May 25, 1775, to October 1777.
- First signer of the Declaration of Independence.
- Governor of Massachusetts from 1780 to 1785.
- Delegate from Massachusetts to the Confederation Congress from 1785 until 1786.
- Governor of Massachusetts from 1787 to 1793.
- Served as president of the Massachusetts state convention to ratify the U.S. in 1788.
- Died October 8, 1793, Quincy, Massachusetts.
- Buried in the Old Granary Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts.