Many historians will remember the sad day on October 29th, 1777, in which John Hancock was forced to resign his role as president of the Continental Congress because of a prolonged illness. The first member of the Continental Congress to sign his name on the Declaration of Independence was John Hancock and many feel was well known for his brave signature on this historic document. While no longer a member of the Continental Congress, he did not let his illness sideline him from pursuing other positions in politics.
Mister Hancock was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774 and was a delegate from Massachusetts. In May of 1775, Hancock assumed the role of president as the result of Peyton Randolph resigning from the position. While serving as its’ leader, he led during many of the historic events that transpired during the American Revolution which culminated in 1776 as he was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. Although one chapter in his life would shortly be coming to an end, another chapter was getting ready to begin.
Now that Hancock had officially resigned his role in the Continental Congress, he went back to his home state of Massachusetts and made the decision to continue working for public service. Once he helped the state in creating its’ first constitution, Hancock would eventually be elected to the first governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts in the year of 1780. His service would continue for the next five years and decided not to seek reelection in 1785. Two years later, Hancock decided to run again and was elected governor for the second time in 1787. He served faithfully and continuously until he died in 1793.
There are those who will remember Hancock for his defiant and bold signature on the historic Declaration of Independence; however, being bold and defiant can also be used to describe the life that he lived. Many forget that John Hancock was the richest colonist living in New England and could have realistically lost everything he owned in supporting the cause of Independence for Americans. The first words he said after the signing of the Declaration of Independence best represents how defiant John Hancock was during that time. The British had placed a bounty on the heads on those who were the important leaders of the revolution. In response to this, Hancock had declared that the British ministry does not need spectacles in order to read that name and that they should consider doubling their reward. Men like John Hancock are surely needed in today’s government and throughout the world.