John Hancock and the Fourth of July
We all know that the Fourth of July celebrates the actual date, when the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and ratified the Declaration of Independence. However, contrary to popular belief the famous document was not actually signed until August 2 of the same year, when all fifty-six delegates officially put their name on the document. However, it is believed that John Hancock placed his showy signature to the written draft on July 4, when the paper was sent to the printer. At the time, John Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies and also President of the Continental Congress. Perhaps, these impressive credentials are revealed in his expressive penmanship that so effectively embodied the revolutionary spirit of the times.
Despite Hancock’s groundbreaking role in forging the 13 colonies into a fledgling nation, the fervent patriot would find great tragedy in his personal life. John and his wife, Dorothy Quincy, would give birth to only two children, John George Washington Hancock and Lydia Henchman Hancock, neither of whom would live to be a teenager.
And don’t forget. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.