On This Day John Hancock resigns as president of Congress

John Hancock

John Hancock resigns his position as president of the Continental Congress, due to a prolonged illness, on this day, October 29th,  in 1777. Hancock was the first member of the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence and is perhaps best known for his bold signature on the ground-breaking document.

First elected to the Continental Congress in 1774 as a delegate from Massachusetts, Hancock became its president upon the resignation of Peyton Randolph in May 1775. During his tenure as president, Hancock presided over some of the most historic moments of the American Revolution, culminating in the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776.

After resigning his position as president, Hancock returned to his home state of Massachusetts, where he continued his work in public service. After helping to establish the state’s first constitution, Hancock was elected first governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1780 and served for five years. He declined to run for reelection in 1785, but returned after a two-year absence and was elected governor for a second time in 1787. He held the position until his death in 1793.

Hancock will forever be remembered for his bold and defiant signature on the Declaration of Independence, but “bold” and “defiant” could also describe the way he lived. The wealthiest colonist in New England, Hancock risked losing everything he had for the cause of American independence. Nothing better exemplifies Hancock’s defiance than the first words he spoke after signing the Declaration of Independence. In response to the bounty the British had placed on the heads of prominent revolutionary leaders, Hancock replied, “The British ministry can read that name without spectacles; let them double their reward.”


Most Read Stories

Project Thor

Did the U.S. Just launch “Project Thor” as the secret ZUMA Payload that SpaceX just put into Orbit?

The 107-country Outer Space Treaty signed in 1967 prohibits nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons from being placed or used from Earth’s orbit. What they didn’t count on was the U.S. Air Force’s most simple weapon […]

Police State

With a Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Limits Firearm Rights by Proclaiming State of Emergency

Today, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf issued a proclamation declaring Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency, seemingly triggering the firearm prohibitions found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107 during declared emergencies. Specifically, Section 6107 provides: (a) General […]

Goodbye Brass

Goodbye, Brass?

by Art Merrill – Monday, February 13, 2017 Let’s skip the appetizer and get right to the meat and potatoes of a manufacturer’s claims for a new cartridge case technology to replace the 150-year reign of […]