John Hancock

hancock1January 23, 1737 – October 8, 1793

The first governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, president of the Second Continental Congress and an important figure in the American Revolutionary War, John Hancock could be remembered for a number of things. But, it is, of course, his giant signature on the Declaration of Independence (he was the first to sign it) for which is is most closely associated. So much so, that the term “John Hancock” is nearly synonymous with “signature” in the U.S. even today. Hancock was a wealthy businessman in Boston who was involved with local politics. He worked closely with his mentor, Samuel Adams, and dealt directly with the aftermath of many of the pivotal pre-Revolution events such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. He was an immensely popular figure in Massachusetts, yet upon his death at the age of 56, and despite a grand state funeral, his legacy quickly faded with history. In fact, his now-unmissable grave marker wasn’t even installed until a century after his death. History can be cruel.  At least he had that signature that was sure to live on.


The Granary Burial Ground – Boston, MA

Specific Location

At the southwestern end of the cemetery, Hancock’s large monument is right along the fence.


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