Patriot, rebel leader, merchant - John Hancock signed his name into immortality in giant strokes on the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the boldness of his signature making it live in American minds as a perfect expression of the strength and freedom - and defiance - of the individual in the face of British tyranny.
As President of the Continental Congress, Hancock was the presiding officer when the members approved the Declaration of Independence, and because of his position, it was his official duty to sign the document first, but not necessarily as dramatically as he did.
Hancock figured prominently in another historic event, the battle at Lexington. British troops who fought there April 19, 1775, had known Hancock and Sam Adams were in Lexington and had come there to capture these rebel leaders. The two would have been captured, if they had not been warned by Paul Revere.-The Book of The Founding Fathers by Vincent Wilson, Jr.