October 25, 1780 — After the adoption of the US Constitution, John Hancock was sworn in as the first Governor of Massachusetts today. He won reelection in 1790, 1791, 1792, and again in 1793.
During his tenure, he advocated for his state’s independence until his death during his last term — on October 8, 1793. Hancock was buried in the Old Granary Burying Ground in Boston.
An orphan at early age, Hancock was adopted and raised by his wealthy uncle. He was education at the Boston Public Latin School, before attending Harvard University, where he graduated in 1754.
He then worked in his uncle’s mercantile business, which he inherited in 1764. Hancock entered into a political career and quickly became known as a prominent force in revolutionary beliefs. He first won election to the Boston Assembly in 1765.
He then served as a delegate and president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in 1773, was a member of the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1880, served as president of the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1777, and was a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention in 1780. In the 1788 State Convention, Hancock served as president and was instrumental in adding a bill of rights to the Federal Constitution that consequently was ratified.
But perhaps his biggest claim to fame is being the the first to sign the Declaration of Independence with what we now know as a signature style.
Words of Wisdom
"An account of the proceedings at Boston yesterday is not yet come to hand. Mr. Hancock is chosen Governor by a very large majority of votes."