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John Hancock

John Hancock Portrait, oil on canvas
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This portrait of John Hancock, patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was completed by John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) between 1770 and 1772.

John Hancock was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1737. He graduated from Harvard College in 1754, married Dorothy Quincy in 1775 and served as treasurer of Harvard from 1773 to 1777. A merchant and politician, he was elected to the Massachusetts General Court in 1766 and was a leading patriot. Hancock served as president of the Provincial Congress from 1774 to 1777, and was a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and was the first governor of Massachusetts. John Hancock died in Boston in 1793.