John Hancock (1737–1793) was a leader of the American Revolution and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence. Born in Massachusetts and educated at Harvard, Hancock was a wealthy merchant in colonial America. In the 1760s, he became a supporter of the resistance movement against British rule and an associate of Samuel Adams. In 1764, the Liberty, a sloop owned by Hancock, was seized for allegedly violating the Sugar Act, and Hancock became a widely known figure in the ensuing case. Hancock served as president of the Second Continental Congress following the start of the Revolutionary War, and he was famously the first signer of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. He later served as governor of Massachusetts.

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