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John Hancock on the expansion of military authority, Baltimore, Maryland, 1776

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

John Hancock presided over a flourishing shipping and mercantile business in Boston. After the Revolutionary War, he served as the first and third Governor of Massachusetts, which included Maine until 1820. Hancock County, incorporated in Maine in 1789, was named for John Hancock.

Hancock served as president of congress during the debate for independence. When the Dunlap Broadside circulated on July 5, 1776, only the names of Hancock and the Congress’ secretary, Charles Thomson, appeared on the document. For months, these were the only two names directly associated with the Declaration of Independence.

Written five months after the vote for independence, Hancock's letter to the Assembly of New Hampshire discussed the need for caution when empowering an army. While greater force was needed to effectively oppose the British, memories of the British occupation in Boston provided a need for caution when it came to military strength and influence.

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Other Information


  • Title: John Hancock on the expansion of military authority, Baltimore, Maryland, 1776
  • Creator: Hancock, John
  • Creation Date: 1776-12-30
  • Subject Date: 1776-12-30
  • Town: Baltimore
  • County: Baltimore
  • State: MD
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 31.90748 cm x 20.15998 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 420, Box 58/15
  • Collection: Fogg Autograph Collection
  • Object Type: Text

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x219
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