John Hancock - Hancock County, WV
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 40° 23.886 W 080° 35.514
17T E 534632 N 4472023
Quick Description: Taken from part of Brooke County in 1848, Hancock County, West Virginan, took its name from John Hancock, American patriot known as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence. Together with Brooke County it forms the state's panhandle.
Location: West Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 1/29/2009 2:47:28 AM
Waymark Code: WM5P9H
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Jake39
Views: 10

Long Description:
Text of the West Virginia State Historical Marker:

HANCOCK COUNTY

Formed in 1848 from Brooke. Named for John Hancock, first signer of the Declaration of Independence. Iron furnaces established in this county as early as 1794 made cannon balls that Commodore Perry used in the Battle of Lake Erie.

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John Hancock (January 23, 1737 – October 8, 1793) was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence, so much so that "John Hancock" became, in the United States, a synonym for signature.

Before the American Revolution, Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies, having inherited a profitable shipping business from his uncle. Hancock began his political career in Boston as a protégé of Samuel Adams, an influential local politician, though the two men would later become estranged. As tensions between colonists and Great Britain increased in the 1760s, Hancock used his wealth to support the colonial cause. He became very popular in Massachusetts, especially after British officials seized his sloop Liberty in 1768 and charged him with smuggling. Although the charges against Hancock were eventually dropped because of a lack of evidence, Hancock has often been described as a smuggler in historical accounts, but the accuracy of this characterization has been questioned.

Hancock was one of Boston's leaders during the crisis that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. He served more than two years in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and as president of Congress was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. Hancock returned to Massachusetts and was elected as governor of the Commonwealth for most of his remaining years. He used his influence to ensure that Massachusetts ratified the United States Constitution in 1788.

Hancock has often been regarded as an enigma. He was a wealthy aristocrat who was popular with the general public but disliked by many of his peers. While the Massachusetts electorate saw Hancock as a generous and steadfast patriot, and consistently voted him into office in landslide victories, some of his fellow politicians considered him a vain and shallow mediocrity. Although a Founding Father of the United States, he was not an important writer, political theorist, or military leader. Hancock's reputation among historians has sometimes been very poor, but he has often been considered an effective politician who ably used his wealth and prestige to promote the American Revolution.

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From the Wikipedia entry (visit link)
Year it was dedicated: 1848

Location of Coordinates: State historical marker on Route two at the border of Brooke County

Related Web address (if available): [Web Link]

Type of place/structure you are waymarking: County

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