We The Kids

Signers of the Declaration of Independence

John Hancock signatureSigners of the Declaration of Independence – Hancock

Posted on 08 June 2010 by admin

Rachel Ann

John Hancock was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on January 23rd, 1737. He was the first of 56 people who RISKED THEIR LIVES by signing the Declaration of Independence. John is and was well known for his extra large signature on the Declaration. He was the only one to sign this big and afterwards he exclaimed, “There, I guess King George will be able to read that!”

John’s father died when he was just 7 years old in 1744. This must have been very hard for him. I don’t know how that is because I still have my dad. When his father died, John was sent to live with his Aunt Lydia and Uncle Thomas Hancock. They all lived in a mansion called Hancock Manor.

After graduating from the Boston Latin School in 1750, he enrolled in Harvard University and received a Bachelor’s degree in 1754. Soon he began to work for his uncle right as the French Indian war started. I think highly of the fact that he risked his life for us because there were great consequences for signing The Declaration of Independence, life threatening consequences!

For one year John lived in England. Then he went back to Boston. In Boston, John gradually took over Hancock Manor due to his uncle’s failing health. When John’s uncle died, John was 26. It sounds like John had a very emotional early life! John inherited Hancock Manor, 2or 3 household slaves and thousands of acres of land, becoming one of the wealthiest men in the colonies. Now it is starting to get a little better.

John became a leading political figure in Boston just as tensions with Great Britain were increasing. When parliament passed the 1765 Stamp Act, John initially took a moderate position: as a loyal British subject. He thought that the Colonists should submit to the Act, even though he believed that parliament was mis-guided.

john_hancock_pictureWithin a few months, Hancock had changed his mind, though he continued to disapprove of violence and the intimidation of royal officials by mobs. Hancock joined the resistance to the Stamp Act by participating in a boycott of British goods, which made him popular in Boston. After Bostonians learned of the impending repeal of the Stamp Act, Hancock was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in May 1766. My birthday is in May.

On April 9, 1768, two customs employees (called tidesmen) boarded Hancock’s brig Lydia in Boston Harbor. Hancock was summoned, and finding that the agents lacked a writ of assistance (a general search warrant), did not allow them to go below deck. When one of them later managed to get into the hold, Hancock’s men forced the tidesman back on deck. Customs officials wanted to file charges, but the case was dropped when Massachusetts Attorney General, Jonathon Sewell, ruled that Hancock had broken no laws. That must have been a big relief to John! Later, some of Hancock’s most ardent admirers would call this incident the first act of physical resistance to British authority in the Colonies and credit Hancock with initiating the American Revolution.

John Hancock constitution - imagesIn 1774, he was elected to the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts and simultaneously to the Continental Congress. When Peyton Randolph resigned in 1776, Hancock assumed the position of President of the Continental Congress. I thought that it said president of the United States!!! He retired in 1777 due to problems with gout, (a big blood clot) but continued public service in his native state by participating in the formation of its constitution. He was then elected to the Governorship of the state where he served for five years, declined reelection, and was again elected in 1787. He served in that office until his death in 1793. At the age of 56. John didn’t have a very long life. I find that very sad!

I am working on answering the questions below. If you have any information regarding John Hancock, please send it to me at rachel.ann@americaaloud.com. If you have any questions about WetheKids, or anything I put up please contact me at the email above.

Thank you,

Rachel Ann

pa60m162_124Questions I am working on answering

Where was John’s mother?

What is the Declaration of Independence?

What is The Constitution?

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Happy Birthday America!!!

Posted on 02 July 2010 by admin

We celebrate with fireworks, ice cream, picnics, and games, but what does it all really mean. I use to think it was just about the bang of the  fireworks, and how loud it echoed, but  as I am older I realized it is still about the echo, but a different kind, an echo from the past.

When I lay my hand across my chest and say the “pledge of allegiance” or sing the “Star Spangled Banner” thats when I feel what the 4th of July is all about. Thoughts run through my head of that first fourth of July, the battle ground, the suffering, and the dying all for the the sake of Freedom. I proudly hold my head high not only as an American, but in honor of all those who fought for me on that day.

Today we find ourself yet in another war, but that does not lesson my pride. Americans are always there, when ever we are needed, not afraid to fight for what is right. So to all who can see this, or hear this, I am proud to be an American and proud for all those who are fighting today. We are a nation of mixed or mutts , as some people would say, but we stand as one. So, next time you lay your hand over your heart, remember who you are, and hold your head high, because you are an American!

Walker Zumbrun, 13

Walker’s sister Ashley Zumburn shipped out to Turkey this week.

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