John Hancock

Orphan, merchant, multi-millionaire, philanthropist, smuggler, President of the United States, snappy dresser and great hand-writer, John Hancock almost stands forth as a modern politician. Vain to a fault but generous beyond all others, unlike most modern politicians he was willing to hazard his considerable fortune, actually possessed sacred honor, and was sincere in pledging them with his life for the cause of liberty and for the generations to come. His signal offenses to the British put him beyond the pale of any possible raprochement or amnesty. He and his friend and colleague Sam Adams would “hang together or hang separately” in Franklin’s apt phrase.