John Hancock

In all of American history, there are many men who stand out and emphasize the history ofour country. This man, John Hancock, is one of those extraordinary men that stand out.John?s life began on January 16, 1736 in Braintree, Massachuchetts.John was the middle child of three. He was the son of (Rev.) John Hancock, born on June 1, 1702 in Lexington, Massachuchetts and son of Mary Hawke, born on October 13, 1711 in Hingham, Massachuchetts. Mary was once married before she married John Hancock Sr. Her previous marriage ended in her former husband?s death.(Rev.) John Hancock was well-liked by his parish, was paid well, and was provided a very comfortable home. In return of their generosity, he was a "faithful shepard." He kept an attentive watch over the morals and religious well-being of all members of the parish.
Ever since John?s (Jr.) birth, he was perceived to go to Harvard. At the age of six, his parents sent him to a local dame school. Later he was sent to another school, in which he might have met John Adams, with whom he struck up a casual acquaintance. Like all the other children in town, he learned the basics of reading, writing, and figuring.All things seemed to go well, until the spring of 1774. His father came down with an illness, that later would be the cause of his death. His sadness grew more because of the reason that they would have to move. Mary?s parents were both dead and a very difficult decision would have to be made by Mary.
Her anxiety to make that decision was lessened by the invitation from the
bishop and his wife, to live with them in Lexington. A year later, John was sent away to live with his uncle Thomas and aunt Lydia, and to attend Boston Latin School. It isn?t sure if he moved there to live with his uncle or to attend that school. What is beyond dispute, though, is that this move altered radically John Hancock?s life and altered the history of America, as well.
The August after John arrived, his uncle and him went down to the school
and applied. John was accepted almost immediately, after reading some verses from the bible. His age though caused a slight problem. He was almost nine years of age and all the first graders were almost seven. The master of the school, John Lovell, found a nice solution. Since John was excellently trained in Lexington, Lowell moved him up to third grade.
John was neither Lowell?s favorite nor his worst student. By his fifth year,
he was ready to begin "making Latin". He translated from Caesar?s Commentaries,
Cicero?s Orations , and the Aeneid. The major purpose of the school was to prepare a student in the liberal arts so he can follow the same path at college. The foundation of the school was classical languages, but with his mastery of the ancients, he also acquired knowledge of history, philosophy , and theology.
By the time spring came around in 1750, John was finishing his time at
Latin. He had completed the school?s curriculum and was preparing for college. Of course the choice was Harvard. He was armed with a conspicuous heredity, money, and recommendations from Master Lowell. John didn?t have any trouble getting into Harvard.
In the fall of 1750, John, Latin alumnus entered Harvard College. At the
age of thirteen and a half, he was the second youngest boy in his class, and he was ranked fifth out of the twenty in his class.
College work for Hancock was practically a continuation of his work at
Latin. The emphasis in college was still languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew)7, but also he got the chance to study geography, geometry, arithmetic, and astronomy. It isn?t known how well John did in school, but for his future, that was set by his family heredity.Besides John?s good work in school, he also had fun, as many did in college. In late August of his sophomore year, two of his friends and him went to a local tavern. They began a drinking exhibition, but during this display, they got a black servant so drunk that they "endangered his life." This act was not well accepted by theadministration and they were up for judgement. Punishment for this act could have been varied. A decision came andHancock, "for very much promoting the ........Affair", was moved down in class rank