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American Revolution
John Hancock



John Hancock
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.2

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    encouraging, custody, loyalty, phrase, wealth, freedom, traveled, member, influence, merchant, document, truly, business, ship, country, capture
     content words:    John Hancock, Revolutionary War, King George III, Harvard College, George III, Boston Assembly, Boston Harbor, Boston Massacre, Continental Congress, Samuel Adams


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John Hancock
By Jane Runyon
  

1     "Put your John Hancock right here." Have you ever heard that phrase before? It all has to do with one man who had a great influence on the Revolutionary War. John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence with a larger than normal signature. He said he wanted King George III and his Parliament to see it without having to put their glasses on. Let's see if we can find out why.
 
2     John Hancock was born in January of 1737 in Braintree, Massachusetts. It is now known as Quincy, Massachusetts. His parents died when he was very young. John was adopted by a rich uncle. He attended school and graduated from Harvard College when he was just 17. He planned to be a merchant just like his uncle. John was good at his job and traveled the world doing business. He was in London when King George III became the king. In 1763, John's uncle died, and he inherited his business and wealth. Many of the people that he did business with were loyal to the king. John did not share their loyalty.
 
3     John Hancock became active in the movement toward freedom. In 1766, he was elected to the Boston Assembly. He joined the growing fight to stop the British from taxing the colonists unfairly. One of his own ships was taken over by the British. The soldiers believed the ship was smuggling goods into the colonies to avoid the taxes. Hancock helped the Sons of Liberty when they dumped tea into Boston Harbor. He gave speeches encouraging the citizens to remember the Boston Massacre. He became a member of the first Continental Congress. In 1776, John Hancock became president of the Continental Congress.

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