On January 23, 1737, John Hancock is born in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts.
The British government viewed the prominent patriot as an agitator, much like his friend Samuel Adams.
Hancock was president of the Second Continental Congress, so he was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Of course, he is well-known for his prominent and stylish signature on the Declaration. In fact, the name ‘John Hancock’ is synonymous with the term ‘signature.’
In addition, he was first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and he died in office in 1793.
Grateful hearts, Gracious Benefactor
Finally, here are excerpts from one of his many Proclamations for a Day of Public Thanksgiving, from November 22, 1781:
Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of Mercies, remarkably to assist and support the United States of America, in their important Struggle for Liberty against the long continued Efforts of a powerful Nation; it is the Duty of all Ranks of People to observe and thankfully acknowledge the Interpositions of his Providence in their behalf.
Through the whole of the Contest, from its first Rise to this Time, the Influence of Divine Providence may be clearly perceived in many signal Instances… .”
I do therefore, by and with the Advice of the Council, appoint, and do hereby appoint the Thirteenth Day of December next (the Day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer; that all the People may assemble on that Day, with grateful Hearts to celebrate the Praises of our gracious Benefactor; to confess our manifold Sins; to offer up our most fervent Supplications to the God of all Grace, that it may please Him to pardon our Offenses and incline our Hearts for the future to keep all his Laws…, and favor our united Exertions for the speedy Establishment of a safe, honorable, and lasting Peace; to bless all Seminaries of Learning, and cause the Knowledge of God to cover the Earth, as the Waters cover the Sea.
GOD save the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.
On this day in 1776, news (finally) reaches London that the American Continental Congress had drafted the Declaration of Independence. It was indeed a bold justification for their rebellion to retain their God-given rights.
Suffice it to say, the news cycle was a little different back then.
So, it seems appropriate to repost Our July 4th post, which lists the references to Almighty God contained within the Declaration:
“Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” “Creator,” “Supreme Judge of the world,” and “divine Providence.”
On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress gives privateers permission to attack any and all British ships.
A privateer was a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign vessels during wartime and take them as prizes. Even so, the distinction between pirates and privateers was non-existent to those who encountered them on the high seas.
Here is the opening line of the bill:
INSTRUCTIONS to the COMMANDERS of Private Ships or Vessels of War, which shall
have Commissions or Letters of Marque and Reprisal, authorising them to make Captures
of British Vessels and Cargoes.
John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed that bill in response to these ‘hostilities by sea.’
In a Proclamation of Thanksgiving written for December 11th, 1783 he wrote, in part:
“Whereas it hath pleased the Supreme Ruler of all human events, to dispose the hearts of the late belligerent powers to put a period to the effusion of human blood, by proclaiming a cessation of all hostilities by sea and land… .”
“And whereas in the progress of a contest on which the most essential rights of human nature depended, the interposition of Divine Providence in our favor hath been most abundantly and most graciously manifested, and the citizens of these United States have every possible reason for praise and gratitude to the God of their salvation.”
Impressed, therefore, with an exalted sense of the blessings by which we are surrounded, and of our entire dependence on that Almighty Being, from whose goodness and bounty they are derived…”
You may read the entire proclamation of John Hancock below.
At Our Lost Founding, we steadfastly believe in demonstrating gratitude and praise for our Creator while offering fervent supplications. Indeed, those prayers, and imploring that “God Save the United States of America” are timeless traditions that bless our nation.