Snopes on the Legends of John Hancock’s John Hancock

Via J.L. Bell of Boston 1775, Snopes has an admirably accurate and fun piece from 2007 on fictions surrounding John Hancock’s huge signature on the famous copy of the Declaration — and related fictions about the signing as a whole, alluded to in Declaration and discussed in books by Garry Wills and Pauline Maier.

Hancock would make a great secondary or tertiary character in a premium-cable mini-series. Snopes doesn’t get into his work with the reconciliationists to obstruct Samuel Adams in Philadelphia, or into John Adams’s rivalry with Hancock, or Hancock’s purple suits, big hats, and ostentatious  rides and family history in the smuggling business. He was something else.

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