25 John Hancock Quotes From The Famous Founding Father

Put your signature on life with our John Hancock quotes. 

You have probably heard the name John Hancock, but do you know who he is?

Aside from being a founding father, John Hancock has become part of popular culture.

Find out more with our John Hancock quotes.

Who was John Hancock?

John Hancock was a founding father, statesman, merchant, and patriot. 

He served as the president of the Second Continental Congress and was the third governor of Massachusetts. 

Check out these John Hancock facts:

  • Some suggest that Hancock was an illegal smuggler. 
  • Hancock is not a rags-to-riches story; his family was very wealthy.
  • Hancock is remembered for his giant signature on the Declaration of Independence

John Hancock was a prominent figure in the American Revolution.

The British hated him, and he fought tooth and nail to help America gain its independence. 

He was one of the most wealthy men in America and inherited a massive mercantile business from his uncle. 

Why did John Hancock sign his signature on the Declaration of Independence so large?

Many jokes have been made that John Hancock was a vain man.

The jokes stem from Hancock’s signature being much larger than all the founding fathers who signed the document.

Critics and historians alike have asked why his signature is so large.

Aside from the jokes, there are practical reasons why he signed the way he did.

As a joke, people say he signed his name large enough for King George of England to read it.

But on a practical level, Hancock was responsible for overseeing the signing of the Declaration. 

He set an example for the others by signing his name first and making it big, clear, and easy to read. 

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Why do people say John Hancock instead of signature?

American colloquial language is funny.

You may have been filling out a form and been asked to put your John Hancock on it.

This is a type of informal slang or colloquial language Americans use to mean signature.

Today, a person’s John Hancock means their signature. 

Was John Hancock a criminal?

The British believed that Hancock was an illegal smuggler.

They believed the Hancock family made their fortune smuggling illicit goods into the new colonies of America.

The British arrested Hancock, which led to a riot and was a factor that helped spark the American Revolution. 

To learn more, check out our John Hancock quotes below. 

Short John Hancock quotes from the founding father

We begin with these short quotes from John Hancock. 

1. “Surely you never will tamely suffer this country to be a den of thieves.” — John Hancock 

2. “I have always, from my earliest youth, rejoiced in the felicity of my fellow men.” — John Hancock  

3. “From a well-regulated militia, we have nothing to fear.” — John Hancock 

4. “I glory in publicly avowing my eternal enmity to tyranny.” — John Hancock 

5. “I mean not to boast; I would not excite envy, but manly emulation.” — John Hancock 

The top John Hancock quotes about the government

Hancock was a man passionate about government. 

6. “It is to the last degree vicious and infamous to attempt to support a government which manifestly tends to render the persons and properties of the governed insecure.” — John Hancock 

7. “Security to the persons and properties of the governed is so obviously the design and end of civil government.” — John Hancock  

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8. “To attempt a logical proof of it would be like burning tapers at noonday, to assist the sun in enlightening the world.” — John Hancock 

9. “It cannot be either virtuous or honorable to attempt to support a government of which this is not the great and principal basis.” — John Hancock 

10. “Some boast of being friends to government; I am a friend to righteous government, to a government founded upon the principles of reason and justice.” — John Hancock 

The best John Hancock quotes about militia 

Hancock believed a well-run militia was essential to the country’s safety. 

11. “When a country is invaded, the militia are ready to appear in its defense.” — John Hancock 

12. “A well-disciplined militia is a safe, an honorable guard to a community like this, whose inhabitants are by nature brave, and are laudably tenacious of that freedom in which they were born.” — John Hancock 

13. “They march into the field with that fortitude which a consciousness of the justice of their cause inspires.” — John Hancock 

14. “They do not jeopardize their lives for a master who considers them only as the instruments of his ambition.” — John Hancock 

15. “They fight for their houses, their lands, for their wives, their children; for all who claim the tenderest names, and are held dearest in their hearts.” — John Hancock 

Inspirational John Hancock quotes about fighting for freedom together

Hancock aimed to unite groups who were sometimes at odds. 

16. “Let it, therefore, be our only contest, who shall most contribute to the security of the liberties of America.” — John Hancock 

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17. “We have all one common cause.” — John Hancock 

18. “And may the same kind Providence which has watched over this country from her infant state still enable us to defeat our enemies!” — John Hancock

19. “Let not a meanness of spirit, unknown to those whom you boast of as your fathers, excite a thought to the dishonor of your mothers.” — John Hancock  

20. “Remember, my friends, from whom you sprang.” — John Hancock 

Famous and inspirational John Hancock quotes about the revolution

Hancock thought discipline was necessary for people to embrace freedom. 

21. “Break in sunder, with noble disdain, the bonds with which the Philistines have bound you.” — John Hancock 

22. “They plainly show that wealth, however it may be acquired, is, in their esteem, to be preferred to virtue.” — John Hancock 

23. “I conjure you by all that is dear, by all that is honorable, by all that is sacred, not only that ye pray, but that ye act.” — John Hancock 

24. “Despise the glare of wealth.” — John Hancock 

25. “Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed, by the soft arts of luxury and effeminacy, into the pit digged for your destruction.” — John Hancock 

Put your John Hancock on it!

Putting your John Hancock on life means putting your signature on your destiny.

Be bold, make it easy, be like John Hancock!

Do you have a favorite John Hancock quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments below. 

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