USCA President John Hancock


USCA President John Hancock

Copyright © Stan Klos 2008



Seventh President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
November 23, 1785 to June 5, 1786 
First President of the Continental Congress
United States of America
July 1, 1776 to October 29, 1777 

Third President of the Continental Congress

United Colonies of America
May 25, 1775 to July 1, 1776

Copyright © Stan Klos, President Who? Forgotten Founders 2004 & 2008

By: Stanley Yavneh Klos

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.


Articles of Confederation Congress
United States in Congress Assembled (USCA) Sessions


USCA
Session Dates
USCA Convene Date
President(s)
First
11-05-1780 to 11-04-1781*
03-02-1781
Second
11-05-1781 to 11-03-1782
11-05-1781
Third
11-04-1782 to 11-02-1783
11-04-1782
Fourth
11-03-1783 to 10-31-1784
11-03-1783
Fifth
11-01-1784 to 11-06-1785
11-29-1784
Sixth
11-07-1785 to 11-05-1786
11-23-1785
Seventh
11-06-1786 to 11-04-1787
02-02-1787
Eighth
11-05-1787 to 11-02-1788
01-21-1788
Ninth
11-03-1788 to 03-03-1789**
None
None

* The Articles of Confederation was ratified by the mandated 13th State on February 2, 1781, and the dated adopted by the Continental Congress to commence the new  United States in Congress Assembled government was March 1, 1781.  The USCA convened under the Articles of Confederation Constitution on March 2, 1781.  

** On September 14, 1788, the Eighth United States in Congress Assembled resolved that March 4th, 1789, would be commencement date of the Constitution of 1787's federal government thus dissolving the USCA on March 3rd, 1789.

By 1780 a recovered John Hancock re-entered public office with the re­drafting of the Massachusetts Constitution. He was a member of that State's constitutional convention of 1780, and served as governor from 1780 until 1785. On January 29, 1785 John Hancock resigned as Governor of Massachusetts assigning ill health as the cause for retirement. On June 16th, 1785 he was elected as delegate to the United States in Congress Assembled under the Articles of Confederation. Young John Quincy Adams wrote his father on August 3rd "It is generally supposed here that Mr. Hancock will next year be seated in the Chair of Congress." [97] John Quincy Adams wrote his sister on July 17th:

 Mr. Hancock, being too infirm to act as Governor of Massachusetts, is chosen a mem­ber of Congress … and will probably take his rest in the President's seat next November. This is escaping Scylla to fall into Charybdis or is rather like a man I have read of, who being asked if he would take a  glass of wine, answered he could not take a glass, but would take a bottle.  [98]

Hancock was unable to attend the first session of the Sixth USCA in November 1785 due to his illness. Despite the absence, Hancock was elected President and never reported for duty.  All of his presidential work was performed by two USCA chairmen - David Ramsay (November, 23 1785 ­to May 12, 1786) and Nathaniel Gorham (May 15 - June 5, 1786). 

This peculiar turn of events gives ample testament to the power of the executive departments and USCA committees that, since Hanson, performed many important duties of the President. This turn of executive events dashed the hopes of many delegates who had hoped John Hancock would report to New York and re-establish the presidency as a position of national leadership and substantial federal influence. This following letter of Delegate John Bayard to James Hutchinson provides an account of the election of John Hancock and the work that followed immediately thereafter with a spotlight on the delegates inability to fill their respective seats to form the necessary nine States quorum to conduct “business of the utmost consequence.” President Hancock's failure to report for duty had a rippling effect on the USCA whose ability to form a governing quorum sank to all time national lows in1786.

It fell on fellow Massachusetts Delegate, Rufus King, to persuade John Hancock to take his chair in Congress. Recalling that Hancock's York quarters as President in the old Continental Congress were quite humble King wrote the new President on December 7th 1785:

It was with very sincere pleasure I this day received yours of the 30th ult. which declares your acceptance of the chair of congress and I entreat you to be assured, that this pleasure was not a little encreased, by the expectation you have given me leave to entertain, that Mrs Hancock will be with you during your residence here.  In consequence of some Doubts expressed in your Letter, I have this Evening made enquiry, concerning the Situation of the House, and furniture, of the President's family; the House is good, and although the Furniture is not such as it should be, it will be within your direction at the public charge, to make such dispositions and amendments as may be convenient. The Servants, carriage, Horses &ca. of the late president are retained, and wait your coming; the Carriage is very ordinary, but every arrangement relative to the Household may be effected on your arrival here, and without any inconvenience. In great haste, but with perfect consideration & respect, I have the honor to be, Your very humbl. servt., Rufus King   P.S. I believe that it was after you left Congress, that the present plan of supporting the Household of the president was adopted. A Steward is appointed by Congress, who conducts the whole business of the house-hold, under direction of the President; and the President draws on the Treasury for the necessary monies to defray the Stewards demands.[99]

All throughout December the United States in Congress Assembled failed to achieve a quorum and virtually no business was conducted. On January 2nd 1786, Dr. Ramsay convened Congress with a British complaint on treatment of loyalists. On the 4th they took up the very important matter on the States' response to Federal appeals to grant Congress authority to raise revenue and regulate trade. The month concluded with Congressional appeals to six unrepresented states to send delegates and a January 24, 1786 protest letter for Court of Appeals Judge Cyrus Griffin.  The judge’s letter filed a formal protest against the USCA and its July 1, 1785 resolution to discontinue the Court of Appeals judges’ salaries without vacating their commissions.  The Secretary of the United States, Charles Thomson responded to Judge Griffin on February 13, 1786 as follows:

 Your letter of the sixth of January was duly received and communicated to Congress, in consequence of which they passed a resolution a copy of which I have the honor to enclose.[100] 

The resolve reasserted that it was "necessary that the salaries of the said judges should cease," but in an appeasing gesture Congress also avowed "That Congress are fully impressed with a sense of the ability, fidelity and attention of the judges of the court of Appeals."[101] With a family to support and no means of doing so Griffin resigned his commission and returned to Virginia. 


February and March were also uneventful months for the USCA. Quorums were the exception rather than the rule.  The States' responses to federal fiscal appeals were defiant and Ramsay’s attempt to gain the authority to regulate trade measures also failed to garnish enough State support. Congress did standardize the required Oath of Fidelity for Federal officeholders.  In an effort to streamline the federal government's finances, the USCA appointed a single commissioner to consolidate settlement of accounts of the five major departments; clothier, commissary, hospital, marine, and quartermaster. Delegate attendance still hampered the USCA from conducting any sweeping reforms to the ailing federal government.

March, however, did usher in free enterprise Company that would play a major role in shaping new States and real estate development for the next 200 years.  The Ohio Company of Associates was formed on March 1, 1786, by General Rufus Putnam, Benjamin Tupper, Samuel Holden Parsons[102] and Manasseh Cutler. They initially met at The Bunch-of-Grapes tavern in Boston to discuss the settlement of the territory around the Ohio River.   Dr. Neu reports:

In the course of a year 250 investors acquired shares in the Ohio Company. On 8 March 1787, the Company appointed three associates, Putnam, Samuel H. Parsons, and the Reverend Manasseh Cutler to apply to the Congress for 600,000 acres  “northwest of the River Ohio,” to be paid for in depreciated continental currency or in military rights, that is, land bonuses to which veterans were entitled. Acting for the committee, Parsons presented the Ohio Company’s proposal to Congress, without success.[103]

April passed with no appearance by President Hancock and Ramsay, as Chairman, focused on rallying support to establish a continental impost to raise revenue for the federal government.  Connecticut’s delegates, in an effort to aid the federal government settlement of the lands north and west of the Ohio River offered its resolution for the secession of their State’s claims to the territory.  May was the half point of John Hancock's term as President and still no word of appearance or resignation. John Jay, the U.S. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, was wrote John Adams on the 4th:

Mr. Hancock is still at Boston, and it is not certain when he may be expected; this is not a pleasant circumstance, for though the chair is well filled by a chairman, yet the President of Congress should be absent as little and seldom as possible.[104]

On the 12th of May, the USCA resolved:

That the navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same be, and are hereby declared to be common highways, and be forever free, as well to the Inhabitants of the said territory, as to the citizens of the United States, and those of any other States, that may be admitted into the confederation without any tax, Impost or duty therefor.

This was the boldest resolution of the Sixth USCA Session and no one even knew President Hancock’s position on the new law. On May the 15th Ramsay was forced to resign as Chairman of Congress because his term as a South Carolina delegate had expired. Secretary Thomson wrote to John Hancock.

Sir, In Obedience to the Order of Congress I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency herewith enclosed an Act of the United States in Congress assembled passed the 15 instant and their proceedings thereon.[105]

Secretary Thomson enclosed the proceedings related to the election of Nathaniel Gorham as chairman of Congress, "to serve until the first Monday in June next," succeeding David Ramsay. Ten days later, a sickly Hancock, who was unable to write, had his clerk draft his letter of resignation for his signature. It was presented to the Congress on June 5th, 1786 and the resignation was accepted. This ended the unprecedented six-month tenure of John Hancock, a U.S. President, who never took his seat in the Federal Capitol of New York City.  On June 6th Charles Thomson transmitted this letter to the thirteen States:

I have the honor to inform your Excellency that His Excellency J. Hancock being pre­vented by sickness from Attending Congress & executing the duties of president has requested their acceptance of his resignation of that Office; and that thereupon the United States in Congress Assembled proceeded to another election & have this day appointed his Excellency Nathl Gorham to preside.[106]


Treaty witnessed “Nathaniel Gorham, our Chairman
in absence of his Excellency  John Hancock, our President”

Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress


The USCA Journals report John Hancock's Chronology as:

1785 - November 23 Achieves quorum, seven states represented; elects John Hancock president (in absentia), David Ramsay, chairman. November 24 Elects two congressional chaplains. November 25 Receives report on British Consul John Temple. November 28-29 Fails to achieve quorum.

December 2 Recognizes John Temple as British Consul. December 5-26 Fails to achieve quorum. December 27 Receives Secretary at War reports.

1786 -- January 2 Receives British complaint on treatment of loyalists. January 4 Receives reports on states' response to appeals to grant Congress authority to raise revenue and regulate trade. January 5 Receives report on Algerian capture of American seamen. January 12 Receives report on settlement of Continental accounts. January 18 Refers Connecticut cession to committee. January 19 Orders report on 1786 fiscal estimates. January 27 Elects Samuel Shaw consul to Canton, China. January 30 Appeals to six un-represented states to send delegates.
February 1 Removes injunction of secrecy on correspondence concerning "the appointment of Commissioners to treat with the Barbary powers." February 3 Debates states' response to congressional fiscal appeals. February 8 Receives report on French loan interest requirements. February 9 Justifies abolishing salaries of court of appeals judges. February 16-24 Fails to achieve quorum. February 25 Receives reports on Franco-American postal plan and on 1786 fiscal estimates.

March 3 Repeats call to the states for authority to regulate trade. March 7 Appoints committee to confer with New Jersey Assembly on its refusal to com­ply with 1786 Continental Requisition. March 10 Rejects New York appeal for an extension of time for receiving Continental claims from citizens of the state. March 14 Clarifies form of oaths required for Continental officeholders. March 17-18 Fails to achieve quorum. March 21 Receives report on capital punishment in military courts martial. March 22 Receives report of New Jersey's reversal of opposition to 1786 Continental Requisition. March 24 Appoints single commissioner to consolidate settlement of accounts of the five great departments (clothier, commissary, hospital, marine and quartermaster). March 27 Orders arrest of Major John Wylles for execution of army deserters. March 29 Directs secretary for foreign affairs to report on negotiations for British evacuation of frontier posts.

April 5 Receives report on "negotiations, and other measures to be taken with the Barbary powers." April 10 Receives report on Connecticut land cession. April 12 Receives board of treasury report on coinage. April 19 Rejects Massachusetts request for Continental ordnance April 27 Receives translations of French decree on fisheries bounties.

May 2 Holds audience with Cornplanter and other Seneca chiefs. May 5 Holds audience with Cornplanter and other Seneca chiefs. May 6 Fails to achieve quorum. May 8 Appoints second commissioner for settlement of accounts of the five great departments. May 9 Directs Continental Geographer to proceed with survey of western territory. May 11 Debates Connecticut ces­sion. May 12 Declares navigable waters in the territories forever free to their inhabitants and to the citizens of the United States. May 15 Elects Nathaniel Gorham chairman of Congress to succeed David Ransay. May 17 Ratifies Prussian-American Treaty of Commerce. May 18 Postpones until September meeting of agents for Georgia-South Carolina boundary dispute. May 22-25 Debates Connecticut cession. May 26 Declares conditional acceptance of Connecticut cession. May 29 Fails to achieve quorum. May 31 Amends Rules to War; receives John Jay request for a committee to confer with him on nego­tiations with Diego de Gardoqui.

June 5 Receives resignation of President John Hancock; receives report on military establishment.

John Hancock Manuscript, Boston, Sept. 15-Dec. 16, 1786, two pages,  folio. This ledger lists items purchased (presumably) and their cost, from September 15 through December 16, 1786. The list consists largely of tea, sugar, coffee, nutmeg, mustard, and other spices. 

USCA Sessions 1781 to 1789

  • First USCA 1780-1781, convened March 2, 1781 - Samuel Huntington and Thomas McKean Presidents*  
  • Second USCA 1781-1782, convened November 5, 1781 - John Hanson President 
  • Third USCA 1782-1783, convened November 4, 1782 - Elias Boudinot President 
  • Fourth USCA 1783-1784, convened November 3, 1783 - Thomas Mifflin President 
  • Fifth USCA 1784-1785, convened November 29, 1784 - Richard Henry Lee President 
  • Sixth USCA 1785-1786, convened November 23, 1785 -John Hancock and Nathaniel Gorham Presidents 
  • Seventh USCA 1786-1787, convened February 2, 1787 - Arthur St. Clair President 
  • Eighth USCA 1787-1788, convened January 21, 1788 - Cyrus Griffin President 
  • Ninth USCA 1788-1789, failed to convene after several attempts 
*Samuel Johnston was also elected President during the first USCA Session on July 9th, 1781,  but the following day declined the office.


Hancock recovered and was elected Governor again in 1787. In 1788, he was elected president of the Massachusetts U.S. Constitution ratifying convention and remained impartial during the contentious debates.  As the convention was drawing to close, the house was divided, Hancock negotiated at compromise and gave a speech in favor of ratification. The Federalists agreed to support the Massachusetts "Bill of Rights" proposed by the Anti-Federalists who in turn agreed to support ratification of the new constitution. On February 6, 1788, with the added support of Samuel Adams, the Massachusetts convention ratified the Constitution by a 52% majority vote of 187 to 168.  

In the presidential election of 1789, Governor Hancock received four electoral votes for U.S. President under the new United States Constitution against George Washington and John Adams. Hancock's failure to muster serious consideration for a fourth national Presidential title (VP over Adams) was was due partly  to his incessant grandstanding when acting in a public forum, no matter how small the arena. When the best method of driving the British from Boston was under discussion at a patriotic club he declared, "Burn Boston, and make John Hancock a beggar, if the public good requires it."[107]

In the private sector, Hancock received degrees from both Yale and Princeton in 1769.  He was awarded the degree of L.L.D. from Brown in 1788 and from Harvard in 1792.  He employed his large fortune for useful and benevolent purposes, and was a liberal donor to Harvard College.   He was re-elected annually from 1787 until 1793 as Governor of Massachusetts and served until his death.  He is the only person to hold Presidential titles in the first three stages of USA:


United Colonies Continental Congress President

United States Continental Congress President

United States in Congress Assembled President

 Governor John Hancock died on October 8, 1793, at 56 years of age.  For a week citizens from all parts of the State came by thousands to pay tributes of respect to his memory. On the 16th a procession a mile and a half long followed the body to the Granary Burying ground. A funeral escort under command of Brigadier-General Hull consisted of Officers of the Militia, Justices of the Peace, Judges of Probate, the Attorney-General, Justices of the Supreme Court, members of the Legislature and Council, and the Lieutenant-governor. Six of the oldest Councillors were the pall-bearers. After these followed relatives, the Vice-President of the United States, and members of Congress; Judges and Secretaries, former Councillors and Senators of Massachusetts; the President, Corporation, and Professors of Harvard College; Selectmen and Town Clerk of Boston, with other town officers; Clergymen, members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, a Committee of the Brattle Street Church, of which the deceased had been a member. Citizens and visitors completed the procession, which moved from "the Mansion House of the late Governor, across the Common and down Frog Lane [now Boylston Street] to Liberty Pole, through the Main Street, and round the State House, up Court Street and from thence to the place of interment."

A conspicuous person in this procession was Samuel Adams, who was obliged to withdraw from it at State Street on account of failing strength. When the General Court assembled in the following January he opened his address as Lieutenantgovernor with these words:

"It having pleased the Supreme Being, since your last meeting, in his holy Providence to remove from this transitory life our late excellent Governor Hancock, the multitude of his surviving fellow-citizens, who have often given strong testimonials of their approbation of his important services, while they drop a tear, may certainly profit by the recollection of his virtuous and patriotic example."

The expenses of the governor's funeral were not paid by the State but from the estate of the Hancock, who, unlike the Commonwealth, was not burdened with debts, although his fortune had been greatly impaired by the stringency of the time. 

One hundred years after his death the Legislature of Massachusetts on February 3, 1894, coming to a sense of the obscurity in which John Hancock had lain for a century, passed this resolution:
"Resolved, that there be allowed and paid out of the treasury of the Commonwealth a sum not exceeding three thousand dollars, to be expended under the direction of the Governor and Council, for the purpose of erecting a suitable memorial over the grave of Gov. John Hancock in the Granary Burying-ground in Boston."


When the monument was placed a service of dedication was held on September 10, 1896



The First United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776


September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776


The Second United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781


Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783


The Third United American Republic
Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789


The Fourth United American Republic
Presidents of the United States of America
D-Democratic Party, F-Federalist Party, I-Independent, R-Republican Party, R* Republican Party of Jefferson & W-Whig Party 


(1789-1797)
(1933-1945)
(1865-1869)
(1797-1801)
(1945-1953)
(1869-1877)
(1801-1809)
(1953-1961)
 (1877-1881)
(1809-1817)
(1961-1963)
 (1881 - 1881)
(1817-1825)
(1963-1969)
(1881-1885)
(1825-1829)
(1969-1974)
(1885-1889)
(1829-1837)
(1973-1974)
(1889-1893)
(1837-1841)
(1977-1981)
(1893-1897)
(1841-1841)
(1981-1989)
(1897-1901)
(1841-1845)
(1989-1993)
(1901-1909)
(1845-1849)
(1993-2001)
(1909-1913)
(1849-1850)
(2001-2009)
(1913-1921)
(1850-1853)
(2009-2017)
(1921-1923)
(1853-1857)
(20017-Present)
(1923-1929)
*Confederate States  of America
(1857-1861)
(1929-1933)
(1861-1865)



Chart Comparing Presidential Powers 
of  America's Four United Republics - Click Here


United Colonies and States First Ladies


1774-1788



United Colonies Continental Congress
President
18th Century Term
Age
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
29
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
10/22–26/74
n/a
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
30
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
28
United States Continental Congress
President
Term
Age
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
29
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
n/a
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
21
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
41
United States in Congress Assembled
President
Term
Age
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
42
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
25
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
55
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
46
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
36
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
46
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
38
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
42
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
43
01/22/88 - 01/29/89
36



Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
President
Term
Age
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
57
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
52
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
n/a
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
40
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
48
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
50
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
n/a
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
n/a
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
65
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
50
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
23
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
41
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
60
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
52
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
46
n/a
n/a
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
42
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
54
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
43
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
45
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
48
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
n/a
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
21
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
56
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
28
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
49
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
40
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
47
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
52
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
43
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
60
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
44
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
54
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
48
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
60
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
56
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
31
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
50
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
56
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
56
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
49
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
59
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
63
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
45
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
54
January 20, 2009 to date
45




Capitals of the United Colonies and States of America

Philadelphia
Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
Philadelphia
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Baltimore
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
Philadelphia
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
Lancaster
September 27, 1777
York
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
Philadelphia
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
Princeton
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Annapolis
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Trenton
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
October 6, 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Philadelphia
Dec. 6,1790 to May 14, 1800       
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present





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[1] Woodbury, Ellen Carolina De Quincy; Dorothy Quincy, Wife of John Hancock: With Events of Her Time; The Neale publishing Company, New York 1905 page 28
[2] New England Historical Genealogical, Register, vol. 13, p. 328
[3] Woodbury, Elleen C.D., DORTHY QUINCY WIFE OF JOHN HANCOCK WITH EVENTS OF HER TIME, Neal Publishing Companu, Washington and New York, 1901,
[4] Lister, Hawks Francis, Appletons' Cyclopædia of Biography: Embracing a Series of Original Memoirs, D. Appleton and Company, New York 1865, page 362
[5] The Resolves of the Convention at New York. Stamp Act Congress, October 19, 1765
[6] Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography;. By James Grant Wilson, John Fiske, page 71
[7] The Townshend Revenue Act, passed by the Parliament  of Great Britain on June 29, 1767
[8] Selectman of Boston, Broadside Circular, Original Manuscript, Private Collection of Stanley L. Klos, dated September 23, 1768
[9] Ibid
[10] Boston Massacre for a historic account see Boston Gazette and Country Journal in its edition of Monday, March 12, 1770
[11] Ridpath, John Clark, The Ridpath Library of Universal Literature: A Biographical and Bibliographical Summary of the World's Most Eminent Authors,  Published 1899, Avil Printing Co, 1903, Philadelphia, Volume IX, page 373
[12] Boston Gazette and Country Journal in its edition of Monday, March 12, 1770
[13] Bradford, Alden, History of Massachusetts, Wells and Lily, Boston, 1822 page 32
[14] Force, Peter; AMERICAN ARCHIVES: Containing A Documentary History Of The United States Of America Series 4, Six Volumes and Series 5 three Volumes, Provincial Congress Of Massachusetts, Thursday, February 9, 1775, A. M. online version, www.stanklos.net.
[15] Woodbury, Ellen Carolina De Quincy; Dorothy Quincy, Wife of John Hancock, page 40.
[16] Revere, Paul  Letter to Jeremy Belknap, Manuscript Collection, Massachusetts Historical Society.
[17] Ibid
[18] Ibid
[19] Ibid
[20] An American Biographical and Historical Dictionary: Containing an Account of the Lives, Characters, and Writings of the Most Eminent Persons In North America From its First Settlement, and A Summary of the History of Several Colonies; William Hyde & Co., Boston 1832; page 482
[21] Force, Peter; AMERICAN ARCHIVES: Containing A Documentary History Of The United States Of America Series 4, Six Volumes and Series 5, Provincial Congress of Massachusetts Committee Of Safety, Account of the late Battle of Charlestown, prepared in obedience to a Resolution of the Provincial Congress, presented, accepted, and ordered to be transmitted to England, Watertown, July 7, 1775
[22] Provincial Massachusetts Bay Congress, Cambridge Massachusetts, December 5th 1774
[23] Pressey, Park, A Vocational Reader: Rand McNally and Company, New York, 1916,  page 106
[24] Woodbury, Ellen Carolina De Quincy; Dorothy Quincy, Wife of John Hancock: With Events of Her Time; The Neale publishing Company, New York 1905 pages 90-92
[25] Hancock, John to Miss Dorothy Quincy on June 10, 1775, Manuscript Collection, Massachusetts Historical Society
[26] Op Cit, page 93
[27] Ibid, page 93-94
[28] Sanders, Jennings B., Presidency of the Continental Congress 1774-89 A Study in American Institutional History, University of Chicago Press, 1930, page 12.
[29] Wells, W. V. The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams. 3 vols. Boston, 1865 Volume II 381-387
[30] Journals of the Continental Congress, Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms, July 6, 1775
[31] Adams, John. John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776. Part 1 is comprised of 53 sheets and 1 insertion; 210 pages total. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Page 4
[32] Ibid, Resolution for Commander-in-Chief, June 17th, 1775
[33]Adams, John to Abigail Adams, June 17, 1775, Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 1 August 1774 - August 1775, Library of Congress
[34] Continental Congress to George Washington, June 19, 1775, Commission as Commander in Chief, George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 8b.,Honorary Degrees, Memberships, and Certificates of Appreciation, 1775-1798
[35] Journals of the Continental Congress, July 26, 1775
[36] Washington, George letter to the Provincial government of Massachusetts, November 29, 1775 George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress
[37] Washington, George to John Hancock,  January 4, 1776, George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress
[38] Anderson, Fred W. “The Hinge of the Revolution: Washington Confronts a People’s Army, July 3, 1775.” Massachusetts Historical Review, 1999. http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/mhr/1/anderson.html
[39] Kaller, Seth, "Answering George Washington’s Urgent Call to Arms" Broadsheet. Resolution for recruitment of militia signed by eight Massachusetts militiamen. Watertown: printed by Benjamin Edes. 1775.  http://www.SethKaller.net
[40] Opt Cit, January 16th, 1776
[41]  On 14 February 1778, the Rhode Island Assembly voted to allow the enlistment of "every able-bodied negro, mulatto, or Indian man slave" that chose to do so, and that "every slave so enlisting shall, upon his passing muster before Colonel Christopher Greene, be immediately discharged from the service of his master or mistress, and be absolutely free...."
[42] Paine, Thomas, Common Sense, addressed to the Inhabitants of America; Philadelphia: R. Bell, 1776
[43] The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, London, 1777, pages 107-108
[44] Fender, Stephen, American Literature in Context,  Methuen, London 1983, page 93.
[45] Journals of the Continental Congress, Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer,  March 16th, 1776
[46] Paine, Thomas, Common Sense, addressed to the Inhabitants of America; Philadelphia: R. Bell, 1776 page 86
[47] Op Cit, Saturday, March 16, 1776
[48] Journals of the Continental CongressLee’s Resolution of Independence, July 2, 1776
[49] Jefferson, Thomas   Autobiography Draft dated January 6, 1821, The Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress
[50] Adams, John. John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776. Part 1 is comprised of 53 sheets and 1 insertion; 210 pages total. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Page 2
[51] Ibid
[52] Fitzpatrick, John C. The Spirit of the Revolution. Boston and New York: The Riverside Press Cambridge, 1924.
[53] Journals of the Continental Congress, July 2, 1776
[54] McKean, Thomas to Caesar A. Rodney, August 22, 1813, The Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 1. General Correspondence. 1651-1827
[55] Adams, John. John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776. Part 1 is comprised of 53 sheets and 1 insertion; 210 pages total. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Sheets 40-41
[56] Adams, John to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776, Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 4 May 16, 1776 - August 15, 1776, Library of Congress
[57] Adams, John. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776, "Had a Declaration..." . 3 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
[58] Jefferson, Thomas   Autobiography Draft dated January 6, 1821, The Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress
[59] Adams, John. John Adams autobiography, part 1, "John Adams," through 1776, Original manuscript page 3
[60] Journals of the Continental Congress, Committee appointed to prepare the declaration, superintend and correct the press, July 4, 1776
[61] New York Provincial Congress, Resolution supporting the Declaration of Independence, July 9, 1776
[62]Declaration of Independence Sotheby’s Sale, See: New York Times,  For 1776 Copy of Declaration, A Record in an Online Auction, dated June 30, 2000
[63] The DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, A Multitude of Amendments, Alterations and Additions, Appendix A - Extant copies of the 4 & 5 July 1776 Dunlap Broadside
[64] Declaration of Independence, German Printing, Pennsylvanisher Staatsbote,   Henrich Millers: Philadelphia; July 9, 1776
[65] Journals of the Continental Congress, Official Copies of the Declaration of Independence, January 18, 1777.
[66] Walsh, Michael J., "Contemporary Broadside Editions of the Declaration of Independence." Harvard Library Bulletin 3 (1949): 41.
[67] Opt Cit, Engrossing The Unanimous Decla­ration Of The Thirteen United States of America, July 19, 1776
[68] Declaration of Independence, The Charters of Freedom, A New World is At Hand, The National Archives of the United States, 2005-2008, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html
[69] Ibid
[70] Frederick W. True’s Semi-centennial history of the National Academy of Sciences, A History of the First Half-Century of the National Academy of Sciences 1863-1913, pp. 279-284.
[71] The Daily National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser, June 4, 1823
[72] Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1823-1824 dated Wednesday, May 26, 1824.
[73] William R. Coleman, "Counting the Stones: A Census of the Stone Facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence," Manuscripts 43 (Spring 1991): 103
[74] Force, Peter; AMERICAN ARCHIVES: Containing A Documentary History Of The United States Of America Series 4, Six Volumes and Series 5,
[75] Hancock, John to George Washington concerning the reading of the Declaration of Independence to the Revolutionary army, 4 July 1776, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
[76] Hancock, John to Robert Morris  January 14th, 1777, Letters of Delegates to Congress
[77] Sargent, Winthrop  The Life and Career of Major John Andre, Adjutant-general of the British, William Ahbatt, New York 1902.
[78] McClure, James, Nine Months in York Town. York, PA: York Daily Record, 2001.
[79] Adams, John. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 30 September 1777. 2 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society
[80] Ibid
[81] Ibid
[82] Hancock, John to George Washington, York Town, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1777, Original Manuscript, George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, Image 924.
[83] Washington , George to John Hancock, October 22, 1777, Original Manuscript, George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, Image 997.
[84] Journals of the Continental Congress, Debates on the Articles of Confederation, October 23, 1777
[85] Journals of the Continental Congress, Debates on the Articles of Confederation and Hancock request for two months leave, October 29, 1777
[86] Ibid, Hancock speech requesting two months leave, October 29, 1777.
[87] Ibid
[88] Adams, Samuel  to James Warren; York Town, Pennsylvania Oct. 29 1777;Smith, Paul H., ed. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1981.
[89] Ibid, October 30, 1777
[90] Ibid
[91] Wallace, David Duncan, Life of Henry Laurens, G.P. Putnam's Sons: New York 1915 page 234
[92] Ibid, November 7, 1777
[93] Hancock, John to George Washington, York Town, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1777, Original Manuscript, George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, Images 1085-1086
[94] Woodbury, Ellen Carolina De Quincy; Dorothy Quincy, Wife of John Hancock: With Events of Her Time; The Neale publishing Company, New York 1905 page 142
[95] Ellery, William, Diary, November 7, 1777 The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography By Historical Society of Pennsylvania, page 323
[96] Smith, Paul H., et al., eds. Letters Of Delegates To Congress, 1774-1789. Chronology
[97] Ford, Worthington Chauncey and John Quincy Adams, Writings of John Quincy Adams , Published 1913 by The Macmillan Company, page 19
[98] Smith, Abigail Adams, Correspondence of Miss Adams: Daughter of John Adams, Second President of The United States, Published 1842 by Wiley and Putnam,  page 45
[99] Smith, Paul H., et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789. 25 volumes, “Rufus King to John Hancock – December 7, 1785, Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1976-2000).
[100] Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled, Charles Thomson to Cyrus Griffin, February 13, 1786
[101] Ibid
[102] Samuel Holden Parsons (May 14, 1737 – November 17, 1789) was an American lawyer, jurist, Revolutionary War general, and a pioneer to the Ohio Country. As a member of the Ohio Company he sought the Governorship of the Northwest Territory losing out to Arthur St. Clair.
[103] Neu, Irene D. Background of the Ohio Company of Associates, Manuscripts and Documents of the Ohio Company of Associates, Special Collection, Marietta College Library
[104] Wharton, Francis, ed, The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, John Jay to John Adams, May 4, 1786.
[105] Journal of the United States in Congress Assembled, May 17, 1786
[106] Ibid, June 5, 1786
[107] Musick, John Roy,  John Hancock: A Character Sketch, Published 1898 by The University Association, page 95


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