American Revolutionary patriot John Hancock (1737-1793), the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, was born on this day in Braintree, Massachusetts.
Perhaps the best known autograph in the world, Hancock signed with bold flourish and said defiantly of the then-British ruler, "There, I guess King George will be able to read that."
"There must be no pulling different ways: we must all hang together," he said. "Proclaim liberty throughout the land."
At the time one of the wealthiest men in America, Hancock owned a successful mercantile business that was greatly hampered by the trade restrictions and tax requirements of the 1765 Stamp Act.
"Taxes equally detrimental to the Commercial interests of the Parent Country and her Colonies, are imposed upon the People, without their Consent," he wrote.
Along with leader Samuel Adams, Hancock played a pivotal role in the Revolution, becoming an advocate for freedom and President of the Continental Congress. The statesman was also the first governor of Massachusetts, serving from 1780-1793.
"The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions," he said.
Let those chips slide right off your shoulders.