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The Baron of Beacon Hill

By William M. Fowler

Famous as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence has become so iconic that his position as one of the most extraordinary politicians in history is often overlooked.

The heir to his uncle’s vast fortune, Hancock became one of the richest men in the American colonies at the age of 27. Determined to use his newfound wealth to further his political ambitions, he dominated the politics of Massachusetts from his mansion atop Beacon Hill. Beginning his career as a local politician’s protégé, he soon became the President of the Second Continental Congress and was twice elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A popular revolutionary figure in Boston, he used his wealth and power to aid the American Independence.

The Baron of Beacon Hill is more than the biography of a great man. It also tells the story of eighteenth-century Boston and the birth of the American republic. Vivid and immensely readable, it captures both the unique character of its subject and the intensity of his times.

William M. Fowler Jr is an American historian, professor and author. His other books include Rebels Under Sail and William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty.

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