Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Great tax protesters of history: John Hancock

"Let every man do what is right in his own eyes."

So often, advocates of bigger, more oppressive government position their cause as "good" versus the "evil" of those seeking more liberty and more limited government. 
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but with a massive government public relations machine, a complicit media, a massive dependent non-profit sector, and rapacious politicians and bureaucrats backing this theory, it’s an uphill battle to fight.
So, in this edition of COAST news, we highlight one of the many heroes of limited government and lower taxes: John Hancock.

John Hancock is known for his bold signature on the Declaration of Independence, but the steadfast role throughout the Revolution of this man who had so much to lose was an important backbone to the formation of this nation.  He is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the Declaration of Independence, but his role in the revolution was so much more.
Before the American Revolution, Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies, having inherited a profitable shipping business from his uncle.  Thus, he had much to lose by opposing the crown.  As tensions between colonists and Great Britain increased in the 1760s, Hancock used his wealth to support the colonial cause. He became very popular in Massachusetts, especially after British officials seized his sloop Liberty in 1768 and charged him with smuggling.
Although not one of the Boston Tea Partiers, he provided crucial support for it.  Hancock was elected as moderator at a Boston town meeting that resolved that anyone who supported the Tea Act was an "Enemy to America.”  Hancock and others tried to force the resignation of the agents who had been appointed to receive the tea shipments. Unsuccessful in this, they attempted to prevent the tea from being unloaded after three tea ships had arrived in Boston Harbor. Later, Hancock was at the fateful meeting addressing the tea issue, where he reportedly told the crowd, "Let every man do what is right in his own eyes."

COAST salutes John Hancock and asks, in this era of timid and unprincipled businessmen and politicians, where are the modern-day John Hancocks?

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