Patriotic apocrypha

“There, I guess King George will be able to read that!” are the words John Hancock, according to popular belief, used when he signed the Declaration of Independence, exubertantly scrawling his name in extra large letters under the text. Several paintings represent the scene like this, Hancock addressing the other men who had signed (or were going to sign) the Declaration. Actually, there was no one around he could have addressed. There was no dramatic group signing. Those who signed the Declaration did so over several days’ time, one after the other. Hancock most likely signed the Declaration in silence. (Keyes, Ralph: Quote Verifier. Who Said What, Where, and When? New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2006: 113-114)

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