Last Words Can Say it All… John Hancock’s thankful heart…

November 11, 2021 by  
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What do the following sayings have in common: “A man’s last words reflect what he held most dear”… “He finished well”… “He ran with perseverance the race set before him”?

I would argue, based on a fascinating issue of the Columbian Centinel (Oct. 9, 1793) I found today, they are all applicable to John Hancock. What began as intrigue with a Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving by this notable Founding Father, turned to a swell of warmth as I noticed his death announcement within the same issue. At the end of his life, he was clearly focused on giving thanks: “Where as it is the Duty of Men, as well in their social, as individual state, religiously to consider the dispensation of God’s Holy Providence – To acknowledge with gratitude, their obligations to Him and their entire dependence upon Him: I have therefore thought fit, by and with Advice and Confident of the the council, to appoint, and I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Seventh Day of November next, to be observed as a Day of Public Thanksgiving throughout this Commonwealth…”

His well-run race, punctuated by an abundance of highlights along the way, stands as an emphatic reminder to never take thankfulness for granted. While it is easy to assume gratitude has always been in the hearts of men, truth is, its more rare than one would hope and needs to be proclaimed more often. In John Hancock’s case, his words and deeds proclaimed the overflow of his heart long before he signed off on this life and entered the next.

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