JOHN EBENEEZER HANCOCK HOUSE
John Hancock, the renowned patriot, President of the Continental Congress, and first Governor the Commonwealth, inherited a parcel of land which forms a part of the present day Hancock House site. He made a series of subsequent land purchases between 1763 and 1767, assembling a larger parcel from which the house site was subsequently set off. Current research suggests that he built the house soon after 1767, and in any case before 1776, by which time it was occupied by Ebenezer, who was appointed that year to his post (reportedly due to his brother’s influence in the Continental Congress). As the headquarters of the Deputy Paymaster General and the location from which money was disbursed to the troops, the house was an important military rendezvous during the Revolution. In this connection, a loan of 2 million silver crowns from Louis XVI of France for the financing of the Army, negotiated in Paris by Benjamin Franklin, is reported to have been stored in the house in 1778. John Hancock sold the house to a Boston Merchant in 1785. By 1798 it was occupied by Benjamin Fuller, a shoe dealer, and the first of a series of shoe merchants who occupied the store uninterruptedly until 1963. The remainder of the first floor (and perhaps all or part of the upper floors) served as a restaurant and tavern during much of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The upper floors have also served as a boarding house, officer’s club, and privately operated museum.