John Hancock House Site

John Hancock House Site

To begin the "LITERARY BEACON HILL: Pinckney to Beacon Streets" walking tour, turn to the right onto Beacon Street from the General Hooker entrance/exit.

On the right, you will see a memorial to John F. Kennedy and then you will come to an historical marker, commemorating the site of the John Hancock House, which stood facing Boston Common from 1737 to 1863.

John Hancock was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, and in this nation which wrote itself into existence that is a literary milestone worth noting.

Take a minute to look through the gates and into the State House grounds. In the first sentence of his autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, we are invited to envision this neighborhood during the 1830s:

"Under the shadow of Boston State House, turning its back on the house of John Hancock, the little passage called Hancock Avenue runs, or ran, from Beacon Street, skirting the State House grounds, to Mount Vernon Street, on the summit of Beacon Hill; and there, in the third house below Mount Vernon Place, February 16, 1838, a child was born, and christened later by his uncle, the minister of the First Church after the tenets of Boston Unitarianism, as Henry Brooks Adams."

While an expansion of the State House necessitated the removal of the houses and some of the road Adams mentions, we can imagine this part of lost Boston at the third stop on this walking tour at Mount Vernon Place.