John Hanson (b. 1715 – d. 1783) He was the heir of one of the greatest family traditions in the colonies, and became the patriarch of a long line of American patriots, his great grandfather died at Lutzen beside the great King Gustavus Aldophus of Sweden; his grandfather was one of the Founders of New Sweden along the Deleware River in Maryland; one of his nephews was the Military Secretary to George Washington; another was a signer of the Declaration of Independence; another was a signer of the Constitution; and yet another was Governor of Maryland during the Revolution; and still, another was a member of the First Congress; two sons were killed in action with the Continental Army; a grandson served as a member of Congress under the new Constitution; and another grandson was a Maryland Senator.
Thus, even if Hanson had not served as President himself, he would have greatly contributed to the life of a nation through his ancestry and progeny.
As a young lad, he began a self-guided reading of the classics and rather quickly became an acknowledged expert on the juridicalism of Anselm and the practical philosophy of Seneca, both of which were influential in the development of the great leaders of the Reformation.
It was based upon these legal and theological studies that the young planter, his farm, Mulberry Grove was just across the Potomac from Mount Vernon, began to espouse the cause of the Patriots.
In 1775, he was elected to the Provincial Legislature of Maryland. Then in 1777 he became a member of Congress where he distinguished himself as a brilliant administrator. Thus, he was elected President, to serve a full term after the Ratification of the Articles of Confederation, and like so many of the Southern and New England Founders, he was strongly opposed to the Constitution when it was first discussed.
He remained a confirmed anti-federalist until his untimely death.