Hancock-Clarke House

Hancock-Clarke House

Infobox_nrhp | name =Hancock-Clarke House
nrhp_type = nhl

caption = The Hancock-Clarke House, Lexington, Massachusetts
location= Lexington, Massachusetts
lat_degrees = 42
lat_minutes = 27
lat_seconds = 16
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 71
long_minutes = 13
long_seconds = 41
long_direction = W
locmapin = Massachusetts
area =
built =1737
architect= unknown
architecture= Early Georgian
designated=July 17, 1971
added = July 17, 1971
governing_body = Private
refnum=71000895cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]

The Hancock-Clarke House is a historic Revolutionary War site on Hancock Street in Lexington, Massachusetts. It played a prominent role in the Battle of Lexington and Concord as both John Hancock and Samuel Adams, leaders of the colonials, were staying in the house before the battle. The House is operated as a museum by the Lexington Historical Society. It's open weekends starting April 16 and daily from May 30–October 30. An admission fee is charged.

The Reverend John Hancock purchased this site in 1699. Though he built a house here very soon, his original house does not survive. The current house was built in 1737. Rev. Hancock's son, Thomas, a wealthy Boston merchant, is said to have financed the construction. The front or main portion of the house consists of the 2½-story structure with central chimney, a short center hall, two rooms on each of the two floors, and an attic. The small rear ell, 1½ stories high with gambrel roof contains a kitchen and tiny study downstairs and two low-studded chambers upstairs. As confirmed by tree-ring dating (dendrochronology), both portions of the house were built at the same time. Succeeding Hancock as minister in 1752, the Reverend Jonas Clarke, who reared 12 children in the parsonage, was an eloquent supporter of the colonial cause.

This house is the only surviving residence associated with John Hancock, famous American patriot, first signer of the Declaration of Independence, first Governor of Massachusetts, President of the Continental Congress and United States in Congress Assembled. It became his boyhood home in 1744 when, upon the death of his father at Quincy, the 7-year-old boy came to live at this house with his grandfather, Rev. Hancock. In 1750 John joined his childless uncle, Thomas Hancock, a wealthy Boston merchant who adopted him.

On the evening of April 18, 1775, the younger John Hancock and Samuel Adams were guests of Rev. Clarke. Fearing that they might be captured by the British, Dr. Joseph Warren of Boston dispatched William Dawes and Paul Revere to Lexington with news of the advancing British troops. Arriving separately, they stopped to warn Hancock and Adams around midnight, then set off for Concord.

This house contains furnishings and portraits owned by the Hancock and Clarke families and an exhibit area that includes relics of April 19, 1775.

External links

* [http://www.lexingtonhistory.org/pmwiki.php?n=Main.Hancock-ClarkeHouse Lexington Historical Society: Hancock-Clarke House]


Anne Grady and Deane Rykerson. 2007 Preservation Report: Hancock Clarke House, Lexington, Massachusetts.

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