After being orphaned, John Hancock was adopted by his wealthy uncle Thomas Hancock, who had amassed a fortune during the Seven Years' War. In 1763 when Thomas Hancock died, John inherited his fortune, said to be the greatest body of wealth in New England. John received a business education from Harvard College and carried on his uncle's mercantile business with alacrity. In 1768 while his ship, the Liberty, was docked at Boston Harbor, it was seized by British customs officials and John Hancock was charged with smuggling. Popular opinion was on Hancock's side, however: a group of Bostonians stormed the boat and attacked the customs officials. Hancock supported actions like the Boston Tea Party, and in 1774 he was elected as a delegate to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and the First Continental Congress. As a result of his revolutionary stance, he was on a list of offenders of the British government. On the night of 18 April 1775, Joseph Warren sent Paul Revere and William Dawes from Boston to Lexington to warn John Adams and John Hancock that the British were marching to Lexington. The message was successfully transmitted, and John Hancock was ready to meet the British troops. To view John Hancock's Family Tree, login to OneGreatFamily, launch Genealogy Browser, and enter OGFN#514296904. You can also see whether or not you are related to John Hancock by going to the Relationship Calculator on the Family Dashboard Page when you login to OneGreatFamily.