(1737–93) American Revolutionary leader. A radical Boston merchant who supplemented his inherited fortune by smuggling, he came into open conflict with British customs officers when his sloop Liberty was seized (1768). He was a generous backer of the patriot cause, helped to organize the Boston Tea Party, and as President of the Second Continental Congress was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. He was first governor of independent Massachusetts.
From A Dictionary of World History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: World History.