John Hancock (American National Biography)

Leonard Schlup, "Hancock, John," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
In 1860 [John] Hancock was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. A Unionist fiercely opposed to secession, he was expelled from the state legislature in 1861 for his refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy when Texas left the Union. Hancock thereupon continued his law practice. Dressed in a frock coat and tall hat, his appearance suited a successful lawyer who had become familiar with the land laws of Texas. In 1864 he defended four men arrested as Unionists. After securing their release and declining to fight in the Civil War, Hancock fled to Mexico and subsequently to Kentucky and New York to avoid conscription and to await the end of the war. Following General Robert E. Lee's surrender and the conclusion of the conflict in 1865, Hancock returned to Texas, where he took an active role in Reconstruction.
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