research on John Hanson...

the same article first posted is posted on the above site under Dick Gregory...
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Hanson was black

Dick Gregory, comedian and black activist publishes an on-line column called Global Watch. In one of his columns he repeated most of the myths and added a new one, that John Hanson was the descendent of a slave. (The column can be seen at [2].) An early Hanson immigrant to Maryland was the John Hanson who was this John's grandfather. Like many, he arrived as an indentured servant, bound by contract to a farm owner. In 1661, his first master, William Plumley, sold his contract to Edward Keene and recorded the contract with the court of Calvert County, Maryland. These same kinds of court records were also used to transfer title to land and slaves. But, in six years, the immigrant John had worked his way out of debt. A few years after he purchased his own first small farm. This may have originated due to Senator John Hanson.


Q: Is is true that George Washington was not the first President of the United States?
A: Yes. There were actually SEVEN presidents before George Washington. They are known to history as the "Presidents under the Articles of Confederation" and had the official title of "President of the United States in Congress Assembled." The first was John Hanson (1781-82), and the next six presidents were Elias Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788). There were actually sixteen Presidents of the Continental Congress, but John Hanson, the ninth, was the first to serve as President under the Articles of Confederation and the first to hold the title "President of the United States." To read more about these men, see and


John Hanson

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A portrait of John Hanson by John Hesselius, around 1765 to 1770.
A portrait of John Hanson by John Hesselius, around 1765 to 1770.

John Hanson (April 3, 1715November 22, 1783) was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Maryland. Because he was the first man to serve a full term as President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation in 1781 and 1782, he has been called the first President of the United States; though this claim is inaccurate. See Hanson as first President below for more information.

Hanson is one of the most enigmatic figures in US history. He is frequently mentioned in connection with the claim that he was the first President, but fewer facts are clear about his life and accomplishments than is the case with most of his contemporaries. One of the difficulties this caused was that several writers in the 19th century filled in the blanks with fiction. This article presents only those aspects of the man and his character that are either clearly documented or almost universally agreed upon. For a review of some of the additional stories surrounding his life, see John Hanson (myths).


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John Hanson
by: Stanley L. Klos
3rd President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782


Port Chicago

John Hanson was more than a presiding officer of Congress, he was the first President of the United States and established traditions and institutions that ... - 22k - Cached - Similar pages

John Hanson: Biography and Much More From

Hanson, John, 1715–83, firstPresident of the United States in Congress Assembled,” b. Charles co., Maryland. He served in the Maryland provincial ... - 50k - Cached - Similar pages

EDSITEment - Lesson Plan

What important developments occurred during John Hanson’s term as the first full-term “President of the United States in Congress Assembled”? ... - 35k - Cached - Similar pages

First Eight Presidents

In fact, the first President of the United States was one John Hanson. I can hear you now — John who? John Hanson, the first President of the United States. ... - 6k - Cached - Similar pages




thomas dease
My problem with Dick Gregory's contention that John Hanson was black was the fact that the website posted a pristine photograph in the article (, implying that it was a photo of John Hanson.  Please, see it for yourself.

There is a reason why you've never seen a photograph of George Washington.  Photography was not invented until 1826.   According to my research, John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) was the first president to be photographed.  The John Hanson that is being discussed here, died in 1783.  As a result, this photograph cannot be that of the same John Hanson. 

Unless this is a drawing (of which I'd love to know the name of the artist), it would better serve their/our purpose to use a non-photographic portrait.  Otherwise, it seems (at least to me) that someone is trying to perpetrate a fraud.

David Hebert

Houston, TX