Dorothy Quincy

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Dorothy Quincy Hancock Scott
Dorothy Quincy Hancock.jpg
Oil painting of Hancock, c. 1772
Born(1747-05-10)May 10, 1747
DiedFebruary 3, 1830(1830-02-03) (aged 82)
Occupation1st and 3rd First Lady of Massachusetts
SuccessorElizabeth Adams
Spouse(s)John Hancock (1775–1793)
James Scott (1796–1809)
ChildrenLydia Henchman Hancock (1776–1777), John George Washington Hancock (1778–1787)
Parent(s)Edmund Quincy (1703–1788),
Elizabeth Wendell (1704–1809)[1]

Dorothy Quincy Hancock Scott (/ˈkwɪnzi/; May 21 (May 10 O.S.) 1747 – February 3, 1830) was an American hostess, daughter of Justice Edmund Quincy of Braintree and Boston, and the wife of Founding Father John Hancock.[2] Her aunt, also named Dorothy Quincy, was the subject of Oliver Wendell Holmes' poem Dorothy Q.[3]

The Dorothy Quincy House, 34 Butler Road, Quincy, Massachusetts.
This replica of the John Hancock Boston home was built by the Ticonderoga Historical Society at 6 Moses Circle, Ticonderoga, New York.

She was raised at the Quincy Homestead in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts. The house in which she lived has been designated a National Historic Landmark, and is known as the Dorothy Quincy House. She married John Hancock, who presided at the formation of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and was two-time Governor of Massachusetts, in 1775. Their first child, Lydia Henchman Hancock was born in 1776 and died ten months later.[4] In 1787, their son, John George Washington Hancock, was ice skating on a pond in Milton, Massachusetts, and died as a result of drowning when he fell through the ice at age 8. [5]

In 1796, after Hancock's death in 1793, Quincy married Captain James Scott (1742–1809), who had been employed by Hancock as a captain in his trading ventures with England. They lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and had no children together. When Captain Scott died, Dorothy moved back into the Hancock Mansion at 30 Beacon Street in Boston for about 10 years. After that time she lived at 4 Federal Street in Boston.

The Hancock-Clarke House, 36 Hancock St., Lexington, Massachusetts.

Dorothy was a well-known hostess, and a great deal was written about her. Many chroniclers of the time note that she was beautiful, well spoken and intelligent. She witnessed the Battle of Lexington while staying with her future husband's aunt, Lydia Hancock, at the home of Rev. Jonas Clark, now known as the Hancock-Clarke House.[6] When Hancock told her after the battle that she could not go back to her father in Boston, she retorted, "Recollect Mr. Hancock, that I am not under your control yet. I shall go to my father tomorrow."[7]


  1. ^ "Dorothy Quincy (Mrs. John Hancock)". 14 March 2018.
  2. ^ Cutter, William (1908). Genealogical & Personal Memoirs's Vol II. Lincoln: Nebraska: Lewis Historical Publish Co. p. 594.
  3. ^ Crawford, Mary Caroline (1902). The Romance of Old New England Rooftrees. L. C. Page & Company. p. 117. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  4. ^ Fowler, William M., Jr. (1980). The Baron of Beacon Hill: A Biography of John Hancock. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-27619-5.
  5. ^ Fowler1980, pp. 229, 265.
  6. ^ Wives of the Signers: The Women Behind the Declaration of Independence (1997), Harry Clinton Green, Mary Wolcott Green, and David Barton, pp. 18–32
  7. ^ Brown, R: "Incidents in the Life of John Hancock: as related by Dorthy Quincy Hancock Scott", Magazine of American History, Vol XIX:1888:506, Barnes, NY

Further reading[edit]

  • Ellen C. D. Q Woodbury: "Dorothy Quincy, wife of John Hancock: With events of her time"; Neale Pub. Co (1905).

External links[edit]