Episode 20: John Hancock’s Private Army

When British General Thomas Gage arrived in Boston in 1774, he was met on Long Wharf by the patriot leader John Hancock at the head of an armed militia unit… But not for the reason you think.  Since 1772, Hancock had been the Captain of The Governor’s Independent Company of Cadets, an elite unit that provided ceremonial bodyguards to the Massachusetts governor.  When Gage took over as military governor of the province, sparks flew.  He summarily fired Hancock, and war broke out soon after.  They have been known through the centuries as the Governor’s Cadets, the Independent Company of Cadets, the Boston Independent Company, and the First Corps of Cadets, and they’ve served Massachusetts and the United States in domestic emergencies, and wars from the Revolution to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  Learn more about this unique unit, and their role in the lead up to the Revolutionary War, in this week’s show!

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