John Hanson (April 14 [O.S. April 3] 1721 – November 15, 1783) was a merchant and public official from Maryland during the era of the American Revolution. After serving in a variety of roles for the Patriot cause in Maryland, in 1779 Hanson was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He signed the Articles of Confederation in 1781 after Maryland finally joined the other states in ratifying them.
In November 1781, he was elected President of the Continental Congress, and became the first president to serve a one-year term under the provisions of the Articles of Confederation. Because of this, some of his descendants, along with some amateur historians, erroneously claimed that he had actually been the first President of the United States.
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