Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HANCOCK, John, jurist, born in Jackson county, Alabama, 29 October, 1824. After two years in the University of East Tennessee, Knoxville, he studied law in Winchester, Tennessee, was admitted to the bar in 1846, and settled in Texas in 1847. In that year he held the office of state's attorney. He was appointed judge of the district court of the state in 1851, where he served until his resignation in 1855. In 1860-'1 he was a member of the legislature, but was expelled on refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the southern Confederacy. He declined to take arms during the civil war, and, in order to avoid conscription, went to Mexico in 1864, and subsequently to New York and Kentucky. After witnessing General Lee's surrender, he returned to Texas, and took an active part in the restoration of order. He was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1866, and was a member of congress from 1872 till 1877, and again in 1881-'3, having been elected as a Democrat. During his term of service he secured the passage of acts changing the manner of issuing rations to Indians on the reservations, so that they were given every seventh day; prohibiting hunting-parties unless accompanied by United States troops, thus ending Indian raids from the reservations; and establishing a military telegraph around the frontiers of Texas.
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