Hanson’s political career began with his election to the Maryland Colonial Assembly in 1757, in which he served for many years. He was sent by the Charles County voters to the revolutionary Convention in Annapolis in 1774, which in 1776 called itself the Assembly of Freemen. He was sent as a delegate to Congress in 1779 and when America’s first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, took effect, he became the first President of the Confederation who served out a full term. The Maryland patriot was at the center of a family who spared no arrows in the conflict with England and the aftermath of the Republic. His son Peter was killed in action at Fort Washington in 1776. Among his nephews, one was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, another a signer of the Constitution, one served as George Washington’s military secretary during the war, and another became Governor of Maryland.