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Samuel Adams ( – October 2, 1803) was an American statesman,
political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someo ...

political philosopher
, and one of the
Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary Patriots (also known as Revolutionaries, Continentals, Rebels, or American Whigs) were those colonists of the Thi ...
. He was a politician in colonial Massachusetts, a leader of the movement that became the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, and one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States. He was a second cousin to his fellow Founding Father, President
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
. Adams was born in
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...

Boston
, brought up in a religious and politically active family. A graduate of
Harvard College Harvard College is the undergraduate Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree A b ...
, he was an unsuccessful businessman and tax collector before concentrating on politics. He was an influential official of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the State legislature (United States), state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from 14 counti ...

Massachusetts House of Representatives
and the Boston Town Meeting in the 1760s, and he became a part of a movement opposed to the
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...
's efforts to tax the
British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, terri ...

British America
n colonies without their consent. His 1768
Massachusetts Circular Letter The Massachusetts Circular Letter was a statement written by Samuel Adams Samuel Adams ( – October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States Founding may refer to: * Th ...
calling for colonial non-cooperation prompted the occupation of Boston by British soldiers, eventually resulting in the
Boston Massacre The Boston Massacre was a confrontation on March 5, 1770, in which British soldiers shot and killed several people while being harassed by a mob in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the and city of the of in the ...

Boston Massacre
of 1770. Adams and his colleagues devised a
committee of correspondence The committees of correspondence were, prior to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegate ...
system in 1772 to help coordinate resistance to what he saw as the British government's attempts to violate the
British Constitution The Constitution of the United Kingdom or British constitution comprises the written and unwritten arrangements that establish the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irel ...
at the expense of the colonies, which linked like-minded Patriots throughout the
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
. Continued resistance to British policy resulted in the 1773
Boston Tea Party The Boston Tea Party was an American political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...

Boston Tea Party
and the coming of the American Revolution. Adams was actively involved with colonial newspapers publishing accounts of colonial sentimet over British colonial rule, which were fundamental in uniting the colonies. Parliament passed the
Coercive Acts The Intolerable Acts were punitive laws passed by the British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dep ...
in 1774, at which time Adams attended the
Continental Congress The Continental Congress was a series of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
in Philadelphia which was convened to coordinate a colonial response. He helped guide Congress towards issuing the
Continental Association The Continental Association, often known as the Association, was a detailed system created by America's First Continental Congress The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from 12 of the 13 British colonies that became the U ...
in 1774 and the
Declaration of Independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence {{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...

Declaration of Independence
in 1776, and he helped draft the
Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America ...
and the
Massachusetts Constitution The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the 50 individual state governments that make up the United States of America The United States of Ame ...
. Adams returned to Massachusetts after the American Revolution, where he served in the
state senate A state legislature in the United States is the Legislature, legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 27 states the legislature is simply called the ''Legislature'' or the ''State Legislature ...
and was eventually elected governor. Samuel Adams later became a controversial figure in American history. Accounts written in the 19th century praised him as someone who had been steering his fellow colonists towards independence long before the outbreak of the
Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War(s) may refer to: * American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the armed conflict between Great Britain and 13 of its North American colonies, which had declared themselves the independent United States of America * French Revolution ...
. This view was challenged by negative assessments of Adams in the first half of the 20th century, in which he was portrayed as a master of
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence an audience and further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a pa ...
who provoked "mob violence" to achieve his goals.


Early life

Samuel Adams was born in
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...

Boston
in the British colony of
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ...
on September 16, 1722, an Old Style date that is sometimes converted to the New Style date of September 27. Adams was one of twelve children born to Samuel Adams, Sr., and Mary (Fifield) Adams in an age of high infant mortality; only three of these children lived past their third birthday. Adams's parents were devout
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Je ...

Puritan
s and members of the
Old South Congregational Church
Old South Congregational Church
. The family lived on Purchase Street in Boston. Adams was proud of his Puritan heritage, and emphasized Puritan values in his political career, especially
virtue Virtue ( la, virtus ''Virtus'' () was a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carries connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin ''vir'', "man"). It was thus a fr ...

virtue
. Samuel Adams, Sr. (1689–1748) was a prosperous merchant and church
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

deacon
. Deacon Adams became a leading figure in Boston politics through an organization that became known as the
Boston Caucus The Boston Caucus was an informal political organization that had considerable influence in Boston in the years before and after the American Revolution. This was perhaps the first use of the word ''caucus'' to mean a meeting of members of a moveme ...
, which promoted candidates who supported popular causes. Members of the Caucus helped shape the agenda of the Boston Town Meeting. A New England
town meeting A town meeting is a form of direct democracy Image:Landsgemeinde Glarus 2006.jpg, upright=1.5, A Landsgemeinde, or assembly, of the canton of Glarus, on 7 May 2006, Switzerland. Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in ...
is a form of
local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government ...
with elected officials, and not just a gathering of citizens; according to historian William Fowler, it was "the most democratic institution in the British empire". Deacon Adams rose through the political ranks, becoming a justice of the peace, a selectman, and a member of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the State legislature (United States), state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from 14 counti ...

Massachusetts House of Representatives
. He worked closely with Elisha Cooke, Jr. (1678–1737), the leader of the "popular party", a faction that resisted any encroachment by royal officials on the colonial rights embodied in the
Massachusetts Charter The Massachusetts Charter of 1691 was a charter A charter is the grant of authority or rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules ...
of 1691. In the coming years, members of the "popular party" became known as Whigs or Patriots. The younger Samuel Adams attended
Boston Latin School The Boston Latin School is a public exam school in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwe ...

Boston Latin School
and then entered
Harvard College Harvard College is the undergraduate Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree A b ...
in 1736. His parents hoped that his schooling would prepare him for the ministry, but Adams gradually shifted his interest to politics. After graduating in 1740, Adams continued his studies, earning a
master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of Profession, professio ...
in 1743. In his thesis, he argued that it was "lawful to resist the Supreme Magistrate, if the Commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved", which indicated that his political views, like his father's, were oriented towards colonial rights. Adams's life was greatly affected by his father's involvement in a banking controversy. In 1739, Massachusetts was facing a serious currency shortage, and Deacon Adams and the Boston Caucus created a "land bank" which issued paper money to borrowers who mortgaged their land as security. The land bank was generally supported by the citizenry and the popular party, which dominated the House of Representatives, the lower branch of the General Court. Opposition to the land bank came from the more aristocratic "court party", who were supporters of the royal governor
Jonathan Belcher Jonathan Belcher (8 January 1681/231 August 1757) was a merchant, politician and slave trader from Province of Massachusetts Bay, colonial Massachusetts who served as the List of colonial governors of New Hampshire, governor of New Hampshire fr ...

Jonathan Belcher
and controlled the
Governor's CouncilThe governments of the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America foun ...
, the upper chamber of the General Court. The court party used its influence to have the
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...
dissolve the land bank in 1741. Directors of the land bank, including Deacon Adams, became personally liable for the currency still in circulation, payable in silver and gold. Lawsuits over the bank persisted for years, even after Deacon Adams's death, and the younger Samuel Adams often had to defend the family estate from seizure by the government. For Adams, these lawsuits "served as a constant personal reminder that Britain's power over the colonies could be exercised in arbitrary and destructive ways."


Early career

After leaving Harvard in 1743, Adams was unsure about his future. He considered becoming a lawyer but instead decided to go into business. He worked at Thomas Cushing's
counting house A counting house, or counting room, was traditionally an office in which the financial books of a business were kept. It was also the place that the business received appointments and correspondence relating to demands for payment. As the use of c ...
, but the job only lasted a few months because Cushing felt that Adams was too preoccupied with politics to become a good merchant. Adams's father then lent him £1,000 to go into business for himself, a substantial amount for that time. Adams's lack of business instincts were confirmed; he lent half of this money to a friend who never repaid, and frittered away the other half. Adams always remained, in the words of historian
Pauline Maier Pauline Alice Maier (née Rubbelke; April 27, 1938 – August 12, 2013) was a revisionist historian of the American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America bet ...
, "a man utterly uninterested in either making or possessing money".Maier, ''American National Biography''. After Adams had lost his money, his father made him a partner in the family's
malthouse A malt house, malt barn, or maltings, is a building where cereal grain A cereal is any Poaceae, grass cultivated (grown) for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, c ...
, which was next to the family home on Purchase Street. Several generations of Adamses were maltsters, who produced the
malt Malt is germinated cereal grain that has been dried in a process known as "malting Malting is a process of steeping Steeping is the soaking of an organic solid, such as leaves, in a liquid (usually water) to extract flavours or to soft ...
necessary for
brewing Brewing is the production of beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In ph ...
beer. Years later, a poet poked fun at Adams by calling him "Sam the maltster". Adams has often been described as a brewer, but the extant evidence suggests that he worked as a maltster and not a brewer. In January 1748, Adams and some friends were inflamed by British
impressment Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. European navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of ...
and launched '' The Independent Advertiser'', a weekly newspaper that printed many political essays written by Adams. His essays drew heavily upon English political theorist
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * ...

John Locke
's ''
Second Treatise of Government ''Two Treatises of Government'' (or ''Two Treatises of Government: In the Former, The False Principles, and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown. The Latter Is an Essay Concerning The True Original, E ...
'', and they emphasized many of the themes that characterized his subsequent career. He argued that the people must resist any encroachment on their constitutional rights. He cited the
decline of the Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Rom ...
as an example of what could happen to
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography ...

New England
if it were to abandon its Puritan values. When Deacon Adams died in 1748, Adams was given the responsibility of managing the family's affairs. In October 1749, he married Elizabeth Checkley, his pastor's daughter. Elizabeth gave birth to six children over the next seven years, but only two lived to adulthood: Samuel (born 1751) and Hannah (born 1756). In July 1757, Elizabeth died soon after giving birth to a stillborn son. Adams remarried in 1764 to Elizabeth Wells, but had no other children. Like his father, Adams embarked on a political career with the support of the Boston Caucus. He was elected to his first political office in 1747, serving as one of the clerks of the Boston market. In 1756, the Boston Town Meeting elected him to the post of tax collector, which provided a small income. He often failed to collect taxes from his fellow citizens, which increased his popularity among those who did not pay, but left him liable for the shortage. By 1765, his account was more than £8,000 in arrears. The town meeting was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Adams was compelled to file suit against delinquent taxpayers, but many taxes went uncollected. In 1768, his political opponents used the situation to their advantage, obtaining a court judgment of £1,463 against him. Adams's friends paid off some of the deficit, and the town meeting wrote off the remainder. By then, he had emerged as a leader of the popular party, and the embarrassing situation did not lessen his influence.


Struggle with Great Britain

Samuel Adams emerged as an important public figure in Boston soon after the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
's victory in the
French and Indian War The French and Indian War (1754–1763) was a theater of the Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Great Britain ...

French and Indian War
(1754–1763). The
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...
found itself deep in debt and looking for new sources of revenue, and they sought to directly tax the colonies of
British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, terri ...

British America
for the first time. This tax dispute was part of a larger divergence between British and American interpretations of the
British Constitution The Constitution of the United Kingdom or British constitution comprises the written and unwritten arrangements that establish the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...
and the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies. In the years leading up to and into the revolution Adams made frequent use of colonial newspapers and began openly criticizing British colonial policy and by 1775 was advocating independence from Britain. Adams was foremost in actively using newspapers like the ''
Boston Gazette The ''Boston Gazette'' (1719–1798) was a newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background. ...
'' to promote the ideals of colonial rights by publishing his letters and other accounts which sharply criticized British colonial policy and especially the practice of colonial taxation without representation.The ''Boston Gazette'' had a circulation of two thousand, published weekly, which was considerable number for that time. Its publishers,
Benjamin Edes Benjamin Edes (October 14, 1732 – December 11, 1803) was a journalist and political agitator. He is best known, along with John Gill, as the publisher of the ''Boston Gazette'', a newspaper which sparked and financed the Boston Tea Party and w ...
and John Gill, both founding members of the Sons of Liberty, were on friendly and cooperative terms with Adams, James Otis and the
Boston Caucus The Boston Caucus was an informal political organization that had considerable influence in Boston in the years before and after the American Revolution. This was perhaps the first use of the word ''caucus'' to mean a meeting of members of a moveme ...
. Historian Ralph Harlow maintains that there is no doubt of the influence these men had in arousing public feeling. In his writings in the ''Boston Gazette'', Adams often wrote under a variety of assumed names, including "Candidus", "Vindex", and others. In less common instances his letters were unsigned. Adams earnestly endeavored to awaken his fellow citizens over the perceived attacks on their Constitutional rights, with emphasis aimed at Governor Hutchinson. Hutchinson stressed that no one matched Adams' efforts in promoting the radical Whig position and the revolutionary cause, which Adams accordingly demonstrated with his numerous published and pointedly written essays and letters. From early September through mid-October of 1771, each issue of the ''Boston Gazette'' published one of Adams' inciteful essays, one of which criticized the Parliament for using colonial taxes to pay Hutchinson's annual salary of £2,000. In a letter of February 1770, published by the ''New York Journal'' Adams maintained that it became increasingly difficult to view King George III as one who was not passively involved in Parliamentary decisions. In it he asked if anyone of common sense could deny that the King had assumed a “personal and decisive” role against the Americans.


Sugar Act

The first step in the new program was the
Sugar Act The Sugar Act 1764, also known as the American Revenue Act 1764 or the American Duties Act, was a revenue-raising act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratificat ...
of 1764, which Adams saw as an infringement of longstanding colonial rights. Colonists were not represented in Parliament, he argued, and therefore they could not be taxed by that body; the colonists were represented by the colonial assemblies, and only they could levy taxes upon them. Adams expressed these views in May 1764, when the Boston Town Meeting elected its representatives to the Massachusetts House. As was customary, the town meeting provided the representatives with a set of written instructions, which Adams was selected to write. Adams highlighted what he perceived to be the dangers of
taxation without representation "No taxation without representation" is a political slogan that originated in the American Revolution, and which expressed one of the primary grievances of the Thirteen Colonies, American colonists against Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain. ...
:
For if our Trade may be taxed, why not our Lands? Why not the Produce of our Lands & everything we possess or make use of? This we apprehend annihilates our Charter Right to govern & tax ourselves. It strikes at our British privileges, which as we have never forfeited them, we hold in common with our Fellow Subjects who are Natives of Britain. If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary Slaves?
"When the Boston Town Meeting approved the Adams instructions on May 24, 1764," writes historian John K. Alexander, "it became the first political body in America to go on record stating Parliament could not constitutionally tax the colonists. The directives also contained the first official recommendation that the colonies present a unified defense of their rights." Adams's instructions were published in newspapers and pamphlets, and he soon became closely associated with James Otis, Jr., a member of the Massachusetts House famous for his defense of colonial rights. Otis boldly challenged the constitutionality of certain acts of Parliament, but he would not go as far as Adams, who was moving towards the conclusion that Parliament did not have sovereignty over the colonies.


Stamp Act

In 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act which required colonists to pay a new tax on most printed materials. News of the passage of the Stamp Act produced an uproar in the colonies. The colonial response echoed Adams's 1764 instructions. In June 1765, Otis called for a
Stamp Act Congress The Stamp Act Congress (October 7 – 25, 1765), also known as the Continental Congress of 1765, was a meeting held in New York, New York, consisting of representatives from some of the British colonies in North America. It was the first gat ...
to coordinate colonial resistance. The Virginia
House of Burgesses The House of Burgesses was the elected representative element of the Virginia General Assembly The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliber ...
passed a widely reprinted set of resolves against the Stamp Act that resembled Adams's arguments against the Sugar Act. Adams argued that the Stamp Act was unconstitutional; he also believed that it would hurt the economy of the British Empire. He supported calls for a boycott of British goods to put pressure on Parliament to repeal the tax. In Boston, a group called the
Loyal Nine The Loyal Nine (also spelled Loyall Nine) were nine Patriot (American Revolution), American patriots from Boston who met in secret to plan protests against the Stamp Act 1765, Stamp Act of 1765. Mostly middle-class businessmen, the Loyal Nine enlis ...
, a precursor to the
Sons of Liberty The Sons of Liberty was a loosely organized clandestine political organization active in the Thirteen American Colonies founded to advance the rights of the colonists and to fight taxation by the British government. It played a major role in ...

Sons of Liberty
, organized protests of the Stamp Act. Adams was friendly with the Loyal Nine but was not a member. On August 14, stamp distributor
Andrew Oliver Andrew Oliver (March 28, 1706 – March 3, 1774) was a merchant and public official in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Born into a wealthy and politically powerful merchant family, he is best known as the Massachusetts official responsible f ...

Andrew Oliver
was hanged in effigy from Boston's
Liberty Tree The Liberty Tree (1646–1775) was a famous elm tree that stood in Boston, Massachusetts near Boston Common, in the years before the American Revolution. In 1765, colonists in Boston staged the first act of defiance against the British governmen ...

Liberty Tree
; that night, his home was ransacked and his office demolished. On August 26, lieutenant governor Thomas Hutchinson's home was destroyed by an angry crowd. Officials such as Governor Francis Bernard believed that common people acted only under the direction of agitators and blamed the violence on Adams. This interpretation was revived by scholars in the early 20th century, who viewed Adams as a master of
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence an audience and further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a pa ...
who manipulated mobs into doing his bidding. For example, historian John C. Miller wrote in 1936 in what became the standard biography of Adams that Adams "controlled" Boston with his "trained mob". Some modern scholars have argued that this interpretation is a myth, and that there is no evidence that Adams had anything to do with the Stamp Act riots. After the fact, Adams did approve of the August 14 action because he saw no other legal options to resist what he viewed as an unconstitutional act by Parliament, but he condemned attacks on officials' homes as "mobbish". According to the modern scholarly interpretation of Adams, he supported legal methods of resisting parliamentary taxation, such as petitions, boycotts, and nonviolent demonstrations, but he opposed mob violence which he saw as illegal, dangerous, and counter-productive. In September 1765, Adams was once again appointed by the Boston Town Meeting to write the instructions for Boston's delegation to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. As it turned out, he wrote his own instructions; on September 27, the town meeting selected him to replace the recently deceased Oxenbridge Thacher as one of Boston's four representatives in the assembly. James Otis was attending the Stamp Act Congress in New York City, so Adams was the primary author of a series of House resolutions against the Stamp Act, which were more radical than those passed by the Stamp Act Congress. Adams was one of the first colonial leaders to argue that mankind possessed certain
natural rights Natural rights and legal rights are two types of rights. * Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are ''universal'', ''fundamental Fundamental may refer to: * Found ...
that governments could not violate. The Stamp Act was scheduled to go into effect on November 1, 1765, but it was not enforced because protestors throughout the colonies had compelled stamp distributors to resign. Eventually, British merchants were able to convince Parliament to repeal the tax. By May 16, 1766, news of the repeal had reached Boston. There was celebration throughout the city, and Adams made a public statement of thanks to British merchants for helping their cause. The Massachusetts popular party gained ground in the May 1766 elections. Adams was re-elected to the House and selected as its clerk, in which position he was responsible for official House papers. In the coming years, Adams used his position as clerk to great effect in promoting his political message. Joining Adams in the House was
John Hancock John Hancock ( – October 8, 1793) was an American Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are typically those w ...

John Hancock
, a new representative from Boston. Hancock was a wealthy merchant—perhaps the richest man in Massachusetts—but a relative newcomer to politics. He was initially a protégé of Adams, and he used his wealth to promote the Whig cause.


Townshend Acts

After the repeal of the Stamp Act, Parliament took a different approach to raising revenue, passing the
Townshend Acts The Townshend Acts () or Townshend Duties, refers to a series of British acts of Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meeti ...
in 1767 which established new
duties A duty (from "due" meaning "that which is owing"; fro, deu, did, past participle of ''devoir''; la, debere, debitum, whence "debt Debt is an obligation that requires one party, the debtor A debtor or debitor is a legal entity (legal ...
on various goods imported into the colonies. These duties were relatively low because the British ministry wanted to establish the precedent that Parliament had the right to impose tariffs on the colonies before raising them. Revenues from these duties were to be used to pay for governors and judges who would be independent of colonial control. To enforce compliance with the new laws, the Townshend Acts created a
customs Customs is an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that u ...

customs
agency known as the American Board of Custom Commissioners, which was headquartered in Boston. Resistance to the Townshend Acts grew slowly. The General Court was not in session when news of the acts reached Boston in October 1767. Adams therefore used the Boston Town Meeting to organize an economic boycott, and called for other towns to do the same. By February 1768, towns in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut had joined the boycott. Opposition to the Townshend Acts was also encouraged by ''
Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy ...
'', a series of popular essays by
John Dickinson John Dickinson (November 13 Julian_calendar">/nowiki>Julian_calendar">/nowiki>Julian_calendar_November_2">Julian_calendar.html"_;"title="/nowiki>Julian_calendar">/nowiki>Julian_calendar_November_2_1732Various_sources_indicate_a_birth_date_of_ ...
which started appearing in December 1767. Dickinson's argument that the new taxes were unconstitutional had been made before by Adams, but never to such a wide audience. In January 1768, the Massachusetts House sent a petition to King George asking for his help. Adams and Otis requested that the House send the petition to the other colonies, along with what became known as the
Massachusetts Circular Letter The Massachusetts Circular Letter was a statement written by Samuel Adams Samuel Adams ( – October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States Founding may refer to: * Th ...
, which became "a significant milestone on the road to revolution". The letter written by Adams called on the colonies to join with Massachusetts in resisting the Townshend Acts. The House initially voted against sending the letter and petition to the other colonies but, after some politicking by Adams and Otis, it was approved on February 11. British colonial secretary Lord Hillsborough, hoping to prevent a repeat of the Stamp Act Congress, instructed the colonial governors in America to dissolve the assemblies if they responded to the Massachusetts Circular Letter. He also directed Massachusetts Governor Francis Bernard to have the Massachusetts House rescind the letter. On June 30, the House refused to rescind the letter by a vote of 92 to 17, with Adams citing their
right to petition The right to petition government for redress of grievances is the right Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of ...
as justification. Far from complying with the governor's order, Adams instead presented a new petition to the king asking that Governor Bernard be removed from office. Bernard responded by dissolving the legislature. The commissioners of the Customs Board found that they were unable to enforce trade regulations in Boston, so they requested military assistance. Help came in the form of , a fifty-gun warship which arrived in
Boston Harbor Boston Harbor is a natural harbor and estuary of Massachusetts Bay, and is located adjacent to the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is home to the Port of Boston, a major shipping facility in the northeastern United States. History Since i ...
in May 1768. Tensions escalated after the captain of ''Romney'' began to impress local sailors. The situation exploded on June 10, when customs officials seized , a
sloop A sloop is a sailboat A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat A boat is a watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any ph ...

sloop
owned by John Hancock—a leading critic of the Customs Board—for alleged customs violations. Sailors and marines came ashore from ''Romney'' to tow away ''Liberty'', and a riot broke out. Things calmed down in the following days, but fearful customs officials packed up their families and fled for protection to ''Romney'' and eventually to
Castle William Fort Independence is a granite bastion fort that provided harbor defenses for Boston, Massachusetts. Located on Castle Island (Massachusetts), Castle Island, Fort Independence is one of the oldest continuously fortified sites of England, English o ...
, an island fort in the harbor. Governor Bernard wrote to London in response to the ''Liberty'' incident and the struggle over the Circular Letter, informing his superiors that troops were needed in Boston to restore order. Lord Hillsborough ordered four regiments of the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
to Boston.


Boston under occupation

Learning that British troops were on the way, the Boston Town Meeting met on September 12, 1768, and requested that Governor Bernard convene the General Court. Bernard refused, so the town meeting called on the other Massachusetts towns to send representatives to meet at
Faneuil Hall Faneuil Hall ( or ; previously ) is a marketplace and meeting hall located near the waterfront and today's Government Center, in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Mas ...

Faneuil Hall
beginning on September 22. About 100 towns sent delegates to the convention, which was effectively an unofficial session of the Massachusetts House. The convention issued a letter which insisted that Boston was not a lawless town, using language more moderate than what Adams desired, and that the impending military occupation violated Bostonians' natural, constitutional, and charter rights. By the time that the convention adjourned, British troop transports had arrived in Boston Harbor. Two regiments disembarked in October 1768, followed by two more in November. According to some accounts, the occupation of Boston was a turning point for Adams, after which he gave up hope of reconciliation and secretly began to work towards American independence. However, historian Carl Becker wrote in 1928 that "there is no clear evidence in his contemporary writings that such was the case.
Nevertheless, the traditional, standard view of Adams is that he desired independence before most of his contemporaries and steadily worked towards this goal for years. There is much speculation among historians, with compelling arguments either way, over whether and when before the war Adams openly advocated independence from Britain. Historian
Pauline Maier Pauline Alice Maier (née Rubbelke; April 27, 1938 – August 12, 2013) was a revisionist historian of the American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America bet ...
challenged the idea that he had in 1980, arguing instead that Adams, like most of his peers, did not embrace independence until after the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
had begun in 1775. According to Maier, Adams at this time was a reformer rather than a revolutionary; he sought to have the British ministry change its policies, and warned Britain that independence would be the inevitable result of a failure to do so. Adams biographer Stewart Beach also questioned whether Adams sought independence before the mid-1770s, in that Hutchinson, who despised Adams, and had reason enough to, never once in his papers accused Adams of pushing the idea of independence from Britain, though he notes that Adams had publicly promised retaliation to any British troops sent over to quell the rebellion, moreover, that Adams was never accused of treason by the Parliament before the war. Adams wrote numerous letters and essays in opposition to the occupation, which he considered a violation of the 1689 Bill of Rights. The occupation was publicized throughout the colonies in the ''
Journal of OccurrencesThe ''Journal of Occurrences'', also known as ''Journal of the Times'' and ''Journal of Transactions in Boston'', was a series of newspaper articles published from 1768 to 1769 in the ''New York Journal and Packet'' and other newspapers, chronicling ...
'', an unsigned series of newspaper articles that may have been written by Adams in collaboration with others. The ''Journal'' presented what it claimed to be a factual daily account of events in Boston during the military occupation, an innovative approach in an era without professional newspaper reporters. It depicted a Boston besieged by unruly British soldiers who assaulted men and raped women with regularity and impunity, drawing upon the traditional Anglo-American distrust of
standing armies A standing army is a permanent, often professional, army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sens ...
garrisoned among civilians. The ''Journal'' ceased publication on August 1, 1769, which was a day of celebration in Boston: Governor Bernard had left Massachusetts, never to return. Adams continued to work on getting the troops withdrawn and keeping the boycott going until the Townshend duties were repealed. Two regiments were removed from Boston in 1769, but the other two remained. Tensions between soldiers and civilians eventually resulted in the killing of five civilians in the
Boston Massacre The Boston Massacre was a confrontation on March 5, 1770, in which British soldiers shot and killed several people while being harassed by a mob in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the and city of the of in the ...

Boston Massacre
of March 1770. According to the "propagandist interpretation" of Adams popularized by historian John Miller, Adams deliberately provoked the incident to promote his secret agenda of American independence. According to Pauline Maier, however, "There is no evidence that he prompted the Boston Massacre riot". After the Boston Massacre, Adams and other town leaders met with Bernard's successor Governor Thomas Hutchinson and with Colonel
William DalrympleWilliam Dalrymple may refer to: * William Dalrymple (1678–1744), Scottish Member of Parliament * William Dalrymple (moderator) William Dalrymple (29 August 1723 – 28 January 1814) was a Scottish religious writer, minister and Moderator of the ...
, the army commander, to demand the withdrawal of the troops. The situation remained explosive, and so Dalrymple agreed to remove both regiments to Castle William. Adams wanted the soldiers to have a fair trial, because this would show that Boston was not controlled by a lawless mob, but was instead the victim of an unjust occupation. He convinced his cousins
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
and Josiah Quincy II, Josiah Quincy to defend the soldiers, knowing that those Whigs would not slander Boston to gain an acquittal. However, Adams wrote essays condemning the outcome of the trials; he thought that the soldiers should have been convicted of murder.


"Quiet period"

After the Boston Massacre, politics in Massachusetts entered what is sometimes known as the "quiet period". In April 1770, Parliament repealed the Townshend duties, except for the tax on tea. Adams urged colonists to keep up the boycott of British goods, arguing that paying even one small tax allowed Parliament to establish the precedent of taxing the colonies, but the boycott faltered. As economic conditions improved, support waned for Adams's causes. In 1770, New York City and Philadelphia abandoned the non-importation boycott of British goods and Boston merchants faced the risk of being economically ruined, so they also agreed to end the boycott, effectively defeating Adams's cause in Massachusetts. John Adams withdrew from politics, while John Hancock and James Otis appeared to become more moderate. In 1771, Samuel Adams ran for the position of Register of Deeds, but he was beaten by Ezekiel Goldthwait by more than two to one. He was re-elected to the Massachusetts House in April 1772, but he received far fewer votes than ever before. A struggle over the power of the purse brought Adams back into the political limelight. Traditionally, the Massachusetts House of Representatives paid the salaries of the governor, lieutenant governor, and superior court judges. From the Whig perspective, this arrangement was an important separation of powers, check on executive power, keeping royally appointed officials accountable to democratically elected representatives. In 1772, Massachusetts learned that those officials would henceforth be paid by the British government rather than by the province. To protest this, Adams and his colleagues devised a system of committee of correspondence, committees of correspondence in November 1772; the towns of Massachusetts would consult with each other concerning political matters via messages sent through a network of committees that recorded British activities and protested imperial policies. Committees of correspondence soon formed in other colonies, as well. Governor Hutchinson became concerned that the committees of correspondence were growing into an independence movement, so he convened the General Court in January 1773. Addressing the legislature, Hutchinson argued that denying the supremacy of Parliament, as some committees had done, came dangerously close to rebellion. "I know of no line that can be drawn", he said, "between the supreme authority of Parliament and the total independence of the colonies." Adams and the House responded that the Massachusetts Charter did not establish Parliament's supremacy over the province, and so Parliament could not claim that authority now. Hutchinson soon realized that he had made a major blunder by initiating a public debate about independence and the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies. The Boston Committee of Correspondence published its statement of colonial rights, along with Hutchinson's exchange with the Massachusetts House, in the widely distributed "Boston Pamphlet". The quiet period in Massachusetts was over. Adams was easily re-elected to the Massachusetts House in May 1773, and was also elected as moderator of the Boston Town Meeting. In June 1773, he introduced a Hutchinson Letters Affair, set of private letters to the Massachusetts House, written by Hutchinson several years earlier. In one letter, Hutchinson recommended to London that there should be "an abridgement of what are called English liberties" in Massachusetts. Hutchinson denied that this is what he meant, but his career was effectively over in Massachusetts, and the House sent a petition asking the king to recall him.


Boston Tea Party

Adams took a leading role in the events that led up to the famous
Boston Tea Party The Boston Tea Party was an American political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...

Boston Tea Party
of December 16, 1773, although the precise nature of his involvement has been disputed. In May 1773, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act, a tax law to help the struggling East India Company, one of Great Britain's most important commercial institutions. Britons could buy smuggled Dutch tea more cheaply than the East India Company's tea because of the heavy taxes imposed on tea imported into Great Britain, and so the company amassed a huge surplus of tea that it could not sell. The British government's solution to the problem was to sell the surplus in the colonies. The Tea Act permitted the East India Company to export tea directly to the colonies for the first time, bypassing most of the merchants who had previously acted as middlemen. This measure was a threat to the American colonial economy because it granted the Tea Company a significant cost advantage over local tea merchants and even local tea smugglers, driving them out of business. The act also reduced the taxes on tea paid by the company in Britain, but kept the controversial Townshend duty on tea imported in the colonies. A few merchants in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Charleston, South Carolina, Charlestown were selected to receive the company's tea for resale. In late 1773, seven ships were sent to the colonies carrying East India Company tea, including four bound for Boston. News of the Tea Act set off a firestorm of protest in the colonies. This was not a dispute about high taxes; the price of legally imported tea was actually reduced by the Tea Act. Protesters were instead concerned with a variety of other issues. The familiar "no taxation without representation" argument remained prominent, along with the question of the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies. Some colonists worried that, by buying the cheaper tea, they would be conceding that Parliament had the right to tax them. The "power of the purse" conflict was still at issue. The tea tax revenues were to be used to pay the salaries of certain royal officials, making them independent of the people. Colonial smugglers played a significant role in the protests, since the Tea Act made legally imported tea cheaper, which threatened to put smugglers of Dutch tea out of business. Legitimate tea importers who had not been named as consignees by the East India Company were also threatened with financial ruin by the Tea Act and other merchants worried about the precedent of a government-created monopoly. Adams and the correspondence committees promoted opposition to the Tea Act. In every colony except Massachusetts, protesters were able to force the tea consignees to resign or to return the tea to England. In Boston, however, Governor Hutchinson was determined to hold his ground. He convinced the tea consignees, two of whom were his sons, not to back down. The Boston Caucus and then the Town Meeting attempted to compel the consignees to resign, but they refused. With the tea ships about to arrive, Adams and the Boston Committee of Correspondence contacted nearby committees to rally support. The tea ship ''Dartmouth'' arrived in the Boston Harbor in late November, and Adams wrote a circular letter calling for a mass meeting to be held at Faneuil Hall on November 29. Thousands of people arrived, so many that the meeting was moved to the larger Old South Meeting House. British law required the ''Dartmouth'' to unload and pay the duties within twenty days or customs officials could confiscate the cargo. The mass meeting passed a resolution introduced by Adams urging the captain of the ''Dartmouth'' to send the ship back without paying the import duty. Meanwhile, the meeting assigned twenty-five men to watch the ship and prevent the tea from being unloaded. Governor Hutchinson refused to grant permission for the ''Dartmouth'' to leave without paying the duty. Two more tea ships arrived in Boston Harbor, the ''Eleanor'' and the ''Beaver''. The fourth ship, the ''William'', was stranded near Cape Cod and never arrived to Boston. December 16 was the last day of the ''Dartmouth's'' deadline, and about 7,000 people gathered around the Old South Meeting House. Adams received a report that Governor Hutchinson had again refused to let the ships leave, and he announced, "This meeting can do nothing further to save the country." According to a popular story, Adams's statement was a prearranged signal for the "tea party" to begin. However, this claim did not appear in print until nearly a century after the event, in a biography of Adams written by his great-grandson, who apparently misinterpreted the evidence. According to eyewitness accounts, people did not leave the meeting until ten or fifteen minutes after Adams's alleged "signal", and Adams in fact tried to stop people from leaving because the meeting was not yet over. While Adams tried to reassert control of the meeting, people poured out of the Old South Meeting House and headed to Boston Harbor. That evening, a group of 30 to 130 men boarded the three vessels, some of them thinly disguised as Mohawk nation, Mohawk Indians, and dumped all 342 chests of tea into the water over the course of three hours. Adams never revealed whether he went to the wharf to witness the destruction of the tea.Whether or not he helped plan the event is unknown, but Adams immediately worked to publicize and defend it. He argued that the Tea Party was not the act of a lawless mob, but was instead a principled protest and the only remaining option that the people had to defend their constitutional rights.


Revolution

Great Britain responded to the Boston Tea Party in 1774 with the Intolerable Acts, Coercive Acts. The first of these acts was the Boston Port Act, which closed Boston's commerce until the East India Company had been repaid for the destroyed tea. The Massachusetts Government Act rewrote the Massachusetts Charter, making many officials royally appointed rather than elected, and severely restricting the activities of town meetings. The Administration of Justice Act 1774, Administration of Justice Act allowed colonists charged with crimes to be transported to another colony or to Great Britain for trial. A new royal governor was appointed to enforce the acts: General Thomas Gage, who was also commander of British military forces in North America. Adams worked to coordinate resistance to the Coercive Acts. In May 1774, the Boston Town Meeting (with Adams serving as moderator) organized an economic boycott of British goods. In June, Adams headed a committee in the Massachusetts House—with the doors locked to prevent Gage from dissolving the legislature—which proposed that an inter-colonial congress meet in Philadelphia in September. He was one of five delegates chosen to attend the First Continental Congress. Adams was never fashionably dressed and had little money, so friends bought him new clothes and paid his expenses for the journey to Philadelphia, his first trip outside of Massachusetts.


First Continental Congress

In Philadelphia, Adams promoted colonial unity while using his political skills to lobby other delegates. On September 16, messenger Paul Revere brought Congress the Suffolk Resolves, one of many resolutions passed in Massachusetts that promised strident resistance to the Coercive Acts. Congress endorsed the Suffolk Resolves, issued a Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, Declaration of Rights that denied Parliament's right to legislate for the colonies, and organized a colonial boycott known as the
Continental Association The Continental Association, often known as the Association, was a detailed system created by America's First Continental Congress The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from 12 of the 13 British colonies that became the U ...
. Adams returned to Massachusetts in November 1774, where he served in the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, an extralegal legislative body independent of British control. The Provincial Congress created the first minutemen companies, consisting of militiamen who were to be ready for action on a moment's notice. Adams also served as moderator of the Boston Town Meeting, which convened despite the Massachusetts Government Act, and was appointed to the Committee of Inspection to enforce the Continental Association. He was also selected to attend the Second Continental Congress, scheduled to meet in Philadelphia in May 1775. John Hancock had been added to the delegation, and he and Adams attended the Provincial Congress in Concord, Massachusetts, before Adams's journey to the second Congress. The two men decided that it was not safe to return to Boston before leaving for Philadelphia, so they stayed at Hancock-Clarke House, Hancock's childhood home in Lexington, Massachusetts, Lexington. On April 14, 1775, General Gage received a letter from William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, Lord Dartmouth advising him "to arrest the principal actors and abettors in the Provincial Congress whose proceedings appear in every light to be acts of treason and rebellion". On the night of April 18, Gage sent out a detachment of soldiers on the fateful mission that sparked the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
. The purpose of the British expedition was to seize and destroy military supplies that the colonists had stored in Concord. According to many historical accounts, Gage also instructed his men to arrest Hancock and Adams, but the written orders issued by Gage made no mention of arresting the Patriot leaders. Gage had evidently decided against seizing Adams and Hancock, but Patriots initially believed otherwise, perhaps influenced by London newspapers that reached Boston with the news that the patriot leader would be hanged if he were caught. From Boston, Joseph Warren dispatched Paul Revere to warn the two that British troops were on the move and might attempt to arrest them. As Hancock and Adams made their escape, the first shots of the war began at Battles of Lexington and Concord, Lexington and Concord. Soon after the battle, Gage issued a proclamation granting a general pardon to all who would "lay down their arms, and return to the duties of peaceable subjects"—with the exceptions of Hancock and Samuel Adams. Singling out Hancock and Adams in this manner only added to their renown among Patriots and, according to Patriot historian Mercy Otis Warren, perhaps exaggerated the importance of the two men.


Second Continental Congress

The Continental Congress worked under a secrecy rule, so Adams's precise role in congressional deliberations is not fully documented. He appears to have had a major influence, working behind the scenes as a sort of "parliamentary whip" and Thomas Jefferson credits Samuel Adams—the lesser-remembered Adams—with steering the Congress toward independence, saying, "If there was any Palinurus to the Revolution, Samuel Adams was the man." He served on numerous committees, often dealing with military matters. Among his more noted acts, Adams nominated George Washington to be commander in chief over the Continental Army. Adams was a cautious advocate for a declaration of independence, urging eager correspondents back in Massachusetts to wait for more moderate colonists to come around to supporting separation from Great Britain. He was pleased in 1775 when the colonies began to replace their old governments with independent Republicanism in the United States, republican governments. He praised Thomas Paine's popular pamphlet ''Common Sense (pamphlet), Common Sense'', writing as "Candidus" in early 1776, and supported the call for American independence. On June 7, Adams's political ally Richard Henry Lee introduced a Lee Resolution, three-part resolution calling for Congress to declare independence, create a colonial confederation, and seek foreign aid. After a delay to rally support, Congress approved the language of the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which Adams signed. After the Declaration of Independence, Congress continued to manage the war effort. Adams served on military committees, including an appointment to the Board of War in 1777. He advocated paying bonuses to Continental Army soldiers to encourage them to reenlist for the duration of the war. He called for harsh state legislation to punish Loyalist (American Revolution), Loyalists—Americans who continued to support the British crown—who Adams believed were as dangerous to American liberty as British soldiers. In Massachusetts, more than 300 Loyalists were banished and their property confiscated. After the war, Adams opposed allowing Loyalists to return to Massachusetts, fearing that they would work to undermine republican government. Adams was the Massachusetts delegate appointed to the committee to draft the
Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America ...
, the plan for the colonial confederation. With its emphasis on state sovereignty, the Articles reflected Congress's wariness of a strong central government, a concern shared by Adams. Like others at the time, Adams considered himself a citizen of the United States while continuing to refer to Massachusetts as his "country". After much debate, the Articles were sent to the states for ratification in November 1777. From Philadelphia, Adams urged Massachusetts to ratify, which it did. Adams signed the Articles of Confederation with the other Massachusetts delegates in 1778, but they were not ratified by all the states until 1781. Adams returned to Boston in 1779 to attend a state constitutional convention. The Massachusetts General Court had proposed a new constitution the previous year, but voters rejected it, and so a convention was held to try again. Adams was appointed to a three-man drafting committee with his cousin John Adams and James Bowdoin. They drafted the
Massachusetts Constitution The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the 50 individual state governments that make up the United States of America The United States of Ame ...
, which was amended by the convention and approved by voters in 1780. The new constitution established a republican form of government, with annual elections and a separation of powers. It reflected Adams's belief that "a state is never free except when each citizen is bound by no law whatever that he has not approved of, either directly, or through his representatives". By modern standards, the new constitution was not "democracy, democratic"; Adams, like most of his peers, believed that only free males who owned property should be allowed to vote, and that the senate and the governor served to balance any excesses that might result from majority rule. In 1781, Adams retired from the Continental Congress. His health was one reason; he was approaching his sixtieth birthday and suffered from essential tremor, tremors that made writing difficult. But he also wanted to return to Massachusetts to influence politics in the Commonwealth. He returned to Boston in 1781, and never left Massachusetts again.


Return to Massachusetts

Adams remained active in politics upon his return to Massachusetts. He frequently served as moderator of the Boston Town Meeting, and was elected to the
state senate A state legislature in the United States is the Legislature, legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 27 states the legislature is simply called the ''Legislature'' or the ''State Legislature ...
, where he often served as that body's President of the Massachusetts Senate, president. Adams focused his political agenda on promoting virtue, which he considered essential in a republican government. If republican leaders lacked virtue, he believed, liberty was endangered. His major opponent in this campaign was his former protégé John Hancock; the two men had a falling out in the Continental Congress. Adams disapproved of what he viewed as Hancock's vanity and extravagance, which Adams believed were inappropriate in a republican leader. When Hancock left Congress in 1777, Adams and the other Massachusetts delegates voted against thanking him for his service as president of Congress. The struggle continued in Massachusetts. Adams thought that Hancock was not acting the part of a virtuous republican leader by acting like an aristocrat and courting popularity. Adams favored James Bowdoin for governor, and was distressed when Hancock won annual landslide victories. Adams's promotion of public virtue took several forms. He played a major role in getting Boston to provide a free public education for children, even for girls, which was controversial. Adams was one of the charter members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1780. After the Revolutionary War, Adams joined others, including Thomas Jefferson, in denouncing the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of former army officers. Adams worried that the Society was "a stride towards an hereditary military nobility", and thus a threat to republicanism. Adams also believed that public theaters undermined civic virtue, and he joined an ultimately unsuccessful effort to keep theaters banned in Boston. Decades after Adams's death, orator Edward Everett called him "the last of the Puritans". Postwar economic troubles in western Massachusetts led to an uprising known as Shays' Rebellion, which began in 1786. Small farmers, angered by high taxes and debts, armed themselves and shut down debtor courts in Worcester and Hampshire Counties, prompting Governor James Bowdoin to consult Adams first. Adams at a Boston town meeting oversaw the drafting of a circular letter which denounced these actions as unconstitutional and as acts treason. As Massachusetts' senator representing Boston, Adams played an important role in forming Governor Bowdoin's hard-line policy to suppress the rebellion. His old political ally James Warren (politician), James Warren thought that Adams had forsaken his principles, but Adams saw no contradiction. He approved of rebellion against an unrepresentative government, as had happened during the American Revolution, but he opposed taking up arms against a republican government, comprised of fellow American citizens, where problems should be remedied through elections. He thought that the leaders of Shays's Rebellion should be hanged, reportedly saying that "the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death", and urged Governor Bodowin to use military force, who obliged and sent four thousand militiamen to put down the uprising. Shays's Rebellion contributed to the belief that the Articles of Confederation needed to be revised. In 1787, delegates to the Philadelphia Convention, instead of revising the Articles, created a new United States Constitution with a much stronger national government. The Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, when Adams expressed his displeasure. "I confess," he wrote to Richard Henry Lee on Boston December 3, 1787, "as I enter the Building I stumble at the Threshold. I meet with a National Government, instead of a Federal Union of States." Adams was one of those derisively labeled Anti-Federalism, "Anti-Federalists" by proponents of the new Constitution, who called themselves "Federalists". Adams was elected to the Massachusetts ratifying convention which met in January 1788. Despite his reservations, Adams rarely spoke at the convention, and listened carefully to the arguments rather than raising objections. Adams and John Hancock had reconciled, and they finally agreed to give their support for the Constitution, with the proviso that some amendments be added later. Even with the support of Hancock and Adams, the Massachusetts convention narrowly ratified the Constitution by a vote of 187 to 168. While Adams was attending the ratifying convention, his only son Samuel Adams, Jr. died at just 37 years of age. The younger Adams had served as surgeon in the Revolutionary War, but had fallen ill and never fully recovered. The death was a stunning blow to the elder Adams. The younger Adams left his father the certificates that he had earned as a soldier, giving Adams and his wife unexpected financial security in their final years. Investments in land made them relatively wealthy by the mid-1790s, but this did not alter their frugal lifestyle. Adams was concerned about the new Constitution and made an attempt to re-enter national politics. He allowed his name to be put forth as a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives in the December 1788 election, but lost to Fisher Ames, apparently because Ames was a stronger supporter of the Constitution, a more popular position. Adams belonged to the school of revolutionary crusaders, whose purpose and influence became obscured by 1776 and all but disappeared by war's end. By the late 1780s Adams appeared to be an aging politician whose glory days were obscured by present day constitutional issues. Ames, however, belonged to the group of constructive statesmen who built up out of the wreck of revolution and strived to bring the young nation into a rapidly changing world by establishing a strong federal constitution. During this time the newspapers outlined the stark contrast in politics between Adams and Ames in their pages. Despite his defeat, Adams continued to work for amendments to the Constitution, a movement that ultimately resulted in the addition of a United States Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights in 1791. Adams subsequently became a firm supporter of the Constitution, with these amendments and the possibility of more. In 1789, Adams was elected Governor of Massachusetts#Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and served in that office until Governor Hancock's death in 1793, when he became acting governor. The next year, Adams was elected as governor in his own right, the first of four annual terms. He was generally regarded as the leader of his state's Democratic-Republican Party, Jeffersonian Republicans, who were opposed to the Federalist Party. Unlike some other Republicans, Adams supported the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 for the same reasons that he had opposed Shays's Rebellion. Like his fellow Republicans, he spoke out against the Jay Treaty in 1796, a position that drew criticism in a state that was increasingly Federalist. In that year's 1796 United States presidential election, U. S. presidential election, Republicans in Virginia cast 15 United States Electoral College, electoral votes for Adams in an effort to make him Jefferson's vice-president, but Federalist John Adams won the election, with Jefferson becoming vice-president. The Adams cousins remained friends, but Samuel was pleased when Jefferson defeated John Adams in the 1800 presidential election. Samuel Adams took a cue from President Washington, who declined to run for reelection in 1796: he retired from politics at the end of his term as governor in 1797. Adams suffered from what is now believed to have been essential tremor, a movement disorder that rendered him unable to write in the final decade of his life. He died at the age of 81 on October 2, 1803, and was interred at the Granary Burying Ground in Boston. Boston's Republican newspaper the ''Independent Chronicle'' eulogized him as the "Father of the American Revolution".


Legacy

Samuel Adams is a controversial figure in American history. Disagreement about his significance and reputation began before his death and continues to the present. Adams's contemporaries, both friends and foes, regarded him as one of the foremost leaders of the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson, for example, characterized Adams as "truly the ''Man of the Revolution''." Leaders in other colonies were compared to him; Cornelius Harnett was called the "Samuel Adams of North Carolina", Charles Thomson the "Samuel Adams of Philadelphia", and Christopher Gadsden the "Sam Adams of the South". When John Adams traveled to France during the Revolution, he had to explain that he was not Samuel, "the famous Adams". Supporters of the Revolution praised Adams, but Loyalists viewed him as a sinister figure. Peter Oliver (jurist), Peter Oliver, the exiled chief justice of Massachusetts, characterized him as a devious Machiavellian with a "cloven Foot". Thomas Hutchinson, Adams's political foe, took his revenge in his ''History of Massachusetts Bay'', in which he denounced him as a dishonest character assassin, emphasizing his failures as a businessman and tax collector. This hostile "Tory interpretation" of Adams was revived in the 20th century by historian Clifford K. Shipton in the ''Harvard College#Sibley's Harvard Graduates, Sibley's Harvard Graduates'' reference series. Shipton wrote positive portraits of Hutchinson and Oliver and scathing sketches of Adams and Hancock; his entry on Adams was characterized by historian
Pauline Maier Pauline Alice Maier (née Rubbelke; April 27, 1938 – August 12, 2013) was a revisionist historian of the American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America bet ...
as "forty-five pages of contempt". Whig historians challenged the "Tory interpretation" of Adams. William Gordon and Mercy Otis Warren, two historians who knew Adams, wrote of him as a man selflessly dedicated to the American Revolution. But in the early 19th century, Adams was often viewed as an old-fashioned Puritan, and was consequently neglected by historians. Interest in Adams was revived in the mid-19th century. Historian George Bancroft portrayed him favorably in his monumental ''History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent'' (1852). The first full biography of Adams appeared in 1865, a three-volume work written by William Wells, his great-grandson. The Wells biography is still valuable for its wealth of information, although Whig portrayals of Adams were uncritically pro-American and had elements of hagiography, a view that influenced some later biographies written for general audiences. Adams' writings include letters and essays, many of which were published in colonial newspapers like the ''Boston Gazette''. These works have been collected, edited and published in a four volume work (1906-1908), edited by Harry A. Cushing. In the preface of this work Cushing asserts that, "The writings of no one of the leaders of the American Revolution form a more complete expression of the causes and justification of that movement than do those of Samuel Adams. In the late 19th century, many American historians were uncomfortable with contemporary revolutions and found it problematic to write approvingly about Adams. Relations had improved between the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom, and Adams's role in dividing Americans from Britons was increasingly viewed with regret. In 1885, James Hosmer wrote a biography that praised Adams, but also found some of his actions troubling, such as the 1773 publication of Hutchinson's private letters. Subsequent biographers became increasingly hostile towards Adams and the common people whom he represented. In 1923, Ralph V. Harlow used a "Freudian" approach to characterize Adams as a "neurotic crank" driven by an "inferiority complex". Harlow argued that, because the masses were easily misled, Adams "manufactured public opinion" to produce the Revolution, a view that became the thesis of John C. Miller's 1936 biography ''Sam Adams: Pioneer in Propaganda''. Miller portrayed Adams more as an incendiary revolutionary than an adroit political operative, attributing to this one man all the acts of Boston's "body of the people", and consistently calling his subject "Sam", despite the fact that Adams was almost always known as "Samuel" in his lifetime. Miller's influential book became, in the words of historian Charles Akers, the "scholarly enshrinement" of "the myth of Sam Adams as the Boston dictator who almost single-handedly led his colony into rebellion". According to Akers, Miller and other historians used "Sam did it" to explain crowd actions and other developments, without citing any evidence that Adams directed those events. In 1974, Akers called on historians to critically re-examine the sources rather than simply repeating the myth. By then, scholars were increasingly rejecting the notion that Adams and others used "propaganda" to incite "ignorant mobs", and were instead portraying a revolutionary Massachusetts too complex to have been controlled by one man. Historian
Pauline Maier Pauline Alice Maier (née Rubbelke; April 27, 1938 – August 12, 2013) was a revisionist historian of the American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America bet ...
argued that Adams, far from being a radical mob leader, took a moderate position based on the English revolutionary tradition that imposed strict constraints on resistance to authority. That belief justified force only against threats to the constitutional rights so grave that the "body of the people" recognized the danger, and only after all peaceful means of redress had failed. Within that revolutionary tradition, resistance was essentially conservative. In 2004, Ray Raphael's ''Founding Myths'' continued Maier's line by deconstructing several of the "Sam" Adams myths that are still repeated in many textbooks and popular histories. Samuel Adams's name has been appropriated by commercial and non-profit ventures since his death. The Boston Beer Company created Boston Beer Company#Core beers, Samuel Adams Boston Lager in 1985, drawing upon the tradition that Adams had been a brewer; it became a popular award-winning brand. Adams's name is also used by a pair of non-profit organizations, the Sam Adams Alliance and the Sam Adams Foundation. These groups take their names from Adams in homage to his ability to organize citizens at the local level to achieve a national goal.


Descendants

Samuel Adams married (1st) in 1749 Elizabeth Checkley, with whom he had six children, two of whom lived to adulthood: Samuel (born 1751) and Hannah (born 1756). Of these two, only Hannah married and had children, and all of Samuel Adams' progeny descend from her. Adams married (2nd) in 1764 to Elizabeth Wells. They had no children. * Samuel Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence (16 Sept 1722 – 2 Oct 1803); married (1st) on 17 Oct 1749 Elizabeth Checkley (15 Mar 1725 – 25 Jul 1757); children (5). He married (2nd) on 6 Dec 1764 Elizabeth Wells (26 Jan 1735-36 – 29 Apr 1808); no children. **1-1. Samuel Adams (14 Sep 1750 – 2 Oct 1750). **1-2. Samuel Adams (16 Oct 1751 – 17 Jan 1788); unmarried. **1-3. Joseph Adams (23 Jun 1753 – 24 Jun 1753). **1-4. Mary Adams (23 Jun 1754 – 3 Oct 1754). **1-5. Hannah Adams (21 Jan 1756 – 28 May 1821); married on 25 June 1781 Thomas Wells (23 May 1754 – 30 Oct 1799); children (6), ***''BRANCH ONE'': ***2-1. Elizabeth Wells (25 May 1783 – 29 Jan 1868); married in 1809 Dr. John Randall; children (5). ****3-1. Elizabeth Wells Randall (28 Sep 1811 – 12 Apr 1867); married in 1836 Alfred Cumming (governor), Alfred Cumming; no children. ****3-2. John Witt Randall (6 Nov 1813 – 25 Jan 1892); unmarried. ****3-3. Belinda Lull Randall (17 Jan 1816 – 14 Mar 1897); unmarried. ****3-4. Maria Hayward Randall (5 Oct 1820 – 26 May 1842); unmarried. ****3-5. Anna Checkley Randall (1 Jun 1824 – 23 Apr 1862); unmarried. ***''BRANCH TWO'': ***2-2. Susannah Wells (10 Apr 1785 – 19 Aug 1786). ***''BRANCH THREE'': ***2-3. Samuel Adams Wells (1 Mar 1787 – 12 Aug 1840); married in 1812 Margaret Hall Gibbs; children (8). ****3-1. Catherine Hall Wells (11 Apr 1814 – 18 May 1891); married in 1847 Gilbert Higgins O'Reilly; children (1). *****4-1. John Adams Reilly (6 Jun 1849 – 3 Mar 1931); married (1st) in 1874 Jeannie Adelaide Osborne; children (5). He married (2nd) Myrtle Green; no children. ******5-1. Gertrude Adelaide Reilly (b 12 May 1875). ******5-2. Mabel W. Reilly (b 23 April 1877). ******5-3. Samuel Adams Reilly (b 16 Dec 1879). ******5-4. Josephine Reilly (b 30 Sep 1882). ******5-5. Lucy Eugenia Reilly (b 26 Jul 1887). ****3-2. Margaret Wells (23 Mar 1817 – 28 Aug 1891); married in 1849 Dr. Maurice O'Keefe Reedy; children (1). *****4-1. George Adams Reedy (5 Oct 1850 – 22 Jun 1869). ****3-3. Elizabeth Randall Wells (3 Dec 1818 – 5 Feb 1850); married in 1844 Francis Augustus Fuller; children (2). *****4-1. Frederick Fuller (10 Apr 1845 – 2 Oct 1908); married in 1872 Catherine Maria Carroll; children (7). ******5-1. Francis Augustus Fuller (b 31 Jul 1873). ******5-2. Frederic Edward Fuller (b 11 Aug 1874). ******5-3. Caroline Mary Josephine Fuller (b 3 Sep 1875). ******5-4. Catherine Elizabeth Fuller (b 15 Oct 1876). ******5-5. Mary Fuller (b 19 Feb 1878). ******5-6. Annie Sprague Fuller (b 27 Aug 1879). ******5-7. Jennie Fuller (b 22 May 1891). *****4-2. Henry Edward Fuller (13 Jun 1847 – 13 Jun 1909); married (1st) in 1872 Margaretta Dixon; (no children). He married (2nd) in 1875 Margaret Doughty Lewis; children (2). ******5-1. Alfred Lewis Fuller (b 14 Dec 1881). ******5-2. Adelaide Lewis Fuller (b 22 Oct 1883). ****3-4. Hannah Adams Wells (9 Apr 1820 – 12 Oct 1823). ****3-5. Hannah Adams Wells (22 Oct 1823 – 26 May 1851); unmarried. ****3-6. Samuel Adams Wells (8 Mar 1826 – 31 Mar 1865); unmarried. ****3-7. James Wells (17 Mar 1828 – 5 Dec 1888); married in 1854 Althea Maria Gantz; children (3). *****4-1. James Edward Wells (Mar 1855 – 2 Oct 1855). *****4-2. Frederick A. Wells, Frederick Adams Wells (13 Oct 1857 – 12 Mar 1926); married (1st) in 1884 Ada Cynthia Gallagher; children (1). He married (2nd) in 1902 Ida von Hofe; no children. ******5-1. William Hensen Wells (b 15 Apr 1886). *****4-3. Jesse C. Wells (b ca 1861 – 18 Jan 1941); married in 1882 Addie F. Smith. ****3-8. George Wells (20 Dec 1830 – unknown; presumed lost at sea ca 1860). ***''BRANCH FOUR'': ***2-4. Susannah Wells (7 Nov 1788 – 26 Jun 1789). ***''BRANCH FIVE'': ***2-5. Thomas Wells (27 Mar 1791 – 11 Dec 1861); married (1st) in 1814 Belinda Lull; children (3). He married (2nd) in 1821 Anna Maria Wells, Anna Maria Foster; children (6). ****3-1. Thomas Wells (1815 – 1815). ****3-2. Belinda Penelope Wells (13 Sep 1816 – 9 Dec 1891); married in 1832 George Arthur Simmons; children (9). *****4-1. George Arthur Simmons (28 May 1833 – 25 Oct 1874); unmarried. *****4-2. Belinda Lull Simmons (26 Jul 1835 – 22 Jun 1888); married (1st) in 1854 Samuel Simmons Phillips; children (2). She married (2nd) in 1868 Thomas Cummings Lombard; no children. ******5-1. Walter Richards Phillips (b 16 Feb 1856). ******5-2. Henry Gregory Phillips (b 17 Nov 1859). *****4-3. Louisa Tucker Simmons (5 Dec 1837 – 28 Oct 1886); married in 1859 Lorenzo Silas Cragin; children (3). ******5-1. Mary Louise Gragin (b 24 Aug 1860). ******5-2. George Arthur Cragin (b 9 Dec 1863). ******5-3. Henry Adams Cragin (b 22 May 1867). *****4-4. Maria Eastburn Simmons (10 Sep 1839 – 10 Sep 1839). *****4-5. Wentworth Seton Simmons; (14 Sep 1840 – 25 Dec 1914); married (1st) in 1865 Annette Walter; children (5). He married (2nd) in 1896 Lavinia Cole Roberts; no children. ******5-1. Virginia Wentworth Simmons (b 7 Mar 1867). ******5-2. Laura Walter Simmons (b 24 Sep 1868). ******5-3. George Arthur Simmons (b 28 Aug 1870). ******5-4. Henry Edwards Simmons (b 19 Feb 1872). ******5-5. Samuel Adams Simmons (b 7 Mar 1876). *****4-6. Samuel Adams Simmons (8 Oct 1843 – 17 Oct 1913); married in 1875 Margaret Emeline Risenhoover; children (3). ******5-1. Lucy Wells Simmons (b 27 Sep 1875). ******5-2. Elizabeth Horton Simmons (b 30 Aug 1877). ******5-3. Marguerite Louise Simmons (b 12 Nov 1889). *****4-7. Elizabeth Putnam Simmons (8 Nov 1845 – 11 Oct 1910); unmarried. *****4-8. David Allan Simmons (24 Aug 1848 – 29 May 1918); unmarried. *****4-9. Joseph Thomas Simmons (24 Aug 1848 – 25 Mar 1851). ****3-3. Thomas Wells (Aug 1817 – 25 Feb 1818). ****3-4. Thomas Foster Wells (22 Jul 1822 – 11 Dec 1861); married in 1849 Sarah Morrill; children (4). *****4-1. Mary Ingersoll Wells (23 Jul 1850 – 21 Jul 1915); married in 1876 Charles Edward Cram; children (1). ******5-1. Robert Vincent Cram (b 31 Jul 1885). *****4-2. Webster Wells (4 Sep 1851 – 23 May 1916); married in 1876 Emily Walker Langdon; no children. *****4-3. Joseph Morrill Wells (1 Mar 1853 – 2 Feb 1890); unmarried. *****4-4. Anna Foster Wells (18 Dec 1857 – 11 Jan 1920); married (1st) in 1883 Lorenzo Atwood Dunbar; children (3). She married (2nd) Thomas Eldred Holway; children (1). ******5-1. Roger Sargent Dunbar (b 24 May 1884). ******5-2. Arthur J. Dunbar (15 Mar 1888). ******5-3. Philip Wells Dunbar (b 16 Sep 1889). ******5-4. Katharine Eldred Holway (b 23 Jul 1897). ****3-5. Samuel Adams Wells (2 Apr 1824 – 30 Aug 1864); married (1st) in 1849 Angeline P. Bates; children (1). He married (2nd) in 1861 Lavinia Howard Oldfield; children (2). *****4-1 Angeline Seton Wells (20 Nov 1850 – 3 Nov 1857). *****4-2. Mary Lavinia Wells (21 Apr 1862 – unknown). *****4-3. Samuel Adams Wells (3 Jan 1865 – unknown); married Maud Henderson; children (1). ******5-1. Vincent Oldfield Wells (b 31 May 1893). ****3-6. William Vincent Wells (31 Jan 1826 – 1 Jun 1876); married in 1854 Laura Ann Jones; no children. ****3-7. Anna Maria Wells (2 Sep 1828 – 9 Jul 1860); married in 1849 James Davenport Whelpley; children (1). *****4-1. Annie Renouf-Whelpley, Annie Vincent Whelpley (18 Oct 1850 – 16 May 1930"United States, GenealogyBank Historical Newspaper Obituaries, 1815-2011", database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q5SH-7Y1D : 18 July 2020), Annie Vincent Renour Renouf, 1930.); married in 1871 Edward Renouf; children (2). ******5-1. Edward Davenport Renouf (b 4 Jun 1872). ******5-2. Vincent Adams Renouf (b 15 Dec 1876). ****3-8. Joseph Locke Wells (1840 – 1840). ****3-9. Mary Ingersoll Wells (1843 – 1845). ***''BRANCH SIX'': ***2-6. James Wells (28 Jun 1792 – 4 Jul 1793).


See also

* Early American publishers and printers * Memorial to the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence


Notes


Citations


Bibliography

* * Alden, John R. "Why the March to Concord?" ''The American Historical Review'' 49 (1944): 446–54. * * * * * * * * * * * Ferguson, Niall, "The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power from the Freemasons to Facebook", (2018), pp. 107–109. * * Fischer, David H. ''Paul Revere's Ride''. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. * * * * * * * * * Nobles, Gregory. "Yet the Old Republicans Still Persevere: Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and the Crisis of Popular Leadership in Revolutionary Massachusetts, 1775–90". In Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds., ''The Transforming Hand of Revolution: Reconsidering the American Revolution as a Social Movement'', 258–85. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995. . * * * * * * * *


Further reading

*


External links

*
Samuel Adams Heritage Society
* *
Samuel Adams quotes at Liberty-Tree.ca
{{DEFAULTSORT:Adams, Samuel 1722 births 1803 deaths Adams political family American Congregationalists American civil rights activists American people of English descent American political philosophers Boston Latin School alumni Burials at Granary Burying Ground Continental Congressmen from Massachusetts 18th-century American politicians Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Governors of Massachusetts Harvard College alumni Lieutenant Governors of Massachusetts Massachusetts state senators Members of the colonial Massachusetts House of Representatives Politicians from Boston Presidents of the Massachusetts Senate Signers of the Articles of Confederation Signers of the United States Declaration of Independence Candidates in the 1796 United States presidential election Signers of the Continental Association