Founding Father: Samuel Adams
Early Life of Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams was born on September 27, 1722 in Quincy, Massachusetts. His family was well off and respected in the community. Samuel Adams went to Boston Latin School and then went on to go to Harvard College. Afterwards, he got his master’s degree. Samuel Adams decided to get involved in business. Unfortunately, he lost all the money that his father had saved for him.
Samuel Adams and Politics
After this, Samuel Adams decided to go into politics, which he was very good at. He could work very late and make great speeches. He also led meetings in houses and taverns where he explained that Americans should have the right to govern themselves. In 1763, the British government announced that they would start taxing American trade. Samuel Adams was very upset and wrote a letter saying that if trade could be taxed, what else could the British government start tax? These laws would slowly ruin any chance of the colonies being able to govern themselves.
Samuel Adams became very famous for what he said. Soon, Samuel Adams was at the very center of the patriotic movement that wanted the colonies to have its own representation in Great Britain’s government. This was also the very beginning of the movement for independence. Samuel Adams started the Country Party, which included many farmers who also believed in his ideas.
Around this time, Samuel Adams was also a founder and important member of the Sons of Liberty, a secret organization that supported independence for the colonies. This was the organization that was involved in the Boston Tea Party.
In 1765, Samuel Adams was elected as the representative of Boston to the Massachusetts legislature. Here, Samuel Adams influenced many of the laws that were made. Samuel Adams was on every single committee and he went to every event. Samuel Adams also wrote many arguments against the actions of the British government.
Samuel Adams became better known over the next few years. One of the most important points was during the Boston Massacre of 1790. Samuel Adams realized that the colonists could not win against the British Army. Even though he was very angry that six Americans had been killed, he convinced the governor of Massachusetts to remove the troops from Boston for a while to prevent more fighting. Doing this gave him even more respect from both sides.
Samuel Adams went to the first Continental Congress as the delegate from Boston. Samuel Adams also went to the second Continental Congress as well, where he argued for independence from Great Britain. He was one of the signers the Declaration of Independence.
During the Revolutionary War, he urged Americans to fight for their independence from the British.
At the Constitutional Convention, he signed the new Constitution, but only he was sure that a Bill of Rights would follow afterwards. Samuel Adams served in the Continental Congress until his attempt to retire in 1781. He was then elected him to the state senate and afterwards to the office of lieutenant governor. After Governor John Hancock passed away in 1794, Samuel Adams became Governor until he retired once more in 1797. The next six years of his life were very quiet. He passed away at the age of 82 in 1803.
Facts about Samuel Adams
• Samuel Adams was born in the same area as John Adams and John Hancock.
• At the age of 42, he did not have enough money to support his family. Thankfully friends and neighbors helped him.
• Samuel Adams had 6 children, but only two of them lived to adulthood.