Samuel Adams

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Founding Fathers
Savage Samuel Adams.jpg
Samuel Adams
State Massachusetts
Religion Christian- Congregationalist [1]
Founding Documents Declaration of Independence,
Articles of Confederation

Samuel Adams (1722-1803) was an early American governor, lawyer and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Adams was the second cousin of John Adams, the second President of the United States, and was known for his great animosity toward England's presence in the colonial affairs.[2]

If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

Adams was a strong and vocal opponent of many of the British Parliament acts to raised revenues in the American Colonies.

At the age of 14, Adams attended Harvard College, where he received a Masters of Arts degree in 1743. After graduating, Adams started a business which failed and then entered politics full-time, and won a place in the Massachusetts legislature.

In protest of the 1765 passing of the Stamp Act, Adams led in the founding and organizing of the Sons Of Liberty.[3]

In 1773, Adams and Boston citizens were so outraged with England's Tea Act, which granted the East Indian Company a monopoly on the sale of tea to the American Colonies, that they dumped the British cargo boats into Boston Harbor. This early revolutionary action is referred to as the Boston Tea Party.

In response to the Boston Tea Party, Britain passed laws that closed the Boston Harbor and restricted town meetings, the act was referred to as the "Intolerable Acts". Adams urged a boycott of the British Trade by the American Colonies.

As a member of the Massachusetts legislature, Adams and four others were elected to serve in the First Continental Congress (1774). He again served in the Second Continental Congress where he pushed for full independence from English rule. Adams served in the Continental Congress until 1781, when he returned to Boston. In 1793, he was elected as Governor of Massachusetts and served until 1797. Adams is the oldest governor the state of Massachusetts has ever had.[4]


  • "Constitution be never construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."[5]
  • "May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen! [6]
  • "When vain aspiring men possess highest seats in govt, country will need experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." [7]