SAMUELADAMS

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SAMUEL ADAMS
.............. BIOGRAPHY ..............
Boston native, Samuel Adams, was born in 1722 to a prosperous brewing and land owning family. The primary stages of his education were completed at the prestigious Boston Latin School, and he later went on to Harvard, where he received his degree in 1740. Adams explored numerous occupations, but he lacked the inclination to hold down a normal, steady job. Upon the death of his parents, he inherited a large sum of money, as well as the family home and brewery. He did not demonstrate much aptitude in the management of his finances, however, and he lost the brewery not long after. By the age of forty-two, he didn't have sufficient resources to support his wife and two children. Were it not for the generous donations of friends and neighbors, he would not have gotten by.

Difficulties aside, Adams’ career was fulfilling and tremendously exciting . He developed an early passion for politics, one which would prove to be the driving force in his life. Initially, he was active in small political clubs where he challenged the aristocratic and conservative government that was then in power, and emerged as a defender of populist interests. Between 1765 and 1774 he served as a clerk in the colonial legislature. Angered by the Sugar and Stamp Acts of 1764 and 1765, he became a driving force behind the formation of the secretive Sons of Liberty, a militant, anti-British group. When the Townsend acts were passed in 1767, he urged merchants to boycott British goods. The legislature's activities were finally brought to a halt, when in 1768, it sent out a circular letter (authored by Adams) calling for united opposition to British taxation. The Tea Act, passed in 1773, pulled Adams into the fray once more, and it is believed that he participated in the Boston Tea Party which took place not long after.

Adams attended the Continental Congress from 1774 until 1781. During that time, he rarely distinguished himself from the other participants. His radical tendencies, as well as those of the other members of the Massachusetts delegation, were not well received by most participants. He gained fame on one night in particular, however, when in April of 1775, in dramatic series of events between the First and Second Continental Congresses, he and John Hancock were almost captured by the British. Paul Revere and William Dawes arrived just in time to warn them, and the two were able to go into hiding. Local militia forces, upon being warned of British plans, were there to meet the British when they arrived at dawn instead. Fighting between the two groups quickly began, marking the beginning of the War for Independence.

Later, between 1781 and 1788, Adams served in the Massachusetts State Senate. He declined to participate in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, however, believing the Constitution would give the national government too much power. From 1789 until 1793, he held the post of Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. He was finally elected Governor in 1794, a position he held until 1797. In 1803 he died in Boston at the age of eighty-one. He was laid to rest in the Old Granary Burying Ground.