Patriot: born in Boston
, Sept. 27, 1722; was graduated at Harvard College in 1742, and was honored with the degree of Ll.D. by it in 1792.
The tendency of his mind was shown when, at the age of twenty-one.
receiving the degree of A. M., he proposed, and took the affirmative on, the question “Whether it be lawful to resist the supreme magistrate if the commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved?”
He published a pamphlet at about the same time entitled Englishmen's rights
He became an unsuccessful merchant, but a successful writer: and gained great popularity by his political essays against the administration of Governor Shirley
Stern in morals.
a born republican, and with courage equal to his convictions, Samuel
was a natural leader of the opposers of the Stamp Act and kindred measures of Parliament, and from that period (1765) until the independence of the colonies was achieved he was a foremost leader of the patriot host.
the Stamp Act Congress, and was a continual object of dread and hatred to the colonial governors.
He proposed the first Committee of Correspondence in Massachusetts
in 1772; and, when General Gage
besought him to make his peace with the King
, he replied, “I trust I have made my peace with the King
No personal considerations shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country.”
In 1774 he was the chief in maturing the plan for a Continental Congress; was a member of it; and served in that body most efficiently from that time until 1781.
As early as 1769 Mr. Adams
advocated the independence of the colonies, and was one of the warmest supporters of it in the Congress
When debating on the Declaration of Independence
said: “I should advise persisting in our struggle for liberty though it were revealed from heaven that 999 were to perish, and one of 1,000 were to survive and retain his liberty.
One such freeman must possess more virtue, and enjoy more happiness.
than 1,000 slaves; and let him propagate his like, and transmit to them what he has so nobly preserved.”
assisted in drafting the State
constitution of Massachusetts
(1779), was president of his State Senate (1781), member of his State Convention that ratified the national Constitution.
(1789-94), and governor (1794-97 ). He sympathized with the French Revolutionists
, and was a Jeffersonian Democrat in politics in his latter days.
The purity of his life and his inflexible integrity were attested by friends and foes.
, in a letter to his government, said he was of “such an obstinate and inflexible disposition that no gift nor office would ever conciliate him.”
His piety was sincere, and he was a thoroughbred Puritan
without a profession, he depended on moderate salaries and emoluments of police; and for almost fifty years a daily maintenance, frugal in the extreme, was eked out by the industry and prudence of his second wife.
whom he married in 1757.
He died in Boston
, Oct. 2, 1803.
and John Hancock were regarded as arch-rebels by General Gage
, and he resolved to arrest them and send them to England
to be tried for treason.
A capital part of his scheme, in sending out the expedition to Lexington
(April 18-19, 1775), was the seizure of these patriots, who, members of the Provincial Congress, had tarried at Lexington
on being informed of Gage
's intention to arrest them on their return to Boston
They were at the house of Rev. Jonas Clarke
, and Gage
thought to surprise and capture them at midnight. The vigilant Warren
, learning the secret of the expedition, sent Paul Revere
to warn the patriots of their danger.
waited at Charlestown
for a signal-light from the sexton of the North Church, to warn him of the forward movement of the troops.
It was given, and on Deacon Larkin
's swift horse Revere
sped to Lexington
At a little past midnight he rode up to Clarke's house.
which he found guarded by Sergeant Monroe
and his men. In hurried words he asked for Hancock
“The family have retired.”
said the sergeant, “and I am directed not to allow them to be disturbed by any noise.”
; “you'll have noise enough
before long; the regulars are coming out!”
He was then allowed to knock at the door.
appeared at a window, when Revere
said, “I wish to see Mr. Hancock
“I do not like to admit strangers into my house so late at night,” answered Mr. Clarke
, who was not asleep, recognized Revere
's voice, and called out. “Come in, Revere
, we are not afraid of you
The warning was given; the whole household was soon astir, and the two patriots awaited the coming of the enemy.
When they approached, the “arch-rebels” were persuaded to retire to a more secure retreat, followed by Dorothy Quincy
, to whom Hancock
was affianced (and whom he married in September following), who was on a visit at Mr. Clarke
's. When Adams
, from a wooded hill near Clarke's house, saw the beginning of the skirmish at Lexington
, he exclaimed, with prophetic prescience, “What a glorious morning for America
In a proclamation (June 12) in which he denounced those in arms and their abettors to be “rebels and parricides of the Constitution
,” and offered a free pardon to all who should forthwith return to their allegiance, General Gage
, who were outlawed, and for whom he offered a reward as “arch-traitors.”
Immediately after the “Boston
massacre” a monster meeting of citizens of Boston
Old South meeting-house.|
was held in the Old South Meeting-house
, and appointed a committee, consisting of Samuel Adams
, John Hancock, William Molineaux
, William Phillips
, Joseph Warren
, Joshua Henshaw
and Samuel Pemberton
, to call on Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson
and demand the removal of the British
troops from Boston
, by presenting resolutions to that effect adopted by the meeting.
submitted the resolutions.
and Colonel Dalrymple
were disposed to temporize.
said he had no power to remove all the troops.
proved that he had, by the terms of the charter.
Still the crown officers hesitated.
resolved that there should be no more trifling with the will of the people.
Stretching forth his hand towards Hutchinson
, and in a voice not loud but clear, he said: “If you have power to remove one
regiment, you have power to remove both
. It is at your peril if you do not. The meeting is composed of 3,000 people.
They are become very impatient.
A thousand men are already arrived from the neighborhood, and the country is in general motion.
Night is approaching; an immediate answer is expected.”
This was the voice of the province — of the continent.
grew pale; his knees trembled; and Adams
afterwards said, “I enjoyed the sight.”
After conferring together in a whisper.
promised to send all the troops to Castle William, in Boston Harbor
was early marked as an inflexible patriot and most earnest promoter of the cause of freedom.
When Governor Gage
sought to bribe him to desist from his opposition to the acts of Parliament concerning taxation in America
, he sent Colonel Fenton
on this errand.
The latter said to Adams
that he was authorized by Gage
to assure him that he (the governor) had been empowered to confer upon him such benefits as would be satisfactory, upon the condition that he would engage to cease his opposition to the measures of government.
He also observed that it was the advice of Governor Gage
to him not to incur the further displeasure of his Majesty: that his conduct had been such as made him liable to the penalties of the Act of Henry VIII., by which persons could be sent to England
for trial for treason or misprision of treason, at the discretion of the governor of a province; but by changing his political course he would
not only receive great personal advantages, but would thereby make his peace with his King
listened attentively, and at the conclusion of the colonel's remarks he asked him if he would deliver a reply exactly as it should be given.
He assented, when Adams
, rising from his chair and assuming a determined manner, said, after repeating the historical words already quoted, “No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country.
Tell Governor Gage
it is the advice of Samuel Adams
to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.”
Protest against taxation.
On May 24, 1764, Samuel Adams
addressed the following protest to Royal Tyler
, James Otis
, and Oxenbridge Thacher
Rights of the colonists.
On Nov. 20, 1772, he made the following report: