Thomas Jefferson Knowledge Institute

Sam Adams

Sam Adams Samuel Adams was called "the greatest incendiary in the Empire" by Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson. Two decades later, the greatest incendiary would be Governor himself.

Adams founded the Sons of Liberty, a group dedicated to methodically resisting English rule in all of its American colonies. It was Adams who gave the signal to commence with the Boston Tea Party. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1765, he drafted the resolution against the Stamp Act and served on the House's Committee of Correspondence. He was President of the Massachusetts Senate in 1781, and Lieutenant Governor for his friend, Governor John Hancock from 1789 to 1793. Having no patience with those who would compromise liberty, he declared, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Among Massachusetts' Governor Adams' chief concerns was delineating the division of powers between federal and state government. He was known to have advocated for extending public education to girls and to have required that children be taught to read before starting their public education. After being elected Governor four times in his own right, Adams chose to retire in 1797 and lived out the remainder of his life in Boston.

The Life of Sam Adams by B. J. Lossing