Samuel Adams

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Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams was born to Samuel Adams Sr. and Mary (Fifield) Smith in Boston, Massachusetts on September 27, 1722. Samuel Jr. is second cousin to John Adams. Samuel was one of twelve children born to the Adams. His mother Mary was very religious and the family attended the Old South Congregational Church in. Samuel Jr. and his family lived on Purchase St in Boston. Samuel Sr. owned a Barley House.

Born: September 27, 1722

Died: October 2, 1803, at the age of 81 years Old

Samuel Adams went to the Boston Latin School then on to Harvard University where he graduated in 1740. He then continued at Harvard University for his Master’s Degree, which he received in 1743. Samuel decided not to become a lawyer, and his parents wanted him to become a Minister, but he went to work for The” Thomas Cushing Counting House”. It now would be called “The Accounting Firm”. Failing at that, Samuel went to work at his father’s Barley House.  A facility that gets grain and soaks it in water allowing it to grow then converts it to malt for beer and other malt beverages.

Samuel’s father died in 1748 at an early age, leaving Samuel to run the family’s Estate and affairs. He didn’t manage the family finances very well and the Malt House or Brewery didn’t do well either. It was during this time, he discovered his true love was politics.

Samuel Adams became fearful of the British Governments ill motives, which formed the bases for Samuel to become motivated to the Rebel cause. Fearing the British rule exercising power over the Colonist in arbitrary and destructive ways, Samuel also feared the British officials would come in and seize his family’s estate and holdings at will.

In 1748 Samuel, along with friends, purchased “The Independent Adviser”, a weekly newspaper, that printed many essays against the British Crown for their act of pressing citizens into the British Navy “The act of Pressing or Shanghai is the beating or cohesion of citizen’s and kidnapping them against their will and taking them to a British ship and pressing them into the Kings Service for an unspecified length of time”.  The largest pressing came in 1757 in New York City in which over 800 citizens were pressed into service of the King. Samuel and his friends, through their newspaper, urged his countrymen to rise up and boycott English imports and demonstrations against “Taxation without Representation”. Samuel Adams was against violence and did not support the demonstration that caused the “Boston Massacre in 1770”.

In 1749 Samuel Adams married Elisabeth Checkley and together they had 6 children. Only 2 children lived to adulthood, they were Samuel & Hannah. Elizabeth died during child birth in 1757, the child was still born. Samuel got married to Elizabeth Wells in 1764.

In 1756 Samuel Adams became the Tax Collector for Boston and for 12 years he, through his writing, and activities he became a leader in Boston politics.

In 1767, King George III and the British Parliament implemented the “Townsend Act”,  in placing a customs or duty on all imported goods brought to the Colony’s. This act placed Samuel Adams on the front lines, and formed the hatred of General Thomas Gage, who was the Commanding general of all British troops in the colonies. This also formed the hatred that Adams had for King George III

In 1772 Samuel Adams founded a Committee of correspondence, meant to unite the towns and communities of Massachusetts, in helping to improve the system of the Colonies.

1773 found Samuel Adams fighting the tax on British tea. That was the only tea that the colonist could buy. All other tea from other countries was band. On December 16, 1773 after a town hall meeting lead by Samuel Adams against the Tea Tax, dozens of men dressed as Native American Indians from area tribes rushed and seized three British cargo ships carrying the British tea and threw it overboard into the Boston harbor, Thus, The Boston tea Party. In response to this terrible act, the British Parliament passed the “Intolerable Acts,” which closed the Boston harbor and limiting town meetings to once a year.

Samuel served in the Continental Congress between 1774 & 1781. However, after the first session, his activities lessened, and his ties with other leaders cooled. Samuel Adams became uncertain about what the American’s next steps would be and where he would fit into the scheme of things.  In 1778 Samuel Adams served in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention. In 1788, Samuel had his cousin John, to do most of the work on the Ratification of the U. S. Constitution.

Samuel Adams served several terms as Lt. Governor of Massachusetts 1789. In 1793 Samuel was elected to be Governor of Massachusetts, but in 1797, he did not seek reelection and retired from public life.

Samuel Adams died at his home in Boston on October 2, 1803.