The greatest 'incendiary' in the
Adams was the son of a brewer, and as such, became one himself.
Later, he attended Harvard, then became active in colonial politics
- enjoying a popular following through his activities in the Boston
political clubs, such as the Caucus Club, which was influential
in nominating candidates for local office. He was an effective spokesman
for the popular party opposed to the entrenched circle around the
royal governor. In short, he was born a rabble-rouser.
Adams organized the protest against the Stamp Act in 1765, and was
a founder of the Sons
of Liberty - a
secret organization dedicated to creating a methodical resistance
to perceived abuse of the Crown in the colonies.
Probably the most influential member of the lower house of the Massachusetts
legislature from 1765 to 1774, he drafted most of the major protest
documents, including the Circular Letter of 1768 against the Townshend
Adams formed close ties with John Hancock, who had extensive connections
with Boston merchants. After 1770, Adams was the leader in the creation
of "intercolonial committees of correspondence to sustain the
spirit of resistance." In that spirit, he was a principal organizer
of the Boston Tea
Adams was regarded as a radical, chiefly because of his bold essays
for the press. Lieutenant Governor of
Massachusetts Thomas Hutchinson called
him "the greatest incendiary in the empire." As an early
advocate of independence, Adams worked closely with John Adams,
his second cousin, at
the First Continental Congress.
addressed the State House in Philadelphia on August 1, 1776,
shortly after the Declaration of Independence, where he gave a typically
impassioned speech on why independence must and should be fought
Samuel Adams remained in Congress until 1781, participating in the
drafting of the Articles of Confederation. He continued to be active
in state politics, serving as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts
(1789-93) and as governor (1794-97). He became less fiery in later
years, condemning the actions
of farmers during Shay's Rebellion,
and endorsing ratification of a federal Constitution.