Samuel Adams (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
Article abstract: Strategically placed in Boston, the center of resistance to British colonial policies, Adams was one of the most significant organizers of the American Revolution.
Samuel Adams’ American ancestry began with Henry Adams, who emigrated from Devonshire, England, to Quincy, Massachusetts, in the early seventeenth century. One branch of the family included John Adams, who became second president of the United States. Samuel Adams’ grandfather was a sailor, Captain John Adams. His father, Samuel Adams, Sr., lived his entire life in Boston, operating a malt house, or brewery, and was an active member of the old South Church in Boston. He was also active in local politics, establishing the first of the Boston “Caucus Clubs,” which played a vital role in the early upheavals of the Revolutionary period.
Samuel Adams, then, was born into an active and influential civic-minded Boston family. He grew up with a familiarity with and keen interest in local politics and knew most Boston political leaders through their friendship with his father. Many of those leaders were prominent in Massachusetts colonial politics as well. Samuel absorbed the traditional independent-mindedness of Boston and thought of Massachusetts as autonomous and largely self-governing within the broader parameters of the British Empire.
Educated in the small wooden schoolhouse in the rear of King’s...
(The entire section is 2943 words.)
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