The World of Samuel Adams Essay - Critical Essays

Donald Barr Chidsey


In The World of Samuel Adams, Chidsey portrays Samuel Adams truthfully, describing him as a common and polite individual. Adams, he notes, was a hard worker who was “unskillfully put together.” His clothes were often threadbare and patched, and he was drab and sloppy in appearance. Adams married twice and had two children; his family had to manage on little money because Adams was poor. He walked all over the city of Boston and the countryside, because he did not know how to ride a horse and did not have time to learn. Although Adams was not a stylish figure, he was an excellent conversationalist and an avid writer. In the words of Chidsey, he was “so enwrapped in what he wrote that he enwrapped others.”

Chidsey profiles Adams as his narrative’s central character, but he also particularizes many significant historical events. He records the happenings that led to the American war for independence. Chidsey explains the actions that brought about the 1765 Stamp Act and writes about the Quartering Act, the Declaratory Act, the Townshend Acts, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party.

In relating episodes that led to war, Chidsey provides insight into the famous ride of Paul Revere and William Dawes, Jr. On April 18, 1775, British soldiers marched from Boston, looking for American supplies hidden in Concord. Dr. Joseph Warren sent Revere and Dawes from Boston ahead of the redcoats. The men were to warn the colonists that...

(The entire section is 479 words.)