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Adams, Samuel

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Adams, Samuel

(1722–1803) Born September 27, 1722, in Boston, son of Mary Fifield and Samuel Adams (a prosperous Boston brewer and real estate owner who was active in civic affairs and who had established a land bank that was later destroyed by Governor Thomas Hutchinson). Graduated from Harvard College in 1740 and studied law briefly. Went into business, but was not successful. In 1749, married Elizabeth Checkley, who died in 1757, leaving him with two children. Married Elizabeth Wells in 1764. Became one of the most active members of the committee of correspondence of the Sons of Liberty during the Stamp Act crisis. Organized town meetings and wrote pamphlets and articles throughout the period leading up to the Revolution. Frequently corresponded with the Lees of Virginia, John Lamb of New York, and many others. Appointed tax collector of Boston. Elected to the Massachusetts General Court 1765–74. Served with his second cousin John Adams in the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1782 (when he resigned). Supported independence from an early date. Seconded nomination of George Washington as commander-in-chief of Continental Army. Signed the Declaration of Independence. Was a member of the committee that drafted Articles of Confederation in 1776. Member of the Massachusetts state constitutional convention 1779–80. President of the state senate in 1781. Supported suppression of Shays’ Rebellion by the militia. Served as a delegate to Massachusetts ratifying convention of 1788, despite the death of his only son on January 17. Reluctant at first to support the Constitution, at the end of the convention threw his influence behind John Hancock’s crucial call for amendments subsequent to ratification. Elected lieutenant governor in 1789, defeating Benjamin Lincoln; reelected annually through 1793. Elected governor for three terms, 1794–97. Died in Boston on October 2, 1803.