Samuel Adams (1722-1803)

ADAMS, Samuel, (uncle of Joseph Allen; granduncle of Charles Allen; cousin of John Adams), a Delegate from Massachusetts; born in Boston, Mass., September 27, 1722; graduated from Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass., 1740; M.A., Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass., 1743; brewer; tax collector, Boston, Mass., 1756-1764; member of the Massachusetts general court, 1765-1774; member of the Continental Congress, 1774-1781; signer of the Declaration of Independence; member of the Massachusetts state constitutional convention, 1779; president of the Massachusetts state senate, 1781; member of the Massachusetts state constitutional convention, 1788; unsuccessful candidate for election to the First Congress in 1788; lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, 1789-1794; governor of Massachusetts, 1794-1797; died on October 2, 1803, in Boston, Mass.; interment in Granary Burial Ground, Boston, Mass.

Image of Adams, courtesy of the Library of Congress.  Source – Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.  Bibliography: Irving, Benjamin H., Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. Copied from: (accessed October 23, 2012)


Cornelius Harnett was called the “Samuel Adams of North Carolina” by Josiah Quincy, Jr., who recruited Cornelius Harnett to participate in the Committees of Correspondence, a movement that led to the formation of the Continental Congress.  No man other than Harnett whom Quincy met in his travels throughout the colonies met such a strong impression on him. 1

Samuel Adams was called “the father of the American Revolution” 2 . Calling Harnett the “Samuel Adams of North Carolina” apparently meant that Harnett was the father of the revolutionary spirit in North Carolina.  The fervor of Adams for the Revolution appears in the following statement by him:

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.  We seek not your counsel, nor your arms.  Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; may your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen 3 .

End Notes

1.  Connor, R. D. W. CORNELIUS HARNETT:  AN ESSAY IN NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY, Raleigh, N. C.; Edwards and Broughton Printing Company, 1909. 1-209, print and web, pp. 79-80.
2.  Lefler, Hugh T. and Albert R. Newsome, eds. The History of a Southern State. Revised Edition, Chapel Hill, NC; The University of North Carolina Press, 1954, 1958. Print p. 185.
3.  LucidCafe:Library.   [quote appears at beginning of an excellent article about Adams.]  “Samuel Adams/American Patriot & Politician, 1722-1803.”  [If the web citation does not work, enter the title of the article in your search engine.  The article was cached as of October 23, 2012]

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