Samuel Adams was one of the key figures in the history of American Revolution for liberty. He is rightly known as one of the founding fathers of United States of America.
Samuel Adams – Early Life
Samuel Adams was born on 16th September 1722 in Boston, which was a British Colony back then, to a family that believed in puritan values. The parents, Samuel Adams, Sr. and Mary Adams were religious and they were inclined towards politics. Samuel Adams’s father held a key role in ’Boston Caucus’ an organisation for those who fought for well known causes.
Samuel Adams – The path that led to politics
Though the family saw a career in ministry for him, Samuel Adams had other dreams. He was not interested in becoming a lawyer or a wealthy man. Sam Adams as he was fondly called interned at counting house run by Thomas Cushing after his master’s degree from Harvard (1743). But due to Sam Adam’s preoccupations with politics the job did not last longer.
Samuel Adams Sr. came to his son’s rescue by lending him a meagre amount of 1000 Massachusetts pounds for starting a business. Unfortunately Sam Adams lent half of the money to his friend and spent the other half on miscellaneous things.
In spite of failing at business Sam Adams’s father did not give up on his son. The father took Sam Adams under his wings and employed him in the malthouse that was run by the family. Many people call Samuel Adams as a brewer but in fact his family was producing malt, used for brewing beer.
Sam Adams’s views of Colonial rights sparked the launch of ‘The Independent Advertiser’ in 1748. The weekly newspaper started by Sam Adams and his friends featured essays on politics of Adams on colonial rights and British’s invasion of Constitutional rights.
After his father’s death in the same year, Sam Adams shouldered his family’s responsibilities and tied knot with Elizabeth Checkley with whom he had six children out of which only two survived. Adams entered into the wedlock for the second time in 1764 when he lost his wife to pregnancy complications.
Adams continued to work and support his father’s Boston Caucus. Adams was also employed as a tax collector with a meagre income. Adams often ignored to collect taxes and he became popular among the mass but gained a negative attention from authorities for failing to do his job. Though Adams was penalised for not collecting taxes he had already gained a status of a powerful leader in Boston.
Political milestones and controversy
Samuel Adams continued to act as a powerful inspiration behind many movements that led to the American Revolution and finally to an independent America. He was called as a ‘puppet master’ by British as they believed that Samuel Adams provoked the mobs to be violent. Many historians too painted Adams’s intentions as selfish and self centred that provoked mobs for his motives. However Samuel Adams was against any form of violence and inspired people to think about their rights. He was the first person to emphasize the importance of human rights in the constitution.
Some of the events to which he raised concerns and fought against British taxation policies that propelled him as father of United States of America are:
- Sugar Act, 1764
- Stamp Act, 1765
- Townshend Act,1767
- Occupation of Boston by British, 1768
- Boston tea party, 1773
The tea party event where colonial residents with the leadership of Adams, reacted against paying taxes for tea exported by East India Company to America led British Government to toughen on American born colonial residents. This was the last straw and Boston tea party became an important trigger that brought on revolution and finally the independence.
Samuel Adams never worked for amassing wealth or popularity; he advocated that politicians should possess virtue and values. In 1797 Samuel Adams retired as the Governor of Massachusetts and he died at Boston in 1803 on 2nd October.
By: Rashmi P. Rao