Sam Adams

Samuel Adams was described as King George III as the ‘most dangerous man in the colonies’. He was a radical firebrand who vehemently opposed the British government. This stemmed from the dissolution of his father’s sizeable mortgage business by the British government which almost led his father to bankruptcy. He was able to popularize the revolution through his work with the Sons of Liberty groups which were involved in anti-Stamp Act violence. He was also able to unite the lower classes and colonial elite through his propaganda. In 1767, Adams created non importation groups against the Townshend Act and wrote the ‘Circular Letter’ suggesting that the Townshend Duties were illegal and unconstitutional. In addition he wrote the largely falsified ‘Journal of Events’ 1768 which suggested that atrocities were being committed by British soldiers against the American colonialists. These atrocities however, came to fruition after the Boston Massacre of 1770 leading to Adams fuelling anti-British sentiment through the document ‘A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre of Boston’. Samuel Adams also organised a Committees of Correspondence in 1772 which led to greater inter-colonial relations and spread of propaganda throughout the colonies. Furthermore, he led the Boston Tea Party of 1773.  He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774, showing that he had progressed from simply a violent firebrand to a political figure in the fight for American independence. After Shay’s Rebellion of 1786, Adams was extremely angry with the Shays rebels suggesting they be put to death. Initially he was against the Philadelphia constitution but later gave his vote only if the Constitution included a Bill of Rights. Became part of the United States Congress in 1788 and also became governor of Massachusetts.