Samuel Adams Facts

This is a list of basic Samuel Adams Facts. Samuel Adams is sometimes called the "Father of the American Revolution" because of his early stand against the tyranny of Great Britain and his speeches and writings that drew many American colonists into the fight for freedom. This list of Samuel Adams Facts contains basic things such as birth and death dates, marriage dates, number of children and occupations as a young man. It is also contains some interesting and less well known facts about this hero of the American Revolution.

Samuel Adams by John Singleton Copley

Samuel Adams Facts


  • September 27, 1722


  • Boston, Massachusetts

Parents' names

  • Father - Samuel Adams (born May 16, 1689)
  • Married mother, Mary Fifield in 1713.

Parents' occupations

  • Samuel Adams, Sr. was a Merchant and Brewer.

Number of siblings

  • 11

Birth order

  • 10th of 12 children, only two children lived past their 3rd birthday.


  • Firebrand of the Revolution
  • Father of the American Revolution
  • Patriarch of Liberty

Schools attended

  • Boston Latin School, a prestigious public school begun in 1635 and still open today with over 2400 students. Graduates of the school include such famous people as Revolutionary War General Henry Knox, Continental Convention delegate Thomas Cushing, Declaration of Independence signers John Hancock, William Hooper and Robert Treat Paine. (Benjamin Franklin attended also, but dropped out before he graduated). Other graduates include such modern people as composer Leonard Bernstein, poet William Ellery Channing and Joseph Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy
  • Harvard Law School - Bachelor's degree in 1740; Master of Arts degree in 1743 (Master's Thesis: "Whether it be lawful to resist the supreme magistrate if the commonwealth cannot otherwise be reserved"). Harvard College was begun in 1636. It is the oldest college in the United States. Generations of American leaders graduated from Harvard, including such notable Revolutionary War figures as Samuel Adams, John Adams and John Hancock. In those days, teenagers attended Harvard. Sam Adams graduated Harvard at the age of 18. So he attended from age 15 to 18.

Religious Views

  • Congregationalist, a very strong Christian

First Occupations

  • Mercantile Businessman, worked in the counting house of future delegate to the Continental Congress Thomas Cushing. Cushing fired Adams because he wasn't any good at business.
  • Brewer. He inherited the brewery from his father, but also failed at this business.
  • Tax Collector

Samuel Adams Family

Dates of marriage, wives' names

  • Married Elizabeth Checkley, October 17, 1749. She died July 25, 1757.
  • Married his 2nd Wife, Elizabeth Wells, in 1764.

Children's names and birth order

All six of these children were with Elizabeth Checkley, Samuel Adams' first wife. He had no children with his second wife, Elizabeth Wells:

  • Samuel, September 1750, died after 18 days
  • Samuel, October 17, 1751, survived
  • Joseph, 1753, died after 1 day
  • Mary, 1754, died after 3 months and 9 days
  • Samantha, 1756, survived
  • Unnamed son, July 1757. This son was stillborn. Elizabeth died as a result of this birth on July 25, 1757.

Children's occupations later in life

  • Samuel Adams, Jr. was a doctor.

Famous relatives

  • His 2nd cousin, John Adams, became 2nd President of the United States.

The Revolutionary War

How he got involved in the independence effort?

  • When his business failed in 1764 Adams entered politics full-time. In May 1764, he drafted the instructions given by the town of Boston to its newly chosen representatives in regard to the newly enacted Sugar Act. These instructions were the first public protest in America against the right of Parliament to tax the colonies. The instructions were widely distributed and made Samuel Adams' name known throughout the colonies.

Did he see military action during the war?

  • No

Offices Samuel Adams Held

Which party was he in?

  • Country party, Anti-Federalist party

Which government offices did he hold?

  • Elected a clerk of Boston Market - 1743 at age 21
  • Elected tax collector - 1756-1764
  • Elected to Massachusetts Assembly - 1765-1774
  • Clerk of lower House - 1766-1774
  • Delegate to the Continental Congress - 1774-1781
  • Member of Massachusetts State Constitutional Convention - 1779-80
  • President of State Senate - 1781
  • Delegate to Massachusetts State Convention to Ratify Federal Constitution - 1788
  • Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (under Hancock) - 1789-1794
  • Governor of Massachusetts - 1794-1797

Did he hold any office under the Royal government?

  • No

Significant accomplishments while in office?

In His Own Words

Selected works of Samuel Adams and their dates

Samuel Adams Quotes

  • "If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our country men." - Speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776
  • "We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come." - As the Declaration of Independence was being signed in 1776
  • "Better tidings will soon arrive. Our cause is just and righteous and we shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we show ourselves worthy of its aid and protection." - While encouraging wavering Continental Convention delegates in gloomy winter of 1776-1777

Read more Samuel Adams Quotes here.

The Close of His Life

Date and age of retirement

  • Retired in 1798 at the age of 76.

Date of death

  • October 2, 1803 at age of 81.

Location of grave

  • Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts

Epitaph on gravestone

Here Lies Buried
Samuel Adams
Signer of the Declaration of
Governor of this Commonwealth
A Leader of Men and an Ardent Patriot

Born 1722

Died 1803
Sons of the

Other Interesting Samuel Adams Facts

Character and disposition

  • Average build. Words that describe him - conscientious, a noble genius within, more than ordinary inflexibility of character and purpose, great sincerity, simplicity, interesting, instructive, concise, impressive, inflexible firmness, patriotic ardour, full of hope, resolute, eager for action.

Landmarks for Samuel Adams

  • Statue of Samuel Adams in front of Faneuil Hall in Boston Massachusetts. The four sides of the statue's pedestal say:

Samuel Adams
A Patriot
He organized the Revolution
And Signed The
Declaration of Independence

A Statesman
Incorruptible and Fearless

Erected A.D. 1880
from a fund bequeathed to the
City of Boston
by Jonathan Phillips

A True Leader of the People

Samuel Adams Statue, Faneuil Hall, BostonSamuel Adams Statue Faneuil Hall, Boston
  • The Old South Meeting House, located on the Boston historic Freedom Trail on the corner of Washington and Milk streets. It became famous as the location of the meeting that preceded the Boston Tea Party during which Samuel Adams delivered a speech and gave a secret signal to start the action by saying the phrase, "This meeting can do nothing more to save the country!" The meeting was held there, as there was no other building in Boston capable of fitting the 5,000 people that were present.
Old South Meeting House, BostonOld South Meeting House, Boston

Other interesting Samuel Adams Facts

  • Organized first Committee of Correspondence
  • A Founder of "The Sons of Liberty" in November 1765.
  • First to propose a Continental Congress.
  • Helped write the Articles of Confederation in 1777.
  • Opposed ratifying Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added.
  • Suggested Jacob Duche open in prayer at First Continental Congress.
  • In old age, he suffered from symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
  • "Samuel Adams: America's World Class Beer" is named for him due to his early occupation as a brewer.
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Test your knowledge about Sam Adams with our Samuel Adams Crossword Puzzle.

If you enjoyed reading these Samuel Adams Facts, you will also like to read the following Revolutionary War Facts:

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Revolutionary War Facts

Revolutionary War and Beyond Home

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