Sam Adams

One of the original thirteen Colonies, now a state, has been referred to by some as “the land of the bean and the cod, where the Lowells speak only to the Cabots and the Cabots speak only to God.”
What is the name of that State? Massachusetts
The history of that great state is an interesting story of human endurance, beginning with the bitter struggle to plant the Plymouth Colony on the shores of a primitive land to the courage of her citizens in the Revolutionary War that brought freedom to this great land. Our lesson today begins a three-part study of one of the families that brought so much fame and renown to the thriving city of Boston and the State of Massachusetts.
Several years ago, there was a TV program that carried the name of this influential and prominent family that is the subject of this and the next two history lessons. Can you name this family? The Adams Family. News commentator Eric Severeid compared the Adams family of the early American nation to the later Kennedy family of Massachusetts.
The first member of this family to engage our attention is Samuel Adams. Born in Boston in 1722, educated at Harvard University, he first studied theology, but decided not to enter the ministry. He read law, but soon abandoned the law. He inherited a brewery from his father and was not successful in this business venture. Samuel Adams then drifted into politics and seemed to have found the interest that challenged his thinking and his talents for the rest of his life.
Someone has called Samuel Adams one of the great “Apostles of Freedom.” Others refer to him as “The Father of the American Revolution.” Samuel Adams was troubled by a speech impediment that made him a hesitant public speaker, but he was a vigorous wielder of the mightiest of weapons—the pen. His ability to arouse public opinion by the written word had no superior. He was also an organizer of unusual ability, promoting the organization of revolutionary groups such as the Sons of Liberty and the Committees of Correspondence. He was a leader of the Boston Tea Party. Samuel Adams kept in touch with similar groups in other colonies.
He also played a large part in the Continental Congress. If you recall it was Samuel Adams and John Hancock, both signers of the Declaration of Independence, who were singled out for arrest and punishment by the British. These two were in hiding near Concord, and the British sent an armed force to destroy some powder and arms the Colonists had stored there and to capture Adams and Hancock. But Paul Revere’s ride alerted the people and the Militia confronted the British Army at Lexington and Concord and the War was on.
All during the War, Samuel Adams served in the Continental Congress and was invaluable in keeping up the spirit and morale of the Colonists and inspiring them to be of good courage and to keep up the fight. After the war Samuel Adams was a delegate to the Massachusetts State Constitution Convention and helped to write that document.
He was also a delegate to the state convention called to ratify or reject the national Constitution. Sam Adams challenged the national Constitution because it did not contain a Bill of Rights for the individual. The Massachusetts Constitution that Adams helped write contained a Bill of Rights and he insisted on a Bill of Rights in the national Constitution. He was joined in this challenge by several other states, so Madison and other supporters of the national Constitution assured Samuel Adams and the other opponents that the original Constitution would be amended to contain a Bill of Rights.
Adams withdrew his objections and the national Constitution was approved by the State of Massachusetts and the other 12 states. It was then given its first 10 Amendments “The Bill of Rights” which is the real cornerstone of our personal and private rights as citizens of this great republic.
For his unselfish and dedicated service to his State and nation, the people of Massachusetts selected Samuel Adams as one of their representatives in the Hall of Fame and his statue is there for all the world to see.

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