Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution

Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution

Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution

Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution


The story of one of the most important -- and most elusive -- figures of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams traces the life of the "Man of the Revolution," as he was called by Thomas Jefferson, from his childhood as a fifth-generation New Englander to his pivotal role in the Boston Tea Party and war that followed to a life spent in public service. Benjamin Irvin explores the fascinating contradictions of Samuel Adams's life: he was born into a family of high rank, but lived a humble, almost impoverished life; he could barely manage his personal household, but brilliantly managed the Massachusetts House of Representatives; he pushed for the Revolution, but resisted the Constitution; he spearheaded resistance to the English government but staunchly opposed resistance to the U. S. government. A perceptive look at the life of a complex man, Samuel Adams is an evocative portrait of one of our nation's most interesting Founding Fathers.


[In meditating the matter of that address, I often asked
myself, Is this exactly in the spirit of the patriarch
Samuel Adams? Will he approve of it?]

—Thomas Jefferson

Midnight, April 19, 1775. Under cover of night, 850 British troops have landed their small boats in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, the troops have rowed across the Charles River from Boston, where they are regularly stationed. Now, at Smith's direction, they begin to assemble as silently as possible. These soldiers, who have been handpicked from among the most trustworthy in all of General Gage's army, nervously await their command. Clearly this is not just an ordinary drill. No, these men have been selected for a mission of singular importance, a mission for which General Gage himself has handed down the orders. The soldiers, Redcoats as they are popularly known, are to march to the small town of Concord and seize the artillery and gunpowder stored there. Along the way, they are to stop near Lexington and— according to American spies—arrest the leaders of the American rebellion, Samuel Adams and John Hancock.

Meanwhile, as the British soldiers stamp the river water from their boots, Boston silversmith Paul Revere, astride a horse named Brown Beauty, gallops into Lexington. Two hours earlier, Revere, too, had rowed across the Charles, but not before ordering that two lanterns be lit in the . . .

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