Explore Capitol Hill
Given by Massachusetts in 1876
This statue of Samuel Adams was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection by Massachusetts in 1876. Adams served as a member of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1781, where he voted for and signed the Declaration of Independence. He is often referred to as the "Father of the American Revolution."
Born in Boston on September 27, 1722, Samuel Adams entered Harvard at the age of 14 and received his degree in 1740. There he was profoundly affected by John Locke's doctrine that "every citizen is endowed with natural rights to life, liberty, and property." By 1763 Adams was a member of the secret Caucus Club, through which a small number of Boston's leaders controlled the decisions of the town meeting. In 1765 John Hancock and Samuel Adams founded the Sons of Liberty. Adams led the opposition to the Sugar Act in 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765, and the Townshend Acts of 1767. In 1772 he was one of the leading forces behind the Non-Importation Association and the Boston Tea Party. He initiated the Massachusetts committee of correspondence and drafted the Boston declaration of rights. Adams served as a member of the Massachusetts General Court from 1765 to 1775 and as a member of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1781, where he voted for and signed the Declaration of Independence.
Adams returned to Boston in 1781 to serve in the state senate. His influence diminished after the revolution. He was defeated in a bid for Congress in 1788, but he became a member of the convention to ratify the Constitution. From 1789 to 1793 Adams served as lieutenant governor under John Hancock; he served as governor from 1794 to 1797. "The Father of the American Revolution" retired from public life in 1797. He died in Boston on October 2, 1803.