Declaration of Independence Signer, Massachusetts Governor. The cousin to John Adams, second President of the United States, he was a leading speaker in the cause of American Independence. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of a respected landowner and brewer, he attended Harvard College, graduating in 1740. Entering private business, he was never a success at it, and by 1764, he was deeply in debt. As poor a businessman as he was, he was a greater success in politics, and founded a number of patriotic societies, and was active in Boston town meetings. He openly opposed the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and spoke out against British colonial policy. From 1765 to 1774, he served in the Massachusetts legislature, and as its clerk, corresponded widely with other colonial leaders. Writing for the Boston newspapers, he condemned what he considered British government tyranny and in 1772, set up the Committee of Correspondence, which kept other colonial leaders informed as to what was happening in each of the colonies. A founding member of the Sons of Liberty, Adams is believed to have helped organize and signaled the Boston Tea Party in 1773, an act that in 1774 made King George III close Boston Harbor and to declare the colony in a state of rebellion. Calling for a congressional congress made up of representatives from each of the colonies, Adams and four others represented Massachusetts in the First Continental Congress in 1774. In 1775, he was selected for the Second Continental Congress, which produced the Declaration of Independence, and Adams signed for Massachusetts. Continuing to serve in Congress until 1781, he worked on numerous congressional committees, and supported George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. After independence, he continued to work on supporting the concept of a Federal Government, and helped to ratify the United States Constitution in 1787. He was elected Governor of Massachusetts from 1793 to 1797.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Here lies buried
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
Governor of this Commonwealth
A Leader of Men and an ardent Patriot