Samuel Adams Heritage Society

Early Career

In 1743, upon graduating from Harvard Samuel began practicing law. However, his mother was not happy with the career he had chosen and convinced him to take a job as a clerk in Thomas Cushing’s Counting house. A counting house is equivalent to today’s bank. Cushing was a family friend who was going to teach Adams the business. This partnership did not work out as Samuel proved to have no business abilities. Adams’ father did not loose hope that his son could be a successful businessman and lent him one thousand pounds to start his own business. Shortly after his new venture he had lost every penny. Adams’ father took him to work in the brewery but he showed no interest in learning, his interest remained in politics.

While working in the family brewery Samuel and a group of friends started a newspaper called the Independent Advertiser where he was one of the anonymous writers. His writing was heavily influence by John Locke’s philosophy and ideas of liberty and respect. He questioned the rule of England over the colonies and demanded more rights for the colonial legislature and the resignation of the governor. His articles argued for the reform in the moral values of society and the politicians who run the local government. He supported the Country Party that his father helped start and most of all attempted to start a revolution. However, the time was not right and he failed to score any political victory. The country was in the middle of the French-Indian war and his criticism of the government was not considered patriotic. The publication of this newspaper lasted a little over a year. For Samuel the opportunity would present later after the war and with the passing of the Sugar Act.

A year before his father’s death in 1747, Adams was introduced to his first political post; he was elected as one of the clerks of the Boston Market where he served for nine years. Working his way up the political ladder the Boston Town Meeting elected him as a tax collector in 1756. However, Samuel failed to collect taxes and was held liable for the lost tax income. This situation made him popular among the local citizens.

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Early Life and Education


Early Career

Townshend Acts

Sugar Act

Boston Massacre

Political Activism

Popular Quotes

Political Descendants

Samuel Adams - Facts and Numbers

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