Samuel Adams Jr was born 16 September 1722 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States to Samuel Adams (1689-1748) and Mary Fifield (1694-1748) and died 2 October 1803 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Checkley (1725-1727) 17 August 1749 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States. He married Elizabeth Wells (1735-1808) 6 December 1764 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States.


  • Clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1766-1774)
  • Delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress (1774-1781)
  • President of the Massachusetts Senate (1782-1785 / 1787-1788)
  • 3rd Lt Governor of Massachusetts (1789-1794)
  • 4th Governor of Massachusetts (1794-1797)

Samuel Adams Jr was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and was one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States. He was a second cousin to President John Adams.

Born in Boston, Adams was brought up in a religious and politically active family. A graduate of Harvard College, he was an unsuccessful businessman and tax collector before concentrating on politics. As an influential official of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Boston Town Meeting in the 1760s, Adams was a part of a movement opposed to the British Parliament's efforts to tax the British American colonies without their consent. His 1768 Massachusetts Circular Letter calling for colonial non-cooperation prompted the occupation of Boston by British soldiers, eventually resulting in the Boston Massacre of 1770. To help coordinate resistance to what he saw as the British government's attempts to violate the British Constitution at the expense of the colonies, in 1772 Adams and his colleagues devised a committee of correspondence system, which linked like-minded Patriots throughout the Thirteen Colonies. Continued resistance to British policy resulted in the 1773 Boston Tea Party and the coming of the American Revolution.

After Parliament passed the Coercive Acts in 1774, Adams attended the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, which was convened to coordinate a colonial response. He helped guide Congress towards issuing the Continental Association in 1774, the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and helped draft the Articles of Confederation and the Massachusetts Constitution. Adams returned to Massachusetts after the American Revolution, where he served in the state senate and was eventually elected governor.

Early Life

Samuel Adams was born in Boston in the British colony of Massachusetts on September 16, 1722, an Old Style date that is sometimes converted to the New Style date of September 27.[3] Adams was one of twelve children born to Samuel Adams, Sr., and Mary (Fifield) Adams; in an age of high infant mortality, only three of these children would live past their third birthday.[4] Adams's parents were devout Puritans and members of the Old South Congregational Church. The family lived on Purchase Street in Boston.[5] Adams was proud of his Puritan heritage, and emphasized Puritan values, especially virtue, in his political career.[6]

Marriage and Family

1st Marriage: Elizabeth Checkley

When Deacon Adams died in 1748, Adams was given the responsibility of managing the family's affairs. In October 1749, he married Elizabeth Checkley (1725-1727), his pastor's daughter. Elizabeth gave birth to six children over the next seven years, but only two—Samuel (born 1751) and Hannah (born 1756)—would live to adulthood. In July 1757, Elizabeth died soon after giving birth to a stillborn son.

  1. Samuel Adams (1750-1750)
  2. Samuel Adams (1751-1788) - Lived to age 37, never married.
  3. Joseph Adams (1753-1753)
  4. Mary Adams (1754-1754)
  5. Hannah Adams (1756-1821) - md Thomas Wells, step-brother of Betsy Wells, Adams 2nd wife.
  6. Baby Adams (1757-1757) - Stillborn son / death of Elizabeth

2nd Marriage: Betsy Wells

Adams would remarry in 1764, to Elizabeth Wells (1735-1808) but would have no other children.


Offspring of Samuel Adams Jr and Elizabeth Checkley (1725-1727)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Samuel Adams (1750-1750)
Samuel Adams (1751-1788)
Joseph Adams (1753-1753)
Mary Adams (1754-1754)
Hannah Adams (1756-1821) 21 June 1756 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States 28 May 1821 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States Thomas Wells (1754-1799)
Baby Adams (1757-1757)


Offspring of Samuel Adams (1689-1748) and Mary Fifield (1694-1748)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Adams (1713-1730)
Aaron Adams (1713-1740)
Hannah Adams (1720-)
Samuel Adams (1722-1803) 16 September 1722 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States 2 October 1803 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States Elizabeth Checkley (1725-1727)
Elizabeth Wells (1735-1808)
John Adams (1724-1747)
Sarah Adams (1726-1734)
Joseph Adams (1728-1728)
Abigail Adams (1730-)
Thomas Adams (1731-1733)
Moses Adams (1733-)
Mehitable Adams (1740-1744)
Nathaniel Adams (1755-1822)



Footnotes (including sources)