Kurt's Historic Sites

Boston Massacre & Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams

Interment Location Visited Sequence in Graves I Have Visited
Boston, MA July 6, 2007 1st Articles Signer visited; 8th Declaration Signer visited

Photographed July 6, 2007.

Founding Father, Massachusetts governor, and, perhaps, my third cousin, ten times removed; these are some of the titles attached to Samuel Adams. One of the leading figures of the American Revolution, this Bostonian is among three signers of the Declaration of Independence interred at Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street. Adams’s stone sits in the eastern corner of the lot, beside the marker for the men killed in the 1770 Boston Massacre, such as Crispus Attucks.

The patina-covered plaque affixed to Adams’s grave plot monument was created in 1898, courtesy of the Massachusetts Society Sons of the American Revolution. The epitaph on it hails Adams as “a leader of men and an ardent patriot.” Viewed as a radical by many in his lifetime, Adams is often associated with the Sons of Liberty, a loosely-organized group that protested British colonial rule of North America in the 1760s and 1770s. The Boston chapter’s most remembered act of resistance is tossing crates of taxed tea into the harbor in December 1773. Although Adams himself did not hurl tea into the water, he is credited with engendering support for the demonstration and for recruiting other colonists to the separatist cause.

Photographed July 6, 2007.

Fast Facts

Born: September 27, 1722 in Boston, Massachusetts

Spouses: Elizabeth Checkley Adams (m. 1749-1757); Elizabeth Wells Adams (m. 1764-1803)

Political Affiliation: Democratic-Republican Party

Gubernatorial Term: 1794-1797

Died: October 2, 1803 in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Age: 81

Interment: Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts

"Other nations have received their laws from conquerors; some are indebted for a constitution to the sufferings of their ancestors through revolving centuries. The people of this country, alone, have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent, bound themselves into a social compact. Here, no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public. This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature."
- Samuel Adams
August 1, 1776, in a public oration delivered from the steps of the State House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Photographed March 7, 2023.

This cross-armed statue of Samuel Adams stands atop a plinth in front of Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. The monument was erected in 1880 “from a fund bequeathed to the city of Boston by Jonathan Phillips.” Its sculptor was Anne Whitney. This bronze statue was based on a marble likeness of Adams that Whitney had created in 1876. That version is part of the National Statuary Hall Collection and is located in the U.S. Capitol crypt.

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Hawthorne, Julian, ed. Orations of American Orators, vol. I. The World’s Great Classics. New York: Colonial Press, 1900. https://archive.org/details/dli.ministry.18180/mode/2up.

Lawler, Sean. “Samuel Adams (1722-1803).” Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.bostonteapartyship.com/samuel-adams.

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