The Writings of Samuel Adams, Volume 1: 1764–1769


One of the frustrating things about studying Samuel Adams as a thinker is his modesty. Unlike most of the Founding Fathers, whose egotism and historical consciousness led them to keep all their correspondence, Adams was so committed to the cause of equality that he considered his letters worthless and threw them away. (Also possible: he was afraid of reprisal, early on, for his anti-British posturing, and destroyed the evidence.) In any case, we’re left with these official documents written in his capacity as a Boston selectman and representative. They lack the candor usually present in personal letters, but provide a good look at the political sensibilities Adams represented.

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