Samuel Adams was an influential American patriot during the Revolutionary era. He founded the Sons of Liberty in 1765, gave the signal for Boston patriots to start the Boston Tea Party and later signed the Declaration of Independence as a member of the Continental Congress from Massachusetts. He served Massachusetts in the commonwealth's legislature and later as governor. Historians credit his patriotic zeal to the influence of John Locke's writings, which he became acquainted with while studying at Harvard College.

A Patriot's Education

Samuel Adams entered Harvard College in 1736 at the age of 14. While there, he studied law, receiving his A.M. degree in 1740 at the age of 18. Adams publicly defended his thesis "Whether It be Lawful to Resist the Supreme Magistrate, if the Commonwealth cannot be Otherwise Preserved," arguably foreshadowing his later involvement in the movement towards American independence.