Adams Chronology

Life of Samuel Adams Chronology

1722 - Samuel Adams is born, in Boston.

1736 - He enters Harvard College.

1740 - He is graduated.

Harvard was named after its first benefactor, John Harvard. Established in 1626, the college primarily trained Congregationalist and Unitarian clergy. Harvard's secular curriculum and students emerged in the 18th century and by the 19th century had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites.  Today, Harvard's alumni, history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

1740 – 43 - He studies law, enters a counting-house, and finally be comes his father's partner. His father is embarrassed by the dissolution of the Land Bank;

1743 - He takes his Master's degree, delivering a thesis on resistance to the power of the supreme magistrate 

1746  - His father is elected a Representative of Boston . Adams and a few friends form a political club.

1748 - The club publish "The Public Advertiser."

1748, March  - His father dies, and he succeeds to his business, brewing.

1749, October 17 - He marries Elizabeth Checkley.

1750 - He becomes a frequent writer in the newspapers in defense of Colonial rights

1757, July 25. - His wife dies, leaving two children.

1758 - He resists a sheriff's attachment on the family estate, arising from the unsettled affairs of the Land Bank.
Sir Francis Bernard, colonial governor of Massachusetts Bay and New Jersey. His policies and tactics in the governance of Massachusetts were instrumental in the building of broad-based opposition within the province to the rule of Parliament in the early years of the American Revolution. -  

1760 - Francis Bernard succeeds Thomas Pownall as Governor.

1763 - Adams is tax-collector, and has much trouble on account of the inability of many to pay their taxes.


1764 - He liberates a slave who had been given to Mrs. Adams.

May 24, 1764 - He drafts the Boston instructions protesting against Parliamentary taxation.

June 14, 1764 - He brings about the first union of the Colonies to oppose the measures of Parliament.

October 1764 - Address to Parliament for the repeal of the Sugar Act, perhaps written by Adams 

December 6, 1764 - Adams marries his second wife, Elizabeth Wells. 

King George III and Parliament's Stamp Act of 1765

March, 1765 - The Stamp Act passed, despite the eloquence of Barre and others.

August - Riot in Boston on account of the Act. Sons of Liberty are born.

September 18, 1765 - Adams again drafts the Boston instructions.

September 27, 1765 - He enters the Massachusetts Legislature, which is immediately prorogued.

October 7 – 25, 1765 - Colonial Congress at New York.

October 24, 1765 - The Legislature reassembles and Adams replies to the Governor's opening address of September 25th.

October 29, 1765 - He writes the Massachusetts Resolves on the rights and privileges of the Province.

October & November 1765 - Opposition to the Stamp Act; also to the additional guard at Castle William,
on which Adams writes a November 6th report.

November 7, 1765 - Adams instructs the Massachusetts agent in London. 

November 8, 1765 - The Legislature is prorogued.

Nov., Dec, 1765 - The Province distressed by the effects of the Stamp Act 82 - 85

December 21, 1765 - Adams writes instructions to Deberdt.

1765-66 - He is still harassed on account of the uncollected taxes, but is finally discharged from all liability by a vote of the Town.

The 1765 Stamp Act created a direct tax of one penny per sheet on newspapers. The act also required that the newspapers be printed on stamped paper purchased from government agents. The Board of Stamps prepared two hundred copper dies and eight plates of the one-penny stamps. The design consists of a mantle; St. Edward's Crown encircled by the Order of the Garter; and a scepter and sword. At top is the word AMERICA; at bottom the denomination ONE PENNY and the number of the individual die. Dark red proof impressions of the plates were made on thick laid paper before production of the stamped paper began. Only thirty-two copies of the original dark-red proof impressions made in 1765 have survived. Twenty-six of these are contained in this partial proof sheet owned by the British Library Philatelic Collections. Five more — three singles and a pair — are in private hands, and the one is in the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's permanent collection.


January& February 1766 - Debates in Parliament on the repeal of the Stamp Act .

January 15, 1766 - The Massachusetts Legislature meets.  Adams replies to the Governor's Speech of
November 8, 1765, answers a letter of Deberdt to the House, and acts on many committees, especially on that to consider the closing of the courts of justice.

February   24, 1766 - The Court adjourned.

March 24, 1766 - He replies for Boston to a letter of sympathy from Plymouth.

May 6, 1766 - Adams re-elected Representative, and, on the meeting of the General Court.

May 19, 1766 - Celebration of the repeal of the Stamp Act.

May 28, 1766 - chosen Clerk. He conducts a controversy with the Governor on the election of Councilors.

June 1766 - Celebration of the repeal of the Stamp Act. Dispute of the House with the Governor on the indemnification of the sufferers by the Stamp Act riot.

June 24, 1766 - Adams composes the reply of the House.

October – Dec, 1766 - After much discussion, the House, influenced by Hawley, grant indemnification.

October 1766 - The House and the Town take into consideration the misrepresentations of the crown officers.

December 1766 - Dennis Deberdt appointed special agent in London for the Assembly.

December 1766 -Adams opposes quartering the royal troops on the Province.


March 16, 1767 - Adams writes the Assembly's letter to Deberdt on Hutchinson's attempt to force himself into the Council.

March 16, 1767 - The Town of Boston advocates the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.

May 1767 - The dispute on quartering the troops reopened by the arrival of the 14th Foot.

May 27, 1767 -   The Legislature meets, and elects Adams Clerk. It is prorogued, June 25

Charles Townshend (29 August 1725 – 4 September 1767) was a British politician. A witty speaker in the British House of Commons, his "champagne speech" was particularly remembered. His last official act was to pass through parliament resolutions for taxing several articles, such as glass, paint, paper and tea, on their importation into America, which he estimated would produce the sum of ₤40,000 for the English treasury known as the Townshend Acts.
June 29, 1767 -   Townshend’s new scheme of taxation adopted,

December 30, 1767 -   The Legislature meets.


January 13, 1768 - Adams writes to Deberdt the Assembly's letter, afterwards published in London in "The True Sentiments of America."

Feb 1768 - He writes the Assembly's addresses to the Ministry, their petition to the King, and a Circular Letter to the other Provincial Assemblies.

January 21, 1768 - A motion to invite the other Assemblies to join in the petition to the King is lost .

February 4, 1768 - A similar motion carried, and the Circular Letter, dated February 11, written by Adams.

February 1768 - The House demand and obtain a letter of Shelburne to Bernard. — The letter reveals Bernard's misrepresentations.

February 26, 1768 - Resolutions passed for the encouragement of manufactures in the Province

March 4, 1768 - The Legislature is prorogued.

March 18, 1768 - The anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act celebrated peaceably

April. 1768 - The Privy Council order Bernard to direct the Assembly to rescind their Circular Letter
May 25-26, 1768 - The General Court meets. — Hutchinson again defeated in the election of Councilors

June. 1768 - Troops and a fleet ordered to Boston .

June 10, 1768 - Hancock's sloop Liberty seized by the crown officers. Indignation of the people. The Collector's boat burnt

James Otis, Jr. (February 5, 1725 – May 23, 1783) was  colonial Massachusetts barrister, a member of the Massachusetts provincial assembly, and an early advocate of the protesting British taxation that led to the American Revolution. 

June 14, 1768 - Meeting of the “Sons of Liberty," who send an address to the Governor, drawn up by Otis .

June 17, 1768 - John Adams writes the Boston Instructions.

June 30, 1768 - The House refuse to rescind their Circular Letter.  They dispatch a letter to Lord Hillsborough written by Adams.  Adams discusses the subject in the Assembly's answer to the Governor's message. Otis opposes the publication of the letter. The Court prorogued

August 1768 - Adams begins to labor for American Independence.

August 15, 1768 - The third anniversary of the Stamp Act riot celebrated.

September 12, 1768 - A town meeting held to consider the expected arrival of British troops. Otis, Adams, and Warren draw up resolves. The citizens adopt a Declaration that they "will not submit," and call for a convention of delegates from the towns

September 22-27, 1768 - The convention held its proceedings. Otis's absence

September 27, 1768 - The 14th and 29th regiments arrive. The 14th is allowed by the Sons of Liberty to sleep in Faneuil Hall.

October 1768 - Disputes between the Council and General Gage in regard to the maintenance of the troops.  The soldier’s desert.  Adams saves one from the lash.

November 1768 - Debates in Parliament on American affairs.

November – December, 1768 - Difficulties between the troops and the towns-people.

January 1769 - Evidence to convict the patriots of treason sought unsuccessfully
January 23, 1769 - The deposition of Richard Sylvester against Adams.
January-February   1769 - Further debates in Parliament on American affairs. Eloquence of Burke, Barre", etc.
March 13, 1769 - Public meeting to vindicate the town.
March 18, 1769 - Adams publishes an address "To the Sons of Liberty."
March 27, 1769 - He defends Dr. Chauncy against the Rev. Mr. Seabury.
April 4, 1769 - The Town adopts a petition to the King and a letter to Barre' written by Adams.
April 1769 - Change in the policy of the Ministry towards the Colonies; the late duties are removed from all articles except tea, but the right of taxation is still claimed. Bernard is recalled and created Baronet of Nettleham. Adams comments sarcastically on the promotion.
April 24, 1769 - Adams attacks Gage and Bernard for their misrepresentations of Boston.
May 5, 1769 - Adams re-elected Representative.
May 31, 1769 - The Legislature meet. Adams re-elected Clerk. He writes for the House a remonstrance against the presence of the troops.
June 1769 - Discussions between the House and the Governor concerning the troops, the removal of the Assembly to Cambridge, the payment of the Governor's salary in advance.
June 27, 1769 - The Assembly present a petition to the King for Governor Bernard's removal
July 3, 1769 - A resolution of the House denying the power of Parliament over the Colonies is published in the Boston Gazette, and the Governor in consequence detains two regiments which were starting for Halifax.
July 7, 1769 - The House modifies its resolution and the regiments depart.
July 15, 1769 - Adams writes the report of a committee of the House on the maintenance of the royal troops by the Province. The Legislature is prorogued.
July 26, 1769 - A meeting of merchants protests against the tax on tea, and adopts the non-importation agreement of August, 1768.
August 1, 1769 - Bernard sails for England. Popular rejoicings. Adams's opinion of him. .
Ang. 14, 1769 - Celebration of the Anniversary of the Stamp Act riot.
September 1, 1769 - Conference of Adams and Otis with the Commissioners of the Customs
September 4, 1769 - Otis is assaulted by Robinson in consequence of an attack on the Commissioners in the Gazette.
September 25, 1769 - Adams defends Otis in the Gazette.
October 4, 1769 - A cargo of tea arrives. A town meeting records the names of four importers as “infamous" and confirms the non-importation agreement.
October 18, 1769 - The "Appeal to the World," written by Adams, adopted by the town and sent to England with a letter, also written by Adams
October 28, 1769 - An informer tarred and feathered. The mob breaks into the Chronicle office.
November 16, 1769 - Adams writes to Deberdt on the danger to the British power in America to be apprehended from the French and Spanish.

January 1770 - Debates in Parliament on America. Lord North becomes Prime Minister.
January 4, 1770 - Hutchinson, under instructions from Hillsborough, further prorogues the General Court, to meet at Cambridge 294, 295 January8. Adams, in the Gazette, denies the validity of the instructions, and rebukes the sons of Hutchinson and others who had recommenced the sale of tea.
January 16, 1770 - A meeting of merchants compels Hutchinson to give up the sale of tea. Adams skillfully prevails on a certain Scotchman to sign the non-importation agreement.
February, 1770 -Many ladies sign a compact not to drink tea until the revenue laws are rejected.
February 22, 1770 - In a slight disturbance growing out of the importation of tea, Richardson, an informer, mortally wounds Christopher Snyder, who is buried with a public funeral on the 26th.
March 2, 1770 - Affray between the troops and the men of Gray's ropewalk.
March 5, 1770 - The Massacre in King Street.
March 6, 1770 - The town and county authorities apply to Hutchinson unsuccessfully for the removal of the troops. — A town meeting send a committee, headed by Adams, to Hutchinson and the Council, to renew the demand. —They receive an evasive answer. — Adams reports to the people, who intrust him with the final issue. — Memorable scene in the Council Chamber. Adams overawes Hutchinson, and the troops are sent to the Castle. "Sam Adams's regiments." A volunteer night watch is established
March 5, 1770 - etc. Debates in Parliament on American affairs. The duty on tea retained
March 8, 1770 - Public funeral of the victims of the Massacre.
March 1770 -Adams sends an account of the affair to Governor Pownall in behalf of the Town.
March 15, 1770 - The Legislature is convened at Cambridge. They protest unsuccessfully against their removal from Boston.
April 23, 1770 - The House remonstrates with the Lieutenant' Governor concerning various grievances.
April 26, 1770 - Hutchinson dissolves the Assembly, threatening to lay their remonstrance before the King.
May 8, 1770 - Adams re-elected Representative.
May 11, 1770 - etc. He persuades Hancock not to withdraw from the Boston delegation.
May 15, 1770 - The Boston members receive instructions from Josiah Quincy.
May 30, 1770 -The Legislature meet at Cambridge. Adams elected Clerk.  Controversy between the House and Hutchinson on their removal to Cambridge.  The Court prorogued June 25.
August 3, 1770 - The Court, having met July 25, adopt Adams's reply to Hutchinson's opening address in defense of the removal.
September 10, 1770 - Castle William taken from the keeping of the Provincial authorities.
September-October 1770 - The Legislature meets September 25. Controversy with Hutchinson on the surrender of the Castle.—Adams writes replies for the House and articles in the Gazette on the subject
October - November 1770 -Trial of the soldiers.  Adams causes John Adams and Quincy to be retained as their counsel, and Paine to conduct the prosecution.
October , November 1770 -The opposition to the measures of Parliament slackens. .
November 1770 -Adams writes the instructions to Franklin.
November 7, 1770 - The first Committee of Correspondence appointed.
November 16, 20, 1770 - The House present to Hutchinson an address written by Adams, on the surrender of the Castle, and another on the militia. The General Court is prorogued.
December 27, 1770 - Adams writes to John Wilkes.
1770, 1771. December January - Controversy between "Vindex" (Adams) and "Philanthrop."

March. 1771 - Hutchinson appointed Governor, his salary to be paid by the Crown.
March 5, 1771 - The first Anniversary of the Boston Massacre. Lovell delivers the oration. Adams on the committee of arrangements for the next year.
March or April 1771 - Adams writes the reply of the Town to the letter of Dr. Lucas regarding the Massacre.
April 24, 1771 - Adams writes the reply of the House (which met on the 3d) to two speeches of the Governor relating to the military establishment, to his appointment, etc.  The Governor objects to the phrase " His Majesty's Commons," applied to the House.
April 25, 1771 - Adams makes inquiries for the House in regard to the payment of the Governor's salary by the Crown.
April 26, 1771 - The Assembly is dissolved.
April-June, 1771 - The opposition to government subsides. John Adams withdraws from public life. Adams re-elected Representative, and, on the meeting of the Legislature (May 29), again chosen Clerk. Otis is jealous of Adams, and the Governor tampers with Hancock. They carry the House in opposition to Adams. Adams prepares a report on the Provincial military, and a protest against holding the session at Cambridge.  With some difficulty he secures the passage of the latter in the House.  Hancock and his party for a while silenced.
June 27, 1771 - Adams appointed one of a Committee of Correspondence 406 June 29. Adams drafts a letter of instructions to Franklin.
July 4, 1771 - Hutchinson announces arbitrary instructions receive from the King.
July 5, 1771 - Adams replies for the Assembly. The Court prorogued.
August 12, 1771 - Twelve war vessels anchor in the harbor.
September - Oct, 1771 - Adams writes much in the Gazette. He counsels union of the Colonies and an Assembly of deputies.
1771, 1772.
October –January 1771, 1772 - Adams denies the supreme authority of Parliament over the Colonies. He maintains an incessant contest with the crown writers. His celebrity as a political essayist
October –January 1771, 1772 - Political divisions among the patriots.

March 5, 1772 - Joseph Warren delivers the oration in commemoration of the Massacre.
April 8, 1772 - etc. - Meeting of the Legislature. Adams carries the House against Hancock and his party.  Bowdoin secures for Adams the co-operation of the Council.
April 10, 1772 - Adams writes the reply to the Governor's message respecting the removal of the General Court to Cambridge.
April 20-25, 1772 - Adams is ill. —The Legislature dissolved on the 25th 468
May 6, 1772 - Adams re-elected Representative against considerable opposition.
May 27, 1772 - The Legislature meets.—Hancock rejoins the patriot party.
May 29, 1772 - Adams again remonstrates against keeping the Assembly at Cambridge, and it is finally adjourned to Boston, June 13.
June, 1772 - Hancock causes Copley to paint the portrait of Adams and himself.
July, 1772 - Controversy with the Governor on the payment of his salary by the Crown.
July 14, 1772 - The House reply by the hand of Adams to the Governor's demand that the Province House should be repaired.  The Governor prorogues the General Court with a fling at Adams .
October 5, 1772 - Adams writes against the payment of the salaries of Provincial officers by the Crown
October, 1772 - He labors for a general league of the Massachusetts towns. Cushing, Hancock, and others oppose the measure in vain.
October 28, 1772 - A preliminary town meeting is held to inaugurate the Confederation.
October 30, 1772 - At the adjourned town meeting the Governor is petitioned for a session of the Legislature.
November 2, 1772 - The Governor signifies to the meeting his refusal of the petition. — On the motion of Adams a Committee Of Correspondence is appointed .
Nov 20, 1772 -- Adams drafts for the Committee the "Eights of the Colonists "; Joseph Warren, the " Violations of Rights"; and Church, the "Letter of Correspondence to the Towns"
November-December, 1772 - The towns send replies and appoint Committees of Correspondence .
December, 1772 - Adams is consulted by gentlemen of Rhode Island in reference to the affair of the Gaspee.

January 6, 1773 - Hutchinson, alarmed at the progress of the Committees of Correspondence, convenes the General Court, and delivers a speech on the supremacy of Parliament, which is thought by many to be unanswerable.
January 22 - 26, 1773 - Adams, chairman of the committee to reply to Hutchinson, presents his report, which is accepted after some debate, and is generally considered a complete refutation.  
February 12, 1773 - etc. Adams writes a reply to the Governor on the payment of salaries by the Crown  
Mar. 2, 1773 - etc Adams responds to the Governor's reply on Parliamentary supremacy. Hutchinson soon after replies again, and the whole controversy is published.  
March 5, 1773 - The oration commemorating the Massacre is delivered by Dr. Church.  
March 6, 1773 - The Assembly is prorogued.
March 12, 1773 - Virginia organizes a Continental Committee of Correspondence.  
March 23. Adams reports to a town meeting an elaborate defence of the legality of the meeting held November 2, 1772, and the right of the towns to hold such meetings, which had been called in question by the Governor.
March 27, April 10. Adams corresponds with John Dickinson on Public affairs.
April 9, 12, 1773 - He accepts membership in the Society of the Bill of Rights.
April, 1773 - He receives his first letter from R. H. Lee, and replies.
May 6, 1773 - He is re-elected Representative.
May 10, 1773 - Parliament passes an act allowing to the East India Company a drawback of all import duties on tea exported to America.
May 26, 1773 - The Assembly meets. — Adams is reappointed Clerk.
May 28, 1773 - The Assembly passes Adams's resolutions confirming the action of Virginia.
June 2-16, 1773 - The secret letters of Hutchinson, forwarded from London by Franklin, are read in the House. — They are published
June 29, 1773 - The General Court is prorogued immediately after passing resolves recommending au impeachment of the judges
June - September, 1773 -In the Gazette and in his correspondence Adams calls for a Continental Congress, first proposed by him.
September 21, 1773 - The Boston Committee of Correspondence send to the other towns a circular, written by Adams, advocating an American Confederacy.
October 9, 1773 - Hutchinson denounces Adams to the Ministry as the leader of the town of Boston and manager of the Legislature.
October 21, 1773 - Adams composes for the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence a letter to the other Colonies similar to that sent to the towns.
November, 1773 -The patriots attempt to force the agents of the East India Company to resign. — Several town meetings are held.
November 23, 1773 - Adams drafts a circular letter to the towns, asking their co-operation.
November 28, 1773 - The Dartmouth arrives with the tea.
November 29, 1773 - At a town meeting it is resolved, on motion of Adams that the tea shall be sent back to England. — The Dartmouth is guarded.
November 30, 1773 - The Governor in vain requires a meeting to disperse. The consignees of the tea avoid any concession.
December 1-15, 1773 - The consignees will do nothing, and the Collector refuses repeated applications for a clearance for the ships.
December 16, 1773 - All efforts to induce the Governor to yield having failed, dams gives the signal for the Boston Tea-party
December 24, 1773 - The members of the Committee sign a pledge of mutual defense.

February   5, 1774 - Adams defends the Committees against the Governor's opening address of January26 131, 132 February   11, etc. The Assembly, led by Adams, impeach Chief Justice Oliver.
March 5, 1774 - Anniversary of the Massacre. Hancock delivers the oration, probably composed by Adams .
March 8, 1774 -The Assembly is prorogued.
March, 1774 - Adams drafts a letter to the other Provinces on the grievances of Massachusetts, and (on the 28th) a letter of instructions to Franklin.
March 25, 1774 - Adams consulted in regard to the disturbances at Marblehead. — He urges the Marblehead Committee of Correspondence not to resign.
March, April, 1774 - On receiving the news of the destruction of the tea, Parliament passes an act closing the port of Boston, another entirely changing the Constitution of Massachusetts, and a third authorizing the Governor to send persons to England for trial in certain cases. General Gage is appointed Governor.
April, 1774 - An engraving by Paul Revere of Copley's portrait of Adams appears in the Royal American Magazine.
April 4, 1774 - In a letter to Arthur Lee, Adams predicts the independence and future greatness of America.
May 10, 1774 - News of the Port Bill received in Boston. Adams reelected Representative.
May 12, 1774 - Convention of the Committees of Correspondence of eight towns to consider the late acts of Parliament. They scorn to procure the repeal of the Port Act by paying for the tea destroyed. Adams prepares a letter to the Committees of other Colonies, asking for a concert of action. Its extraordinary effect.
May 13, 1774 - Adams presides at a town meeting to consider the Port Act. A Continental. Non-Importation League proposed. He drafts an appeal to the several Assemblies.
May 17, 1774 - General Gago arrives and assumes command of the Province.
May 30, 1774 - Adams chosen chairman of the Donation Committee.
June 1, 1774 - Hutchinson sails for England, having received an adulatory address from the Tories.
June 1, 1774 - The Legislature, which met at Boston, May 26, is removed to Salem. The Port Act goes into operation.
June 5, 1774 - etc. The “Solemn League and Covenant" not to consume imported goods is very generally signed.
June 7, 1774 - Intrepidity of Adams at the opening of the General Court at Salem.
June 17, 1774 - After cautious preparation of the Representatives, Adams moves resolutions appointing five delegates to a Continental Congress at Philadelphia. — The Governor sends his secretary to dissolve the Assembly, but Adams has locked the door and taken the key. After choosing John and Samuel Adams, Bowdoin, Cushing, and Paine delegates, voting money for their payment, and ordering circulars to be sent to the other Assemblies, the House allows itself to be dissolved.
June 17, 1774 - A Boston town meeting refuses to pay for the tea.
June 27, 28, 1774 - The Tories move in a town meeting that the Committee of Correspondence be censured and annihilated. — Adams triumphantly defends that body and also the Solemn League and Covenant, which had been attacked in Draper's Gazette, and censured by the Governor.
July, 1774 - The arrest of Adams and other patriots is feared.
July, 1774 - Ineffectual attempt of the Government to corrupt Adams.
July 7, 1774 -Adams defends the Committee in the Massachusetts Spy.
August, 1774 - Be writes the replies of the Donation Committee to various towns.
August, 1774 - He plans measures to be pursued during his absence in Congress, and suggests to Dr. Warren the Suffolk County Convention.
August, 1774 - He receives a complete suit of clothing from some unknown friends.
August 10-29, 1774 - He journeys to the Congress at Philadelphia.
September 5-7, 1774 - Congress meets at Philadelphia. Adams's conciliatory influence. He proposes that Duche", an Episcopalian, should read prayers to the Congress.
September, 1774 - Massachusetts pursues the policy laid down by Adams. The Suffolk County Convention meet on the 6th, and pass Joseph Warren's bold resolutions on the 9th. Their effect.
September 21, 1774 - Adams re-elected Representative.
September, 1774 - He defeats Galloway's plan of accommodation with England.
September - October, 1774 - He perhaps assists in drafting the Declaration of Rights  
October 26, 1774 - Congress dissolves and Adams returns to Boston.  
November 23, 1774 - The Provincial Congress meets. Adams joins it and urges active measures.
December 30, 1774 - He drafts a letter setting forth the grievances of Boston, in reply to General Gage.

January 1775 - The ministerial policy prevails in Parliament in opposition to Chatham, the petitions of the General Congress are rejected, and Massachusetts declared to be in a state of rebellion.
February 1, 1775 - The Second Provincial Congress convened at Cambridge. Its character. Adams writes replies to donors for the Donation Committee.
February, 1775 - Ministerial plans to seize the leaders of the Colonists.
February   15, 1775 - A committee of which Adams is a member warns the militia to be ready for service.
February   21, 1775 - etc. He and Warren dispatch a secret agent to Canada with a letter, written by Adams, to the friends of liberty. The Montreal Committee reply.  Adams is engaged on various committees.
March 5, 1775 - Joseph Warren delivers the annual oration, Adams presiding.
March 22, 1775 - The Provincial Congress, adjourned since February   16, meet at Concord, and Adams drafts a letter to the Mohawks.
Apr. 8, 1775 - etc. The Committee on the State of the Province propose an armed confederation of the New England Colonies for mutual defense.  Deputies sent to Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.  The alliance formed.
Apr. 18 & 19, 1775 - Expedition of the British to seize Adams and Hancock at Lexington, and to destroy military stores at Concord.  Battle of Lexington.
Apr. 19-May 10, 1775 - Adams and Hancock set out for Philadelphia to attend the second Continental Congress.  They are everywhere received with great honor. Secret meeting with Governor Trumbull at Hartford.  Consultation with the New York Committee of Safety.
May 10, 1775 - etc. Congress meets.  Adams desires an immediate Declaration of Independence, but finds that Congress is not prepared for it.  Another petition to the King voted.
June 12, 1775 - Gage offers pardon to all who will lay down their arms, except Adams and Hancock.
June 15, 1775 - On the nomination of John and Samuel Adams, Washington is elected Commander-in-Chief, to the great disappointment of Hancock.
June 17, 1775 - Battle of Bunker Hill. Death of Warren, Adams's dearest friend.
June 23, 1775 -Washington goes to Cambridge to assume command of the Continental army, with letters of introduction to the Massachusetts leaders from Adams.
August 1-11, 1775 - Congress adjourns. Adams carries funds for the army to General Washington.
August 15, 1775 - etc. Adams joins the Council, is elected Secretary of State, and is chairman of a new Donation Committee.  His son enters the army as a surgeon.
September 13, 1775 - etc. The Continental Congress meets.  Adams serves on many committees, chiefly those concerned with the conduct of the war. He advises that each State should institute its own system of government preparatory to a general confederation.
October, 1775 - He urges the building of an American navy.
October, 1775 - The King refuses to notice the petition of Congress

January, 1776 - Adams endeavors to procure the liberation of James Lovell, a, prisoner in the hands of General Gage.
January, 1776 - Wilson and a strong party in Congress disavow independence and carry their point despite Adams's efforts.
January, 1776 - He confers with Franklin on a separate Confederacy of such States as are inclined to independence, and proposes to try it with New England Alone if necessary. Franklin assents.
January2, Mar. 14, 1776 - He advocates disarming the Tories, and meeting British outrages with retaliation.
January 16, 1776 - etc. Adams favors the enlistment of free negroes. He is actively engaged in forwarding military operations in the North.
January19, 1776 - Adams re-elected a delegate to Congress.
February 1776 - Movement in Congress to open the ports to free trade.
February 1776 - Adams supports Washington in the demand for long enlistments.
February   3, 1776 - etc He publishes addresses to the people of Pennsylvania and to the people in general in reply to the testimony of the Quakers in favor of submission.
February   12, 1776 - He publishes an earnest Appeal to the People, on Lord North's second plan of conciliation.
March, 1776 - Hancock sides with the Southern Loyalists and breaks with the bolder delegates.
March 17, 1776 - The British evacuate Boston.  They have made Adams's house uninhabitable.
Mar., Apr. , 1776 - Adams is impatient at the delay in proclaiming independence.
April 6, 1776 - Congress abolishes British custom-houses and opens the ports to free trade.
May 10, 1776 - Adams supports the resolutions recommending the different Colonies to establish governments independent of Great Britain.
 Jane 5-10, 1776 – Richard Henry Lee introduces resolutions declaring the Colonies Free and Independent States.  A vigorous de bate ensues, in which Adams probably takes part. The question is postponed for three weeks.
June 12, 1776 - Adams is the representative of Massachusetts in a committee of one member from each Colony appointed to digest the form of a confederation.  They report.
June 10-July 1, 1776 - He wins over members to the party of independence.
July 1-2, 1776 - After lively debate Lee's resolutions are passed.
July 2-4, 1776 - The Declaration of Independence is discussed and adopted.
Jury 15-29, 1776 - Adams is perhaps concerned in the preparation of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
August 1, 1776 - An oration, falsely purporting to have been delivered by Adams on this day at Philadelphia, is published in London in the autumn.
August 12-October 24, 1776 - After a short visit home, during which he has an interview with General Washington at New York, stays a few days with his family at Dedham, and resumes his office of Secretary of State, Adams returns to Congress.
November - December, 1776 - The campaign in New Jersey is disastrous to the Continentals, Philadelphia is threatened by Cornwallis, and Congress removes to Baltimore.  Adams undismayed in the general gloom.
December 1776 - He is chairman of the Committee on the State of the Northern Army, and a member of the Committee on the State of Washington's Army and the Committee to obtain Foreign Aid.  He recommends investing Washington with dictatorial powers.

January-February, 1777 - Adams is ill from over-work.
January 15, 1777 - He prepares instructions for Allen, an agent among the Nova Scotia Indians.
January 1777 - etc. He is a member of the Board of War, and chairman of numerous committees.
July, Aug., 1777 - After the surrender of Ticonderoga, Adams advocates the substitution of Gates for Schuyler as commander of the Northern Department.
September- October, 1777 - Washington is defeated at Brandywine.  Congress adjourns to Yorktown, and Howe occupies Philadelphia. Congress is reduced to twenty members. Adams encourages his despondent friends.
October-November 1777 - Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga. France forms a treaty with the United States, and Great Britain appoints peace commissioners.
November 11, 1777 - Samuel and John Adams leave Yorktown and arrive at Boston, December 4, 1777
November I4, 1777 - The Articles of Confederation, long debated in Congress, are agreed to
1777, 1778 December-January - A cabal in Congress endeavors to remove Washington from the chief command. — Hancock spreads the report that Adams is engaged in it.

January1778 - Adams gives Baron Steuben recommendatory letters to members of Congress .
February 1778 - He declines to see General Burgoyne in regard to the delay in carrying out the Saratoga convention of surrender.
February - Apr., 1778 - A treaty made with France. The news joyfully received in America
April-October, 1778 - The Commissioners of the British Court vainly endeavor to induce the Americana to submit
May 21, 1778 - Adams resumes his seat in Congress. He is made chairman of the Marine Committee. May, June. The opposition to Adams and his friends gains ground in Massachusetts.
June, 1778 - Adams, in an address directed to the Commissioners, ex poses the unreasonableness of their demands.
July, 1778 - It is proposed, perhaps by the British Ministry, to make Franklin, Washington, Adams, Hancock, and others peers, if America will submit to the King.
July 8, 1778 - The French fleet arrives under Admiral D'Estaing.
August 5, 1778 - Reception of the French Minister by Congress.  Adams has charge of the arrangements.
August - October, 1778 - The combined American and French expedition against Rhode Island fails.  Adams endeavors to silence the popular outcry against D'Estaing.
October, 1778 - The Commissioners issue a threatening manifesto.  Adams writes a counter manifesto, which is published by Congress.
October, 1778 - etc. He opposes the return of the refugees, and advocates the confiscation of their estates.
October - December, 1778 - The cabal against Adams continues. A friend in Boston attempts to reconcile him and Hancock.
Nov., Dec, 1778 - Adams is re-elected delegate to Congress. He wishes to decline the service.

June 20, 1779 - etc. Adams returns to Boston and resumes his duties as Secretary of State and member of the Board of War.
July, 1779 - He urges forward troops in aid of Rhode Island and Connecticut.
August, 1779 - He visits Providence and obtains additional troops for the expedition to Penobscot; but the expedition is unsuccessful.
August, 1779 - He is elected representative from Boston to the State Constitutional Convention.
September 9, 1779 - He becomes member of the Council. The town votes not to fill his scat in the House.
September 1, 1779 - etc. The Convention meets at Cambridge. It continues with adjournments till June, 1780. Samuel Adams, John Adams, and Bowdoin draft a Constitution.

January 5, 1780 - Adams writes to the Governor of Rhode Island opposing the return of the refugees.
February 1780 - He prepares the address of the Convention, explaining the Constitution to their constituents.
February 1780 - Committees of Correspondence organized in England and Ireland.
May 4, 1780 - Adams is one of the incorporators of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
May, 1780 - He is elected Councilor, but declines the honor.
June, 1780 - He sets out for Philadelphia with Gerry. They procure reinforcements for the Highlands, which are threatened by the British, and resume their seats in Congress on the 29th.
June, 1780 - etc. Adams favors enlistments for the war, opposes the grant of half-pay for life to the officers, and urges forward supplies to Washington's suffering army.
October, 1780 - Neglect of Adams in his native State.  He is defeated as candidate for Secretary of State.

January- Mar., 1781 - Adams opposes the creation of Secretaries of War, Finance, and Foreign Relations, with separate departments.
February 24, 1781 - The ratification of the Articles of Confederation is announced.
April, 1781 - He takes final leave of Congress, and returns to honorable poverty at Boston. Marriage of his daughter . 135-138 October Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown.
Nov., 1781 - Adams writes an answer to Governor Chittenden on the claims of Massachusetts to the New Hampshire grants.

January 1782 - He attempts to counteract the extravagance and dissipation in Boston.
February 20, 1782 - He declines a seat in Congress, but becomes again President of the Massachusetts Senate.
March, 1782 - etc. He urges the importance of stipulating for a right to the Newfoundland fisheries in the negotiations with Great Britain.
June - July, 1782 - Riots in the interior headed by Ely. Adams and Ward visit Hampshire County and restore order.
July 4, 1782 - Adams draws up resolutions expressive of the determination of Massachusetts to continue the war until American independence is fully recognized.
July - October, 1782 - Adams chairman of a financial committee, and deputed with Gorham to facilitate the collection of the Continental tax in Massachusetts.
Aug., September, 1782 - He opposes illicit trade with the enemy.
December, 1782 - After the declaration of peace the French army sets sail from Boston.

April, 1783 - He is defeated as candidate for Governor, but is reelected Senator.
April, 1783 - etc. He opposes restoring the rights of citizenship to the refugees.
July - September, 1783 - He supports the Continental Impost Bill.

April, 1784 - He disapproves of the Order of the Cincinnati.
April, 1784 - Although not liking the commutation of half-pay for life into five years' full pay, he sustains the authority of Congress.
April, 1784 - He is re-elected to the Senate, and again chosen President.
November, 1784 - He is chosen delegate to Congress, but declines the honor. He uses his influence in favor of some disabled soldiers and sailors.
1785. He holds no public office this year.

April, May, 1786 - He is re-elected to the Senate. He declines a seat in the Council 220, 221
September - December, 1786 - During Shays' rebellion Adams attends the meetings of the Council. He supports Governor Bowdoin's vigorous measures.

February   3-5, 1787 - He writes the Senate's declaration of rebellion, and their reply to the propositions of the rebels, and introduces a resolution asking the assistance of Congress.
April, 1787 - He is again chosen President of the Council, and after reconciliation, with Hancock; he becomes one of his Councilors.
May 19, 1787 - Two of the four cannon owned by Massachusetts at the commencement of the Revolution are named after Adams and Hancock by Congress.  He advocates the execution of the rebel prisoners.

January 9 - February   6, 1788 - The Convention to ratify the Constitution of the United States meets. Adams is a delegate from Boston.   He prevents a hasty rejection of the Constitution. He is anxious for the preservation of the individual State sovereignties, and advocates the Conciliatory Propositions. He proposes additional amendments, which are not accepted. The Constitution is ratified by a small majority.
January 17, 1788 - His son, Dr. Samuel Adams, dies at the age of thirty-seven.
December 1788 - Adams is candidate for Representative to Congress, but Fisher Ames is elected.

1789-92. Adams is lieutenant-Governor

January, 1790 - He discountenances theatrical exhibitions.
September 12-November 20, 1790 - He corresponds with John Adams on government. The correspondence is published in 1802.

October, 1793 - He takes a deep interest in the French republic and writes encouragingly to Genet.
October 8, 1793 - etc. In consequence of the death of Hancock, Adams assumes the duties of Governor.

He is chosen to succeed Hancock. He advocates neutrality in the wars of Europe.

July 4, 1795 -- He is re-elected Governor, and lays the corner-stone of the new State House.

He opposes Jay's treaty. He is re-elected Governor. He disagrees with the Senate concerning vacancies in the Electoral College. He is fifth on the list of candidates for the Presidency.

He retires from public life.

1801. Correspondence between Jefferson and Adams.
Nov., 1801 - He writes a letter to Thomas Paine, praising his "Common Sense" and his “Crisis," but dissuading him from farther theological writings. The letter is published, with Paine's reply.

1803. Death of Samuel Adams.
October 6, 1803 - "With some difficulty his friends procure a proper escort for his funeral.
October 9, 1803 – A funeral sermon is preached at Dedham by Thomas Thacher.
October 19, 1803 - His death is appropriately noticed in Congress by John Randolph.

January1804 - The Massachusetts Senate grudgingly pass resolutions in his honor.

 The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America 

Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776

September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776

Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783

Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781

Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789

Presidents of the United States of America

D-Democratic Party, F-Federalist Party, I-Independent, R-Republican Party, R* Republican Party of Jefferson & W-Whig Party 

 (1881 - 1881)
*Confederate States  of America

Chart Comparing Presidential Powers Click Here

United Colonies and States First Ladies

United Colonies Continental Congress
18th Century Term
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
United States Continental Congress
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
United States in Congress Assembled
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
01/22/88 - 01/29/89

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
January 20, 2009 to date

Capitals of the United Colonies and States of America

Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
October 6, 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Dec. 6,1790 to May 14, 1800       
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present

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The United Colonies of North America Continental Congress Presidents (1774-1776)
The United States of America Continental Congress Presidents (1776-1781)
The United States of America in Congress Assembled Presidents (1781-1789)
The United States of America Presidents and Commanders-in-Chiefs (1789-Present)

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