Samuel Adams (1722-1803) was a political leader in the American Revolution and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was unsuccessful as a businessman in Boston, but found his calling as a colonial activist, a member of the Massachusetts legislature, a protestor of the Stamp Act of 1765, and an organizer of the 1767 non-importation agreement. Adams succeeded James Otis as the leader of the extremist Patriots, and he wrote a Circular Letter condemning the 1767 Townshend Acts as taxation without representation.
Adams was a prolific propagandist against British policy throughout the pre-revolutionary period. Along with John Hancock, Adams formed the Sons of Liberty, a colonial activist coalition. He also took the lead in forming colonial Committees of Correspondence to foster inter-colonial communication and mobilization, and then served in the Continental Congress from 1774-1781. By the spring of 1775, Adams joined Hancock in hiding in Lexington, Massachusetts, where Paul Revere found both men on the night of April 18 to tell them and the townspeople that the British troops were marching the next day to seize colonial gunpowder stores. After the Revolutionary War, Adams lost much of his influence as more conservative leaders took power.