By Linda Schmittroth, Mary Kay Rosteck, Stacy A. McConnell
Profiles sixty women and men who have been key gamers at the British or American facet of the yank Revolution, from John Adams, who turned the second one president, to Eliza Wilkinson, who wrote of the day British infantrymen looted her South Carolina domestic.
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Adams, one of three brothers, was born on his family’s farm in Quincy (then known as Braintree), Massachusetts. His father, also named John, was a farmer and a church deacon who directed the affairs of his hometown for more than twenty years. Adams’s mother, Susanna Boyleston Adams, came from a respected Brookline, Massachusetts, family. John Adams was very close to his mother. His biographer Page Smith wrote that “she brought a touch of [city worldliness] to the family. She had ... ” As a child, Adams loved spending time in the woods and fields that surrounded his Braintree home.
Why did he do this? Some people believe that he thought death sentences for these British soldiers were a certainty, but his gesture would show England that Bostonians could be just and fair-minded people. In the end, none of the British soldiers was found guilty of murder. Six were found not guilty, and two were found guilty of manslaughter (killing of a human being without any bad intent), a charge less than murder, and were punished by being branded on their thumbs. In his diaries, John Adams wrote of his second cousin, Samuel: “He is a Man of stedfast Integrity, exquisite Humanity, genteel [learning], ...
But the young man lent half of it to a friend, never asking to be repaid, and frittered away the rest. Samuel gained a reputation for being unable to make or hold on to money. He preferred to spend his time discussing how America must become independent of England. Accounts of the time describe Adams as about five feet six inches tall, with a large head, dark eyes, and a musical voice. Adams had no interest in fashion and wore shabby clothing and shoes. His real interests lay in politics. In 1747 Adams and several friends began the Whipping Post Club, a political organization that published a newspaper, The Public Advertiser, written largely by Adams.
American Revolution: biographies by Linda Schmittroth, Mary Kay Rosteck, Stacy A. McConnell