The Revolution’s Odd Couple: John Hancock and Samuel Adams

Presented by William M. Fowler

Tuesday, June 28, 2016   10:30 AM

adams_hancock How did two patriots so unlike one another yoke together in the cause of American independence independence?

Both were Harvard graduates. Adams came from a middling Boston family steeped in the puritan traditions of the town. Hancock, who inherited a fortune from his uncle, lived in grand style atop an elegant mansion on Beacon Hill.

They learned their politics in the rough and tumble of the town meeting and the General Court. Both went to the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of independence.

Yet while they fought for independence their views of the future of the new nation differed. Their political paths diverged, but in a critical moment when the new nation stood at the precipice they reconciled and helped to fashion the republic.

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About William M. Fowler


Dr. Fowler is the author of a number of books dealing with American history including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil War; Silas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides; co-author America and The Sea; William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty; Rebels Under Sail: The Navy in the Revolution; Jack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815; Samuel Adams: Radical Puritan; Empires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763.

Professor Fowler has taught courses dealing with the history of Boston, maritime history, and the history of New England. He is the former Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Fellow in American History at Mount Vernon. He has taught at Mystic Seaport Museum and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Naval War College, and the Sea Education Association. He is a trustee of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Association, The Paul Revere Memorial Association, The Rhode Island Historical Society, Leventhal Map Center at The Boston Public Library, and the Old North Church Foundation. He is a member of the City of Boston Archives Advisory Commission and an honorary member of the Boston Marine Society, as well as an editor of The New England Quarterly.


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