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Born Sept. 29, 1722; died Oct. 2, 1803. American political figure and one of the organizers of the struggle for liberation during the War for Independence in North America of 1775–83 (the American Revolution).
In 1743, Adams issued a thesis in which he developed the idea of the “legality of resistance to higher authorities.” Adams was a leader of the revolutionary organization Sons of Liberty. He established a committee of correspondence in Boston (1772) that became the model for other such committees throughout the British colonies, these becoming the embryos of local revolutionary power. After the war for independence, Adams advocated the adoption of the Bill of Rights and the abolition of slavery. From 1794 to 1797 he was governor of the state of Massachusetts.