A plain-spoken, tough-minded lawyer, scrupulously honest and dauntingly erudite, but also sometimes quarrelsome and stubborn, Adams emerged into politics as an opponent of the Stamp Act and, after moving to Boston, was a central figure in the Revolutionary group opposing the British measures that were to lead to the American Revolution. Sent (1774) to the First Continental Congress, he distinguished himself, and in the Second Continental Congress he was a moderate but forceful revolutionary. He proposed George Washington as commander in chief of the Continental troops to bind Virginia more tightly to the cause for independence. He favored the Declaration of Independence, was a member of its drafting committee, and argued eloquently for the document.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.