Asked in Founding FathersJohn AdamsAbigail Adams
Why did Samuel Adams not attend the Constitutional Convention?
December 01, 2010 7:50AM
Short answer: He declined to participate in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, however, believing the Constitution would give the national government too much power.
Longer and by far more interesting answer: Adams attended the Continental Congress from 1774 until 1781 where he was most noted for his oratory skills, and as a passionate advocate of independence from Britain. During that time, he rarely distinguished himself from the other participants. His radical tendencies, as well as those of the other members of the Massachusetts delegation, were not well received by most participants.
He gained fame on one night in particular, however, when in April of 1775, in dramatic series of events between the First and Second Continental Congresses, he and John Hancock were almost captured by the British. Paul Revere and William Dawes arrived just in time to warn them, and the two were able to go into hiding. Local militia forces, upon being warned of British plans, were there to meet the British when they arrived at dawn instead. Fighting between the two groups quickly began, marking the beginning of the War for Independence.
In 1776, as a delegate to the Continental Congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence.
Adams retired from the Congress in 1781 and returned to Massachusetts to become a leading member of that state's convention to form a constitution. He declined to participate in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, however, believing the Constitution would give the national government too much power.