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Thomas Adams - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Thursday, December 24, 2020

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Birth: 1730 (Estimation)
Death: August 1788 (At the age of 57 or 58)
Colony: Virginia
Occupation: Businessman, Politician
Significance: Signed The Articles of Confederation (at the age of 47 or 48); served in the Continental Congress (1778)

Articles of Confederation - Original 1777 Printing

Thomas Adams was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in Virginia to English immigrants, Adams was educated in Virginia common schools before accompanying his father back overseas to his hometown of London where his education continued.

Adams returned to Virginia where he established a merchant business and traveled frequently back and forth to London. Despite his close ties to England, Adams was angered by British policies toward the American Colonies in the 1770s, and he joined the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1774. 

In 1778, Adams was elected and served in the Second Continental Congress. Adams traveled to Philadelphia to serve in the Continental Congress, and he was among the first signers of the Articles of Confederation on July 9, 1778 after the Articles were ratified by his Colony of Virginia. 

After returning to Virginia, Adams' political career continued. Adams served in the Virginia State Senate for three terms until 1787, and he then died the following year in 1788, though as with his birth date, the exact date is unknown. There is no known portrait of Thomas Adams.

Thomas Adams in Philadelphia

Adams came to Philadelphia in 1778 as a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress. While serving as a member of the Second Continental Congress, Adams worked at Independence Hall, where he signed The Articles of Confederation.

Today, Independence Hall is a stop visited along The Constitutional Walking Tour!

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