The Adams Family is back in vogue. Not the "kooky," "ooky" and "spooky" Addams clan made famous in print and on the TV and silver screens, but,the Adams Family of Massachusetts that helped shape the nation hundreds of years ago.

Sam Adams / National Park Service Photo

Samuel Adams (1722-1803), of Boston, was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Governor of the Commonwealth, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. A bronze statue of Governor Adams is located in front of Fanuel Hall in Boston. Check it out.

Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By Coca-Cola - Barilla's Italian Table hosted by Giada De Laurentiis
Getty Images for NYCWFF

Though Governor Adams was a lousy businessman and an unsuccessful brewer, he is immortalized by The Boston Beer Company with a line of brews established in 1984 known as Sam Adams Beer. That beer, not the late governor, was in the news this week as Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Sommerville called for a boycott because the CEO, Jim Koch, is a Trump supporter.

Curtatone is the same guy that called Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson a "jackboot" for wanting to cooperate with ICE rather than release criminal illegal immigrants into our communities.

John Adams / National Park Service Photo

The other Adams in the news is John Adams (1735-1826), a second cousin to Samuel Adams who also signed the Declaration of Independence. Adams served two terms as the nation's first vice president under George Washington, and served one term as our second president. Adams was from Braintree and was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution, which was used as a model for the U.S. Constitution.

John and Abigail's oldest son, John Quincy Adams, was elected the nation's sixth president.

John Quincy Adams / National Parks Services Photo

This week, U.S. Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) referred to Vice President Mike Pence as "the greatest vice president of the United States, well, since John Adams." Chabot went on to express his belief that Pence will most likely be the next Republican elected president.

The role of vice president is largely ceremonial. You do little but stand by in the event something happens to the president. Patience and loyalty are expected of a good vice president. Adams was loyal, but hardly patient. Pence, also loyal, seems to have an easier time with the patience part.


Adams was very wise as well, and feared that a party system for electing our leaders could lead to great divisiveness and perhaps a revolution or a coup. Adams, like Trump, had a miserable time with the press, and even went so far as to sign legislation that led to the jailing of several newspaper editors who were critical of his administration.

This is why we study history, and a study of the Adams Family of Massachusetts is certainly worth your time.

National Park Service Photo
National Park Service Photo

The John Adams National Park is Quincy is open for tours. Check it out online.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420