Before they were central figures in American history, John Hancock, John Adams, Josiah Quincy Junior, Abigail Smith Adams, and Dorothy Quincy Hancock were childhood friends in the village of Braintree, Massachusetts.
Sons and daughters of gentry, preachers, and simple farmers, they were all raised to be loyal British subjects — and yet from an early age this band of friends questioned the relationship between colony and mother country, and began to advocate for greater independence from British control.
In the years leading up to the American Revolution, they led the way in opposing the Crown and Parliament’s policies of rising taxes, curbing of colonial rights, and increasing military presence in Boston.
The Quincys, Adams, and Hancocks stood as vital advocates for their fellow colonists throughout the horrors of the Boston Massacre, the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and Bunker Hill, and the trials and tribulations endured during the Siege of Boston.
Their influence went far beyond their own colony of Massachusetts when they became leaders of the Continental Congress; set out on transatlantic missions for peace; and instigated the final steps that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
My new book, American Rebels: How the Hancock, Adams, and Quincy Families Fanned the Flames of Revolution, explores how the desire for independence cut across class lines, binding people together (while leaving loyalists behind) as the rebels pursued commonly-held goals of opportunity, liberty, and stability.
Providing an intimate and fresh history of the American Revolution, told through the histories of the three families that fanned its flames, American Rebels is now available for pre-order at independent book stores, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. For more information, visit my website.