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The Writings of Samuel Adams, vol. III.

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Prepared by:
Regina Azucena
razucena@netway.com
Daniel Moore
mooreds@whitman.edu

THE WRITINGS OF SAMUEL ADAMS

COLLECTED AND EDITED BY

HARRY ALONSO CUSHING

VOLUME III

1773-1777

CONTENTS OF VOLUME III.

1773.

To James Otis, March 19th . . .
Political Activity of Mr. Bacon.

To the Town of Boston, March 23rd . . .
Report of Resolutions in Reply to Governor--Legality of Town
Meetings--Right of Petition--Supremacy of Parliament.

To John Dickinson, March 27th . . .
Controversy with Governor.

To Committee of Correspondence of Littleton, March 31st . . .
Acknowledgment of Co-operation.

To Nathan Sparhawk, March 31st . . .
Political Activity of Rutland.

To Thomas Mighill, April 7th . . .
Political Activity of Rowley.

To Arthur Lee, April 9th . . .
Election to Society of Bill of Rights--Effects of November Town-
Meeting--Controversy with Governor--Attitude of Lord Dartmouth--
Position of Hancock.

To Richard Henry Lee, April 10th . . .
Position of Colonies--Activity of Friends of Liberty--Resolves of
Virginia--Courts in Rhode Island.

Article Signed "Candidus," April 12th . . .
November Town-Meeting--Controversy with Governor.

To John Wadsworth, April 13th . . .
Action of Duxbury.

To Ezra Whitmarsh, April 13th . . .
Political Activity of Weymouth.

To Joseph North, April 13th . . .
Votes of Gardnerstown.

To Josiah Stone, April 13th . . .
Political Activity of Framingham.

To Arthur Lee, April 22nd . . .
Position of Hancock and of Otis.

To Arthur Lee, May 6th . . .
Practice of Instructing Representatives--Controversy with
Governor.

To Selectmen of Boston, May 14th . . .
Declining Election as Moderator.

To Arthur Lee, May 17th . . .
Meeting of General Assembly--Letters of Hutchinson.

To Arthur Lee, June 14th . . .
Letters of Hutchinson and Oliver.

To Elijah Morton, June 19th . . .
Resolves of Harfield--Unity of Colonists.

To Arthur Lee, June 21st . . .
Letters of Hutchinson--Action of House of Representatives.

To the King, June 23rd . . .
Petition for Removal of Hutchinson and Oliver.

To Arthur Lee, June 28th . . .
Action of House of Representatives on Letters--Attitude of
Public--Independence of Judiciary.

To Committee of Correspondence of Worcester, September 11th . . .
Activity of Committees of Correspondence--Independence of
Judiciary.

To Joseph Hawley, October 4th . . .
Disposition of Administration--Controversy with Governor--
Grievances of Colonists.

To Joseph Hawley, October 13th . . .
Character of Lord Dartmouth--Plans of Administration.

To Committees of Correspondence, October 21st . . .
Circular of Massachusetts Committee--Attitude of Ministry and
Parliament--Rights of Colonists.

Resolutions of Town of Boston, November 5th . . .
Duty upon Tea.

To Committee of Correspondence of Roxbury, November 9th . . .
Activity of Troops--Call for Conference.

To Arthur Lee, November 9th . . .
Political Situation.

To Selectmen of Boston, November 17th . . .
Petition for Town-Meeting for Action upon Tea.

To Committee of Plymouth, December 17th . . .
Report on Tea.

To Committees of Correspondence, December 17th . . .
Report on Disposal of Tea.

To Arthur Lee, December 25th . . .
Recommending John Scollay.

To Arthur Lee, December 31st . . .
Boston Town-Meeting--Action on Tea.

1774.

To John Pickering, January 8th . . .
Petition of Negroes.

To Arthur Lee, January 25th . . .
Destruction of Tea.

Resolution of House of Representatives, March 1st . . .
Refusing Grant to Peter Oliver.

To Committee of Correspondence of Marblehead, March 24th . . .
Proposal of Continental Post.

To Elbridge Gerry, March 25th . . .
Political Disorders in Marblehead.

To Benjamin Franklin, March 31st . . .
Independence of Judiciary--Controversy with Governor--Rights of
Colonists.

To James Warren, March 31st . . .
Political Comments--Continental Post.

To Committee of Correspondence of Marblehead, April 2nd . . .
Local Politics in Marblehead--Effect of Committee's Resignation.

To Arthur Lee, April 4th . . .
Independence of Judiciary--Attitude of Governor--Relations with
England.

To Arthur Lee, April . . .
Disposition of Lord Dartmouth.

To John Dickinson, April 21st . . .
Oration of Hancock--Course of Massachusetts.

To Elbridge Gerry, May 12th . . .
Duty of Political Service.

To Committee of Correspondence of Portsmouth, May 12th . . .
Action of Boston on Port Bill.

To the Colonies, May 13th . . .
Appeal of Boston--The Port Act--Arrival of Gage.

To Committee of Correspondence of Philadelphia, May 13th . . .
Port Act.

To James Warren, May 14th . . .
Port Act--Attitude of Public--Action of Boston.

To Silas Deane, May 18th . . .
Response to Connecticut Committee--Co-operation of Colonists.

To Stephen Hopkins, May 18th . . .
Port Act--Need of Co-operation.

To Arthur Lee, May 18th . . .
Port Act.

To Elbridge Gerry, May 20th . . .
Port Act--Attitude of New York.

To Committee of Correspondence of Marblehead, May 22nd . . .
Attitude of New York.

To Charles Thomson, May 30th . . .
Function of Committee of Correspondence--Dependence upon
Merchants--Address to Hutchinson.

To Silas Deane, May 31st . . .
Political Plans--Adjournment of Legislature.

To William Checkley, June 1st . . .
Birth of Daughter--Position of Boston.

Resolution of House of Representatives, June 17th . . .
Need of Relief of Boston and Charlestown.

To Elbridge Gerry, June 22nd . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

Article Signed "Candidus," June 27th . . .
Trade Policy.

To Charles Thomson, June 30th . . .
Disposal of Donations.

To Committee of Correspondence of Norwich, July 11th . . .
Acknowledgment of Support.

To Richard Henry Lee, July 13th . . .
Port Act--Policy of Lord North--Attitude of Public.

To Noble Wymberly Jones, July 16th . . .
Acknowledgment of Co-operation.

To Christopher Gadsen, July 18th . . .

To Christopher Gadsen and L. Clarkson, July 18th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Efforts of Colonists.

To Committee of Correspondence of Colrain, July 18th . . .
Non-Consumption Agreement.

To Andrew Elton Wells, July 25th . . .
Condition of Boston.

To Peter Timothy, July 27th . . .
Boston Circular Letter--Shipment of Axes.

To Fisher Gay, July 29th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Ezekiel Williams, July 29th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Committee of Correspondence of Marblehead, August 2nd . . .
Attitude of Colonists to Boston.

To Joseph Gilbert, August 3rd . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Fisher Gay, August 4th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Committee of Correspondence of Boston, September 14th . . .
Proceedings of Continental Congress--Middlesex Resolves--
Opposition to Administration--Position of Committee.

To Charles Chauncy, September 19th . . .
Suffolk Resolves.

To Joseph Warren, September . . .
Government in Massachusetts.

To Joseph Warren, September 25th. . .
Need of Co-operation--Action of Continental Congress.

To General Gage, October . . .
Petition of Continental Congress--Acts of Parliament--
Fortifications at Boston--Indignities to Citizens.

To Thomas Young, October 17th . . .
Military Preparation--Resolves of Continental Congress.

To Peter V. Livingston, November 21st . . .
Shipment from South Carolina.

To Union Club, December 16th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

1775.

To Peter T. Curtenius, January 9th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To the Public, January 13th . . .
Statement of Donations Committee--Reply to Criticisms.

To Arthur Lee, January 29th . . .
Port Act--Massachusetts Act--Effects of Military Force--Attitude
of Colonists.

To Stephen Collins, January 31st . . .
Report of Personal Disagreements--Religious Liberty.

To Edward Archer, February 1st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Richard Randolph, February 1st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Virginia Resolves of 1765.

To Benjamin Watkins and Archibald Cary, February 1st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Jonathan Tabb, February 7th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Attitude of Colonists to Boston.

To Arthur Lee, February 14th . . .
English Politics--Attitude of Colonists.

To Joseph Nye, February 21st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To John Brown, February 21st . . .
Enclosing letter to Quebec.

To Inhabitants of Quebec, February 21st . . .
Statement of Situation by Committee of Correspondence--Design and
Conduct of Ministry--Acts of Parliament--Letters of Bernard and
Hutchinson--Quebec Act--Attitude of Jamaica--King's Speech.

To George Read, February 24th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Isaac Van Dam, February 28th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To William Black,. . .
Shipment from Virginia--Advice concerning Captain Hatch.

To Charles Dick, March . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Arthur Lee, March 4th. . .
Conduct of Military Force--Action of Marshfield--Disaffection in
New York--Correspondence with Canada--Tories.

To ----------, March 12th . . .
Attitude of South Carolina--Spirit in Boston--Massacre Oration.

To Jonathan Upshaw, March 14th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Attitude of Virginia.

To Samuel Purviance, March 14th . . .
Acknowledgment of Remittance.

To Jonathan Hanson, March 15th . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance.

To Jonathan Veazey, March 15th . . .
Directions as to Donations.

To Richard Henry Lee, March 21st . . .
Military Force in Boston--Massacre Oration--Conduct of Troops--
Course of Administration.

To Jonathan Augustine Washington, March 21st . . .
Acknowledgment of Assistance--Purpose of Boston.

To the Mohawk Indians, March . . .
Address of Massachusetts Delegates.

To Mrs. Adams, May 7th . . .
Reception in New York.

To Mrs. Adams, June 10th . . .
Family Affairs.

To Mrs. Adams, June 16th . . .
Personal Comments--Family Affairs.

To Elbridge Gerry, June 22nd . . .
Recommendations to Washington.

To James Warren, June 22nd . . .
Recommendations to Washington.

To Mrs. Adams, June 28th . . .
Engagement at Bunker Hill--Death of Joseph Warren--Proclamation
of Gage.

To Mrs. Adams, July 30th . . .
Recess of Congress--Election to Legislature.

From Moses Gill, September 4th . . .
Receipt of Amounts paid to Adams.

To Elbridge Gerry, September 26th . . .
Journey to Philadelphia--Need of Information--Character of
Officers.

To Mrs. Adams, October 20th . . .
Affairs of the Country--Schuler and Arnold.

To Elbridge Gerry, October 29th . . .
Militia Bill--Continental Army--Need of Legislation.

To James Warren, November 4th . . .
Need of Powder--Military Affairs--Governments of New Hampshire
and South Carolina--Trade Regulations--Government of
Massachusetts.

To Mrs. Adams, November 7th . . .
Conduct of Enemy.

To James Bowdoin, November 16th . . .
Petition of Congress--Plans of Administration.

To James Otis, November 23rd . . .
Opinion of Delegates as to Militia Legislation.

To James Warren, December 26th . . .
Government of Massachusetts--Character of the People.

1776.

To Elbridge Gerry, January 2nd . . .
Legislative Control of Military Force--Character of
Representatives.

Resolutions of Continental Congress, January 5th . . .
Imprisonment of James Lovell.

To James Warren, January 7th . . .
Establishment of Militia--Powder--Confederation--Attack on
Norfolk.

To James Warren, January 10th . . .
Trade Regulations--Imprisonment of Lovell.

To John Pitts, January 12th . . .

To James Sullivan, January 12th . . .
King's Speech.

To John Adams, January 15th . . .
Portsmouth Instructions--Independence--Pay of Massachusetts
Troops.

Article Signed "Candidus," February 3rd . . .
Dependence of the Colonies.

To Mrs. Adams, February 26th . . .
Duty in Congress--Oration on Montgomery.

To James Warren, March 8th . . .
Political Comments on Colleague.

To Mrs. Adams, March 10th . . .
Personal Affairs.

To Joseph Palmer, April 2nd . . .
Effect of Adopting New England Army--Military Affairs--Evacuation
of Boston.

To Samuel Cooper, April 3rd . . .
Plans of Administration--Evacuation of Boston--Foreign Affairs--
Independence.

To Joseph Hawley, April 15th . . .
Military Affairs--Necessity for Declaration of Independence.

To Samuel Cooper, April 30th . . .
Views of Independence--Formation of State Governments.

To John Scollay, April 30th . . .
Evacuation of Boston--Public Morals--Defenceless Condition of New
England.

To James Warren, May 12th . . .
Safety of Boston--State of the Eastern District.

To George Washington, May 15th . . .
Proposed Road to Montreal--Defences of Boston.

To Horatio Gates, June 10th . . .
Military Affairs at Boston--Purposes of the Enemy.

To Perez Morton, June . . .
Allowance for Services.

To Joseph Hawley, July 9th . . .
Reverses in Canada--New Jersey Campaign--Declaration of
Independence.

To Richard Henry Lee, July 15th . . .
Schuyler and Gates--Arrival of Howe--Declaration of Independence-
-Confederation.

To James Warren, July 16th . . .
Effect of Declaration of Independence--Constitution of Virginia.

To James Warren, July 17th . . .
Urgent Need of Troops.

To John Pitts, July 17th . . .
Declaration of Independence.

To Samuel Cooper, July 20th . . .
South Carolina Campaign--Howe's Circular Letter.

To Benjamin Kent, July 27th . . .
Work of Congress--Declaration of Independence--New State
Governments.

To Joseph Trumbull, August 3rd . . .
Affairs of the Northern Department--Legislation on Commissary
Department.

To John Adams, August 13th . . .
Military Affairs.

To John Adams, August 16th . . .
Military Affairs--The Northern Campaign.

To John Adams, September 16th . . .
Form of Government of Massachusetts--Military Affairs--
Negotiations with Howe.

To John Adams, September 30th . . .
Conference with Howe--Public Attitude toward Independence.

To Samuel Mather, October 26th . . .
Military Affairs at New York.

To Mrs. Adams, November 14th . . .
Northern Campaign--Military Affairs--Application of Brother-in-
law--Exchange of Lovell.

To Mrs. Adams, November 29th . . .
Character of Americans--Howe's Proclamation.

To James Warren, November 29th . . .
Supply of Clothing--New York Campaign.

To James Warren, December 4th . . .
Massachusetts Legislature--Conduct of the Colonists--Conditions
in Pennsylvania.

To Mrs. Adams, December 9th . . .
Personal Reflections.

To George Washington, December 12th . . .
Rhode Island Campaign.

To Mrs. Adams, December 19th . . .
Adjournment of Congress to Baltimore--Inaction of the Population-
-New Jersy Campaign.

To James Warren, December 25th . . .
Military Operations.

To Mrs. Adams, December 26th . . .
Aid of Samuel Purviance--Attitude of New Jersey.

To Council of Massachussetts, December 30th . . .
Need of Ordnance.

To Walter Stewart, December 30th . . .
Instructions as to Ordnance.

To James Warren, December 31st . . .
Foreign Relations--Military Affairs.

1777.

To Arthur Lee, January 2nd . . .
Resumption of Correspondence--Political Situation.

To James Warren, January 8th . . .
Military Operations.

To John Adams, January 9th . . .
Removal of Congress--Military Operations.

To James Warren, January 16th . . .
Representation in Congress--Attitude of Massachusetts
Legislature.

To Mrs. Adams, January 29th . . .
Correspondence--Effect of War News--Charity--Death of Mr.
Checkley.

To James Warren, February 1st . . .
Conference of New England Committees--Management of War Supplies.

To Samuel Cooper, February 4th . . .
King's Speech.

To James Warren, February 10th . . .
Account of Expenses.

To Walter Stewart, February 12th . . .
Price of Ordnance.

To Jonathan Trumbull, February 12th . . .
Use of Connecticut Ordnance.

To John Pitts, February 15th . . .
Activity of Tories.

To James Warren, February 16th . . .
Activity of Tories--Case of General Lee.

To Mrs. Adams, March 19th . . .
News from France--Attitude toward Son--Effect of Trade
Legislation.

To John Scollay, March 20th . . .
Regulating Act.

To Mrs. Adams, April 1st . . .
Assistance from France--Arrest of Spy.

To Nathaniel Greene, May 12th . . .
Military Policy.

To Mrs. Adams, June 17th . . .
Military Operations.

To James Warren, June 18th . . .
Introducing William Whipple--Massachusetts Election-Military
Affairs.

To James Warren, June 23rd . . .
New Jersey Campaign.

To Richard Henry Lee, June 26th . . .
New Jersey Campaign--Progress in Congress.

To James Warren, June 30th . . .
Postal Facilities--Confederation--Massachusetts Constitutional
Convention.

To Arthur Lee, July 4th . . .
New Jersey Campaign.

To Samuel Hewes, July 7th . . .
Major Ward--New Jersey Campaign.

To John Pitts, July 8th . . .
Interruption of Correspondence.

To Richard Henry Lee, July 15th . . .
New Jersey Campaign--Schuyler and Gates.

To Samuel Cooper, July 15th . . .
Northern Campaign.

To Richard Henry Lee, July 22nd . . .
Confederation--Northern Campaign--Distribution of Forces.

To Paul Revere, July 28th . . .
Ranking of Artillery Regiments.

To James Warren, July 31st . . .
Attitude of Congress to Schuyler--Northern Campaign--
Participation of New England--Hostile Fleet.

To James Warren, August 1st . . .
Northern Campaign.

To Mrs. Adams, August 2nd . . .
Course of Hostile Fleet.

To Samuel Freeman, August 5th . . .
Foreign Relations--Northern Campaign.

To John Langdon, August 7th . . .
Course of Hostile Fleet--Northern Campaign.

To Mrs. Adams, August 8th . . .
Appointment of Gates.

To Roger Sherman, August 11th . . .
Northern Campaign--Letters of Schuyler.

To James Warren, August 12th . . .
Letter of Schuyler.

To William Heath, August 13th . . .
Northern Campaign.

To Mrs. Adams, August 19th . . .
Course of a Hostile Fleet.

To Henry Bromfield, September 2nd . . .
Introducing Henry Crouch--Howe's Army.

To Mrs. Adams, September 17th . . .
Northern Campaign.

To Arthur Lee, October 26th . . .
Resumption of Correspondence--LaFayette.

To Horatio Gates, . . . . . .
Surrender of Burgoyne.

Resolution of Continental Congress, November 1st . . .
Thanksgiving.

To John Adams, December 8th . . .
Re-election to Congress--Conduct of Colleagues--Work of
Massachusetts Legislature.

To Henry Laurens, December . . .
Articles of Confederation.

______

THE WRITINGS OF
SAMUEL ADAMS.
______
TO JAMES OTIS.

[MS., copy in Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, March 19th 1773

SIR

I have the honor of joining with my brethren the Committee of
Correspondence for the town in a letter to you, which the bearer
of this is chargd with & will deliver to you.

The occasion is somewhat singular. Our Brother Mr William
Molineux, a few days ago receiv'd an ANONYMOUS letter dated
Barnstable &.c, in which mention is made of some rude Aspersions
cast upon the characters of himself and several others of our
Committee by your Representative Mr Bacon in a public meeting of
your Town. As the intelligence was thus uncertain the Committee
would fain hope that it was impossible for one of Mr Bacon's
station in life to act so unjustifiable a part; especially after
the handsome things which he had the credit of saying of every
one of Committee upon a late occasion in the House of
Representatives. Admitting however, that this might be the case,
they thought it prudent to address you, as the Moderator of your
meeting, and it is their desire, if you judge there is a proper
foundation for this letter AND NOT OTHERWISE, to obtain the
consent of the Town that it should be openly read in the meeting
at the ensuing adjournment. This the Committee refer to your
known discretion, as they cannot place a full dependence upon an
anonymous letter, although there are some circumstances that may
seem to corroborate it.

As there is no measure which tends more to disconcert the Designs
of the enemies of the public liberty, than the raising Committees
of Correspondence in the several towns throughout the Province,
it is not to be wondered at that the whole strength of their
opposition is aim'd against it. Whether Mr B. is of this
character is a question in which his Constituents ought certainly
to satisfy themselves beyond a reasonable doubt. A man's
professions may be as he pleases; but I honestly confess I cannot
easily believe him to be a sincere friend to his Country, who can
upon any consideration be prevail'd upon to associate with so
detestable an enemy to it as I take a BOSTON BORN (I cannot say
educated) Commissioner of Customs to be.

I am with great regard for your family and conexions in
B[arnstable.]

Sir your assured Friend
& most humble servant

P. S. If there is not foundation for what is asserted in the
anonymous letter, we desire that you will not only not read our
letter in your meeting but also not let the original or a copy
of it go out of your hands, but return it by the first
opportunity.

ut supra

REPORT TO THE TOWN OF BOSTON, MARCH 23, 1773.

[MS., Boston Public Library; the text, with slight variations,
was printed in the Boston Gazette, March 29, 1773, in the
Massachusetts Spy, March 25, 1773, and in Boston Record
Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii., pp. 120-125.]

At a legal Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of
the Town of Boston, at Faneuil-Hall on Monday the 8th of March
1773, and continued by Adjournment to the 23d instant.

Mr. Samuel Adams acquainted the Moderator, that he was directed
by a Committee (of which he was Chairman) to make a report; and
the same was read as follows, viz.1

The Committee appointed "to consider what is proper to be done,
to vindicate the Town from the gross Misrepresentations &
groundless Charges in his Excellencys Message to both Houses" of
the General Assembly "respecting the Proceedings of the Town at
their last Meeting", beg Leave to report.

That having carefully looked over the several Speeches of the
Governor of the Province, to the Council and House of
Representatives, in the last Session of the General Assembly,
they find that his Excellency has plainly insinuated;

First, that the said Meeting of the Town was illegal in itself.

Secondly, that the Points therein determind were such, as the Law
gives the Inhabitants of Towns in their Corporate Capacity no
Power to act upon; and therefore that the Proceedings of said
Meeting were against Law. And,

Thirdly, that the Inhabitants thus assembled advanced and
afterwards publishd to the World, such Principles as have a
direct Tendency to alienate the Affections of the People from
their Sovereign: And he plainly asserts, that they "denied in the
most express terms the Supremacy of Parliament, and invited every
other Town & District in the Province to adopt the same
Principles."

We have therefore thought it necessary to recur to the Methods
taken for calling said Meeting. And they find that three
Petitions were prefer'd to the Select Men, signd by 198
respectable Freeholders and Inhabitants, making Mention of a
Report that then prevaild, & which since appears to have been
well grounded, that Salaries were allowd to be paid to the
Justices of the Superior Court of the Province by Order of the
Crown; whereby they were to be made totally independent of the
General Assembly and absolutely dependent on the Crown; and
setting forth their Apprehensions that such an Establishment
would give a finishing Stroke to the System of Tyranny already
begun, and compleat the Ruin of the Liberties of the People. And
therefore earnestly requesting the Selectmen to call a Meeting,
that this Matter might be duly considerd by the Town, and such
Measures taken as the Necessity and Importance thereof required.
Whereupon the Selectmen issued a Warrant for calling a Meeting
accordingly. All which was strictly agreable to the Laws of this
Province, and the Practice of this and other Towns from the
earliest times.

By an Act of this Province made in the fourth year of William &
Mary it is enacted, that "when and so often as there shall be
Occasion of a Town Meeting for any Business of publick
Concernment to the Town there to be done, the Constable or
Constables of such Town, by Order of the Selectmen or major Part
of them, or of the Town Clerk by their Order in each respective
Town within this Province shall warn a Meeting of such Town" &c.2
And by another Act made in the 2 Geo. I. it is enacted that "When
and so often as ten or more of the Freeholders of any Town shall
signify under their hands to the Selectmen their desire to have
any Matter or thing inserted into a Warrant for calling a Town
Meeting, the Selectmen are hereby required to insert the same in
the next Warrant they shall issue for the Calling a Town
Meeting."3

But were there no such Laws of the Province or should our Enemies
pervert these & other Laws made for the same Purpose, from their
plain and obvious Intent and Meaning, still there is the great
and perpetual Law of Self preservation to which every natural
Person or corporate Body hath an inherent Right to recur. This
being the Law of the Creator, no human Law can be of force
against it: And indeed it is an Absurdity to suppose that any
such Law could be made by Common Consent, which alone gives
validity to human Laws. If then the "MATTER OR THING" viz the
fixing Salaries to the Offices of the Judges of the Superior
Court as aforesaid, was such as threatned the Lives, Liberties
and Properties of the People, which we have the Authority of the
greatest Assembly of the Province to affirm, The Inhabitants of
this or any other Town had certainly an uncontrovertable right to
meet together, either in the Manner the Law has prescribed, or in
any other orderly Manner, joyntly to consult the necessary Means
of their own Preservation and Safety. The Petitioners wisely
chose the Rule of the province Law, by applying to the Selectmen
for a Meeting; and they, as it was their Dudty to do, followed
the same Rule and called a Meeting accordingly. We are therefore
not a little suprizd, that his Excellency, speaking of this and
other principal Towns, should descend to such an artful Use of
Words, that a "NUMBER of Inhabitants have assembled together, and
having ASSUMED the Name of legal Town Meetings" &c. Thereby
appearing to have a Design to lead an inattentive Reader to
believe, that no Regard was had to the Laws of the Province in
calling these Meetings, and consequently to consider them as
illegal & disorderly.

The Inhabitants being met, and for the Purpose aforesaid, the
Points determind, his Excellency says, "were such as the Law
gives the Inhabitants of Towns in their CORPORATE Capacity no
Power to act upon." It would be a sufficient Justification of the
Town to say, that no Law FORBIDS the Inhabitants of Towns in
their corporate Capacity to determine such Points as were then
determined. And if there was no positive legal Restraint upon
their Conduct, it was doing them an essential injury, to
represent it to the World as ILLEGAL. Where the Law makes no
special Provision for the common Safety, the People have a Right
to consult their own Preservation; and the necessary Means to
withstand a most dangerous attack of arbitrary Power.4 At such a
time, it is but a pitiful Objection to their thus doing, that the
Law has not expressly given them a Power to act upon such Points.
This is the very language of Tyranny: And when such Objections
are offerd, to prevent the Peoples meeting together in a Time of
publick Danger, it affords of it self just Grounds of Jealousy
that a Plan is laid for their Slavery.

The Town enterd upon an Inquiry into the Grounds of a Report, in
which the common Safety was very greatly interested. They made
their Application to the Governor, a fellow Citizen as well as
the first Magistrate of the Province; but they were informd by
his Excellency, that "it was by no means proper for him" "to
acquaint them whether he had or had not receivd any Advices
relating to the publick Affairs of the Government of the
Province." Their next Determination was, to petition the
Governor, that the General Assembly might be allowd to meet at
the time to which it them stood prorogud: But his Excellency
refused to grant this Request, lest it should be "encouraging the
Inhabitants of other Towns to assemble" "to consider of the
Necessity or Expediency of a Session of the General Assembly."
Hitherto the Town had determind upon no Point but only that of
petitioning the Governor. And will his Excellency or any one else
affirm, that the Inhabitants of this or any other Town, have not
a Right in their corporate Capacity to petition for a Session of
the General Assembly, merely because the Law of this Province,
that authorizes Towns to assemble, does not expressly make that
the Business of a Town Meeting? It is the Declaration of the Bill
of Rights, founded in5 Reason, that it is the Right of the
Subjects to petition the King: But it is apparent in his
Excellencys Answer, that the Inhabitants of this Town were in
Effect, denied, in one Instance at least, the Right of
petitioning his Majestys Representative. Which was the more
grievous to them, because the Prayer of their Petition was
nothing more, than that the General Assembly might have
the Opportunity of enquiring of the Governor into the Grounds of
the Report of an intollerable Grievance, which his Excellency had
before strongly intimated to them, it was not in his Power to
inform THEM of, "consistent with Fidelity to the Trust which his
Majesty had reposed in him."

We have been the more particular in reciting the Transactions of
that Meeting thus far, in order that the Propriety and Necessity
of the further proceedings of the same Meeting may appear in a
true Point of light.

His Excellency having thus frownd upon the reasonable Petitions
of the Town; And they, having the strongest Apprehensions, that
in Addition to, or rather in Consequence of other Grievances not
redressd, a mortal Wound would very soon be given to the civil
Constitution of the province; and no Assurance of the timely
Interposition of the General Assembly, to whose Wisdom they were
earnestly sollicitous to refer the whole Matter, The Town thought
it expedient to state as far as they were able the Rights of the
Colonists & of this Province; to enumerate the Infringements on
those Rights, & in a circular Letter to each of the Towns &
Districts in the province, to submit the same to their
Consideration: That the Subject might be weighd as its Importance
required, & the collected Wisdom of the whole people as far as
possible obtaind. At the same [time], NOT "calling upon" those
Towns & Districts "to adopt their Principles" as his Excellency
in one of his Speeches affirms, but only informing them that "a
free Communication of THEIR Sentiments to this Town of our common
Danger was earnestly sollicited & would be gratefully receivd. We
may justly affirm that the Town had a Right at that Meeting, to
communicate their Sentiments of Matters which so nearly concernd
the publick Liberty & consequently their own Preservation. They
were matters of "publick Concernment" to this & every other Town
& even Individual in the province. Any Attempt therefore to
obstruct the Channel of publick Intelligence in this way, argues
in our opinion, a Design to keep the people in Ignorance of their
Danger that they may be the more easily & speedily enslaved. It
is notorious to all the World, that the Liberties of this
Continent & especially of this province, have been systematically
& successfully invaded from Step to Step; Is it not then, to say
the least justifiable, in any Town as PART OF THE GREAT WHOLE,
when the last Effort of Tyranny is about to be made, to spread
the earliest Notice of it far & wide, & hold up the INIQUITOUS
SYSTEM in full View. It is a great Satisfaction to us, that so
many of the respectable Towns in the province, and we may add
Gentlemen of figure in other Colonies, have expressd, & continue
to express themselves much pleasd with the Measure; and we
encourage ourselves from the MANIFEST DISCOVERY of an Union of
Sentiments in this province, which has been one happy fruit of
the Measure, there will be the united Efforts of THE WHOLE in all
constitutional & proper Methods to prevent the entire ruin of our
Liberties.

His Excellency is pleasd to say in one of his Speeches, that the
Town have "denied in the most express Terms the Supremacy of
Parliament." It is fortunate for the town that they made Choice
of the very Mode of Expression, which the present House of
Representatives in their Wisdom made use of in stating the Matter
of Controversy between the Governor & them: And after what they
have advanced upon the Subject, it appears to us impossible to be
shown that the Parliament of Great Britain can exercise "the
Powers of Legislation for the Colonists in all Cases whatever"
consistently with the Rights which belong to the Colonists as Men
as Christians & as Subjects, or without destroying the foundation
of their own Constitution.--If the Assertion that the Parliament
hath no right to exercise a Power in cases where it is plain they
have no right, hath a direct Tendency to alienate the Affections
of the People from their Sovereign, because He is a constituent
part of that parliament, as seems to be his Excellencys Manner of
reasoning, it follows as we conceive, that there must never be a
complaint of any assumption of power in the Parliamt, or petition
for the repeal of any Law made repugnant to the Constitution,
lest it should tend to alienate the Affections of the People
from their Sovereign; but we have a better Opinion of our fellow
Subjects than to concede to such Conclusions. We are assured they
can clearly see, that a Mistake in Principle may consist with
Integrity of Heart; And for our parts we shall ever be inclined
to attribute the Grievances of various Kinds which his Majestys
American Subjects have so long sufferd, to the Weakness or
Wickedness of his Ministers & Servants, and not to any
Disposition in HIM to injure them. And we yet perswade our selves
that could the Petitions of his much aggrievd Subjects be
transmitted to his Majesty thro the Hands of an honest impartial
Minister, we should not fail of ample redress.

His Excellencys Argument seems to us to be rather straind, when
he is attempting to show, that we have "invited every other Town
& District to adopt our Principles". It is this. The Town says If
it should be the general Voice of the Province that the Rights as
stated do not belong [to] them, trusting however that this cannot
be the Case, they shall lament the Extinction of Ardor for civil
& religious Liberty; THEREFORE says his Excellency The Town
invited them to ADOPT their principles. Could it possibly be
supposd that when his Excy had declared to the whole Province
that we had invited every other Town and District in the province
to adopt the same Principles he intended to avail himself of such
an Explanation! Much the same Way of reasoning follows, (though
it would not be to the Reputation of the other Towns if it should
have any Weight). That because THEIR consequent Doings were
similar to those of this Town THEREFORE they understood that they
were invited to ADOPT the same Principles, & therefore they were
thus invited to adopt them.

Upon the whole, There can be no room to doubt but that every Town
which has thought it expedient to correspond with this on the
Occasion have acted their own Judgment & expressd their own
principles: It is an unspeakeable Satisfaction to us that their
Sentiments so nearly accord with ours, and it adds a Dignity to
our Proceedings, that when the House of Representatives were
called upon by the Governor to bear their Testimony against them,
as "of a dangerous Nature & Tendency," they saw reason to declare
that "they had not discoverd that the Principles advanced by the
Town of Boston were unwarrantable by the constitution."6

The foregoing Report was accepted in the Meeting, Nemine
Contradicente, and ordered to be recorded in the Town's Book, as
the Sense of the Inhabitants of this Town.

It was also Voted, That said Report be printed in the several
News-Papers, and that the Committee of Correspondence be directed
to transmit a printed Copy thereof to such Towns and Districts as
they have or may correspond with.

Attest.

WILLIAM COOPER, Town-Clerk.
_________________________________________________________________

1The preceding portion is in the Gazette, but not in the
manuscript draft.

2Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, vol. i.,
pp. 64, 68.

3Ibid., p. 30.

4At this point the draft originally included the words: "when
they see it approaching them with hasty Strides."

5At this point the draft originally included the words: "Nature
and."

6The following portion, from the Gazette is not in the autograph
draft by Adams.

TO JOHN DICKINSON.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, March 27 1773

SIR,

I take the Liberty of inclosing an Oration delivered by Dr
Benjamin Church on the Anniversary of the 5th of March 1770,
which I beg the favor of you to accept.

The Proceedings of our General Assembly at their last Session,
you may perhaps have seen in the News papers. Our Governor in a
manner forcd the Assembly to express their Sentiments of so
delicate though important a Subject as the supreme Authority of
the Parliament of Great Britain over the Colonies. The Silence of
the other Assemblies of late upon every Subject that concerns the
joynt Interest of the Colonies, renderd it somewhat difficult to
determine what to say with Propriety. As the Sense of the
Colonies might possibly be drawn from what might be advanced by
this Province, you will easily conceive, that the Assembly would
rather have chosen to have been silent till the Sentiments of at
least Gentlemen of Eminence out of this province could be known;
at the same time that Silence would have been construed as the
Acknowledgment of the Governor's Principles and a Submission to
the fatal Effects of them. What will be the Consequence of this
Controversy, Time must determine. If the Governor enterd into it
of his own Motion, as I am apt to believe he did, he may not have
the Approbation of the Ministry for counteracting what appears to
me to have been for two years past their favorite Design, to keep
the Americans quiet & lull them into Security. Could your Health
or Leisure admit of it, a publication of your Sentiments on this
& other Matters of the most interresting Importance would be of
substantial Advantage to your Country. Your Candor will excuse
the freedom I take in this repeated Request. An Individual has
some Right, in behalf of the publick, still to urge the
Assistance of those who have heretofore approvd themselves its
ablest advocates.

I shall take it as a favor if you will present the other inclosed
Oration to Mr Reed, whom I once had the pleasure of conversing
with in this place, & to whom I would have wrote by this
unexpected Opportunity, but am prevented by the Hurry of the
Bearer.

I am Sir with sincere Regards
Your most humble servt

Mr J[osiah] Q[uincy] a young Gentl but eminent here in the
profession of the law is soon expected to arrive at Philadelphia
from South Carolina. Could he be introducd into the Company of Mr
Dickinson & Mr Reed he would esteem himself honord and his
Conversation mt not be unentertaining even to them.

THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE OF BOSTON TO THE COMMITTEE OF
CORRESPONDENCE OF LITTLETON.1

[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, March 31 1773

GENTLEMEN

The Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston gratefully
acknowledge your Letter of the 2 Instant accompanied with the
declared Sentiments of the Town of Littleton at a legal meeting
on the first of February.

The Sense which that Town has expressd of the Excellency of the
British Constitution of Government, which appears eminently to
have its foundation in nature, and of the Rights which are
secured to the Inhabitants of this province by the Charter, is an
evident token of their readiness "always to joyn in every regular
& constitutional method to preserve the common Liberty."

We are perswaded that the Town whom we have the Honor to serve,
although calumniated by the virulent Enemies of the province and
of America, have nothing in view but to assist in "endeavoring to
preserve our happy civil Constitution free from Innovation &
maintain it inviolate" and we esteem our selves happy that the
Town has receivd the Approbation of so many of their respectable
Brethren in the Country, & particularly the Inhabitants of
Littleton. The agreable manner in which you have communicated to
us their Sentiments lays [us] under great obligation. We heartily
joyn with you in wishing that Peace & Unity may be established in
America, upon the permanent Foundations of Liberty & Truth.
________________________________________________________________

1Adressed "To Deacon Oliver Hoar Cap Jonathan Reed & Mr Aaron
Savit a Come of Correspondence of the Town of Littletown."

THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE OF BOSTON TO NATHAN SPARHAWK.1

[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, March 31 1773

SIR

Your attested Copy of the proceedings of Rutland District has
been receivd and read by the Come of Correspondence for the Town
of Boston. It affords us an unspeakeable Satisfaction to find so
great a Number of the Towns & Districts in the province
expressing a just Resentment at the repeated Attacks that have
been made on the publick Liberty by a corrupt Administration and
their wretched Tools & Dependents. Your District, in the Opinion
of this Committee has very justly held up the publick Grievances
of America in one short but full View; first the power assumed by
the British parliament (in which we cannot be represented) to tax
us at pleasure; and then their appropriating such taxes, to
render the executive power of the province independent of the
Legislature, or more properly speaking absolutely dependent on
the Crown. It was impossible for the Conspirators against our
invalueable Rights, with all their Art & Assiduity, to prevent
our sensible Brethren in the Country from seeing the fatal
Tendency of so dangerous an Innovation: And in a Virtuous Country
it requires only a Sight of such daring Incroachments, to produce
a manly & effectual Opposition to them. We applaud the patriotick
Determination of the District of Rutland "that it is of the
utmost Importance that the Inhabitants of this province stand
firm as one man to support & maintain all their just Rights &
Privileges." Such a resolution when general among the people can
seldom fail to reduce the most haughty Invaders of the common
Rights to a Submission to Reason.
________________________________________________________________

1Clerk of the District of Rutland, Worcester County.

THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE OF BOSTON TO THOMAS MIGHILL.1

[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, April 7 1773

SIR

We the Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston,
acknowledge the very obliging Letter to said town, signd by
yourself & transmitted to us by order of the Town of Rowley.

It gives us great pleasure to find that the proceedings of the
Town we have the Honor to serve, have been so acceptable to our
worthy & much esteemed Brethren of Rowley. This cannot fail to
animate the Metropolis in every laudable Exertion for the common
Cause of Liberty. The ardent Zeal of your Town for that all
interresting Cause, expressd in their Letter and their judicious
Instructions to their Representative which accompany it, afford
us a very strong Assurance of the high Esteem they have of our
invalueable Rights & their deep Sense of the Grievances we labour
under. We joyn with them in supplicating Almighty God for his
Direction Assistance & Blessing in every laudable Effort that may
be made for the securing to our Selves & posterity the free &
full Enjoyment of those precious Rights & privileges for which
our renowned forefathers expended so much Treasure & Blood.
_________________________________________________________________

1Addressed as "late Moderator of a Meeting of the Freeholders &
other Inhabitants of the Town of Rowley held by Adjournment the
third of February 1773."

TO ARTHUR LEE.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text with
modifications is in R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp.
197-203; printed also in the Boston Gazette, May 23, 1774.]

BOSTON, 9 April 1773

MY DEAR SIR

I must by no means omit to request you to present my most
respectful Complimts to the Society of the Bill of Rights and
return them my hearty Thanks for the great Honor they have done
me in admitting me one of their Members. The Gentlemen may be
assured that this unexpected mark of their Respect adds to the
Obligation which I have ever held myself under, to employ the
small Share of Ability which God has given me, in vindicating
the Rights of my Country & Mankind.

I can now assure you, that the Efforts of this Town at their
Meeting in November last, have had Effects which are extremely
mortifying to our petty Tyrants. Every Art & every Instrument was
made use of to prevent the Meetings of the Towns in the Country
but to no purpose. It is no Wonder that a Measure calculated to
promote a Correspodence and a free Communication among the
people, should awaken Apprehensions; for they well know that it
must detect their Falshood in asserting that the people of this
Country were satisfied with the Measures of the British
parliament and the Administration of Government. Our Governor has
in my Opinion merited greatly of the Ministry by his constant
Endeavors, though in vain, to sooth & quiet the people & perswade
them to think there were no Grievances that might "be seen felt
or understood." And when the House of Representatives in the last
May Session, by almost a unanimous Vote remonstrated against his
Independency, he, without the least Foundation in Truth, & for no
other Reason that I can conceive but to give Countenance to his
Patron Hillsborough, or to establish himself in his Governmt
which he recd with so great RELUCTANCE, did not scruple in his
Speech at the Close of that Session, to insinuate that the House
was under the Influence of a few factious members. No Speech of
Bernards ever gave greater Disgust to the People, nor with more
reason.

There has been another Session of the Genl Assembly, wch began
unexpectedly on the 6th of Jany last. It is my Opinion that it
would have been postponed, as usual of late, till near the Close
of our political Year, had it not been for the Boston Town
Meeting; I mean to prevent the designd Effects of it, by giving
an occasion to the small Jobbers in the Country to say, that
"however expedient it might have been for them to have had their
meetings before, it now becomes unnecessary & improper since
their representatives are soon to meet in Genl Assembly." This
had an Influence in some Towns; and his EXCELLENCY, I suppose
judgd it more probable that he should be able to mannage the
Members of the House and prevail upon them "to joyn with him in
bearing Testimony against the UNWARRANTABLE Proceedings of
Boston," if they came together without having the explicit
Sentiments of their Constituents.

At the Meeting of the Assembly, he thought proper to open a
Controversy with the two Houses, for which I think Hillsbro would
not thank him; for he has thereby defeated the favorite Design of
the Ministry, which was to lull the people into Security, and for
the effecting of which Design, he had before thought himself, or
endeavord to make Administration believe he was entitled to so
great a Share of Merit. It has been publishd in most of the
Newspapers in the Continent & engages much of the Attention of
the other Colonies. This, together with ye proceedings of a
CONTEMPTIBLE Town meeting, has awakned the Jealousy of all, & has
particularly raised ye Spirit of the most ancient & patriotick
Colony of Virginia. Their manly Resolves have been transmitted to
the Speaker of the House of Representatives in a printed Sheet of
their Journals; and our Come of Correspondence have circulated
Copies of them into every Town & District through the Province.1

I wish I could hear more of Lord D. to qualify him for his high
office, than merely that he is a GOOD Man. Goodness I confess is
an essential, tho too rare a Qualification of a Minister of
State. Possibly I may not have been informd of the whole of his
Lordships Character. Without a Greatness of Mind adequate to the
Importance of his Station, I fear he may find himself embarrassd
with his present Connections. It can easily be conceivd what
principle induced Lord North to recommend to that Department a
Nobleman characterized in America for Piety; but what could
prevail on his Lordship to joyn with such Connections, unless he
had a Consciousness that his own Abilities were sufficient to
defeat the plans of a corrupt Administration, I am not able to
conceive. It might be well for his Lordship to be assured, that
there is now a fairer prospect than ever of an Union among the
Colonies, which his predecessor did & had reason to dread, tho he
affected to despise it. Should the Correspondence proposd by
Virginia produce a Congress; and that an ASSEMBLY OF STATES, it
would require the Head of a very able Minister to treat with so
respectable a Body. This perhaps is a mere fiction in the Mind of
a political Enthusiast. Ministers of State are not to be disturbd
with Dreams.

I must now acknowledge your agreeable Letter of the 24 of Decr.2
I cannot wonder that you almost depair of the British Nation. Can
that people be saved from Ruin, who carry their Liberties to
market & sell them to the highest Bidder? But America "shall rise
full plumed and glorious from her Mothers Ashes."

Our House of Representatives have sent a Letter to Lord
Dartmouth. This must without Question be a wise measure, though I
must own I was not in it. I feard it would lead the people to a
false Dependence; I mean upon a Minister of State, when it ought
to be placed, with Gods Assistance, upon THEMSELVES. You cannot
better prepare him for the representatives of the House, than as
you propose, by giving him a proper Idea of Hutchinson. I am much
obligd to you for your Intention to hold up to the publick the
Generosity of my esteemed friend Mr. Otis. I wish I could assure
you that he is perfectly recoverd.

April 12.

This day I have the pleasure of receiving yours of the 25 of
Jany.3 Your putting me in mind of the Honor done me by the
Society of the Bill of Rights is very kind. I ought sooner to
have acknowledgd it. My omitting it was owing to being in a Hurry
when I last wrote to you. I am sensible I am not one of the most
regular Correspondents; perhaps not so as I should be. I duly
recd tho I think not by Mr Storey, the Letter which inclosed the
Answer to the Resolution of the Govr & Council against Junius
Americanus, which I immediately publishd in the Boston Gazette.
It was read with great Satisfaction by Men of Sense & Virtue. I
am heartily glad to find that the proceedings of this Town are so
pleasing to you. I have heard that Ld Dartmouth recd one of our
pamphlets with Coolness & expressd his Concern that the Town had
come into such Measures. His Lordship probably will be much
surprizd to find a very great Number of the Towns in this
province(& the Number is daily increasing)concurring fully in
Sentiments with this Metropolis; expressing Loyalty to the King &
Affection to the Mother Country but at the same time a firm
Resolution to maintain their constitutional Rights & Liberties. I
send you the proceedings of one town, which if you think proper
you may publish as a Specimen of the whole, for the Inspection of
an Administration either misinformd & credulous to the greatest
Degree of human Weakness, or Obstinate in wilfull Error. They
have lately employd Eight Regiments of British Troops to bring an
handful of unfortunate Carribs to a Treaty dishonorable to the
Nation. How many Regiments will be thought necessary to penetrate
the Heart of a populus Country & subdue a sensible enlightned &
brave people to the ignominious Terms of Slavery? Or will his
Lordships superior Wisdom direct to more salutory Measures, and
by establishing Freedom in every part of the Kings extensive
Dominions, restore that mutual Harmony & Affection which alone is
wanting to build up the greatest Empire the World has ever yet
seen.

Mr. Wilkes was certainly misinformd when he was told that Mr H.
had deserted the Cause of Liberty. Great pains had been taken to
have it thought to be so; and by a scurvy Trick of lying the
Adversaries effected a Coolness between that Gentn & some others
who were zealous in that Cause. But it was of short Continuance,
for their falsehood was soon detected. Lord Hillsbro I suppose
was early informd of this imaginary Conquest; for I have it upon
such Grounds as I can rely upon, that he wrote to the Govr
telling him that he had it in Command from the HIGHEST AUTHORITY
to enjoyn him to promote Mr H. upon every Occasion. Accordingly,
tho he had been before frownd upon & often negativd both by
Bernard & Hutchinson the latter, who can smile sweetly even upon
the Man he hates, when he is instructed or it is his Interest so
to do, fawnd & flatterd one of the HEADS OF THE FACTION, & at
length approvd of him when he was elected a Councellor last May.
To palliate this inconsistent Conduct it was previously given out
that Mr H had deserted the faction, & became as they term each
other, a Friend to Governmt. But he had Spirit enough to refuse a
Seat at the Board, & continue a Member of the House, where he has
in every Instance joyned with the friends of the Constituion in
Opposition to the Measures of a Corrupt Administration; & in
particular no one has discoverd more firmness against the
Independency of the Govr & the Judges than he.

I have mentiond to Mr Cushing the Hint in your last concerning
his not answering your Letter. I believe he will write to you
soon. The Gratitude of the friends to Liberty towards Mr Otis for
his eminent Services in times past induces them to take all
Occasions to show him Respect. I am much obligd to you for the
friendship you have discoverd for him, in holding up to the View
of the Publick his Generosity to Robinson.

Your Brother in Virginia has lately honord me with a Letter; & I
intend to Cultivate a Correspondence with him, which I am sure
will be much to my Advantage.

As you have confided in me to recommend one or more Gentlemen of
this place as Candidates for the Society of the Bill of Rights, I
my two worthy & intimate Friends J Adams & J Warren Esqrs; the
one eminent in the profession of the Law & the other equally so
in that of physick. Both of them men of an unblemishd moral
Character & Zealous Advocates for the Common Rights of Mankind.
_________________________________________________________________

1An original print of this circular letter, dated April 9, 1773,
is in the Lenox Library.
2R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. i., pp. 224-226.
3R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. i., pp. 226-228.
_______________________________________________________________

TO RICHARD HENRY LEE.

[MS., American Philosophical Society; a text is in R. H. Lee,
Life of Richard Henry Lee, vol. I., pp. 88-90, and a draft in in
the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, April 10 1773

SIR---

Your Letter to me of the 4th Feb last, I receivd with singular
Pleasure; not only because I had long wishd for a Correspondence
with some Gentleman in Virginia, but more particularly because I
had frequently heard of your Character and Merit, as a warm
Advocate for Virtue and Liberty.

I have often thought it a Misfortune, or rather a Fault in the
Friends of American Independence and Freedom, their not taking
Care to open every Channel of Communication. The Colonies are all
embarkd in the same bottom. The Liberties of all are alike
invaded by the same haughty Power: The Conspirators against their
common Rights have indeed exerted their brutal Force, or applied
their insidious Arts, differently in the several Colonies, as
they thought would best serve their Purpose of Oppression and
Tyranny. How necessary then is it; that ALL should be early
acquainted with the particular Circumstances of EACH, in Order
that the Wisdom & Strength of the whole may be employd upon every
proper Occasion. We have heard of Bloodshed & even civil War in
our Sister Colony North Carolina; And how strange is it, that the
best Intelligence we have had of that tragical Scene, has been
brought to us from England!

This Province, and this Town especially, have sufferd a great
Share of Ministerial Wrath and Insolence: But God be thanked,
there is, I trust, a Spirit prevailing, which will never submit
to Slavery. The Compliance of New York in making annual Provision
for a military Force designed to carry Acts of Tyranny into
Execution: The Timidity of some Colonies and the Silence of
others is discouraging: But the active Vigilance, the manly
Generosity and the Steady Perseverance of Virginia and South
Carolina, gives us Reason to hope, that the Fire of true
Patriotism will at length spread throughout the Continent; the
Consequence of which must be the Acquisition of all we wish for.

The Friends of Liberty in this Town have lately made a successful
Attempt to obtain the explicit political Sentiments of a great
Number of the Towns in this Province; and the Number is daily
increasing. The very Attempt was alarming to the Adversaries; and
the happy Effects of it are mortifying to them. I would propose
it for your Consideration, Whether the Establishment of
Committees of Correspondence among the several Towns in every
Colony, would not tend to promote that General Union, upon which
the Security of the whole depends.

The Reception of the truly patriotick Resolves of the House of
Burgesses of Virginia gladdens the Hearts of all who are Friends
to Liberty. Our Committee of Correspondence had a special Meeting
upon this Occasion, and determined immediately to circulate
printed Copies in every Town in this Province, in order to make
them as extensively useful as possible. I am desired by them to
assure you of their Veneration for your most ancient Colony, and
their unfeigned Esteem for the Gentlemen of your Committee. This
indeed is a small Return; I hope you will have the hearty
Concurence of every Assembly on the Continent. It is a Measure
that I think must be attended with great and good Consequences.

Our General Assembly is dissolved; and Writs will soon be issued
according to the Charter for a new Assembly to be held on the
last Wednesday in May next. I think I may almost assure you that
there will be a Return of such Members as will heartily cooperate
with you in your spirited Measures.

The most enormous Stride in erecting what may properly be called
a Court of Inquisition in America, is sufficient to excite
Indignation even in the Breast the least capable of feeling. I am
expecting an authentick Copy of that Commission, which I shall
send to you by the first opportunity after I shall have receivd
it. The Letter from the new Secretary of State to the Governor of
Rhode Island, which possibly you may have seen in the News
papers, may be depended upon as genuine. I receivd it from a
Gentleman of the Council in that Colony, who took it from the
Original. I wish the Assembly of that little Colony had acted
with more firmness than they have done; but as the Court of
Enquiry is adjournd, they may possibly have another Tryal.

I have a thousand things to say to you, but am prevented by Want
of Time; having had but an hours Notice of this Vessels sailing.
I cannot however conclude without assuring you, that a Letter
from you as often as your Leisure will permit of it, will lay me
under great
Obligations.---

I am in strict Truth
Sir
Your most humble servt

ARTICLE SIGNED "CANDIDUS."

[Boston Gazette, April 12, 1773.]

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

PERHAPS no measure that has been taken by the Town of Boston
during our present Struggles for Liberty, has thwarted the
designs of our enemies more than their Votes and Proceedings on
the 20th of November last.1 If we take a Retrospect of two or
three Years past, we shall find that what our "PRETENDED
patriots", as they were stiled in the Court Gazette, so zealously
forewarn'd us of, has since turn'd out to be a Fact; that every
art would be made use of to lull the people of this Province and
Continent into Security, in order that the Conspirators against
our Rights and Liberties might carry on their Schemes and
compleat their system of Tyranny without Opposition or
Molestation. The first part of their plan, they imagin'd they had
finish'd; that is, the Establishment of a Revenue: And though
this was far from being sufficient to answer their whole purpose,
they thought that if they could put the people to sleep, they
might the more easily add to this revenue, at some future time,
and plead the present submission for a precedent. They therefore
began upon the second and equally important part of their plan,
which was to appropriate the revenue they had rais'd, to set up
an Executive, absolutely independent of the legislative, which is
to say the least, the nearest approach to absolute Tyranny.

The Governor, who was the first American PENSIONER, had now an
exhorbitant Salary allowed him out of the monies extorted from
the people: And although this was directly repugnant to the
obvious meaning, if not the very letter of the Charter, much was
said by CHRONUS and the Tribe of ministerial Writers in Mr.
DRAPER'S paper, to reconcile it to the people. But the people,
whom they generally in their incubrations treated with an air of
contempt, as an unthinking herd, had a better understanding of
things than they imagined they had. They were almost universally
disgusted with the Innovation, while the advocates for it were
yet endeavoring to make the world believe, that the opposition to
it arose from a few men only, of "no property" and "desperate
fortunes," who were "endeavoring to bring things into confusion,
that they might have the advantage of bettering their fortunes
by plunder." Little did they think that it was then known, as it
now appears in fact, that those who were assiduously watching for
places, preferment and pensions, were in truth the very men of NO
PROPERTY, and had no other way of mending thier shattered
fortunes, but by being the sharers in the spoils of their
country.

Scarcely had the General Assembly the opportunity of expressing
their full Sentiments of the mischievous tendency, of having a
Governor absolutely dependent on the Crown for his being and
support, before the alarming News arriv'd of the Judges of the
Superior Court being placed in the same Situation. This Insolence
of Administration was so quickly repeated, no doubt from a full
perswasion of the truth of the accounts received from their
infatuated tools on this side of the atlantick, that the temper
of the people would now admit of the experiment. But the News was
like Thunder in the ears of all but a detestable and detested
few: Even those who had been inclin'd to think favorably of the
Governor and the Judges were alarm'd at it. And indeed what
honest and sensible man or woman could contemplate it without
horror! We all began to shudder at the Prospect of the same
tragical Scenes being acted in this Country, which are recorded
in the English History as having been acted when their Judges
were the meer Creatures, Dependents and tools of the Crown. Such
an indignation was discover'd and express'd by almost every one,
at so daring an Insult upon a free people, that it was difficult
to keep our Resentment within its proper bounds. Many were ready
to call for immediate Vengeance, perhaps with more zeal than
discretion: How soon human Prudence and Fortitude, directed by
the wise and righteous Governor of the world, may point out the
time and the means of successfully revenging the wrongs of
America, I leave to those who have been the Contrivers and
Abbettors of these destructive Measures, seriously to consider. I
hope and believe that I live in a Country, the People of which
are too intelligent and too brave to submit to Tyrants: And let
me remind the greatest of them all, "there is a degree of
patience beyond which human Nature will not bear"!

Amidst the general Anxiety the memorable Meeting was called, with
Design that the Inhabitants might have the Opportunity, of
expressing their Sense calmly and dispassionately; for it is from
such a Temper of Mind, that we are to expect a rational, manly
and successful Opposition to the ruinous Plans of an abandoned
Administration: And it is for this Reason alone, that the petty
Tyrants of this Country have always dreaded and continue still to
dread, a regular Assembly of the People.

The desirable Effects of this Meeting, contemptible as it was at
first represented to be, together with the Prospect of what may
be further expected from it, my possibly be the subject of a
future Paper.

Your's,
CANDIDUS.
April 10, 1773.

_________________________________________________________________
1Volume II., page 350. [back]

THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE OF BOSTON TO JOHN WADSWORTH.1
[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]
BOSTON, April 13 1773

SIR

The Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston have
receivd a Letter from the respectable Inhabitants of the Town of
Duxborough. Nothing can afford us greater pleasure than to find
so noble a Spirit of Opposition to the Efforts of arbitrary power
prevailing in so great a number of Towns in this province. And it
gives us a particular Satisfaction that our worthy Brethren of
Duxborough, who are settled upon the very spot which was first
cultivated by our renowned Ancestors, inherit so great a Share of
their heroick Virtues. It is as you justly observe an Affront to
the Understanding of our Ancestors to suppose, that when they
took possession of this Country, they consented, even tacitly, to
be subject to the unlimited Controul of a Government without a
Voice in it, the merciless Oppression of which was intollerable
even when they had a Voice there. Your just Resentment of the
Injuries done to us by the British parliament more especially in
giving & granting our property & appropriating it to the most
destructive purposes, without our Consent, and your resolution to
oppose Tyranny in all its forms is worthy the Imitation of this
Metropolis. We wish for & hope soon to see that Union of
Sentiments in the several Towns throughout this province & in the
American Colonies which shall strike a Terror in the hearts of
those who would enslave us; and together with a Spirit of union
may God inspire us with that ardent Zeal for the support of
religious & civil Liberty which animated the Breasts of the first
Settlers of the old Colony of Plymouth from whom the native
Inhabitants of Duxborough have lineally descended. After the
Example of those renowned Heroes, whose memory we revere, let us
gloriously defend our Rights & Liberites, & resolve to transmit
the fair Inheritance they purchased for us with Treasure & Blood
to their latest posterity.
_________________________________________________________________
1Town Clerk of Duxbury.

THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE OF BOSTON TO EZRA WHITMARSH.1

[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

[April 13, 1773.]

SIR

The Selectmen of this Town have handed to us an attested Copy of
a letter directed to them by order of the ancient Town of
Weymouth. As it is the particular Department of the Committee of
Correspondence appointed by the Town, to return an Answer to this
Letter we chearfully embrace the Opportunity; and acknowledge the
Candor of our Brethren of Weymouth in giving any Attention to the
proceedings of this Town. The Town of Boston are deeply sensible
that our publick Affairs as you justly observe are in a critical
Scituation: yet our Intention was, not to obtrude THEIR Opinions
upon their Fellow-Countrymen, as has been injuriously said, but
to be informd, if possible of their real Sentiments, at a time
when it was publickly & repeatedly given out that this Country in
general was perfectly reconciled to the measures of the British
Administration. It affords us pleasure to find it to be the Sense
of the Town of Weymouth that "Encroachments are made upon our
Rights & Liberties," & that they are "disposed at all times to
unite in every lawful & proper measure for obtaining a redress of
our Grievances." Many of the Towns in this province have expressd
a just Abhorrence of the Attempts that have been & still are made
to deprive us of our inestimable rights. Their good Sense &
generous Zeal for the common Liberty is highly animating & we
would wish to emulate it. We are sensible that "much Wisdom is
necessary to conduct us right," and we joyn in earnestly
supplicating "that Wisdom which is from above." The Friendship to
this Town expressd in your Letter lays us under great
Obligations. No greater Blessing can be desired by this Community
than "Peace Prosperity & Happiness," and the Enjoyment of this
Blessing depends upon CIVIL & RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.

________________________________________________________________
1Town Clerk of Weymouth.

THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE OF BOSTON TO JOSEPH NORTH.1

[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, April 13 1773

SIR

The Votes of the plantation of Gardnerstown have been laid before
the Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston by Mr
Samuel Adams to whom you were so kind as to transmit them. The
notice which your plantation have taken of the State of the
Rights & Grievances of this people publishd by this metropolis
gives us great pleasure. So thorough a Sense of Liberty civil &
religious so early discoverd in an Infant Body, affords an
agreable prospect that the good Cause will be nobly defended &
maintaind by it, when it shall arrive to a State of Maturity. We
wish you the Blessings of Heaven in your Settlement; and we will
exert our small Share of Influence in getting you protected from
the savage hand of Tyranny, with which the whole British America
has so long been contending. The resolves of the patriotick
Assembly of Virginia accompany this Letter, & we doubt not you
will partake of the general Joy they have given to all the
friends of American Independence & freedom.

_________________________________________________________________
1Clerk of the "plantation" of Gardnerstown. [back]

THE COMMITTEE OF CORRESPONDENCE OF BOSTON TO JOSIAH STONE.1

[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, April 13 1773

SIR

Your attested Copy of the proceedings of the Town of Framingham
at a legal meeting on the 15th of March last has been receivd by
the Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Boston.

The just resentment which your Town discovers at the power of
Legislation for the Colonists assumed by the British Parliament,
and its exerting that power in raising a revenue and applying it
to purposes repugnant to the common Safety, and the resolution of
that town to defend our rights & Liberties purchasd with so much
Blood & Treasure, must do them honor in the Estimation of all who
place a true Value upon those inestimable Blessings. May HE who
gave this Land to our worthy forefathers, animate us their
posterity to defend it at all Hazards; and while we would not
lose the Character of loyal subjects to a prince resolvd to
protect us, we will yet never forfeit that of Men determined to
be free.

________________________________________________________________
1Town Clerk of Framingham.

TO ARTHUR LEE.

[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 203, 204.]

BOSTON, April 22nd. 1773.

MY ESTEEMED FRIEND,---I have written you a long epistle by this
conveyance, and yet as the vessel is detained by a contrary wind,
I cannot help indulging the mood I am in to chat a little more
with you. When I mentioned Mr. Hancock in my last, I forgot to
tell you that he is colonel of a company, called the governor's
company of cadets. Perhaps in this view only he was held up to
Mr. Wilkes, when he was informed that he had deserted the cause.
But it should be known it is not in the power of the governor to
give a commission for that company to whom he pleases as their
officers are chosen by themselves. Mr. Hancock was elected by an
unanimous vote; and a reluctance at the idea of giving offence to
an hundred gentlemen, might very well account for the governor
giving the commission to Mr. H., without taking into
consideration that most powerful of all other motives, AN
INSTRUCTION, especially at a time when he vainly hoped he should
gain him over. I have been the more particular, because I know
our adversaries avail themselves much by propagating reports that
persons who have signalized themselves as patriots have at length
forsaken their country. Mr. Otis yesterday was engaged in a cause
in the admiralty on the side of Dawson, commander of one of the
king's cutters. At this some of the minions of power triumph, and
say they have got over to their side the greatest champion of our
cause. I have not yet discovered in the faces of their masters,
an air of exultation at this event; and indeed how can they boast
of the acquisition of one, whom they themselves have been the
most ready to expose as distracted.

I send you a complete printed copy of our controversy with the
governor, at the end of which you will observe some errors noted
which escaped the press.

This letter goes under care of Mr. Cushing's to Dr. Franklin. The
franks you favoured me with I shall make use of as necessity
shall require.

I am yours affectionately,

TO ARTHUR LEE.

[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 204, 205.]

BOSTON, May 6th, 1773.

MY DEAR SIR,---My last letter to you I sent by Capt. Symmes, who
sailed a few days ago. This town met yesterday, and made choice
of their representatives for the year ensuing. Enclosed is a copy
of the town's instructions.1 It is a very common practice for
this town to instruct their representatives; which among other
good purposes serves to communicate their sentiments and spirit
to the other towns, and may be looked upon as fresh appeals to
the world. I perceive by the late London newspapers that the
governor's first speech had arrived there, and had been very
sensibly remarked upon by Junius Americanus. This warm and
judicious advocate for the province I apprehend was mistaken in
saying, that the supreme authority of the British parliament to
legislate forces has been always acknowledged here; when he reads
the answer of the house to the speech, he will find the contrary
clearly shown, even from Gov. Hutchinson's history. What will be
the consequence of this controversy, time must discover; it must
be placed to the credit of the governor, that he has quickened a
spirit of enquiry into the nature and end of government, and the
connexion of the colonies with Great Britain, which has for some
time past been prevailing among the people. MAGNA EST VERITAS ET
PREVALEBIT; I believe it will be hardly in the power even of that
powerful nation to hold so inquisitive and increasing a people
long in a state of slavery.

Pray write to me as often as you can find leisure, and be assured
I am sincerely your friend and servant,

_________________________________________________________________
1The text is in Boston Record Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii.,
pp. 131-134.

TO THE SELECTMEN OF BOSTON.

[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., p. 70; printed also
in the Historical Magazine, vol. vii., p. January, 20, 1863.]

BOSTON, May 14, 1773.

GENTLEMEN,---

I must beg the favor of you to present my unfeigned regards to
the town, and acquaint them that, by reason of bodily
indisposition, I am unable to discharge the duty they have been
pleased to assign me as moderator of their meeting, which is to
be held this day by adjournment. I am much obliged to the town
for the honor done me, and esteem it a very great misfortune
whenever it is not in my power to render them services
proportionate to my own inclination.

With all due respect, I remain, gentlemen,

Your friend and fellow-citizen,

TO ARTHUR LEE.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text with
modifications is in R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, pp. 205, 206.]

BOSTON, May 17, 1773.

DEAR SIR/

My last went by Cap Calef, and inclosd a Copy of the Instructions
of this Town to their representatives. Our General Assembly will
meet next Week, what kind of a Budget the Govr will then open is
uncertain; It is whispered that he intends to bring about a
Coalition of parties, but how he will attempt it I am at a loss
to conceive. Surely he cannot think that the Body of this people
will be quieted till there is an End put to the Oppressions they
are under; and he dares not to propose a Coalition on these Terms
because it would disgust those who are the Instruments of &
Sharers in the Oppression. Besides I am inclined to think he
never will be able to recover so much of the Confidence of the
people as to make his Administration easy. A few of his Letters
we have seen, but are restraind at present from publishing them.
Could they be made generally known, his Friends must desert him.
It is a pity when the most important Intelligence is communicated
with such Restrictions, as that it serves rather to gratify the
Curiosity of a few than to promote the publick good. I wish we
could see the Letters he has written since his Advancement to the
Government. His friends give out that they are replete with
tenderness to the province; If so, I SPEAK WITH ASSURANCE, they
are the reverse of those he wrote before.

I send you for your Amusement the Copy of a Vote passd by this
Town at the Adjournment of their Meeting a few days ago and
remain with Sincerity your friend.

You cannot write me too often.

TO ARTHUR LEE.

[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., p. 192, under date of
June 14, 1772.]

BOSTON, June 14th, [1773.]

DEAR SIR,-----I now enclose letters written by Thomas Hutchinson
and Oliver-----and others of less importance, the originals of
which have been laid before the house of representatives.1 The
house have already resolved, by a majority of 101 out of 106
members, that the design and tendency of them is to subvert the
constitution and introduce arbitrary power into the province.
They are now in the hands of a committee to consider them
farther, and report what is still proper to be done.

I think there is now a full discovery of a combination of persons
who have been the principal movers, in all the disturbance
misery, and bloodshed, which has befallen this unhappy country.
The friends of our great men are much chagrined.

I am much engaged at present, and will write you more fully by
the next opportunity. In the mean time believe me to be with
great esteem your unfeigned friend,

Wednesday, June 16th, 1773.---The enclosed resolves are to be
considered by the house this afternoon.

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