who had the chief command of
the ships in the harbor.
But Samuel Adams
, whom it was especially desired to ‘take off’ for treason, ‘unawed by the menaces of arbitrary power,’2
pursued his system without fear or faltering.
‘I must,’ said he,3
‘tell the men, who on both sides of the Atlantic
with rebellion, that military power will never prevail on an American to surrender his liberty;’ and through the press he taught the public that a standing army,4
kept up in the Colonies in time of peace without their consent, was as flagrant a violation of the Constitution
as the laying a tax on paper, glass, painters' colors and tea. To effect the removal of the troops from Boston
was his unremitting care.
In the mean time he sought in the common law the means to curb their insolence; and called upon the magistrates of Boston
to govern, restrain, and punish ‘soldiers of all ranks,’ according to the laws of the land.5
The Justices of the Peace for Suffolk
at their Quarter Sessions
, and the Grand Jury
, over which the Crown had no control, never failed to find indictments against soldiers and officers, for their frequent transgressions;6
and if they escaped the penalties of conviction, it was through the favoritism of a higher Court.
Every where the British
claims of power were denied.
approved the conduct and correspondence of Massachusetts
completed the expression of American opinion, by