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Chapter 48:

The towns of Massachusetts hold Correspondence.

August, 1772—January, 173.

‘we must get the colonies into order, before we
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engage with our neighbors,’ were the words of the king to Lord North in August; and though nothing could be more unlike than the manners of George the Third and Louis the Fifteenth, a cordial understanding sprung up between them, and even a project for a defensive alliance, that monarchy might triumph in France over philosophy, in America over the people.

If in other affairs Louis the Fifteenth was weak of purpose, on the subject of royal authority he never wavered; impatient to be obeyed in all things and by all, he prepared to destroy whatever checked his absolute will, and an ordinance of 1769 condemned to death every author of writings that tended to disturb the public mind. To him Protestants were republicans; and he not only refused to restore for them the edict of Nantz, but would not even legalize their marriages. Bold in doing ill, he violated the constitutions of Languedoc and Brittany without scruple, [423] employing military force against their states. The

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parliament of Paris, even more than the other companies of judges, had become an aristocratic senate, not only distributing justice, but exercising some check on legislation; Louis the Fifteenth demanded their unqualified registry of his edicts. ‘Sire,’ remonstrated the upright magistrate Malesherbes in 1771, ‘to mark your dissatisfaction with the parliament of Paris, the most essential rights of a free people are taken from the nation. The greatest happiness of the people is always the object and end of legitimate power. God places the crown on the head of kings to preserve to their subjects the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property. This truth flows from the law of God, and from the law of nature; and is peculiar to no constitution. In France, as in all monarchies, there exist inviolable rights, which belong to the nation. Interrogate, Sire, the nation itself; the incorruptible testimony of its representatives will at least let you know, if the cause which we defend today, is that of all this people, by whom you reign, and for whom you reign.’ ‘I will never change,’ replied Louis. Exiling Malesherbes, he overturned all the parliaments, and reconstructed the courts. ‘The crown is rescued from the dust of the rolls;’ cried his flatterers. ‘It is the tower of Babel,’ said others; ‘or chaos come again; or the end of the world.’ But against the monarch were his own vices which threw infamy on himself and defiled his throne. Libertinage must be observed in an old man, to learn all its baseness; it takes the daring hardihood of long experience to be thoroughly depraved. In the aged voluptuary, sensuality springs from infidelity in [424] the moral existence, and with greedy eagerness
Chap. XLVIII.} 1772. Aug.
catches at every physical enjoyment that can be crowded into declining years. The absolute king of France, now that he was growing old, abandoned himself to dissoluteness, even while he trembled before the unknown future, and dared not hear death named. The Puritans of England, when they used the stone altar as a threshold to the church for every foot to trample on, never so insulted an emblem of the Catholic faith, as did ‘the most Christian King’ of France, when he withdrew an attractive woman from public licentiousness, consecrated her by the sacrament of marriage as the wife of a French nobleman, and then installed her in his own palace as his mistress. In return, she adored royalty and sided against the philosophers. The power which had been snatched from those to whom by the constitution it belonged, was bestowed on her; and, in the country of Montesquieu and Turgot, an abandoned female who pleased the lewd fancies of an intemperate old man, became the symbol and the support of absolute monarchy.

The king of England likewise had no higher ob-

ject than to confirm his authority. The ministers ot Prussia, Austria, and Russia, were signing at St. Petersburg the treaty for the first partition of Poland; he neither questioned its justice nor inquired into its motives. Towards European affairs the British policy, like that of France, was one of inertness and peace. Poland might perish, and one province after another be wrested from the Porte, that Louis the Fifteenth might repose in voluptuous indulgence, and George the Third obtain leisure to reduce America. [425]

There, in New England, the marriage vow was

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austerely sacred; no corrupt court tainted innocence; no licentious aristocracy disputed for superiority in excesses. There industry created wealth and divided it between all the children; and none professed that the human race lives for the few. There every man was, or expected to become, a freeholder; the owner of the land held the plough; he who held the plough held the sword also; and liberty, acquired by the sacrifices and sufferings of a revered ancestry, was guarded, under the blessing of God, as a sacred trust for posterity. There, among the hills of Berkshire, or on the shores of the Narragansett, Hopkins, discoursing from the pulpit to the tillers of the soil, or to merchants and mariners, founded morals on the doctrine of disinterested love; establishing it as the duty of every one to be willing to devote himself for the glory of God, the freedom of his country, the well-being of his race.

‘It is a people,’ said Samuel Adams of his countrymen, ‘who of all the people on the earth deserve most to be free;’ and for a full year he had been maturing a plan by which he might elicit from their institutions the means of restoring their liberty. Yet when he first proposed organizing revolution through committees of correspondence, every one of his colleagues in the delegation from Boston dissuaded from the movement. Hancock, who disapproved the measure as rash or insufficient, joined with three or four others of the selectmen of Boston; and they rejected the prayer of the first petition for a town-


‘The word of God,’ wrote the younger Quincy, [426] ‘has pointed the mode of relief from Moabitish op-

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pression; prayers and tears with the help of a dagger. The Lord of light has given us the fit message to send to a tyrant: a dagger of a cubit in his belly; and every worthy man who desires to be anEhud, the deliverer of his country, will strive to be the messenger. This great people may seek a redress of their grievances, with the spear and the lance, at that glorious seat of justice where Moses brought the Egyptian, and Samson the Philistines.’1

The mind of Samuel Adams rose serenely alike above lukewarm indifference and the morbid frenzy of passion. His stern will, guided by light from an eternal source, was never led astray by anger, and never faltered from despondency. ‘America may assert her rights by resolves,’ insinuated Cushing; ‘but before enforcing them, she must wait to grow more powerful.’ ‘We are at a crisis,’ was the answer; ‘this is the moment to decide whether our posterity shall inherit liberty or slavery.’

A new petition, signed by one hundred and six inhabitants,—explaining how the judges would be corrupted into political partisans by their complete dependence—prevailed with the selectmen, and a meeting of the town of Boston was summoned for the twenty-eighth of October.

The day came. ‘We must now strike a home blow,’

said the Boston Gazette, ‘or sit down under the yoke of tyranny. The people in every town must instruct their representatives to send a remonstrance to the [427] King of Great Britain, and assure him (unless their
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Liberties are immediately restored whole and entire), they will form an independent Commonwealth, after the example of the Dutch Provinces; and offer a free trade to all nations. Should any one Province begin the example, the other Provinces will follow; and Great Britain must comply with our demands, or sink under the united force of the French and Spaniards. This is the plan that wisdom and Providence point out to preserve our rights, and this alone.’2

Towards executing that design Adams moved with calm and undivided purpose; conducting public measures with a caution that left no step to be retraced. The attendance at Faneuil Hall was not great3 the town only raised a Committee to inquire of the Governor, if the Judges of the Province had become the stipendiaries of the Crown; after which it adjourned for two days. ‘This country,’ said Samuel Adams, in the interval, ‘must shake off its intolerable burdens at all events; every day strengthens our oppressors, and weakens us; if each town would declare its sense, our enemies could not divide us;’4 and he urged on Elbridge Gerry of Marblehead, to convoke the citizens of that port.

As the Governor refused to answer the inquiry of the town, they next asked that he would allow the General Assembly to meet on the day to which it had been prorogued.

A determined spirit began to show itself in the

[428] country;5 yet when on the second of November Bos-
Chap. XLVIII.} 1772. Nov.
ton reassembled, no more persons attended than on ordinary occasions. ‘If in compliance with your Petition,’ such was Hutchinson's message to them, ‘I should alter my determination, and meet the Assembly at such time as you judge necessary, I should, in effect, yield to you the exercise of that part of the prerogative. There would,’ moreover, ‘be danger of encouraging the inhabitants of the other towns in the Province to assemble from time to time, in order to consider of the necessity or expediency of a session of the General Assembly, or to debate and transact other matters, which the law, that authorizes towns to assemble, does not make the business of a Town meeting.’

By denying the right of the towns to discuss public questions of general interest, the Governor placed himself at variance with the institution of Town Governments, the oldest and dearest and most essentially characteristic of the established rights of New England. The Meeting read over the reply several times, and voted unanimously, ‘that its inhabitants have, ever had, and ought to have, a right to petition the King or his Representative for the redress or the preventing of grievances; and to communicate their sentiments to other towns.’ Samuel Adams6 then arose, and made that mo-7 [429] tion, which included the whole revolution, ‘that a

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Committee of Correspondence be appointed, to consist of twenty-one persons, to state the Rights of the Colonists and of this Province in particular, as men, as Christians, and as subjects, to communicate and publish the same to the several towns in this Province and to the world, as the sense of this town, with the infringements and violations thereof, that have been or from time to time may be made; also requesting of each town a free communication of their sentiments on this subject.’ The end in view was a general Confederacy against the authority of Parliament; the towns of the Province were to begin; the Assembly to confirm their doings and invite the other Colonies to join.8

The motion was readily adopted; but it was difficult to raise the Committee. Cushing, Hancock, and Phillips, three of the four Representatives of [430] Boston,9 pleaded private business and refused to

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serve; so did Scollay and Austin, two of the Selectmen. The name of James Otis who was now but a wreck of himself, appears first on the list; as a tribute to former services. The two most important members were Samuel Adams and Joseph Warren, the first now recognised as a ‘masterly Statesman,’10 and the ablest political writer in New England; the second, a rare combination of gentleness with daring courage; of respect for law with the all-controlling love of liberty. The two men never failed each other; the one growing old, the other in youthful manhood; thinking one set of thoughts; having one heart for their country; joining in one career of public policy and action; differing only in this, that while Warren still clung to the hope of conciliation, Adams ardently desired, as well as clearly foresaw, the conflict for Independence.

On the third of November, the Boston Committee of Correspondence met at the Representatives' chamber, and organized itself by electing the truehearted William Cooper its clerk. From that moment it constituted a body, called into being by the people, possessing their confidence, and exercising, as occasion demanded, the powers of a legislative and of an executive Council. They next, by a unanimous vote, gave each to the others the pledge of ‘honor, not to divulge any part of the conversation at their meetings to any person whatsoever, excepting what the Committee itself should make known.’ [431]

Samuel Adams was then appointed to prepare the

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statement of the rights of the colonists; and Joseph Warren of the several grievous violations of those rights; while Church, who between such men could not go astray, was directed to draft a letter to the other towns.11 Meantime Adams roused his friends throughout the Province. No more ‘complaining,’ thus he wrote to James Warren of Plymouth; ‘it is more than time to be rid of both tyrants and tyranny;’ and explaining ‘the leading steps,’ which Boston had taken, he entreated the co-operation of the old Colony.

The flame caught.12 Plymouth, Marblehead,13 Roxbury,14 Cambridge, prepared to second Boston. ‘God grant,’ cried Samuel Adams, ‘that the love of liberty, and a zeal to support it, may enkindle in every town.’ ‘Their scheme of keeping up a correspondence through the Province,’ wrote Hutchinson in a letter which was laid before the King,15 ‘is such a foolish one, that it must necessarily make them ridiculous.’16

After the report of the Boston Committee was prepared, Otis was appointed to present it to the town.17 As they chose on this last great occasion of his public appearance to name him with the honors of precedence, history may express satisfaction, that he whose eloquence first awakened the thought of resistance, [432] should have been able to lend his presence and

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his name to the final movement for union. He was a man of many sorrows; familiar with grief, as one who had known nothing else. Of all who have played a great part in American affairs, his existence was the least enlivened by joy. The burden of his infirmities was greater than he could bear, so that he sank under their weight; his fine intellect became a ruin which reason wandered over but did not occupy, and by its waning light showed less the original beauty of the structure than the completeness of its overthrow. The remainder of his life was passed in seclusion; years afterwards, when his country's independence had been declared, but not for him, he stood one summer's day in the porch of the farm-house which was his retreat, watching a sudden shower. One flash and only one was seen in the sky; one bolt fell, and, harming nothing else, struck James Otis, so that all that was mortal of him perished.— This is he who claimed the ocean as man's free highway; and persuaded to an American union.

On Friday, the twentieth of November, Boston, in a legal Town meeting in Faneuil Hall, received the Report of their Committee. Among the natural rights of the colonists, they claimed a right to life, to liberty, to property; a right to support and defend these; in case of intolerable oppression to change allegiance for their sake; to resume them, if they had ever been renounced; to rescue and preserve them sword in hand.

The grievances of which they complained were the assumption by the British Parliament of absolute power in all cases whatsoever; the exertion of that [433] power to raise a revenue in the Colonies without their

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consent; the appointment of officers unknown to the Charter to collect the revenue; the investing these officers with unconstitutional authority; the supporting them by fleets and armies in time of peace; the establishment of a civil list out of the unconstitutional revenue even for the Judges whose commissions were held only during pleasure, and whose decisions affected property, liberty and life; the oppressive use of royal instructions; the enormous extension of the power of the Vice Admiralty Courts; the infringement of the right derived from God and nature to make use of their skill and industry, by prohibiting or restraining the manufacture of iron, of hats, of wool; the violence of authorizing persons in the Colonies to be taken up under pretence of certain offences and carried to Great Britain for trial; the claim of a right to establish a Bishop and Episcopal Courts without the consent of the Colony; the frequent alteration of the bounds of Colonies, followed by a necessity for the owners of the land to purchase fresh grants of their property from rapacious governors. ‘This enumeration,’ they said, ‘of some of the most open infringements of their rights, will not fail to excite the attention of all who consider themselves interested in the happiness and freedom of mankind, and will by every candid person be judged sufficient to justify whatever measures have been or may be taken to obtain redress.’

Having thus joined issue with the King and Parliament, the inhabitants of the town of Boston voted, by means of Committees of Correspondence, to make an Appeal to all the towns in the Colony, ‘that the [434] collected wisdom and fortitude of the whole people

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might dictate measures for the rescue of their happy and glorious Constitution.’ ‘These worthy New Englanders,’ cried Chatham, as he read the Report, ‘ever feel as old Englanders ought to do.’18

It may reasonably be asked what England was gaining by the controversy with America. The Commissioners of the Stamp Office were just then settling their accounts for their expenses in America; which were found to have exceeded twelve thousand pounds, while they had received for revenue, almost entirely from Canada and the West India Islands, only about fifteen hundred.19 The result of the tax on tea had been more disastrous. Even in Boston, under the very eyes of the Commissioners of the Customs, seven eighths of the teas20 consumed were Dutch teas, and in the Southern Governments, the proportion was much greater; so that the whole remittance of the last year for duties on tea and wines and other articles taxed indirectly, amounted to no more than eighty-five21 or eighty22 pounds; while ships and soldiers for the support of the collecting officers had cost some hundred thousands, and the East India Company had lost the sale of goods to the amount of two and a half millions of dollars annually.

England was growing weary of the fruitless strife.

Lord North wished it at an end; and Dartmouth, instead of thinking to appeal to Parliament for stringent [435] measures, desired the King to ‘reign in the
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affections of his people,’ and would have regarded conciliation as ‘the happiest event of his life.’23 A Member of Parliament,24 having discovered through John Temple,25 that every perverse ‘measure, and every grievance complained of took their rise not from the British Government, but were projected, proposed to Administration, solicited and obtained by some of the most respectable among the Americans themselves, as necessary for the welfare of that country,’ endeavored to convince Franklin of the well ascertained fact. Franklin remaining skeptical, he returned in a few days with letters from Hutchinson, Oliver, and Paxton, written to produce coercion. These had been addressed to Whately, who had communicated them to Grenville, his patron, and through him to Lord Temple.26 They had been handed about, that they might more certainly contribute to effect the end which their writers had in view; and at Whately's death, remained in the possession of others. [436]

These, which were but very moderate specimens

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of a most persevering and most extensive Correspondence of a like nature, Franklin was authorized to send to his constituents, not for publication, but to be retained for some months, and perused by the Corresponding Committee of the Legislature, by members of the Council, and by some few others to whom the Chairman of that Committee might think proper to show them.

Had the conspiracy which was thus laid bare,

aimed at the life of a Minister or the King, any honest man must have immediately communicated the discovery to the Secretary of State; to conspire to introduce into America a military Government, and abridge American liberty, was a more heinous crime, of which irrefragable evidence had now come to light. Franklin, as Agent of Massachusetts, made himself the public accuser of those whose guilt was now exposed; and in an official letter sent the proofs of their designs to the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, with no concealment or reservation but such as his informer had required. ‘All good men,’ wrote Franklin as he forwarded the letters, ‘wish harmony to subsist between the Colonies and the Mother Country. My resentment against this country for its arbitrary measures in governing us, has been exceedingly abated, since my conviction by these papers that those measures were projected, advised, and called for by men of character among ourselves. I think they must have the same effect with you. As to the writers, when I find them bartering away the liberties of their native country for posts, negotiating for salaries and pensions extorted from the people, and, conscions [437] of the odium these might be attended with, call-
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ing for troops to protect and secure the enjoyment of them; when I see them exciting jealousies in the Crown, and provoking it to wrath against so great a part of its most faithful subjects; creating enmities between the different countries of which the empire consists; occasioning a great expense to the old country, for suppressing or preventing imaginary rebellions in the new, and to the new country for the payment of needless gratifications to useless officers and enemies; I cannot but doubt their sincerity even in the political principles they profess, and deem them mere time-servers, seeking their own private emoluments, through any quantity of public mischief; betrayers of the interest not of their native country only, but of the Government they pretend to serve, and of the whole English empire.’27

While the letters were on their way, the towns in the Province were just coming together under the impulse from Boston. The people of Marblehead, whose fishermen were all returned from their annual summer's excursion to the Grand Banks, at a full meeting, with but one dissentient, expressed ‘their unavoidable disesteem and reluctant irreverence for the British Parliament;’ their sense of the ‘great and uncommon kind of grievance,’ of being compelled ‘to carry the produce of Spain and Portugal, received for their fish, to Great Britain, and there paying duties;’ how ‘justly they were incensed at the unconstitutional, unrighteous proceedings’ of Ministers, how they ‘detested [438] the name of a Hillsborough;’ how ready

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they were to ‘unite for the recovery of their violated rights;’ and like Roxbury28 and Plymouth,29 they appointed their Committee.30 Warren of Plymouth exerted himself diligently, but despondingly. ‘The towns,’ said he, ‘are dead; and cannot be raised without a miracle.’31 ‘I am very sorry to find in you the least approach towards despair,’ answered Adams. ‘Nil desperandum is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire we will rekindle it.’ The patriot's noble confidence was justified.32 In Plymouth itself, ‘there were ninety to one to fight Great Britain.’33

The people of Cambridge, in a full meeting, were

‘much concerned to maintain and secure their own invaluable rights which were not the gift of Kings, but purchased with the precious blood and treasure of their ancestors;’ and they ‘discovered a glorious spirit like men determined to be free.’ Roxbury, which had moved with deliberation, found ‘the rights of the colonists fully supported and warranted by the laws of God and Nature, the New Testament and the Charter of the Province.’ ‘Our pious Forefathers,’ said they, ‘died with the pleasing hope, that we their children should live free; let none, as they will answer it another day, disturb the ashes of those heroes by selling their birthright.’ [439]

On Monday, the twenty-eighth of December,

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towns were in session from the Banks of the Kennebec34 to Buzzard's Bay.35 The people of Charlestown beheld their own welfare ‘and the fate of unborn millions in suspense.’ ‘It will not be long,’ said Rochester, ‘before our assembling for the cause of liberty will be determined to be riotous, and every attempt to prevent the flood of despotism from overflowing our land will be deemed open rebellion.’ Woolwich, ‘an infant people in an infant country,’ did not ‘think their answer perfect in spelling or the words placed,’ yet hearty good feeling got the better of their false shame.36 Does any one ask who had precedence in proposing a Union of the Colonies, and a war for Independence? The thoughts were the offspring of the time; and were in every patriot's breast. It were as well to ask which tree in the forest is the earliest to feel the genial influence of the reviving year. The first official utterance of revolution did not spring from a Congress of the Colonies, or the future chiefs of the Republic; from the rich who falter, or the learned who weigh and debate. The people of the little interior town of Pembroke in Plymouth county, unpretending husbandmen, full of the glory of their descent from the Pilgrims, concluded a clear statement of their grievances with the prediction, that ‘if the measures so justly complained of were persisted in and enforced by fleets and armies, they must, they will, in a little time issue in the total dissolution [440] of the union between the mother country and
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the Colonies.’37 And in a louder tone the freemen of Gloucester, accustomed to thoughts as free as the ocean which dashes on their bold shore, and brave as became men who from childhood had in their small fishing boats ridden the breakers without fear, declared their readiness to stand for their rights and liberties, which were dearer to them than their lives, and to join with all others in an appeal to the Great Lawgiver, not doubting of success according to the justice of their cause.38

Salisbury, a small town on the Merrimack, counselled an American Union.39 Ipswich, in point of numbers40 the second town in the Province, advised ‘that the Colonies in general and the inhabitants of their Province in particular, should stand firm as one man, to support and maintain all their just rights and privileges.’41 In the course of December, the Earl of Chatham was reading several New England writings ‘with admiration and love;’ among others an Election Sermon by Tucker, in which he found ‘the divine Sydney rendered practical, and the philosophical Locke more demonstrative;’42 and on the very same day, the people of the little town of Chatham, at the extremity of Cape Cod, were declaring their ‘civil and religious principles to be the sweetest [441] and essential part of their lives, without which the

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remainder was scarcely worth preserving.’43

‘They succeed,’ wrote Hutchinson plaintively;44 and he called for aid from Parliament. But the excitement increased still more, when it became known, that Thurlow and Wedderburn had reported the burning of the Gaspee to be a crime of a much deeper dye than piracy,45 and that the King, by the advice of his Privy Council, had ordered its authors and abettors to be delivered to Rear Admiral Montagu, and, with the witnesses, brought for ‘condign punishment’ to England. To send an American across the Atlantic for trial for his life, was an intolerable violation of justice; Hutchinson urged what was worse, to abrogate the Rhode Island Charter. In this hour of greatest peril, the men of Rhode Island, by the hands of Darius Sessions, their Deputy Governor, and Stephen Hopkins, their Chief Justice, appealed to Samuel Adams for advice. And he answered immediately that the occasion ‘should awaken the American Colonies, and again unite them in one band; that an attack upon the liberties of one Colony was an attack upon the liberties of all, and that therefore in this instance all should be ready to yield assistance.’46

Employing this event also to contribute to the great purpose of a general union, the Boston Committee [442] as the year went out, were ‘encouraged by the

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people's thorough understanding of their civil and religious rights and liberties, to trust in God, that a day was hastening when the efforts of the Colonists would be crowned with success, and the present generation furnish an example of public virtue, worthy the imitation of all posterity.’

In a like spirit, the new and eventful year of 1773

1773. Jan.
was rung in by the men of Marlborough. ‘Death,’ said they unanimously on the first of January, ‘is more eligible than slavery. A freeborn people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their laws and liberties.’ And advising all the Colonies to prepare for war, they ‘implored the Ruler above the skies, that he would make bare his arm in defence of his church and people, and let Israel go.’

‘As we are in a remote wilderness corner of the earth, we know but little,’ said the farmers of Lenox; but they were certain that neither nature nor the God of nature required them to crouch ‘Issachar-like, between the two burdens’ of poverty and slavery. ‘We prize our liberties so highly,’ thus the men of Leicester with the districts of Spencer and Paxton spoke modestly and sincerely, ‘that we think it our duty to risk our lives and fortunes in defence thereof.’ ‘For that spirit of virtue which induced your town, at so critical a day to take the lead in so good a cause,’ wrote the Town of Petersham, ‘our admiration is heightened, when we consider your being exposed to the first efforts of power. The time may come, when you may be driven from your goodly heritage; if that should be the case, we invite you to [443] share with us in our small supplies of the necessaries

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of life; and should we still not be able to withstand, we are determined to retire, and seek repose amongst the inland aboriginal natives, with whom we doubt not but to find more humanity and brotherly love, than we have lately received from our Mother Counry.’ ‘We join with the town of Petersham,’ was the reply of Boston, ‘in preferring a life among the savages to the most splendid condition of slavery; but Heaven will bless the united efforts of a brave people.’

‘It is only some people in the Massachusetts Bay making a great clamor, in order to keep their party alive,’ wrote time-servers to Dartmouth,47 begging for further grants of salaries, and blind to the awakening of a nation. Samuel Adams, who thoroughly understood the people of New England, predicted ‘a most violent political earthquake through the whole British empire.’48 ‘This unhappy contest between Britain and America,’ he continued, ‘will end in rivers of blood; but America may wash her hands in innocence.’ And informing Rhode Island of the design of ‘Administration to get their Charter vacated,’ he advised them to make delay, without conceding any of their rights; and to address the Assemblies of all the other Colonies for support.49

1 Edward Sexby, in Boston Gazette, 12 Oct. 1772. 914, i. 1, 2, 3. ‘He’ [Josiah Quincy, Jr.] ‘wrote, among other essays, those under the signature of “Edward Sexby.” ’—Quincy's Quincy, 67.

2 Oct. 28, 1772. An American in Boston Gazette, 2 Nov. 1772; 917, 2, 2.

3 S. Adams to A. Lee, 3 November, 1772.

4 Samuel Adams to Elbridge Gerry, 29 October, 1772.

5 E. Gerry to S. Adams, Marblehead, 2 Nov. 1772.

6 Journal of the Boston Committee of Correspondence, Book i. page i. In my account of the proceedings of this Committee, I am guided by its own secret journals which have never seen the light, but are in my possession, together with a very large number of their original papers and drafts. The Journal is in perfect order; the papers in a good state of preservation. Gordon, whose history of the Revolution is of great value, and in some parts of careful accuracy, was accustomed before his return to England, to seek and to minute down oral communications, and not sifting them severely, his volumes are not free from gossip. His account of the Committee of Correspondence is imperfect and erroneous. He never had the entire confidence of Samuel Adams and his friends, and was never intrusted with a knowledge of their movements; so that he had to rely on what he could learn of those who were as little in the secret as himself. The statement, i. 312, 313, that the idea of the Committee of Correspondence came from James Warren of Plymouth, is wholly incorrect. The tradition comes to me directly from Samuel Adams through his daughter and the late Samuel Adams Welles, that it was not so; and this may offset any opposite tradition. John Adams says the system of Committees of Correspondence was the invention of Samuel Adams: so Hutchinson wrote. There was no doubt about it. Samuel Adams had for a year been brooding over the scheme. When he had matured it for execution, he communicated it by letters to several, among others to James Warren; and the answers of the latter, which are preserved, show him to have been a willing fellow-laborer in carrying out the measure, which he was so far from having advised, that he at first doubted its efficacy customed before his return to England, to seek and to minute down oral communications, and not sifting them severely, his volumes are not free from gossip. His account of the Committee of Correspondence is imperfect and erroneous. He never had the entire confidence of Samuel Adams and his friends, and was never intrusted with a knowledge of their movements; so that he had to rely on what he could learn of those who were as little in the secret as himself. The statement, i. 312, 313, that the idea of the Committee of Correspondence came from James Warren of Plymouth, is wholly incorrect. The tradition comes to me directly from Samuel Adams through his daughter and the late Samuel Adams Welles, that t was not so; and this may offset any opposite tradition. John Adams says the system of Committees of Correspondence was the invention of Samuel Adams: so Hutchinson wrote. There was no doubt about it. Samuel Adams had for a year been brooding over the scheme. When he had matured it for execution, he communicated it by letters to several, among others to James Warren; and the answers of the latter, which are preserved, show him to have been a willing fellow-laborer in carrying out the measure, which he was so far from having advised, that he at first doubted its efficacy.

7 Samuel Adams to Elbridge Gerry, 5 Nov. 1772.

8 Hutchinson to a Friend in England, I suppose Sir Francis Bernard, 14 June, 1773. ‘I had the fullest evidence,’ &c. &c.

9 S. Cooper to B. Franklin, 15 March, 1773; Franklin, VIII. 37; Hutchinson to John Pownall, 19 April, 1773; Boston Gazette, 918, 2, 2, and other letters.

10 John Adams: Works, IV. 84.

11 Journals of the Committee of Correspondence, 3 November, 1772.

12 James Warren of Plymouth, to S Adams, 8 Nov. 1772.

13 Elbridge Gerry to S. Adams, 10 Nov. 1772, and 17 Nov. 1772.

14 S. Adams to Elbridge Gerry, 14 Nov. 1772.

15 Dartmouth to Hutchinson, 6 January, 1773.

16 Hutchinson to the Secretary of the Board of Trade, 13 Nov. 1772.

17Samuel Adams had prepared a long report, but he let Otis appear in it.’ Hutchinson to Gage, 7 March, 1773.

18 Chatham to T. Hollis, Burton Pynsent, 3 Feb. 1773.

19 B. Franklin to J. Galloway, VIII. 24.

20 Hutchinson to Dartmouth, No. 2, 27 October, 1772.

21 Franklin's Preface of the British Editor to the Votes and Proceedings of the Town of Boston.

22 Franklin to Galloway, 2 Dec. 1772.

23 Dartmouth to Hutchinson, 9 Dec. 1772.

24 That it was understood to be a Member of Parliament, appears from John Adams, who cites Franklin as his authority. Such certainly was the opinion of Hutchinson. ‘A Member of Parliament, by whom they had been communicated to Dr. Franklin.’ Hutchinson, III. 418.

25 That Temple was privy to the plan of getting the letters, we know from Hutchinson and under his own hand. That he kept aloof, and at this time concealed his agency in the matter, appears from his own statement and from that of Franklin. Franklin gave his word not to name his informer. English writers have not noticed, that the English Ministry and Hutchinson seem to have had the means of discovering the secret, that the Ministry discouraged inquiry, and that Temple was subsequently forgiven, and appointed to a good place.

26 Almon's Biog. Anecdotes, II. 105; confirmed by the recently printed Grenville Papers, which show that Whately was accustomed to communicate to Grenville what he received from Hutchinson. ‘Another correspondent, [i. e. Hutchinson,] the same gentleman, one of whose letters I lately sent you,’ &c. &c. Grenville Papers, IV. 480.

27 B. Franklin to T. Gushing, 2 Dec. 1772.

28 S. Adams to James Warren, 27 Nov. 1772, and Journals.

29 Journals of C. C. i. 7.

30 Journals of C. C. i. 9-14.

31 James Warren of Plymouth to Samuel Adams, 8 Dec. 1772.

32 Samuel Adams to James Warren, 9 Dec. 1772.

33 Judge Oliver of Middleborough to Hutchinson, 16 Dec. 1772.

34 Proceedings of the Town of Woolwich, in Journals of the Committee of Correspondence, 240.

35 Proceedings of the Town of Rochester, Original papers, 772. Journal C. C., 108.

36 Original Papers, 1003. Journal of C. C., III. 242.

37 Votes and Resolves of Pembroke, 28 December, 1772, in Journals of C. C. i. 44. Compare Wedderburn on Pembroke, in his speech against Franklin.

38 Journals of the Committee, i. 67. Original Papers, 361.

39 Original papers, 815.

40 Committee of Boston to Committee of Ipswich, 8 Jan. 1773 Original Papers, 445; Journal of C. C., v. 364.

41 Votes and Proceedings of the Town of Ipswich, 28 Dec. 1772; in Journal C. C., 50; Original papers, 441.

42 Chatham to T. Hollis, 29 Dec. 1772.

43 Proceedings of Chatham, Original Papers, 269; Journal of C. C., II. 118.

44 Hutchinson to R. Jackson, 8 Dec. 1772, and to John Pownall, Remembrancer, 1776, II. 60.

45 Dartmouth to Hutchinson, 4 Sept. 1772. Same to Wanton, Governor of Rhode Island, 4 September, 1772.

46 Darius Sessions, Stephen Hopkins, John Cole, and Moses Brown to Samuel Adams, Providence, 25 Dec. 1772. Adams's Reply, 28 Dec.

47 W. Franklin to Dartmouth, No. 4, 5 Jan. 1773. Cortland Skin ner's Petition for a salary from the Crown.

48 Samuel Adams to Darius Sessions, 2 Jan. 1773.

49 Compare Joseph Ward to Ezra Stiles, Boston, 2 Jan. 1773.

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