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[42] Adams was gifted with a sagacity which divined the
Chap. XXVII.} 1766. Dec.
evil designs, now so near their execution. He instructed De Berdt to oppose the apprehended establishment of a military force in America, as needless for protection and dangerous to liberty. ‘Certainly,’ said he, ‘the best way for Great Britain to make her Colonies a real and lasting benefit, is, to give them all consistent indulgence in trade, and to remove any occasion of their suspecting that their liberties are in danger. While any Act of Parliament is in force, which has the least appearance of a design to raise a revenue out of them, their jealousy will be awake.’1

At the same time he called across the continent to the patriot most like himself, Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina. ‘Tell me, sir,’ said he2 of the Billeting Act, ‘whether this is not taxing the Colonies as effectually as the Stamp Act? And if so, either we have complained without reason, or we have still reason to complain. Grenville was told, that he should have stationed a sufficient number of troops in America before he sent over the Stamp Act. Had that been the case, your Congress might have been turned out of doors. New-York has had regular troops among them for some months. I never could hear a reason given to my satisfaction why they were ordered to remain there so long. A standing army, especially in a time of peace, is not only a disturbance, but is in every respect dangerous to the civil community. Surely, then, we cannot consent to their quartering among us; and how hard is it for us to be obliged to pay our money to subsist them!’

1 Samuel Adams to D. De Berdt, 16 Dec. 1766; and 18 Dec. 1766.

2 Samuel Adams to Christopher Gadsden, 11 Dec. 1766.

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