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‘ [125] throw off their dependence by the aid of foreign
Chap. XXXI.} 1768. Jan. Feb.
powers.’ The tone of public feeling seemed unprepared for action and averse to a rupture.

But Samuel Adams and the few who shared his courage contended indefatigably1 against the principle of taxation. The hesitancy in the Assembly had proceeded not from timidity but caution. The Members spoke with one another in private, till their views became clearer. Then on the fourth day of February, a motion was made to reconsider the vote against writing to the other Colonies. The House was counted; eighty-two were again found to be present; the question was put and carried by a large majority, and the former vote erased from the journals.2

On the same day, a question, whether the House would appoint a committee to prepare a letter, to be sent to each House of Representatives or Burgesses on the Continent, to inform them of the measure which it had taken, passed in the affirmative after debate. A masterly circular letter which Samuel Adams3 had drafted, was, on the eleventh of February, read in the House, and accepted almost unanimously.

Expressing a firm confidence that the united supplications of the distressed Americans would meet with the favorable acceptance of the King, they set forth the importance that proper constitutional measures

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, 19 May, 1768; and Same to Shelburne, 18 Feb. 1768.

2 Account by Samuel Adams in the Letter from the House to Hillsborough, 30 June, 1768.

3 Of this most important paper I possess the draft, in the handwriting of Samuel Adams. Besides that and the evidence of the contemporary letter by Andrew Eliot, the whole conduct of Samuel Adams for the next seven years is a perpetual proof that the measure was his own.

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