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Chapter 60:

The first act of independence.

February—April, 1776.

on the ninth day of February John Adams re-
Chap. LX.} 1776. Feb.
sumed his seat in congress, with Elbridge Gerry for a colleague, in place of the feeble Cushing, and with instructions from his constituents to establish liberty in America upon a permanent basis. His nature was robust and manly; now he was in the happiest mood of mind for asserting the independence of his country. He had confidence in the ability of New England to drive away their enemy; in Washington, as a brave and prudent commander; in his wife, who cheered him with the fortitude of womanly heroism; in the cause of his country, which seemed so bound up with the welfare of mankind, that Providence could not suffer its defeat; in himself, for his convictions were clear, his will fixed, and his mind prepared to let his little property and his life go, sooner than the rights of his country.

Looking into himself he saw weaknesses enough; but neither meanness, nor dishonesty, nor timidity.

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