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ls, and bring to nought all their devices. Her voice was the voice of New England. Under the general powers of commander, Washington, who had hired vessels, manned them with sea captains and sailors from his camp, and sent them to take vessels laden with soldiers or stores for the British army, now urged on congress the appointment of prize courts for the condemnation of prizes; the legislature of Massachusetts, without waiting for further authority, of themselves, in an act drawn by Elbridge Gerry to encourage the fitting out of armed vessels, instituted such tribunals. The king's silly proclamation will put an end to petitioning, wrote James Warren, the speaker, to Samuel Adams; movements worthy of your august body are expected; a declaration of independence, and treaties with foreign powers. Hawley was the first to discern through the darkness the coming national government of the republic, even while it still lay far below the horizon; and he wrote from Watertown to Samue
rted. On the other hand, Samuel Adams insisted that congress had already been explicit enough; and apprehensive that they might get themselves upon dangerous ground, he rallied the bolder members in the hope to defeat the proposal; but in the absence of John Adams even his colleagues, Cushing and Paine, sided with Wilson, who carried the vote of Massachusetts as a part of his majority. Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. When Cushing's constituents heard of his pusillanimous wavering, they elected Elbridge Gerry to his place; at the moment, Samuel Adams repaired for sympathy and consolation to Franklin. In a free conversation, these two great sons of Boston agreed that confederation must be speedily brought on, even though the concurrence of all the colonies could not be obtained. If none of the rest will join, said Samuel Adams to Franklin, I will endeavor to unite the New England colonies in confederating. I approve your proposal, said Franklin, and if you succeed, I will cast in my lot amo
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; b