Boston March 3d. 1819
In your letter to me of Octo. last, for which I beg you accept my very respectful acknowledgements, you were pleased to recommend, that a pamphlet, “called an appeal to the world, in vindication of the town of Boston from the aspersions &c of Govr. Bernard & others” printed in the autumn of 1769, should also be inserted in the Vol. which I proposed to publish—And you observed, that it was the last effort of James Otis Esq—It is my intention to have that pamphlet, & some other proceedings of Boston connected with the dispute, then agitated, between the Colonies & the British Ministry, in the Vol. and from your authority, I should say, that the pamphlet was written by Mr Otis. But a Mr. Saml. A. Welles a grandson of the late Saml Adams, says that pamphlet was written by Mr Adams: and that he has the Ms. or part of it, in the hand writing of Mr. Adams, now in his possession.
I have some doubts on this subject. This Mr Welles is very partially disposed as to the services of his Grand Father, & seems to think that every thing written & proposed by the town of Boston, the general Court of Massachusetts, & Congress even in 1775 & 1776, was suggested & proposed by Mr S. Adams—& in fact that he was Solus—as without him the revolution would not have taken place, nor the Independence of the Colonies declared & maintained.
I am not ignorant of the great & useful services of the late S. Adams. I find from my researches, that he was active & forward in 1767, 1768 &c—My only wish is to be correct, & to do justice to every one, in my book. If Mr Adams, & not Mr Otis, was the original writer of the pamphlet, I should be sorry to say, that it was written by the latter Gentleman—
I am sorry to trouble you—& only request your opinion & advice in this case—
My book progresses—I have 200 pages of it printed—& am now in the midst of the controversy between Lt. Gov. Hutchinson & the general court, respecting his right to keep it at Cambridge
MHi: Adams Papers.