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Liberty Tree in Boston, was a very aged and a very large Elm—in the front yard of Deacon Elliot at the South End—he lived at the Corner of between the Maine Street—and the street that lead down to John Rowes House—It was very near to the Mansion of the Ancient and Honble. Samuell Wells—which was the spot on which the Boylston Market now stands—The Tree stood directly opposite to the House of...
Do not expect to escape so, I have a hundred if not a thousand letters to write you. which however I shall never write, upon the restoration of the tories to this Country, and their subsequent Conduct towards me—of that host of Vagabond Foreigners who have tormented and deceived this Simple American people for four and forty years—for the secret Correspondences’s and Corruption—Civil political...
On the 20 of January 1768 the House of Representatives appointed a committee to prepare a petition to the King & letters to his ministers & a letter to the agent knowing that Such a committee was appointed & that they were buisily employed in preparing these representations meeting Mr Otis one morning I asked him how do you proceed with your petitions & letters he answered I have drawn them...
In your last letter you consider me in debt, I will not dispute it. You seem to wish me to write something to diminish the fame of Samuel Adams to show that he was not a man of profound learning, a great lawyer, a man of vast reading, a comprehensive statesman. In all this I shall not gratify you. Give me leave to tell you, my friend, that you have conceived prejudices against that great...
The Charters were quoted or alluded to by Mr Otis frequently in the whole course of his Argument: but he made them, also a more distinct and more Solemn head of his discourse. And here, these Charters ought to be copied verbatim. But an immense Verbiage renders it impossible. Bishop Butler, some where complains of this enormous abuse of Words in publick Transactions and John Reed and...
If, in our Search of Principles We have not been able to investigate any moral phylosophical or rational foundation for any Claim of Dominion or Property in America, in the English Nation, their Parliament or even of their King; if the whole appears a mere Usurpation of Fution Fancy and Superstition: What was the Right to dominion or Property in the native Indians? Shall We Say that a few...
The English doctrine of Allegiance, is so mysterious, fabulous, & enigmatical, that it is difficult to decompose the Elements Of which it is compounded. The Priests under the Hebrew Economy, especially the Sovereign Pontiff were anointed with consecrated Oil, which was poured upon their heads in such profusion, that it ran down their beards, & they were thence called “The Lords Anointed” When...
It is some consolation to find in the Paragraph of the Charter, next following the Court of Admiralty, that Nothing in it, “Shall in any manner enure, or be taken to a bridge, bar, or hinder any of our loving Subjects Whatsoever, to Use and exercise the Trade of Fishing upon the Coasts of New England, but that they and every of them Shall have full and free Power and Liberty to continue and...
I have before mentioned the Instructions of the City of Boston to their Representatives, in May 1764, printed in an Appendix to Mr Otis’s “Rights of the Colonies” In Obedience to those Instructions, or at least in Consequence of them Mr Otis prepared a Memorial to The House of Representatives, which was by them voted to be transmitted to Jasper Mauduit Esqr Agent for the Province, only as a...
Mr Otis quoted another Author “The political and Commercial Works of Charles D’Avenant, L.L.D. Vol 2. Discourse 3. On the Plantation Trade.” I cannot transcribe Seventy Six Pages, but wish that Americans of all Classes would read them: They are in the Same Strain with Downing; Childs, Gee, Ashley, Charles 2. James 2, William and Mary William The Third Ann, George The Second and George The...
Mr: Otis quoted another Author “The political & commercial Works of Charles D’Avenant LLD Vol 2 Discourse 3 on the plantation trade” I cannot transcribe 76 pages but wish that americans of all classes would read them; they are in the same strain with Downing Childs Gee Ashley Charles 2 James 2 William and Mary William the 3rd: Ann, George’s 2nd: & 3rd: All conspiring to make The people of...
We cannot yet dismiss this precious statute of the 6th of George the second. Chapter 13. The second section I must abridge, for I cannot transcribe much more. It enacts that all the Duties imposed by the first section, shall be paid down in ready Money by the Importer, before landing. The third section must be transcribed by me or some other Person because it is the most arbitrary among...
The “Defence of the New England Charters” by Jer. “Dummer” is, both for Style and matter, one of our most classical American Productions. “The feelings, the manners and Principles which produced the Revolution,” appear in as vast Abundance in this Work, as in any, that I have read. This beautiful Composition, ought to be reprinted and read by every American who has learned to read. In pages 30...
“Mid the low murmurs of submissive fear and mingled rage my Hambden raised his Voice, & and to the Laws appealed.” Mr. Otis had reasoned like a Philosopher upon the Navigation Acts and upon all the tyranical Acts of Charles the Second but when he came to the Revenue Laws, the Orator blazed out Poor King William! If thy Spirit whether in Heaven of elswhere heard James Otis, it must have...
Another Passage, which Mr Otis read from Ashley gave Occasion, as I suppose, to another memorable and very curious Event, which your esteemed Pupil and my beloved Friend Judge Minot has recorded. The Passage is in the 42 page. “In fine, I would humbly propose that the duties, on foreign Sugar and Rum imposed by the before mentioned Act, of the 6th of King George the Second, remain as they are,...
Another Author produced by Mr Otis was “The Trade and Navigation of Great Britain considered” by Joshua Gee. “A new Edition, with many interesting Notes and Additions by a Merchant” printed in 1767. This new Edition which was printed no doubt to justify the Ministry in the System they were then pursuing, could not be the Edition that Mr Otis produced in Feb.1761. The Advertisement of the...
Another Auther produced by Mr Otis was “The Trade and Navigation of Great Britain considered by Joshua Gee. A new Edition with many interesting Notes and Additions by a Merchant” printed in 1767. This new Edition which was printed no doubt to justify the Ministry in the System which was they were then pursuing, could not be the Edition that Mr Otis produced in February 1761. The Advertisement...
Mr Otis proceeded to page 198 of this great Work of the great Knight Sir Josiah Child Proposition Eleventh “That New England is the most prejudicial Plantation to this Kingdom.” “I am now to write of a people whose frugality, industry, and temperance, and the happiness of whose laws and institutio ns do promise to themselves long life, with a wonderful increase of people, riches and power: and...
Mr. Otis, to Show the Spirit of the Acts of Trade, those I have already quoted as well as those I Shall hereafter quote And as the best Commentaries upon them; produced a Number of Authors upon Trade, and read Passages from them, which I Shall recite, without pretending to remember the Order in which he read them. Sir Josiah Child “A new discourse of Trade” Let me recommend this Old Book to...
In the Search for Something, in the History and Statutes of England, in any degree resembling this Monstrum horrondum ingens the Writt of Assistance, the following Examples were found. In the Statute of the first Year of King James the Second Chapter third “An Act for granting to his Majesty an imposition upon all Wines and Vinegar &c ” ; Section 8, it is enacted “That the Officers of his...
Mr Otis Said Such a “Writt of Assistance” might become the Reign of Charles the Second in England, and he would not dispute the Taste of the Parliament of England, in passing Such an Act, nor of the People of England in submitting to it; but it was not calculated for the Meridian of America. The Court of Exchequer had no Jurisdiction here. Her Warrant, and her, Writts never were Seen here. Or...
The next Statute produced & commented by Mr Otis was the 15th. of Charles the Second, i.e. 1663, Chapter 7. “An Act for the Encouragement of Trade.” Section 5. “And in regard his Majesty’s Plantations beyond the Seas are inhabited and peopled by his Subjects of this his Kingdom of England.” for the maintaining a greater Correspondence and Kindness between them, and keeping them in a firmer...
I have promised you, hints, of the heads of Mr Otis’s Oration, Argument Speech, call it which you please, again the Acts of Trade as Revennue Laws, and against Writts of Assistants as Tyrannical Instruments to carry them into Execution.— But I enter on the performance of my promise to you not without fear and trembling; because I am in the Situation of a Lady, Whom you know first as my Client,...
No man could have written from memory Mr Otis’s Agument of four or five hours in length, against The Acts of Trade, considered as Revenue Laws, and against Writts of Assistance, as tyrannical Engines to carry them into execution, the next day after it was Spoken. How awkward then, is an Attempt to do it, after a Lapse of fifty Seven Years? Nevertheless, Some of the heads of his discourse, are...
No Man could have written from Memory Mr Otis’s Argument of four or five hours against The Acts of Trade as Revenue Laws Writts of Assistants, as a tyrannical Engine to execute them the next day after it was spoken. How awkward then would be an attempt to do it after a lapse of fifty seven years? Nevertheless, Some of the heads of his discourse are So indellibly imprinted on my Mind, that I...
In my Letters to you, I regard no order. And I think, I ought to make you laugh Sometimes: otherwise my Letters would be too grave, if not too melancholly. To this End I Send you Jemmibellero “the Song of the Drunkard” which was published in Fleets “Boston Evening Post” on the 13th. of May 1765. It was universally agreed to have been written by Samuel Waterhouse, who had been the most...
I have Seldom read so much good sense, in so few Words as in your Letter of the 5th. Your Judgment of Mr Wirts Biography of My Friend Mr Henry, is in exact Unison with my own. I have read it with more delight than Scotts Romances in Verse and Prose or Miss Porters Scottish Chiefs and other Novels. I am sorry you have introduced me. I could wish my own Name forgotten, if I could devellope, the...
I HAVE received your obliging favour of the 8th, but cannot consent to your resolution to ask no more questions. Your questions revive my sluggish memory. Since our national legislature have established a national painter—a wise measure, for which I thank them, my imagination runs upon the art, and has already painted, I know not how many, historical pictures. I have sent you one, give me...
In Mr Wirts elegant and eloquent Panegyrick on Mr Henry.—I beg your attention to page 56 to page 67. the end of the second section. Where you will read a curious specimen of the agonies of Patriotism in the early Stages of the Revolution—“When Mr Henry could carry his Resolutions but by one Vote, and that against the influence of Randolph, Bland, Pendelton Wythe and all the Old members whose...
Your Pupil Mr Minot was a young Gentleman of excellent character; pure, spotless in Morals and Manners, loving Truth above all things. Agreed. But can you accuse me of prejudice or Malignity when I perceive a Tang of the Old Cask of Toryism in his History? He Studies, he labours for impartiality; but does he always hit it? In page 142 of his Second Volume, he Says “There was a Pause in the...
As Mr Wirt has filled my head with James Otis; and as I am well informed that The Honourable Mr Benjamin Austin alias Honestus alias Old South alias Old North alias Politicastor roundly asserts that Mr “Otis had no Patriotism”; and that “he acted only from Revenge of his Fathers disapointment of a Seat on the Superior Bench” I will tell you a Story which may make you laugh, if it should not...
As Mr Wirt had filled my head with James Otis; and I am well informed that the Honourable Mr Benjamin Austin alias Honestus alias Old South alias Old North alias Politicaster roundly asserts that Mr Otis has no Patriotism; and that he acted only from revenge of his Fathers disappointment of a Seat on the Superior Bench I will tell you a story which may make you laugh if it should not happen to...
I presume you have read the elegant life of Patrick Henry by Mr. Wirt the Attorney General of the United States. If you have not you have ju a dilicious pleasure to come. Mr Wirt has accurately stated the Virginian Resolves and Mr Henrys Motion in suport of them and theory of treason that excited against him and a glorious anicdote it is. But we ought not to forget our own Massachusetts...
I have read your discourse with pleasure, and the notes with terror. they open a field of controversy so solemn, as to intimidate the boldest champions of which race of heroes, I certainly have not the honour to be one. I may however pretend to be a humble projecter, and in that character would propose, 1st. To petition the holy league to purchase of the Turks, peaceably if they can, forcibly...
As we have amused ourselves with looking at a few pictures, suppose we should add one more to the Gallery. The Artist makes the scene of his action that spacious Apartment that we very properly denominated Fanuel Hall. The Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Judges, the Counsellors, the Representatives, the President and Professors & Students of the University; the Docters of Law, Physic, &...
You “never profoundly admired Mr. H.” I have suggested some hints in his favour. You “never profoundly admired Mr S A”! I have promised you an apology for him, you may think it a weak one, for I have no talent at Panegyric or Apology. “There are all sorts of men in the world.” This observation you may say is self evident & futile; yet Mr Locke, thought it not unworthy of him to make it and if...
That Mr Hutchinson repented, as sincerely as Mr Hamilton did, I doubt not. I hope the Repentance of both has been accepted and their fault pardoned. And I hope I have repented, do repent and shall ever repent of mine and meet them both in an other World, where there will need no Repentance. Such vicissitudes of Fortune command, compassion; I pitty even Napolion. You never profoundly admired Mr...
I have this moment received your favour of yesterday. In some future Letter I must write you an Apology for S. Adams and J. Hancock: which your inherent good nature will not reject. Please to give to your Son the inclosed Inquiston, with / Cordial regards of, We have this Moment the news of J Q A Acceptance, and hopes to embark in all May— MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I pretend not to preserve any order, in my Letters to you. I give you hints, as they accidently occur to me, which, an hundred years hence, may be considered as Memoires pour Servir a l’histoire des Etas Unis.—I am about to write to you the most melancholly Letter, I ever wrote in my Life. One, which the most deeply touches my Soul with Greif.—And now, I know not where to begin, nor how to...
Mr William Smith Shaw has lent me the fourth Volume of his political pamphlets, the first tract of which is the Controversy between Governor Hutchinson, and the two Houses of the Legislature in 1773 concerning the Souvereign Authority of Parliament over the Colonies. I knew there was such a Pamphlet; but I had not seen it for more than forty Years, and I feared it was lost. I have enquired for...
I have received your obliging favour of the 8th. but cannot consent to your resolution to ask no more questions. Your questions revive my sluggish memory—. Since our national Legislature have established a national Painter, a wise measure for which I thank them, my imagination runs upon the art & has already painted I know not how many historical pictures. I have sent you one give me leave to...
Is your daughter, Mrs Stewart, who I am credibly informed is one of the most accomplished Ladies, a Painter? Are you acquainted with Miss Lydia Smith, who I am also credibly informed is one of he most accomplished Ladies and a Painter? Do you know Mr. Sargent? Do you correspond with your old companion in Arms Colo. John Trumbull? Do you think Fisher will be an historical Painter? Whenever you...
“Vanity of Vanities, all is Vanity!” The French have a distinction, between Eulogy and Apology. I know not under which of these heads to class, the following anecdote. Governor Hutchinson, in the plenitude of his Vanity and self sufficiency, thought he could convince all America and all Europe, that the Parliament of Great Britain had an authority supreme, sovereign, absolute and...
The Metaphysical, Theological, Ecclesiasticcal and political Pendulums, which all go to gether, like clockwork, have swung to the Utmost extremity, one way: and are now, taking a Contrary direction, and there is reason to fear, will produce as many Calamaties to mankind as the former Vibration.—Our dear Country my dear Tudor, has an important Part to act in the drama before us.—How humble...
Your worthy son, William, in a kind letter of the 2d. has asked my opinion of “Pownall’s Administration of the Collonies, and of its auther.” It is nearly forty years since I read the Work, and I cannot read it again; but I would advise Mr Tudor to read it, and his Memorial to the Sovereigns of the United States Europe, and another to his own Sovereign, and a third to the Sovereigns of the...
Bernard, Hutchinson, Oliver, the Commissioners of the customs, and their Satellites had an Espionage as inquisitive, as zealous, and as faithful, as that in France, before, during, or since the Revolution, by which the Tories were better informed of the anecdote, which I am about to relate to you, than the Whigs themselves were in general. That the Tory histories, may not hereafter...
Thanks for your favour of the 14th. You urge me to explain the secret of Hutchinsons conduct. I have explained in my letter of the 11th. It was fear of explanations before the people of the doctrine of Impressments You may have but another nail upon the head; and there had been before and were afterwards many such nails, but they are too frivolous to be remembered one only, excepted, before...
Dr Morse having undertaken to continue Trumbul’s History: wrote urgently to me to assist him. I wrote him a few Anecdotes in a few Letters which he regularly acknowledged but my Facts were so new to him and so ill calculated to promote the Sale of his projected Book, that he soon neglected to answer me. There our Correspondence ended. You attempted to “bring the Old Gentleman out.” You have...
I cannot say whether I ought to laugh, or cry, or scold, in reporting the trial of Michael Corbet & his three Comrades. You must remember it. A volume would be necessary to relate this cause as it ought to be, but never will be related. The trial was before a special Court of Vice-admiralty, instituted by a special act of Parliament for the trial of piracy and murder on the high seas. The...
Your kind letter of the 13th contains much truth, and nothing but the truth. I may return to it hereafter, but at present, with your leave, I will continue a few hints on the judicial character of Chief Justice Hutchinson. I pass over that scenery which he introduced, so showy & so shallow, so theatrical & so ecclesiastical, of scarlet and sable robes, of broad bands, & enormous tie wigs, more...