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All that part of Creation that lies within our observation is liable to Change. Even mighty States and kingdoms, are not exempted. If we look into History we shall find some nations rising from contemp­ tible beginnings, and spreading their influence, ’till the whole Globe is subjected to their sway. When they have reach’d the summit of Grandeur, some minute and unsuspected Cause commonly...
Continued November 30. 1804. In my own class at Collidge, there were several others, for whom I had a strong affection—Wentworth, Brown, Livingston, Sewall and Dalton all of whom have been eminent in Life, excepting Livingston an amiable and ingenious Youth who died within a Year or two after his first degree. In the Class before me I had several Friends, Treadwell the greatest Schollar, of my...
3[Parents and Boyhood] (Adams Papers)
My Father married Susanna Boylston in October 1734, and on the 19th of October 1735 I was born. As my Parents were both fond of reading, and my father had destined his first born, long before his birth to a public Education I was very early taught to read at home and at a School of Mrs. Belcher the Mother of Deacon Moses Belcher, who lived in the next house on the opposite side of the Road. I...
Upon our Return to Massachusetts, I found myself elected by the Town of Braintree into the provincial Congress, and attended that Service as long as it sat. About this time, Drapers Paper in Boston swarmed with Writers, and among an immense quantity of meaner productions appeared a Writer under the Signature of Massachusettensis, suspected but never that I knew ascertained to be written by two...
£ s d To the Hire of two Horses at £10 each 20: 0: 0 To the Hire of a Sulky £8:0s:0d 8: 0: 0 To the Wages of a servant from the 26 of April to the 14th. of August at £3 per Month 10:16:0 10: 16: 0 To Cash paid Mrs. Yard in Philadelphia for Board and Lodging for myself and Servant &c. Pensylvania Currency £38:13s:6d 30: 18: 10 To Cash paid Hannah Hiltzheimer for keeping my Horses
Another Clause in the Charter, quoted by this Writer, contains the Power “to make Laws and ordinancies, for the good and Welfare of the said Company, and for the Government and ordering of the Said Lands and Plantations and the People inhabiting the Same; So as such Laws and Ordinances be not contrary or repugnant to the Laws and Statutes of this our Realm of England.” This is the usual Clause...
We now come to Jersey and Guernsey, which Massachusettensis says “are no part of the realm of England, nor are they represented in parliament, but are subject to its authority.” A little knowledge of this subject will do us no harm, and as soon as we shall acquire it, we shall be satisfied, how these islands came to be subject to the authority of parliament. It is either upon the principle...
The cases of Wales and Ireland are not yet exhausted. They afford such irrefragable proofs, that there is a distinction between the crown and realm, and that a country may be annexed and subject to the former, and not the latter, that they ought to be thoroughly studied and understood. The more these cases, as well as those of Chester, Durham, Jersey, Guernsey, Calais, Gascoine, Guienne, &c....
Give me leave now to descend from these general matters, to Massachusettensis. He says “Ireland who has perhaps the greatest possible subordinate legislature, and send no members to the British parliament, is bound by its acts, when expressly named.” But if we are to consider what ought to be, as well as what is, why should Ireland have the greatest possible subordinate legislature? Is Ireland...
It is not easy for me to determine whether it be best, to carry the Cause before the Governor and Council as a Court of Chancery or before the King and Council—because, I dont know enough of the Character and Sentiments of the Governor and Council. They may be all Episcopalians, and so much prejudiced, as to render an Application to them, fruitless. Nor am I able to say, whether, the Cause can...
Massachusettensis, in some of his writings has advanced, that our allegiance is due to the political capacity of the King, and therefore involves in it obedience to the British parliament. Governor Hutchinson in his memorable speech laid down the same position. I have already shewn from the case of Wales, that this position is groundless—and that allegiance was due from the Welch to the King,...
Wales was a little portion of the island of Great-Britain, which the Saxons were never able to conquer. The Britons had reserved this tract of land to themselves and subsisted wholly by pasturage, among their mountains. Their princes however, during the Norman period, and untill the reign of king Edward the first, did homage to the crown of England, as their feudal sovereign, in the same...
13[Monday March 18.] (Adams Papers)
Monday March 18. Order of the Day again. Mr. Harrison reported no Resolution.
The Committee appointed the Sixth of March Inst. to prepare a Covenant agreeable to the association of the Continental Congress to be adopted by this Town offered the Same to the Town as follows (viz.) We the inhabitants of the Town of Braintree in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay; having taken into our most Serious Consideration the Subject matter of the association entered into by the...
The Committee appointed to consider relating to Minute Men offerd their report as follows. The Committee appointed to consider what Encouragement it will be proper for the Town to give to Minute Men to be raised in this Town: Report as their opinion that it is proper for this Town to make Provision for three Companies of Minute Men each to consist of Forty one Men including officers one...
I have had the Pleasure and the Honour of Several Letters from you, and one from an incomparable Satyrist of our Acquaintance, and must own myself, very faulty in neglecting So long to answer them. But you know the Infirmity of my Eyes, which Still continues and renders it very difficult for me to discharge my Debts in the literary Way. The Speculations you read every Week as you Say in the...
I thought myself greatly honoured, by your most polite and agreable Letter of January the thirtieth; and I ought to have answered it, immediately: but a Variety of Cares and Avocations, at this troublesome Time, which I confess are not a justification of my Negligence, as they were the real Cause of it, will with your goodness of Disposition be allowed as an Excuse. In requesting my opinion,...
It has been often observed by me, and it cannot be too often repeated, that Colonization is Casus omissus at common law. There is no such title known in that law. By common law, I mean that system of customs, written and unwritten, which was known and in force in England, in the time of king Richard the first. This continued to be the case, down to the reign of Elizabeth and king James the...
Our rhetorical magician, in his paper of January the 9th continues to wheedle. “You want nothing but to know the true state of facts, to rectify whatever is amiss.” He becomes an advocate for the poor of Boston! Is for making great allowance for the whigs. “The whigs are too valuable a part of the community to lose. He would not draw down the vengeance of Great Britain. He shall become an...
Such events as the resistance to the stamp act, and to the tea act, particularly the destruction of that which was sent by the ministry in the name of the East India Company, have ever been cautiously spoken of by the Whigs, because they knew the delicacy of the subject, and they lived in continual hopes of a speedy restoration of liberty and peace: But we are now thrown into a situation,...
We are at length arrived at the paper, on which I made a few strictures, some weeks ago: these I shall not repeat, but proceed to consider the other part of it. We are told “It is an universal truth, that he that would excite a rebellion, is at heart, as great a tyrant as ever weilded the iron rod of oppression.” Be it so: We are not exciting a rebellion. Opposition, nay open, avowed...
Massachusettensis, whose pen can wheedle with the tongue of king Richard the third, in his first paper, threatens you with the vengeance of Great-Britain, and assures you that if she had no authority over you, yet she would support her claims by her fleets and armies, Canadians and Indians. In his next he alters his tone, and sooths you with the generosity, justice and humanity, of the nation....
“The account you give of an overbearing influence in the house, and the want of feeling and spirit out of it, is of a very serious and melancholy kind: Americans are very sensible, that such accounts are true, and expect to fall a sacrifice to the knavery in the cabinet and the folly out of it, unless preserved by their own virtue, their frugality, or valour, or both. “Shorter parliaments, a...
The history of the Tories, begun in my last, will be interrupted for some time: but it shall be reassumed, and minutely related, in some future papers. Massachusettensis, who shall now be pursued, in his own serpentine path, in his first paper, complains, that the press is not free, that a party has gained the ascendency so far as to become the licencers of it; by playing off the resentment of...
Resolved, that the Hon. John Hancock Hon. Thomas Cushing Esquires Mr. Samuel Adams, John Adams, and Robert Treat Pain Esquires appointed by the last provincial Congress “to represent this Colony on the 10th of May next or sooner if necessary, at the American Congress, to be held at Philadelphia” be and they hereby are, authorized and impowered “with the Delegates from the other American...
I have heretofore intimated my intention, of pursuing the Tories, through all their dark intrigues, and wicked machinations; and to shew the rise, and progress of their schemes for enslaving this country. The honour of inventing and contriving these measures, is not their due. They have been but servile copyers of the designs of Andross, Randolph, Dudley, and other champions of their cause...
A Writer, under the signature of Massachusettensis, has addressed you, in a series of papers, on the great national subject of the present quarrel between the British administration and the colonies. As I have not in my possession, more than one of his Essays, and that is in the Gazette of December 26, I will take the liberty, in the spirit of candor and decency, to bespeak your attention,...
“You have no doubt, long before this time, heard the particulars of the General Congress, and that the court and the country have digested their thoughts upon them, if not adopted their consequent plans of conduct. God grant that the nation and parliament may think favourably of them, and grant the prayer of our petition to the King. Britain and America are made to be friends; and it is the...
I have this Moment recd a Line from Mrs. Warren and will in close her Letter to Mrs. Maccaulay, by the first Opportunity. Be pleased to make my Compliments to Mrs. Warren. Yesterday I recd a Letter from Anapolis in Maryland from my Friend Mr. Chase, inclosing the Resolutions of their provincial Convention consisting of Eighty Members representing all their Counties. I wish I could inclose it...
I remember, that Bishop Burnet in a Letter he once wrote to Lady Rachell Russell the virtuous Daughter of the great Southampton, and unfortunate Wife of Lord Russell who died a Martyr to English Liberties, Says “Madam I never attempt to write to you but my Pen conscious of its Inferiority falls out of my Hand.” The polite Prelate did not write to that excellent Lady in so bold a figure with...
In the Fall of the Year 1773, The General Court appointed Mr. Bowdoin and me to draw a State of the Claim of this Province to the Lands to the Westward of New York. Mr. Bowdoin left it wholly to me: and I spent all my Leisure time in the Fall, Winter and Spring in Collecting all the Evidence and Documents: I went to Mr. John Moffat, who had made a large Collection of Records, Pamphlets and...
It is well known that in June 1774 The General Court at Cambridge appointed Members to meet with others from the other States in Congress on the fifth of August. Mr. Bowdoin, Mr. Cushing, Mr. Samuel Adams, Mr. John Adams and Mr. Robert Treat Paine were appointed. After this Election I went for the tenth and last time on the Eastern Circuit: At York at Dinner with the Court, happening to sit at...
I have had the Honour of receiving from you a most valuable desirable Present, in two Volumes of Political Disquisitions. The very polite and obliging manner, in which this Present was conveyed to me, demands my gratefull Acknowledgements: But the Present itself is invaluable. I cannot but think those Disquisitions, the best Service, that a Citizen, could render to his Country, at this great...
Virginia, Chesterfield County, 17 December 1774. LbC ( MHi :Donations to Sufferers by the Boston Port Bill, p. 97–98); addressed: “To the Honble Thomas Cushing, Esq., Jno. Adams, Esqr. Mr. Sam Adams and Robt Treat Pain, Esqr. Boston”; signed: “Archibald Cary Benja. Watkins.” Virginia Chesterfield County. This letter notes that “Subscriptions have been made for the unhappy Inhabitants of...
I received your kind favour 16. Ulto with great Pleasure last Week at Cambridge. I rejoice at the Proofs your City, has given, of her inflexible Attachment to the public Cause, and Determination to Support it. There are many Names in your List of Committee Men, which I had not the Pleasure of knowing, but there are Abilities, Virtues, and Spirit enough, in those whom I knew very well, to...
Cambridge,10 December 1774. printed : Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours. William Lincoln, ed., The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety , Boston, 1838. , p. 69–72. Prepared by a committee appointed 12 October, originally composed of fifteen members: John Hancock, Joseph Hawley, Joseph Warren, Samuel Dexter, Artemas Ward, James...
Cambridge,10 December 1774. printed : Mass. Provincial Congress, Jours. William Lincoln, ed., The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety , Boston, 1838. , p. 73–74. This, the second report on this date of the Committee on the State of the Province, was framed in the form of three resolutions: that the adjournment on 29 October had...
Enquire who is the Author? Whether a Sandemanian, a Quaker, or an high Churchman? The Character you give me from an English Writer, of our civil Government, will not be disputed by me. The british Constitution, is in Theory, an excellent Structure,: and when wisely and justly ad­ ministered, has produced as great and good Men, and as much Happiness and Glory to the Nation, as any form of civil...
39[November 1774] (Adams Papers)
Left Brother Paine at New York to go by the Packett to New Port. Rode to Cocks at Kings bridge to break fast, to Havilands at Rye to Dinner, and to Knaps at Horse Neck in Greenwich to lodge. Rode to Bulkleys at Fairfield to dinner, and to Captn. Benjamins of Stratford to lodge. We design to Great Swamp to day. 42 miles. At Newhaven, Coll. Dyer, Deane and Sherman, Mr. Parsons, the new Speaker...
401774. Wednesday. Novr. 9. (Adams Papers)
Breakfasted at Reeve’s of Sudbury.
411774. Tuesday. Novr. 8. (Adams Papers)
Breakfasted at Coll. Henshaws of Leicester. Dined at Woodburns of Worcester. Furnival made the two young Ladies come in and sing Us the New Liberty Song. Lodged at Coll. Buckminsters of Framingham.
421774. Monday. Novr. 7. (Adams Papers)
Dined at Rice’s of Brookfield. Major Foster came to see us, and gave us an Account of the Proceedings of the Prov incial Congress. Lodged at Hunts in Spencer.
431774. Sunday. Novr. 6. (Adams Papers)
Went all day to hear Mr. Baldwin a Presbyterian Minister at Kingston. We put up at Scotts. Mr. Baldwin came in the Evening to see us. Hor. B. 3. O. 2. Pueros ab ineunte AEtate assuefaciendos esse rei militari et Vitae laboriosae. We walked to Meeting above 2 Miles at Noon. We walked 1/4 of a Mile and staid at one Quintouns an old Irishman, and a friendly cordial Reception we had. The old Man...
441774 Saturday. Novr. 5. (Adams Papers)
Break fasted at Austins of Suffield. Went to see a Company of Men exercising upon the Hill, under the Command of a green coated Man, lately a Regular. A Company of very likely stout men. Dined at Parsons’s of Springfield. Captn. Pynchon and another Pynchon, and Mr. Bliss, came in to see Us, and at last Coll. Worthington. Worthington behaved decently and politely. Said he was in Hopes we should...
451774. Fryday. Novr. 4. (Adams Papers)
Dined at Hartford, at Bulls, where we had the Pleasure of seeing Mr. Adams’s Minister Mr. How, who is supposed to be courting here. Lodged at Dr. Chafy’s Chaffee’s in Windsor. Very cordially entertained.
461774. Thursday. Novr. 3. (Adams Papers)
We design to Great Swamp to day. 42 miles. At Newhaven, Coll. Dyer, Deane and Sherman, Mr. Parsons, the new Speaker Williams, Mr. Trumbull and many other Gentlemen came to see us at Beers’s as soon as we got in. Coll. Dyer presented the Compliments of the Governor and Council to the Massachusetts Delegates and asked our Company, to spend the Evening. I begged Coll. Dyer to present my Duty to...
471774. Wednesday. Novr. 2. (Adams Papers)
Rode to Bulkleys at Fairfield to dinner, and to Captn. Benjamins of Stratford to lodge.
481774. Tuesday. Novr. 1. (Adams Papers)
Left Brother Paine at New York to go by the Packett to New Port. Rode to Cocks at Kings bridge to break fast, to Havilands at Rye to Dinner, and to Knaps at Horse Neck in Greenwich to lodge.
49[September 1774] (Adams Papers)
This Day, We breakfasted at Mr. Mifflins, Mr. C. Thompson came in, and soon after Dr. Smith. The famous Dr. Smith, the Provost of the Colledge. He appears a plain Man—tall, and rather Aukward—there is an Appearance of Art. We then went to return Visits to the Gentlemen who had visited us. We visited a Mr. Cadwallader a Gentleman of large Fortune, a grand and elegant House And Furniture. We...
Non Importation, Non Consumption, Non Exportation to Britain, and W. Indies. Petition to the King—Address to the People of England—Address to the People of America. Societies of Arts and Manufactures in every Colony. A Militia Law in every Colony. Encouragement of Militia and military Skill. Raising 500,000£ st. and 20,000 Men. Offering to raise a sum of Money, and appropriate it to the...