The Writings of Samuel Adams, vol. III.
by Samuel Adams
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We desire your Answer by the Bearer; and after assuring you, that, not in the least intimidated by this inhumane Treatment we are still determind to maintain to the utmost of our Abilities the Rights of America we are,

Gentlemen, your Friends & Fellow Countrymen,

___________ 1Intended also for the Committees of Correspondence of New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Portsmouth. An endorsement upon the draft also states that it was written with the concurrence of the Committees of Correspondence of Charlestown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Roxbury, Dorchester, Lexington, and Lynn. Cf. Proceedings, Bostonian Society, 1891, pp. 39, 40.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol. iv., pp. 390-392; a draft, with several variances, is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, May 14, 1774.


This Town has received the Copy of an Act of the British Parliament, wherein it appears that we have been tried and condemned, and are to be punished, by the shutting up of the harbor and other marks of revenge, until we shall disgrace ourselves by servilely yielding up, in effect, the just and righteous claims of America. If the Parliament had a Right to pass such an EDICT, does it not discover the want of every moral principle to proceed to the destruction of a community, without even the accusation of any crime committed by such community? And for any thing that appears, this is in fact the case. There is no crime alleged in the Act, as committed by the Town of Boston. Outrages have been committed within the Town, and therefore the community, as such, are to be destroyed, without duly inquiring whether it deserved any punishment at all. Has there not often been the same kind of reason why the Port of London should be shut up, to the starving of hundreds of thousands, when their own mobs have surrounded the Kings Palace? But such are the councils of a nation, once famed and revered for the character of humane just and brave.

The people receive this cruel edict with abhorrence and indignation. They consider themselves as suffering the stroke ministerial—I may more precisely say, Hutchinsonian vengeance, in the common cause of America. I hope they will sustain the blow with a becoming fortitude, and that the cursed design of intimidating and subduing the spirits of all America, will, by the joint efforts of ALL, be frustrated. It is the expectation of our enemies, and some of our friends are afraid, that this Town, SINGLY, will not be able to support the cause under so severe a trial. Did not the very being of every sea-port town, and indeed of every Colony, considered as a free people, depend upon it, I would not even then entertain a thought so dishonorable of them as that they would leave us now to struggle alone.

I enclose you a copy of a vote, passed by this Town at a very full meeting yesterday, which stands adjourned till Wednesday next, to receive the report of a committee appointed to consider what is proper further to be done. The inhabitants in general abhor the thought of paying for the tea, which is one condition upon which we are to be restored to the grace and favor of Great Britain. Our Committee of Correspondence have written letters to our friends in the Southern Colonies, and they are about writing to the several towns in this Province. The merchants of Newburyport have exhibited a noble example of public spirit, in resolving that, if the other sea-port Towns in this Province alone, will come into the measure, they will not trade to the southward of South Carolina, nor to any part of Great Britain and Ireland, till the harbor of Boston is again open and free; or till the disputes between Britain and the Colonies are settled, upon such terms as all rational men ought to contend for. This is a manly and generous resolution. I wish Plymouth, which has hitherto stood foremost, would condescend to second Newburyport. Such a determination put into practice would alter the views of a nation, who are in full expectation that Boston will be unthought of by the rest of the continent, and even of this Province, and left, as they are devoted, to ruin. The heroes who first trod on your shore, fed on clams and muscles, and were contented. The country which they explored, and defended with their richest blood, and which they transmitted as an inheritance to their posterity, affords us a superabundance of provision. Will it not be an eternal disgrace to this generation, if it should now be surrendered to that people who, if we might judge of them by one of their laws, are barbarians. IMPIUS HAEC TAM CULTA NOVALIA MILES HABEBIT? BARBARUS HAS SEGETES? If our brethren feel and resent the affront and injury now offered to this town; if they realize of how great importance it is to the liberties of all America that Boston should sustain this shock with dignity; if they recollect their own resolutions, to defend the public liberty AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR FORTUNES AND LIVES, they cannot fail to contribute their aid by a temporary suspension of their trade.

I am your friend,


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text, with variations, is in Correspondence of Samuel B. Webb, W. C. Ford, vol. i., pp. 23, 24.]

BOSTON May 18 1774


The Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston have had before them a Letter signd by yourself in behalf of the Committee of the Honbl House of Deputies of the Colony of Connecticutt, and I am desired by our Committee to return them their hearty Thanks, for the readiness they discover to support this Town, now called to stand in the Gap and suffer the vengeful Stroke of the hand of Tyranny, or, which God forbid, succumb under it. I trust in God, we shall never be so servile as to submit to the ignominious Terms of the cruel Edict; aided by our Sister Colonies, we shall be able to acquit ourselves, under this severe Tryal, with Dignity. But that Aid must be speedy, otherwise we shall not be able to keep up the Spirits of the more irresolute amongst us, before whom the crafty Adversaries are already holding up the grim Picture of Want and Misery. It is feard by the Committee that a Conferrence of Committees of Correspondence from all the Colonies, cannot be had speedily enough to answer for the present Emergency. If your honbl Committee shall think it proper to use their Influence with the Merchants in the Sea port Towns in Connecticutt to withhold—& prevail with those of each town for themselves—their Trade with Great Britain and Ireland and every Part of the West Indies, to commence at a certain time (say on the 14th June next) it will be a great Sacrifice indeed, but not greater than Americans have given the World Reason to expect from them when called to offer it for the preservation of the publick Liberty.One years virtuous forbearance wd succeed to our wishes. 2What would this be in Comparison with the Sacrifice our renowned Ancestors made that they might quietly enjoy their Liberties civil & religious? They left, many of them, affluence in their Native Country, crossd an untryed Ocean, encounterd the Difficulties of cultivating a howling wilderness, defended their Infant Settlements against a most barbarous Enemy with their richest Blood.

Your Sentiment that Boston is "suffering in the common Cause" is just and humane. Your obliging Letter has precluded any Necessity of urging your utmost Exertions, that Connecticut may at this Juncture act her part in the Support of that common Cause, though the Attack is made more immediately on the Town of Boston. Being at present pressd for time I cannot write so largely as I feel disposd to do. I must therefore conclude with assuring you that I am with very great Regard for your Come


your sincere Friend and Fellow Countryman,

___________ 1Addressed to Deane at Hartford, Connecticut. 2The following two sentences are stricken out in the draft.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON May 18 1774


You have without Doubt heard of the Edict of the British Parliament to shut up the Harbour of Boston, the Injustice & Cruelty of which cannot be parralled [sic] in the English History. Injustice, in trying condemning and punishing upon the mere Representations of interrested Men, without calling the Party to answer; and Cruelty in the Destruction of a whole Community only because it is alledgd that Outrage has been committed in it, without the least Enquiry whether the Community have been to blame. The Town of Boston now suffer the Stroke of ministerial Vengeance in the Common Cause of America; and I hope in God they will sustain the Shock with Dignity. They do not conceive that their Safety consists in their Servile Compliance with the ignominious Terms of this barbarous Act. Supported by their Brethren of the Sister Colonies I am perswaded they will nobly defeat the diabolical Designs of the common Enemies. If the Spirit of American Liberty is suppressd in this Colony, which is undoubtedly the Plan, where will the Victory lead to and end? I need not urge upon YOU the Necessity of the joynt Efforts of all in the Defence of this single Post. I know your great Weight and Influence in the Colony of Rhode Island, and intreat that you would now employ it for the common Safety of America. I write in great Haste and am with sincere affection,

Your friend, I shall esteem a Letter from you a very great favor.

___________ 1See vol. ii. page 389. Cf. Frothingham, Life of Joseph Warren, pp. 312, 313.


[R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, vol. ii., pp. 221-223; a draft is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text is in Force, American Archives, 4th ser., vol. i., p. 332.]

BOSTON, May 18th, 1774.

MY DEAR SIR,—The edict of the British parliament, commonly called the Boston Port Act, came safely to my hand. For flagrant injustice and barbarity, one might search in vain among the archives of Constantinople to find a match for it. But what else could have been expected from a parliament, too long under the dictates and control of an administration, which seems to be totally lost to all sense and feeling of morality, and governed by passion, cruelty, and revenge. For us to reason against SUCH an act, would be idleness. Our business is to find means to evade its malignant design. The inhabitants view it, not with astonishment, but indignation. They discover the utmost contempt of the framers of it; while they are yet disposed to consider the body of the nation (though represented by such a parliament) in the character they have sustained heretofore, humane and generous. They resent the behaviour of the merchants in London, those I mean who receive their bread from them, in infamously deserting their cause at the time of extremity. They can easily believe that the industrious manufacturers, whose time is wholly spent in their various employments, are misled and imposed upon by such miscreants as have ungratefully devoted themselves to an abandoned ministry, not regarding the ruin of those who have been their best benefactors. But the inhabitants of this town must and will look to their own safety, which they see does not consist in a servile compliance with the ignominious terms of this barbarous edict. Though the means of preserving their liberties should distress and even ruin the British manufacturers, they are resolved (but with reluctance) to try the experiment. To this they are impelled by motives of self-preservation. They feel humanely to those who must suffer, but being innocent are not the objects of their revenge. They have already called upon their sister colonies, (as you will see by the enclosed note) who not only feel for them as fellow-citizens, but look upon them as suffering the stroke of ministerial vengeance in the common cause of America; that cause which the colonies have pledged themselves to each other not to give up. In the mean time I trust in God this devoted town will sustain the shock with dignity; and supported by their brethren, will gloriously defeat the designs of thier common enemies. Calmness, courage, and unanimity prevail. While they are resolved not tamely to submit, they will by refraining from any acts of violence, avoid the snare they they discover to be laid for them, by posting regiments so near them. I heartily thank you for your spirited exertions. Use means for the preservation of your health. Our warmest gratitude is due to lords Camden and Shelburne. Our dependence is upon the wisdom of the few of the British nobility. We suspect studied insult, in the appointment of the person who is commander-in-chief of the troops in America to be our governor; and I think ther appears to be in it more than a design to insult upon any specious pretence. We will endeavour by circumspection and sound prudence, to frustrate the diabolical designs of our enemies.

I have written in haste, and am affectionately your friend,


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 46, 47.]

BOSTON, May 20, 1774.


I have just time to acquaint you that yesterday our committee of correspondence received an express from New York, with a letter from thence, dated the 15th instant, informing that a ship arrived there after a passage of twenty-seven days from London, with the detested act for shutting up this port; that the citizens of New York resented the treatment of Boston, as a most violent and barbarous attack on the rights of all America; that the general cry was, let the port of New York voluntarily share the fate of Boston; that the merchants were to meet on Tuesday last, and it was the general opinion that they would entirely suspend all commercial connexion with Great Britain, and not supply the West Indies with hoops, staves, lumber, &c.; that they hoped the merchants in this and every colony would come into the measure, as it was of the last importance.

Excuse me, I am in great haste, Your friend,


[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON May 22 1774


We have just receivd your favor of this Date by the Hands of Mr Foster. We cannot too highly applaud your Sollicitude & Zeal in the Common Cause. The News you mention as having been receivd here from New York by the Post is without Foundation. We have receivd a Letter from New York dated the Day before the Post came out from that City, advising us that there was to be a meeting of the merchants there on the Tuesday following (last Tuesday)—that by a Vessel which had arrivd there from London the Citizens had receivd the barbarous Act with Indignation—that no Language could express their Abhorrence of this additional Act of Tyranny to all America—that they were fully perswaded that America was attackd & intended to be enslavd by their distressing & subduing Boston—that a Compliance with the provision of the Act will only be a temporary Reliefe from a particular Evil, which must end in a general Calamity—that many timid People in that City who have interrested themselves but very little in the Controversy with Great Britain express the greatest resentment at the Conduct of the Ministry to this Town and consider the Treatment as if done to them—and that this is the general Sense of the Inhabitants— that it was the general Talk that at the Meeting of the Merchants it would be agreed to suspend commercial Connection with Great Britain—also to stop the Exportation of Hoops Staves Heading & Lumber to the English Islands, & export no more of those Articles to foreign Islands than will be sufficient to bring home the Sugar Rum & Molasses for the Return of American Cargoes, and we are to be advisd of the Result of the meeting, which we expect very soon. The Express which we sent to New York had not arrivd when this left the City.

We have receivd Letters by the post from Portsmt in New Hampshire, from Hartford Newport Providence Westerly &c. all expressing the same Indignation and a Determination to joyn in like measures—restrictions on their Trade.

Hutchinsons minions are endeavoring to promote an address to him. The PROFESSD design is to desire his Friendship; but we take it rather to be a Design of his own, that when he arrives in England he may have THE SHADOW of Importance. It is carried on in a private Way—and is said to be signd by not fifty—Names of little Significance here may serve to make a Sound abroad.

We are sorry to hear that Mr Hooper is throwing his Weight & Influence into the Scale against us. We can scarcely believe it. If it be true we would desire to know of him whether he would advise the Town of Boston to give up the rights of America.

We conclude in haste,

We are credibly informd that in the address to Hutchinson are these remarkeable Words "We see no harm in your Letters and approve of them." The most intelligent & respectable merchants among those who have been reputed Tories have refused to sign it.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON May 30 1774


I receivd your very obliging Letter by the hands of Mr Revere. I thank you for the warm Affection you therein express for this Town, your Zeal for the Common Cause of America, and your prudent and salutary Advice. I hope in God that this People will sustain themselves under their pressing Difficulties with Firmness. It is hard to restrain the Resentment of some within the proper Bounds, and to keep others who are more irresolute from sinking. While we are resolved not tamely to comply with the humiliating terms of the barbarous Edict, I hope, by refraining from every Act of Violence we shall avoid the Snare that is laid for us by the posting of Regiments so near us. We shall endeavor by Circumspection to frustrate the diabolical Designs of our Enemies.

Our Committee of Correspondence will write an Answer to the Letter they receivd from yours by this opportunity. In order that you may have an Understanding of our Appointment I think it necessary to inform you, that we are a Committee, not of the Trade, but of the whole Town; chosen to be as it were outguards to watch the Designs of our Enemies. We were appointed near two years ago, and have a Correspondence with almost every Town in the Colony. By this Means we have been able to circulate the most early Intelligence of Importance to our Friends in the Country, & to establish an Union which is formidable to our Adversaries.

But it is the Trade that we must at present depend upon for that SPEEDY Reliefe which the Necessity of this Town requires. The Trade will forever be divided when a Sacrifice of their Interest is called for. By far the greater part of the Merchants of this place are & ever have been steadfast in the Cause of their Country; but a small Number may defeat the good Intentions of the rest, and there are some Men among them, perhaps more weak than wicked, who think it a kind of Reputation to them to appear zealous in Vindication of the Measures of Tyranny, and these it is said are tempted by the Commissioners of the Customs, with Indulgencies in their Trade. Nevertheless it is of the greatest Importance that some thing should be done for the immediate Support of this Town. A Congress is of absolute Necessity in my Opinion, but from the length of time it will take to bring it to pass, I fear it cannot answer for the present Emergency. The Act of Parliament shuts up our Port. Is it not necessary to push for a Suspension of Trade with Great Britain as far as it will go, and let the yeomanry (whose Virtue must finally save this Country) resolve to desert those altogether who will not come into the Measure. This will certainly alarm the Manufacturers in Britain, who felt more than our Enemies would allow, the last Nonimportation Agreement. The virtuous forbearance of the Friends of Liberty may be powerful enough to command Success. Our Enemies are already holding up to the Tradesmen the grim Picture of Misery and Want, to induce them to yield to Tyranny. I hope they will not prevail upon them but this is to be feard, unless their Brethren in the other Colonies will agree upon Measures of SPEEDY Support and Reliefe.

It gives me the greatest pleasure to find our worthy Friend the Farmer2 at the head of a respectable Committee. Pray let him know that I am fully of his Sentiments. Violence & Submission would at this time be equally fatal.

I write in the utmost haste.

Your affectionate Friend,

You will see in some of our Papers of this day an infamous Address to Hutchinson signd by a Number who call themselves Merchants Traders & others. In this List of Subscribers are containd the Names of his party taken after abundance of Pains from every Class of Men down to the lowest. I verily believe I could point out half a Score Gentlemen in Town able to purchase the whole of them. For their understanding I refer you to the Address itself. There is also another Paper of this Kind subscribed by those who call themselves Lawyers. It was refused with Indignation by some who for Learning & Virtue are acknowledgd to be the greatest Ornaments of that Profession. The Subscribers are taken from all parts of the Province. A few of them are allowed to be of Ability—others of none—others have lately purchasd their Books and are now about to read. This List you will observe is headed by one of our Judges of the Admiraltry, & seconded by another—there is also the Solicitor General (a Wedderburne in Principle but not equal to him in Ability) the Advocate General &c &c. The whole Design of these Addresses is to prop a sinking Character in England.

___________ 1Later secretary of the Continental Congress. 2John Dickinson. Cf., page 104.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON May 31 1774


I receivd your favor of the 26 Instant by the hands of Mr Revere. I am glad to find that it is fully the Opinion of your Committee, that some immediate and effectual Measures are necessary to be taken for the Support of this Town. I have just now received Intelligence(and I am apt to believe it) that several Regiments are to be posted in the Town. What can this mean but to pick a Quarrel with the Inhabitants, and to provoke them to take some violent Steps from whence they may have a specious Pretence to carry Matters to the greatest Extremity. We shall be hard pressd; and it will be difficult for us to preserve among the people that Equanimity which is necessary in such arduous Times. The only Way that I can at present think of to bring the Ministry to their Senses, is to make the people of Great Britain share in the Misfortunes which they bring upon us; and this cannot be done so speedily as the Emergency calls for, but by a Suspension of Trade with them. I think that should be pushd as far as it will go & as speedily as possible. Although the interrested & disaffected Merchants should not come into it, great Success may attend it. Let the yeomanry of the Continent, who only, under God, must finally save this Country, break off all commercial Connection whatever with those who will not come into it. A Congress appears to me to be of absolute Necessity, to settle the Dispute with Great Britain if she by her violent and barbarous Treatment of us, should not totally quench our Affection for her, and render it impracticable. I hope no Hardships will ever induce America to submit to voluntary Slavery. I wish for Harmony between Britain & the Colonies; but only upon the Principles of Equal Liberty.

Our Assembly was unexpectedly adjournd on Saturday last till the seventh of June, then to meet at Salem. By this Means I am prevented mentioning a Congress to the Members. I wish your Assembly could find it convenient to sit a fornight longer, that we might if possible act in Concert. This however is a sudden Thought. I have written in the utmost haste, and conclude, with great Regard to the Gentlemen of the Committee.


Your Friend & fellow Countryman,


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON June 1 1774


It was with singular pleasure that I recd a Letter from you by Mr Howe, and another since by your worthy Townsman. I began to think you had at last entirely forgot me. I sincerely congratulate you on the birth of a Daughter. May God preserve her life & make her a Blessing in the World. Assure Mrs Checkley of our kind Regards for her. I hope she will enjoy a better State of Health than she has had in time past. You have now devolvd upon you the weighty Cares of a Parent; you will perhaps find it difficult "to train up the Child in the way it should go" in an Age of Levity Folly and Vice. Doubtless you will consider your self more interrested than ever in the Struggles of your Country for Liberty, as you hope your Infant will outlive you, and share in the Event. Your native Town which I am perswaded is dear to you, is now suffering the Vengeance of a cruel and tyrannical Administration; and I can assure you she suffers with Dignity. She scorns to own herself the Slave of the haughtiest nation on earth; and rather than submit to the humiliating Terms of an Edict, barbarous beyond Precedent under the most absolute monarchy, I trust she will put the Malice of Tyranny to the severest Tryal. It is a consolatory thought, that an Empire is rising in America, and will not THIS first of June be rememberd at a time, how soon God knows! when it will be in the power of this Country amply to revenge its Wrongs. If Britain by her multiplied oppressions is now accelerating that Independency of the Colonies which she so much dreads, and which in process of time must take place, who will she have to blame but herself? We live in an important Period, & have a post to maintain, to desert which would be an unpardonable Crime, and would entail upon us the Curses of posterity. The infamous Tools of Power are holding up the picture of Want and Misery; but in vain do they think to intimidate us; the Virtue of our Ancestors inspires us—they were contented with Clams & Muscles. For my part, I have been wont to converse with poverty; and however disagreable a Companion she may be thought to be by the affluent & luxurious who never were acquainted with her, I can live happily with her the remainder of my days, if I can thereby contribute to the Redemption of my Country.

The naval Power of Britain has blocked up this Harbour; but the Laws of Nature must be alterd, before the port of Salem can become an equivalent. The most remote inland Towns in the province feel the want of a mart, & resent the Injury done to themselves in the Destruction of Boston. The British Minister appears to me to be infatuated. Every step he takes seems designd by him to divide us, while the necessary Tendency is to unite. Our Business is to make Britain share in the miseries which she has unrighteously brought upon us. She will then see the Necessity of returning to moderation & Justice.



[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]


Whereas the Towns of Boston and Charlestown are at this time suffering under the Hand of Power, by the shutting up the Harbour by an armed Force, which in the opinion of this House is an Invasion of the said Towns evidently designd to compel the Inhabitants thereof to a Submission to Taxes imposed upon them without their Consent: And Whereas it appears to this House that this Attack upon the said Towns for the Purpose aforesaid is an Attack made upon this whole Province & Continent which threatens the total Destruction of the Liberties of all British America: It is therefore Resolvd as the clear opinion of this House, that the Inhabitants of the said Towns ought to be relievd; and this House do recommend to all, and more especially to [the] Inhabitants of this Province to afford them speedy and constant Reliefe in such Way and Manner as shall be most suitable to their Circumstances till the sense & advice of our Sister Colonies shall be known: In full Confidence that they will exhibit Examples of Patience Fortitude and Perseverance, while they are thus called to endure this oppression, for the Preservation of the Liberties of their Country.

After debate accepted


[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 48, 49.]

BOSTON, June 22, 1774.


The committee of correspondence take this first opportunity to make their most grateful aknowledgments of the generous and patriotic sympathy of our brethren, the worthy merchants and traders of the town of Marblehead, as well those who have already subscribed for our relief, as those who express their readiness to serve the trade of Boston. Our sense of their favour, as it respects individuals, is strong and lively; but the honour and advantage thereby derived to the common cause of our country, are so great and conspicuous, that private considerations of every kind recede before them.


[Boston Gazette, June 27, 1774.]

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

From an Extract of a Letter from a Southern Colony, and the Publications in last Thursday's Gazette, it is very evident a Scheme has been concerted by some Persons to frustrate any Attempts that might be made to suspend our Trade with Great- Britain, till our most intolerable Grievances are redressed. The Scheme appears to be, to SEEM to agree to the Suspension in Case all agreed, and then by construing some Passage in a Letter from the Committee of another Province, that they had NOT AGREED, to declare that the conditional Signers were NOT HOLDEN. A GAME or two of such Mercantile Policy would soon have convinced the World that Lord North had a just Idea of the Colonies; and that notwithstanding their real Power to prove a Rope of Hemp to him, they were a Rope of Sand in Reality, among themselves. I would beg Leave to ask the voluminous Querists referr'd to. whether they conceive a Non-consumption Agreement would ever have been tho't of in the Country, could our Brethren there have persuaded themselves that the Merchants were in earnest to suspend Trade the little Time there was between our receiving the Port Bill, and the Appointment of a Congress, or any other general Measure come into, from which a radical Relief might be expected? 2. Whether the Trade in their last Meeting declaring, That their CONDITIONAL Agreement was DISSOLVED, on Pretence that Advices from New York and Philadelphia were totally discouraging, was not highly unbecoming a People whose peculiar Circumstances rendered it their duty to stop their Trade to Great Britain the Moment the Port-Bill reached the Shore of America? 3. Whether they conceive the Committee of Boston planned the Non-consumption Agreement, and sent it first into the Country for their Adoption? or rather, whether the Country, enraged at their preposterous Management, did not originate the Plan and press the Committee to have it digested, printed and recommended throughout the Colony? 4. I would enquire whether a Backwardness in the Province, actually suffering, to come into the only peaceful Measure that remains for our Extrication from Slavery, would not naturally excuse every other Province from taking one Step for the common Salvation? 5. Whether in that Case all the Trade of the Province, whether consisting of Spring, Summer or Fall Importations, would in the End be worth an Oyster-Shell? 6. Whether all the Bugbears started against the Worcester Covenant, as holding up the taking a solemn Oath to "withdraw all Commercial Connexions," which our honest Commentators tell the People means even to deny buying or selling Greens or Potatoes to them, does not betray a great want of that Candor and manly Generosity, which is expected from well- bred and reasonble Citizens? 7. Whether the suggestion that the Boston Merchants ceasing to Import, will throw the Trade into the Hands of Importers in other Provinces, is not utterly unbecoming an Inhabitant of that Town, into which the Beneficence of the whole Continent is ready to flow in the most exemplary Manner? For Shame! Self Interested Mortals, cease to draw upon your worthy Fellow Citizens the just Resentment of Millions. If there may be Some Punctilios wrong in the Non-consumption Agreement, the united Wisdom of the Continent will surely be capable of setting Matters right at the general Congress; and no Gentleman Trader, be his Haste ever so great to get Rich, need distress himself so mightily about the Profits of one Fall-Importation, if the constant Clamour of the Trade for two Years past, that they did Business for nothing, had any Foundation.



[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON June 30 1774


Your Letter by order of your Committee directed to Mr Cooper with the inclosed Resolves came to my hand this day. I shall as soon as possible call a Committee of the Town who are appointed to consider of Ways and Means for the Employment of the poor, and to appropriate and distribute such Donations as our generous friends shall make for the Reliefe of those Inhabitants who may be deprivd of the Means of Subsistence by the Operation of the Port Bill. This Committee consists of the standing Overseers of the poor who are to act in Concert with others who had been before appointed for the purposes above mentiond, as you will observe by the inclosed Votes of the Town. The principal Reason assignd in the Vote for joyning the Overseers is because by an Act of this province they are a corporate body empowerd to receive Monies &c for the Use of the poor, but those Gentlemen have since informd the others of the joynt Committee that they cannot consistently with the Act of their Incoporation admit of any but their own Body in the Distribution of the Monies that may at any time come into their hands for the Use of the poor. They are heartily desirous of acting in Concert agreable to the Vote of the Town but consider themselves as under Restraint by the Law. The Donors may if they please consign their Donations to any one Gentleman (William Phillips Esqr) to be appropriated for the EMPLOYMENT or RELIEFE of such Inhabitants of the Town of Boston as may be deprived of the Means of Subsistence by the Operation of the Act of Parliament commonly stiled the Boston Port Bill, at the best Discretion of the Overseers of the poor of Boston joynd by a Committee appointed by said Town to consider of Ways and Means for the Employment of the poor.

I have given my private Sentiment, and am with great Respect & Gratitude to the Gentl of the City & County of Philadelphia,

Your friend & fellow Countryman,1

___________ 1In the interval before the date of the next letter an article signed "Candidus" was published in the Massachusetts Spy, July 7, 1774. This is attributed to Adams by W. V. Wells, and portions are printed in his Life of Samuel Adams, vol. ii., pp. 187,197.


[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON July 11 1774.


Your obliging Letter directed to the Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston came just now to my hand; and as the Gentleman who brought it is in haste to return, I take the Liberty of writing you my own Sentiments in Answer, not doubting but they are concurrent with those of my Brethren. I can venture to assure you that the valueable Donation of the worthy Town of Norwich will be receivd by this Community with the warmest Gratitude and disposd of according to the true Intent of the generous Donors. The Liberality of the Sister Colonies will I trust support & comfort the Inhabitants under the pressure of enormous Power, & enable them to endure affliction with that Dignity which becomes those who are called to suffer in the Cause of Liberty & Truth. The Manner of transmitting the Donation will be left to your Discretion; and that it may be conducted according to the Inclination of the Town, I beg Leave to propose, that it be directed to some one Gentleman (say William Phillips Esqr) to be disposd of for the Employment or Reliefe of such Inhabitants of the Town of Boston as may become Sufferers by means of an Act of the British Parliament called the Boston Port bill, at the Discretion of the Overseers of the Poor of said Town joynd with a Committee appointed to consider of Ways & Means for the Employmt of such Poor. The Part which the Town of Norwich takes in this Struggle for American Liberty is truly noble; and this Town rejoyces with you in the Harmony Moderation & Vigor which prevails throughout the united Colonies.

You may rely upon it that there is no Foundation for the Report that the Opposition gains Ground upon us. The Emissaries of a Party which is now reduced to a very small Number of Men, a great Part of whom are in Reality Expectants from & in Connection with the Revenue, are daily going out with such idle Stories; but whoever reads the Accounts of the Proceedings of our Town Meetings, which I can assure you have been truly stated in the News papers under the hand of the Town Clerk, will see that no Credit is due to such Reports.

I shall lay your Letter before the Committee of Correspondence who will write to you by the first opportunity. In the mean time I am in Sincerity

Your obliged Friend & Fellow Countryman,

___________ 1Addressed to "Jed Huntington, Chris Leffingwell, Theoph Rogers Esqrs."


[MS., American Philosophical Society1; a draft is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; an undated text is in R. H. Lee, Life of R. H. Lee, vol. i., pp. 99-101.]

BOSTON July 15th 1774

I have lately been favour'd with three Letters from you, and must beg you to attribute my omitting to make a due Acknowledgment till this Time, to a Multiplicity of Affairs to which I have been oblig'd to give my constant Attention.

The unrighteous and oppressive Act of the British Parliament for shutting up this Harbour, although executed with a Rigour beyond the Intent even of the Framers of it, has hitherto faild, and I believe will continue to fail of the Effect which the Enemies of America flatter'd themselves it would have. The Inhabitants still wear chearful countenances. Far from being in the least Degree intimidated they are resolved to undergo the greatest Hardships, rather than Submit in any Instance to the Tyrannical Act. They are daily encouraged to persevere, by the Intelligence which they receive from their Brethren not of this Province only, but of every other Colony, that they are consider'd as suffering in the common Cause; and the Resolution of ALL, to support them in the Conflict. Lord North had no Expectation that we should be thus Sustained; on the Contrary he trusted that Boston would be left by all her Friends to Struggle and fall alone.—He has therefore made no Preparation for the Effects of an Union. From the Information I have had from Intelligent Persons in England, I verily believe the Design was to seize some Persons here, and send them Home; but the Steadiness and Prudence of the People, and the unexpected Union of the Colonies, evidenc'd by liberal Contributions for our Support, have disconcerted them; and they are at a loss how to proceed further. Four Regiments are now encamp'd on our Common, and more are expected; but I trust the People will, by a circumspect Behavior, prevent their taking occasion to Act. The Port Bill, is follow'd by two other Acts of the British Parliament; the one for regulating the Government of this Province, or rather totally to destroy our free Constitution and substitute an absolute Government in its Stead; the other for the more IMPARTIAL Administration of Justice or as some term it for the screening from Punishment any Soldier who shall Murder an American for asserting his Right. A Submission to these Acts will doubtless be requir'd and expected; but whether General Gage will find it an easy thing to FORCE the People to submit to so great and fundamental a Change of Government, is a Question I think, worthy his Consideration—Will the People of America consider these measures, as Attacks on the Constitution of an Individual Province in which the rest are not interested; or will they view the model of Government prepar'd for us as a Sistem for the whole Continent. Will they, as unconcern'd Spectators, look upon it to be design'd only to top off the exuberant Branches of Democracy in the Constitution of this Province? Or, as part of a plan to reduce them all to Slavery? These are Questions, in my Opinion of Importance, which I trust will be thoroughly weighed in a general Congress.—May God inspire that intended Body with Wisdom and Fortitude, and unite and Prosper their Councils!

The People of this Province are thoroughly Sensible of the Necessity of breaking off all Commercial Connection with the Country, whose political Councils direct to Measures to enslave them. They however THE BODY of the Nation, are being kept in profound Ignorance of the Nature of the Dispute between Britain and the Colonies; and taught to believe that we are a perfidious & rebellious People.

It is with Reluctance that they come into any Resolutions, which must distress those who are not the objects of their Resentment but they are urg'd to it from Motives of Self-preservation, and therefore are signing an agreement in the several Towns, not to consume any British Goods which shall be imported after the last of August next; and that they may not be impos'd upon, they are to require an Oath of those from whom they shall hereafter purchase such Goods. It is the Virtue of the Yeomanry that we are chiefly to depend upon. Our Friends in Maryland talk of withholding the Exportation of Tobacco; this was first hinted to us by the Gentlemen of the late House of Burgesses of Virginia who had been called together after the Dissolution of your Assembly—This would be a Measure greatly interesting to the Mother Country.

Should America hold up her own Importance to the Body of the Nation and at the same Time agree in one general Bill of Rights, the Dispute might be settled on the Principles of Equity and Harmony restored between Britain and the Colonies.

I am with great Regard Your Friend & Fellow Countryman,

___________ 1In this instance the body of the letter actually sent, from which this text is taken, is not in the autograph of Adams, only the subscription, signature, and address being in his hand. The draft is wholly in his autograph.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON July 16 1774


Having receivd Information that the respectable Inhabitants of the Town of Savvannah have expressd a Degree of Uneasiness, as considering themselves neglected in the general Application which the distressd Town of Boston have made to the Colonies in America for Advice and Assistance in their present painful Struggle with the hand of Tyranny, I beg Leave to assure you that by express Direction of the Town of Boston a Letter was addressd to the Gentlemen of Savannah upon the first Intelligence of the detestable Port Bill. Permit me to add Gentlemen that the Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston at whose Request I now write, set too high a Value upon your Advice and esteem a general Union of too great Importance, to neglect any Steps at this alarming Crisis, which may have a Tendency to effect so desirable a Purpose.

They have this additional Motive to invite all the Colonies into one firm Band of Opposition to the oppressive Measures of the British Administration, that they look upon this Town as conflicting for all. The Danger is general; and should we succumb under the heavy Rod now hanging over us, we might be esteemd the base Betrayers of the Common Interest.

We are informd that the Infant Colony of West Florida has contended for the Right on an annual Choice of Representatives. A noble Exertion certainly if it has taken place. Being your Neighbor, be pleasd to convey to them our warmest Regards, and encourage them in the Pursuit of so important an Object.

Your Correspondence with the Committee of this Town will always be esteemd a singular Gratification.

I am in their Behalf Gentlemen Your Friend and Fellow Countryman


Having had your Name and Character metiond to me as a warm and able Friend to the Liberties of America, I have taken the Liberty to address the foregoing Letter to your Patronage & beg the favor of you to communicate the same to the other Friends of Liberty in Georgia and to assure you that I am with very great Regard,

Your very humble Servt,

___________ 1Of Savannah Georgia, Cf., C. C. Jones, Biographical Sketches, pp. 124-136; and C. C. Jones, History of Georgia, vol. ii., p. 166 and passim.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON July 18 1774


I have lately receivd several Letters from you for which I am much obliged. It cannot but afford Pleasure to an observing American to find, that the British Administration, by every Measure they take for the Suppression of the Spirit of Liberty in the Colonies, have promoted, till they have at length established a perfect Union; which, if it continues, must effect the Destruction of their cursed Plans of arbitrary Power.—The Boston Port bill is a parliamentary Punishment of this People, designd, as Lord North expressd himself, to convince America that they are in earnest.—What will his Lordship think, when he finds, that his "spirited Measures" have not the designd Effect, wch was to intimidate us—that America is also IN EARNEST and the whole Continent united in an effectual Measure, which they have always in their Power to adopt, to distress the Trade of Britain, & thereby bring her to her Senses. The Premier little thought of this united Resentment, and therefore has made no Preparation against the Effects of it. He promisd himself that the . . . , and leave her to fall under the Scourge of ministerial Vengeance. The noble and generous Part which all are taking & particularly South Carolina on this Occasion must convince him that the British Brothers, each of whom resents an Attack upon the Rights of one as an Attack upon the Rights of all. The Port bill is followed by two others; One for cutting the Charter of this Province into Shivers, and the other to encourage Murderers by skreening them from Punishment. What short Work these modern Politicians make with solemn Compacts founded on the Faith of Kings! The Minds of this People can never be reconciled to so fundamental a Change of their civil Constitution; and I should think that General Gage, allowing that he has but a small Share of Prudence, will hardly think of risqueing the horrible Effects of civil War, by suddenly attempting to force the Establishmt of a Plan of civil Government which must be shocking to all the other Colonies even in the Contemplation of it; but the more so, as they must consider themselves to be deeply interrested in the Attempt.—I pray God that he may not wantonly exercise the exorbitant Power intended to be, if not already, put into his Hands.—If the Wrath of Man is a little while restraind, it is possible that the united Wisdom of the Colonists, may devise Means in a peaceable Way, not only for the Restoration of their own Rights and Liberties, but the Establishment of Harmony with Great Britain, which certainly must be the earnest Desire of Wise and good Men. I am

Yours affectionately,t,

___________ 1Cf., Vol. i., page 108. [back]


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON July 18 1774


We have received your polite and obliging Letter of the 28 June inclosing bill of lading for 194 whole & 21 half barrills Rice on board the sloop of Mary John Dove Master which is safely arrived at Salem. So very generous a Donation of twenty Gentlemen only of the Town of Charlestown, towards the Reliefe of the Sufferers by the cruel & oppressive Port bill, demands our most grateful Acknowledgments; and the Assurances you give us of the kind Disposition of our worthy Friends in South Carolina towards the Inhabitants of this Town will, we are perswaded, greatly encourage them to bear up under that oppressive Ministerial Vengeance which they are now called to endure for the common Cause of America. Supported as we are by our Brethren in all the Colonies, we must be ungrateful to them as well as lost to the feelings of publick Virtue should we comply with the Demands to surrender the Liberty of America. We think you may rely upon it that the People of [this] Province in general will joyn in any proper M[easures] that may be proposed for the restoration & Establishment of the Rights of America, and of that Harmony with the Mother Country upon the principles of equal Liberty so much desired by all wise & good Men. A Non Importation of British Goods is (with a few Exceptions) universally thought a salutary and an efficatious Measure; and in order to effectuate such a Measure the yeomanry in the Country (upon whom under God we are to depend) are signing agreements to restrict themselves from purchasing & consuming them. We applaud and at the same time [are] animated by the patriotick Spirit of our Sister Colonies. Such an union we believe was little expected by Lord North and we have Reason to hope therefore that he has not thought of making any Preparation against the Effects of it. The Resolution & Magnanimity of the Colonists and the Firmness Perseverance & Prudence of the People of this insulted Town astonishes our Adversaries, & we trust will put them to a Loss how to proceed further.

We shall dispose of the valueable Donation as you direct, in such Manner as we shall judge most conducible to the Intention of the generous Donors, to whom be pleasd to present our kind Regards and be assured we are Gentlemen their and your sincere & obliged Friends and

Fellow Countrymen,


[MS., Committee of Correspondence Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON July 18 1774


We receivd your favor by the hand of Mr Wood, and observe the Art of the Tories in your part of the Province to make the People believe the Non Consumption Agreement is a Trick of the Merchants of this Town, that they may have the Advantage of selling off the Goods they have on hand at an exorbitant Rate. So far is this from the Truth, that the Merchants importing Goods from England, a few excepted, were totally against the Covenant. They complaind of it in our Town Meeting as a Measure destructive to their Interest. Some of them have protested against it as such; and they are now using their utmost Endeavors to prevent it. Can it then be rationally said by the Advocates for Tyranny that it is a Plan laid by the Merchants? The Enemies of our Constitution know full well that if there are no Purchasers of British Goodsc there will be no Importers. On the Contrary if the People in the Country will purchase there are People in the City avaricious enough to import. Hence it is that they are so agitated with the Non Consumption Agreement that they will not hesitate at any rate to discredit it.

We highly applaud your Zeal for the Liberties of your Country and are with great Regard

Your friends & fellow Countrymen,


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON July 25 1774


I beg you to believe me when I tell you that incessant publick Business has prevented my writing to you as often as my own Inclination would lead me to do it. I assure you I feel an exquisite Pleasure in an epistolary Chat with a private Friend, and I never contemplate a little Circle but I place you and your Spouse as two, or I had rather say, ONE.—But consider my Brother, or to use a dearer Apellation my Friend, consider our Native Town is in Disgrace. She is suffering the Insolence of Power. But she prides herself in being calld to suffer for the Cause of American Freedom and rises superior to her proud oppressors, she suffers with Dignity; and while we are enduring the hard Conflict, it is a Consolation to us that thousands of little Americans who cannot at present distinguish between the Right hand & the left, will reap the happy Fruits of it; and among these I bear particularly in my mind my young Cousins of your Family.

Four Regiments are encampd upon our Common, while the Harbour is blockd up by Ships of War. Nothing is sufferd to be waterborn in the Harbour excepting the Wood and Provisions brot in to keep us from actually perishing. By such Oppressions the British Administration hope to suppress the Spirit of Liberty in this place; but being encouragd by the generous Supplys that are daily Sent to us the Inhabitants are determind to hold out and appeal to the Justice of the Colonies & of the World—trusting in God that these things shall be overruled for the Establishment of Liberty Virtue & Happiness in America—Your Sister is in tollerable Health and together with my Son & Daughter send their affectionate respects to your self Mrs Wells & your family—I am sincerely


1Cf., Vol. II., page 337. [back]


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON July 27 1774


I wrote you by this Conveyance; since which nothing new has occurred here, saving that this Town at a legal Meeting yesterday2 orderd a circular Letter to be sent to all the Towns and Districts in the province a Copy of which is inclosed. If the two Acts therein referrd to take place, there will not be even the Shadow of Liberty left in this Province; and our Brethren of the Sister Colonies will seriously consider whether it be not the Intention of a perverse Administration to establish the same System of Tyranny throughout the Colonies. There will shortly be forty or fifty dozen of Hoes and Axes shipd to your address by a worthy citizen & Merchant of this Town Mr Charles Miller—The Makers are Men of approvd Skill and fidelity in their Business and will warrant their Work by affixing their names thereon—The original Cost of the Axes will be 40/ & the Hoes 36/ sterling pr Dozen, and I dare say they will be in every respect better than any imported from abroad.

I am with due Regard

Yr friend & Countryman

1Cf., Vol. II., page 64. [back] 2Boston Record Commissioner's Report, vol. xviii., pp. 186, 187. [back]


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol. iv., pp. 14, 15.]

BOSTON, July 29th, 1774.


I am desired by the Committee of the Town of Boston, appointed to receive the Donations made by our sympathizing brethren, for the employment or relief of such inhabitants of this Town as are more immediate sufferers by the cruel act of Parliament for shutting up this harbor, to acquaint you that our friend, Mr. Barrett, has communicated to them your letter of the 25th instant, advising that you have shipped, per Captain Israel Williams, between three and four hundred bushels of rye and Indian corn for the above mentioned purpose, and that you have the subscriptions still open, and expect after harvest to ship a much larger quantity. Mr. Barrett tells us, that upon the arrival of Captain Williams, he will endorse his bill of lading or receipt to us.

The Committee have a very grateful sense of the generosity of their friends in Farmington, who may depend upon their donations being applied agreeable to their benevolent intention, as it is a great satisfaction to the Committee to find the Continent so united in opinion. The Town of Boston is now suffering for the common liberties of America, and while they are aided and supported by their friends, I am persuaded they will struggle through the conflict, firm and steady.

I am, with very great regard, Gentlemen,

Your friend & countryman,

___________ 1A member of the committee of Farmington, Connecticut. [back]


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol. iv., pp. 19, 20.]

BOSTON, July 29th, 1774.


Your very obliging letter of the 25th instant, directed to the Selectmen or Overseers of the Poor of the Town of Boston, has been by them communicated to a Committee of this Town appointed to receive the donation made for the employment or relief of such inhabitants as are or may be more immediate sufferers by the cruel Act of Parliament for shutting up our harbor. This, at the desire and in the name of this Committee, I am very gratefully to acknowledge the generosity of the Town of Wethersfield, in the donation made by them, for the purpose above mentioned, consisting of 343/4 bushels of wheat, 2481/2 of rye, and 390 of Indian corn, which your letter informs is fowarded by Capt. Israel Williams, and for their kind intentions still further. They may be assured that their beneficence will be applied to the purpose for which they have designed it. This Town is suffering the stroke of ministerial vengeance, as they apprehend, for the liberties of America, and it affords them abundant satisfaction to find that they have the concurrent sentiments of their brethren in the sister Colonies in their favor, evidenced by the most liberal acts of munificence for their support. While they are thus encouraged and supported, I trust they will never be so ungrateful to their friends, as well [as] so lost to a sense of virtue, as to "give up the glorious cause." They have need of wisdom and fortitude to confound the devices of their enemies, and to endure the hard conflict with dignity. They rejoice in the approaching general American Congress, and trust that, by the divine direction and blessing, such measures will be taken as will "bring about a happy issue of the present glorious struggle," and secure the rights of America upon the permanent principles of equal liberty and truth.

I am, with very great regard to the Gentlemen of your Committee,

Sir, your friend and fellow-countryman,

1 Of Wethersfield, Connecticut. [back]


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol. iv., pp. 30-32.]

BOSTON, August 2d, 1774.


The Commitee for Donations yesterday received your kind letter, by the hands of Mr. Gatchel, acquainting them of the very generous present made to the sufferers in this Town by the unrighteous and cruel Act of the British Parliament, commonly called the Port Bill. They had before received one barrel of olive oil. Mr. Gatchel delivered them L 39 Is. 3d. in cash, and this day the fish in eleven carts, and the remainder of the oil came to hand. I am desired by that Committee to express their warmest gratitude to the Gentlemen of Marblehead, who have so liberally contributed on this occasion, and to assure them that it will be applied in a manner agreeable to the intention of the charitable donors.

It was in all probability the expectation of Lord North, the sister Colonies would totally disregard the fate of Boston, and that she would be left to suffer and fall alone. Their united resolution, therefore, to support her in the conflict, will, it is hoped, greatly perplex him in the further prosecution of his oppressive measures, and finally reduce him to the necessity of receding from them. While we are thus aided by our brethren, you may depend upon it that we shall not disgrace the common cause of America, by any submissions to the barbarous edict. Our inhabitants still wear cheerful countenances, and they WILL be supported by the beneficence of our friends, notwithstanding one of your addressers meanly insinuated to a gentleman of South Carolina, at Salem, yesterday, that they would receive no benefit from the large donation of rice received from that place. Such an intimation discovers a degree of depravity of heart which cannot easily be expressed. I have received a letter from your [Committee] to our Committee of Correspondence, which I shall lay before them at their meeting this evening.

I am, in behalf of the Committee of Donations, Gentlemen, your friend and


P. S. Mr. Phillips, a carter, with about fifteen quintals of fish and the remainder of the oil, is not yet come in, but is expected every hour.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol. iv., pp. 37.]

BOSTON, August 3d, 1774.


The Committee appointed by this Town to receive donations for the relief of our poor, suffering by the shutting up this port, have this day received by the hands of Mr. Roger Wellington, 81/2 bushels of rye and 10 bushels Indian corn, as a donation from several gentlemen of Brookfield; but as we received no letter advising us who we are particularly obliged to for this kind present, we take this opportunity to request you will please to return the sincere thanks of this Town to all those Gentlemen that contributed towards this donation. We esteem it a confirmaiton of that union and friendship which subsists at this time, and is of the utmost importance to secure the rights and liberties of this Province and indeed of all America. We shall endeavor to distribute the donations of our friends to the best advantage to promote industry and harmony in this Town. Wishing you the rewards that attend the generous,

We are, with great respect and gratitude, Sir, your friends and servants,

1 Of Brookfield, Massachusetts.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol. iv., pp. 15, 16.]

BOSTON, August 4th, 1774.


Your favor of 25th July, directed to John Barrett, Esq., has been laid before the Committee to receive and distribute Donations, and has been answered, July 29th,1 which [we] trust you will duly receive. Since which Capt. Williams has arrived and delivered to the Committee's Treasurer, one hundred and sixteen and half bushels of rye, and one hundred and ninety bushels of Indian corn, as a donation from our generous, patriotic friends in Farmington. This Committee, in the name of the Town, return you and our other friends their most grateful acknowledgments, and assure [you we] shall do our utmost to distribute it, agreeable to the benevolent intentions of the contributors. As Capt. Williams brought us no letter, nor had any particular directions about the freight of the grain, the Committee immediately agreed to pay the same, and offered it to Capt. Williams, but he chose rather to suspend the receiving of it until further day. You may be assured that the friends of Liberty and a righteous government are firm and steady to the common cause of American rights. We are in hopes to keep our poor from murmuring, and that, by the blessing of Heaven, we shall shortly be confirmed in that freedom for which our ancestors entered the wilds of America.

With the greatest respect we are, Sir, your friends and fellow- countrymen. By order of the Committee appointed to receive Donations for the employment or relief of the sufferers by the Boston Port Bill.

___________ 1Cf. page 148.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADE Sept. 14 1774.


I have been waiting with great Impatience for a Letter from the Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Boston upon whose Wisdom and Judgement I very much rely. The Congress is resolved into Committees and Sub-Committees and all seem fully sensible of the intollerable Grievances which the Colonies are struggling under, and determined to procure effectual redress. The Subject Matter of their Debates I am restraind upon Honor from disclosing at present; but I may assure you that the Sentiments of the Congress hitherto discoverd and the Business assignd to the several Committees are such as perfectly coincide with your Expectations.

The Spirit of our Countrymen does them great Honor—Our Brethren of the County of Middlesex have resolvd nobly, and their resolutions1 are read by the several Members of this Body with high Applause.

It is generally agreed that an opposition to the new Mode of Government ought to be maintaind. A warm Advocate for the Cause of Liberty to whom America is much obligd for his former Labors told me that he was fully of Opinion that no officer under the new Establishment ought to be acknowledgd; on the other hand that each of them should be warned against exercising any Authority upon pain of the UTMOST Resentment of the people. It is therefore greatly to his Satisfaction to observe the Measures that have been taken. I am pleasd to hear that a provincial Congress is proposd, and cannot but promise my self that the firm manly and persevering Opposition of that single province will operate to the total frustration of the villainous Designs of our Tyrants and their Destruction.

I hope the Committee will continue to act up to their Dignity and Importance.—I am yet of Opinion that Heaven will honor them with a great Share of the Merit of saving the Rights of all America. May God inspire them with Wisdom & Fortitude. I must beg them to excuse this hasty Effusion of an honest heart, having been just now (while in a Committee) informd that a Vessell is immediately about to sail to Marblehead. Pray let me hear from the Committee- -being as you all know A MAN OF FORTUNE, you need not fear putting me to the Expence of postage—direct to Mr Saml Smith and Sons Merchts in this City. I conclude with my warmest Prayers to the Supreme Being for the Salvation of our Country, your Friend Fellow Countryman & Fellow Labourer,

1 The proceedings are in Journals of each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, pp. 609-614.


[Force, American Archives, 4th ser., vol. i., p. 793.]

PHILADELPHIA September 19, 1774.


I have had the pleasure of receiving a letter from you since my arrival in this city. Our friend, Mr. Quincy, informed me before I left Boston, of his intention to take passage for England. I am persuaded he may do great service to our country there. Agreeably to his and your requests, I have desired gentlemen here to make him known to their friends and correspondents.

Last Friday Mr. Revere brought us the spirited and patriotick Resolves of your County ofSuffolk.2 We laid them before the Congress. They were read with great applause, and the Enclosed Resolutions were unanimously passed, which give you a faint idea of the spirit of the Congress. I think I may assure you that America will make a point of supporting Boston to the utmost. I have not time to enlarge, and must therefore conclude with assuring you that I am, with great] regard, your affectionate and humble servant,

1The date is given as September 18 in Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren, p. 367. 2Journals of each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, pp. 601- 609.


[R. Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren, p. 377; a draft is in the Lenox Library.]

PHILADELPHIA, September, 1774.


Your letter of the 12th instant, directed to Mr. Cushing and others, came duly to hand. The subject of it is of great importance. It is difficult, at this distance, to form a judgment, with any degree of accuracy, of what is best to be done. The eastern and western counties appear to differ in sentiment with regard to the two measures mentioned in your letter. This difference of sentiment might produce opposition, in case either part should be taken. You know the vast importance of union. That union is most likely to be obtained by a consultation of deputies from the several towns, either in a House of Representatives or a Provincial Congress. But the question still remains, which measure to adopt. It is probable that the people would be most united, as they would think it safest, to abide by the present form of government,—I mean according to the charter. The governor has been appointed by the Crown, according to the charter; but he has placed himself at the head of a different constitution. If the only constitutional council, chosen last May, have honesty and courage enough to meet with the representatives chosen by the people by virtue of the last writ, and jointly proceed to the public business, would it not bring the governor to such an explicit conduct as either to restore the general assembly, or give the two Houses a fair occasion to declare the chair vacant? In which case the council would hold it till another governor should be appointed. This would immediately reduce the government prescribed in the charter; and the people would be united in what they would easily see to be a constitutional opposition to tyranny. You know there is a charm in the word "constitutional."


[R. Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren, pp. 377, 378; a draft is in the Lenox Library.]

PHILADELPHIA, September 25, 1774.

MY DEAR SIR,—I wrote you yesterday by the post. A frequent communication at this critical conjuncture is necessary. As the all-important American cause so much depends upon each colony's acting agreeably to the sentiments of the whole, it must be useful to you to know the sentiments which are entertained here of the temper and conduct of our province. Heretofore we have been accounted by many, intemperate and rash; but now we are universally applauded as cool and judicious, as well as spirited and brave. This is the character we sustain in congress. There is, however, a certain degree of jealousy in the minds of some, that we aim at a total independency, not only of the mother- country, but of the colonies too; and that, as we are a hardy and brave people, we shall in time overrun them all. However groundless this jealousy may be, it ought to be attended to, and is of weight in your deliberations on the subject of your last letter. I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with Mr Dickinson. He is a true Bostonian. It is his opinion, that, if Boston can safely remain on the defensive, the liberties of America, which that town has so nobly contended for, will be secured. The congress have, in their resolve of the 17th instant, given their sanction to the resolutions of the county of Suffolk, one of which is to act merely on the defensive, so long as such conduct may be justified by reason and the principles of self- preservation, but NO LONGER. They have great dependence upon your tried patience and fortitude. They suppose you mean to defend your civil constitution. They strongly recommend perseverance in a firm and temperate conduct, and give you a full pledge of their united efforts in your behalf. They have not yet come to final resolutions. It becomes them to be deliberate. I have been assured, in private conversation with individuals, that, if you should be driven to the necessity of acting in the defence of your lives or liberty, you would be justified by their constituents, and openly supported by all the means in their power; but whether they will ever be prevailed upon to think it necessary for you to set up another form of government, I very much question, for the reason I have before suggested. It is of the greatest importance, that the American opposition should be united, and that it should be conducted so as to concur with the opposition of our friends in England. Adieu,


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]



The Delegates from his Majestys several Colonies of New Hampshire * * * * * * * * * * * assembled in general Congress in the City of Philadelphia take the Liberty of addressing you upon Subjects of the last Importance, to your own Character, Happiness and Peace of Mind, to his Majestys Service, to the Wellfare of that Province over which you preside and of all North America, and, perhaps, of the whole British Empire.

The Act of the British Parliament for shutting up the Harbour of Boston is universally deemd to be unjust and cruel; and the World now sees with Astonishment & Indignation the Distress which the Inhabitants of that loyal though devoted Town are suffering under the most rigid Execution of it.

There are two other Acts passed in the present Session of Parliament, the one for regulating the Government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the other entitled an Act for the more impartial Administration of Justice in the same Province; the former of these Acts was made with the professed Purpose of materially altering the Charter of that Province granted by his Majesties Royal Predecessors King William & Queen Mary for themselves their Heirs &c forever; and both or either of them if put into Execution will shake the Foundations of that free & happy Constitution which is the Birthright of English Subjects, and totally destroy the inestimable Blessing of Security in Life Liberty and Property.

By your own Acknowledgment, the refusal of the People to yield obedience to these Acts is far from being confind to a Faction in the Town of Boston. It is general through the province. And we do now assure your Excellency, that this Refusal is vindicable, in the opinion of this Congress, by the Laws of Reason and Self preservation; and the People ought to be and will be supported in it by the united Voice and Efforts of all America.

We are fully convinced that the Town of Boston and Province of the Massachusetts Bay are suffering in the righteous Cause of America, while they are nobly exerting themselves in the most spirited opposition to those oppressive Acts of Parliament and Measures of Administration which are calculated to annihilate our most sacred & invalueable Rights.

It is with the deepest Concern that we observe, that while this Congress are deliberating on the most effectual Measures for the restoration of American Liberty and a happy Harmony between the Colonies and the parent State, so essentially necessary to both, your Excellency is erecting Fortifications round the Town of Boston, whereby well grounded Jealousies are excited in the Minds of his Majesties faithful Subjects and apprehensions that all Communication between the Town & the Country will be cut off, or that this Freedom will be enjoyed at the Will of an Army.

Moreover we would express to your Excellency the just Resentment which we feel at the Indignities offerd to our worthy fellow Citizens in Boston and the frequent Violations of private property by the Soldiers under your Command. These Enormities committed by a standing Army, in our opinion, unlawfully posted there in a time of Peace, are irritating in the greatest Degree, and if not remedied, will endanger the involving all America in the Horrors of a civil War! Your Situation Sir is extremely critical. A rupture between the Inhabitants of the Province over which you preside and the Troops under your Command would produce Consequences of the most serious Nature: A Wound which would never be heald! It would probably establish Animosities between Great Britain & the Colonies which time would never eradicate! In order therefore to quiet the Minds & remove the Jealousies of the people, that they may not be driven to such a State of Desperation as to quit the Town & fly for Shelter to their Friends and Countrymen, we intreat you from the Assurance we have of the peaceable Disposition of the Inhabitants to desist from further fortifications of the Town, and to give orders that a free & safe Communication between them & the country may be restored & continued.

___________ 1Endorsed: "This was offered to the Comittee of Congress to be reported as a Remonstrance to Genl Gage." On October 6, 1774, Adams, Lynch and Pendleton were appointed a committee to draft a letter to General Gage. The committee reported October 10; the letter was amended and ordered to be signed. The text, dated October 10, 1774, and finally approved October 11, is in Journals of Continental Congress (Edit. of 1904), vol. i., pp. 60, 61. The reply of Gage is in ibid., pp. 114, 115.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

PHILADELPHIA Octob [17] 1774.


I have receivd your favors of 29th Sept and 11th Instant, the latter of which is just come to hand. The Affidavit inclosd confirms the report in Boston about the beginning of July, of a Mans being seizd by the Soldiery, put under Guard & finally sent to England. But what Remedy can the poor injurd Fellow obtain in his own Country where INTER ARMA SILENT LEGES! I have written to our Friends to provide themselves without Delay with Arms & Ammunition, get well instructed in the military Art, embody themselves & prepare a complete Set of Rules that they may be ready in Case they are called to defend themselves against the violent Attacks of Despotism. Surely the Laws of Self Preservation will warrant it in this Time of Danger & doubtful Expectation. One cannot be certain that a distracted Minister will yield to the Measures taken by the Congress, though they should operate the Ruin of the National Trade, until he shall have made further Efforts to lay America, as he impiously expressd it "prostrate at his Feet."

I believe you will have seen before this reaches you, some further Resolves of the Congress relative to my native Town & Province together with a Letter to Gage. They were sent to the Come of Correspondence in Boston by Mr Revere who left us a Week ago, and I suppose are or will be publishd in the papers—you will therein see the sense of the Gentlemen here of the Conduct of the General and the "dignified Scoundrels," and of the opposition made to the tyrannical Acts. I think our Countrymen discover the Spirit of Rome or Sparta. I admire in them that Patience which you have often heard one say is characteristick of the Patriot. I regretted your Removal from Boston when you first informd me of it, but I trust it will be for the publick Advantage. Wherever you may be I am sure you will improve your ten Talents for the publick Good. I pray God to direct and reward you.

I am with due regard to Mrs Young,

affectionately yours,


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON 21 Novr 1774


When I was at New York in August Last I was informd by a Gentleman of that City (I think it was yourself but am not certain of it) that a Quantity of Rice had arrivd from South Carolina consignd to his Care for the Benefit of the Sufferers in this Town by Means of the Port Bill.—If it is under your Direction, I am very sure it will be disposd of in the best Manner for the benevolent Use for which it was intended. My only Design in troubling you with this Letter is to be ascertaind of the Matter, and of the Situation the Rice is in, having been also informd, if I mistake not, that some of it had been dammaged.—A Line from you by the Post will much oblige me.

I am with great Respect

Sir your most humble Servant,

1Of New York.


[Collections of Massachusetts Historical Society, 4th ser., vol. iv., pp. 168, 169.]

BOSTON, 16th December, 1774.


I am directed by the Committee of the town of Boston, appointed to receive and distribute the donations that are made for the relief and employment of such as are, or may become sufferers by means of the Boston Port Bill, to return their sincere thanks to the members of the Union Club, in the Town of Salem, for the generous contribution they made, and transmitted by their worthy brother, Mr. Samuel King. It is an unspeakable consolation to the inhabitants of this devoted Town, that amidst the distress designed to have been brought upon them by an inhuman, as well as arbitrary Ministers, there are many whose hearts and hands are open for their relief. You, gentlemen, are among the happy number of those, of whom it is said, the blessing of him that is ready to perish hath come upon us, and through your liberality the widow's heart to sing for joy.

Our friends have enabled us to bear up under oppression, to the astonishment of our enemies. May Heaven reward our kind benefactors ten-fold; and grant to us wisdom and fortitude, that during this hard conflict we may behave as becomes those who are called to struggle in so glorious a cause; and, by our patience and perseverance, at length frustrate the designs of our country's inveterate foes. You may rely upon it that your donation will be applied by the Committee to the benevolent purpose for which you intended it.

Be assured that I am, in truth and sincerity, your friend and humble servant,

___________ 1Of Salem, Massachusetts.


[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library; a text is in Historical Magazine, 1st ser., vol ii., pp. 196, 197.]

BOSTON, Jan. 9th, 1775.


The Committee appointed by the inhabitants of this Town, to receive and distribute the donations of our friends for the benefit of the sufferers by the Boston Port Bill, acknowledge your several favors of 7th and 17th of December last, enclosing invoices of flour, &c., amounting, with charges, to one thousand and sixty-two pounds, 9/6, which, agreeable to your kind wishes, are come safe to hand. I am directed by the Committee to request that you would assure our benefactors, the citizens of New York, of their warmest gratitude for the very seasonable relief they have afforded to their afflicted brethren in this place, by such generous donations, in this most difficult time of the year. While we acknowledge the superintendency of divine Providence, we feel our obligations to the sister Colonies. By their liberality, they have greatly chagrined the common enemies of America, who flattered themselves with hopes that before this day they should starve us into a compliance with the insolent demands of despotic power. But the people, relieved by your charitable contributions, bear the indignity with becoming patience and fortitude. They are not insensible of the injuries done them as men, as well as free Americans; but they restrain their Just resentment from a due regard to the common cause.

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