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Adams, Samuel (1722-1803) to James Warren

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01215 Author/Creator: Adams, Samuel (1722-1803) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 16 July 1772 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 19 x 15.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Adams, a future signer of the Declaration of Independence, as member of the Massachusetts legislature to Warren, also a member of the Massachusetts legislature. Says the session is over and the resolves, including one asking the King to rescind Governor Hutchinson's salary, have passed. Says he will send him a copy of the resolves if he promises not to publish them. Expresses his friendship with Warren, who he says was with him when the Tories cursed him at a commencement speech at Cambridge and at another occasion when "Confusion to me & my Adherents was given as a toast." Attacks Governor Hutchinson's attempt to draw a salary independent of the legislature from Crown revenues. Mentions that James Austin is a promising new Whig in the legislature. Praises his speech to the assembly. Expresses his compliments to Warren's wife, Mercy Otis Warren, the famous writer. Says his wife "has the Sauciness to overlook me while writing, a trick I cannot break her of," and that she sends her regards. Previously repaired at crease.

Background Information: As one of the chief organizers of protests against the imperial policies adopted by Britain after the Seven Years War, Samuel Adams (1722-1803) was, in Thomas Jefferson's words, "truly the ...man of the Revolution." A founder of the Sons of Liberty, the Boston-born, Harvard-educated Adams was also a key instigator of protests against the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts.
Samuel Adams's animosity to arbitrary royal authority had deep personal roots. To promote economic growth in Massachusetts, his father had helped establish a land bank, which lent paper money backed by real estate. In 1741, wealthy merchants led by Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780), fearful that the bills would be used to pay debts, called on the royal Massachusetts governor to declare the land bank illegal. When he did, Adams's father lost tremendous sums of money and never recovered financially.
In 1771, Thomas Hutchinson succeeded Francis Bernard (1712-1779) as governor of Massachusetts. Both Bernard and Hutchinson punished Boston for its resistance to the Townshend Acts by moving the colonial legislature to Cambridge.
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Full Transcript: My dear Sir Boston July 16 1772
I have just time by a few Lines to let you know that "I am well as as I hope you are the same at ...this present time of writing"
The Session is at length over. Since your Departure I have been, as I expected, [struck: been] almost plagued to Death with the Dubitation of Whigs, & the Advantage the Tories constantly make of them. The Resolves have finally passed, & even as they now appear, I believe they chagrin him whom they call the Governor & his Adherents. We have since resolved on a Petition & Remonstrance to the King, a copy of which I will send you if you promise not to publish them; for your Cousin, who is a very influential man, got the sense of the House, as it is called, against its being printed till De[cember ?].
The Governor at the close, sent down a Message in the Bernardinian Tone which I intend to look over. To speak Truth plainly, when the Secretary read it I thought it a very indecent thing, in which there appeared a studied affront to the House; and it seemed to me that I myself had a particular share of it. Pray let me know your sentiments.
As we have been adherents with each other, [insert: & I believe ever shall,] you have shared with me in the Curses of a Circle of Tories at Cambridge on the Commencement Day; when Confusion to me & my Adherents was given as a Toast, after too many for the Reputation of the Company had been already drank. This will appear to you, the greater Honor done me, as it succeeded the Health of Bull[,] North[,] Hillsborough & the Battleham Baronet. The company I am informed took up in ___ ___.
We had the Honor of the presence of the Admiral [3] & Commissioner Burch, accompanying the Governor & other overseers of Alma Mater. Don't you think that Mr. Hutchinson aims at irritating this Country in everlastingly introducing his Greatness into all our publick Assemblies? Some of the young Gentlemen honor[e]d themselves in their performances & particularly Mr. Austin, a promising young Whig, whose Oration you would have toasted with singular pleasure. "While the Wretch who betrays his Country for the sake of Places, Emoluments & Pensions", but I repeat no more upon my memory, least I should unhappily detract from the true Spirit & Stile of it. May Heaven bless the Lad & preserve him from the Contagion of the World!
Were I a polite Gentleman I should now desire you to make my Compliments to your Lady. Tell her if you please, that I have all that Regard & Affection for which [4] a man, especially a married man can in Conscience have for the Wife of another. and to my dear Coll Warren I am in strict truth & Sincerity a Friend.
Saml Adams
Mrs Adams who has the Sauciness to overlook me while writing, a trick I cannot break her of, will not suffer me to close without mentioning her particular Regards.

[docket:]
Mr. Adams Lettr
July 1772






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People: Adams, Samuel, 1722-1803
Warren, James, 1726-1808
Warren, Mercy Otis, 1728-1814
Hutchinson, Thomas, 1711-1780

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarGovernment and CivicsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyLoyalistEducationFinanceWhigsPoliticsWomen's History

Sub Era: Road to Revolution

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