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that some of our Towns, maintain their integrity,

1768] SAMUEL ADAMS. 203

and show a laudable zeal against POPERY. To do
honor to those Towns as much as in my power, I in
tend to publish a List of them. And as I am not
particularly attach d to any Town in the province,
but that which gave me birth, I am determin d that
if any others shall be rous d by my future Lucubra
tions to oppose POPERY, as I trust and hope they
will, they shall have the same Notice taken of them
in another Paper. Your s


[Boston Gazette, April n, 1768.]

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

As the love of fame operates more or less in every
human breast, I must acknowledge I have had some
feelings of it in my own mind, since you were so
courteous as to publish to the world my last letter :
I had a consciousness that I was influenced by no
motives in writing it, but what appeared to me to be
justifiable and praise-worthy ; and indeed I was un
der a sort of constraint to mention my fears ; for I
did verily believe, and I do so still, that much more
is to be dreaded from the growth of POPERY in
America, than from Stamp- Acts or any other Acts
destructive of mens civil rights : Nay, I could not
help fancying that the Stamp-Act itself was contrived
with a design only to inure the people to the habit of
contemplating themselves as the slaves of men ; and
the transition from thence to a subjection to Satan, is
mighty easy.


As soon as I received your paper, and had read
my letter, I took my horse and journeyed Eastward
to be sure not from any superstitious notion I had
of paying homage to that quarter of the heavens, but
purely to make a visit to a few old friends, whom I\
knew to be inspired with a zeal against POPERY.

In crossing the ferry, well known by the name of ~~~]
Charles, I lit of a well-dress d man, who observing an
uncommon silence among the passengers, and being
desirous, as I tho t to raise a little innocent chat in a
circle of folks, who in all likelihood will never meet
again, he started a question, Whether the river had
its name in honor to the first or second Charles ? a
difference of sentiments immediately arose, perhaps
rather to enliven the conversation, than from an ignor
ance of so simple a matter in any of the company :
but the question was soon decided, or rather overset,
by one of the ferrymen, who with a certain warmth,
put in his oar, and said that it was not a groat s mat
ter which of them had the honor of it, for they were
both Papists ; and he wish d such a trifling circum
stance as it might seem to be, would not tend to
bring in POPERY some time or other on both sides
the river, especially into that town which bears the
same name. I bethought myself of my list of pro-
testant towns, and recollected that Charlestown was
one : Surely, tho t I, there can be no danger of
Charlestown ; and yet if there be any thing in this
man s shrewd observation, there is some reason to
fear that Charlestown is not so much on its guard
against POPERY as I imagined. I began to be in
quisitive with myself what could be the meaning of

1768] SAMUEL ADAMS. 205

this back-stroke of Mr. Ferryman ; and my great
anxiety and impatience to know the worst of it, led
me to whisper in his ear, when I paid him my ferriage, J
that if he would step into the neighbouring tavern,
I had something of importance to say to him : No
sooner were we seated, but I unburthened my mind
to him Honest friend, said I, what reason have you
to fear the growth of POPERY in Charlestown ? I
should not have expected that any one would have
represented Charlestown as Papists When I made
use of the word represented, which was purely acci
dental, and without any particular meaning in me, I
observed in his looks a certain promptitude to utter
himself, which induced me to give way to him I
find, said he, that your mind runs upon Representa
tives ; why truly the time of election draws near.
You mistake me, friend, said I, my mind runs upon
nothing but the danger of POPERY. Very well, he
reply d, and are we not to chuse sound Protestants/ >
for our Representatives, as we would avoid the dan
ger of POPERY ? That s true, said I, you are very
right ; but did ever a papist represent the town of
Charlestown ? No, no, said he, no, no, I have noth
ing to charge on any of our good gentlemen, as pa
pists ; they come to our meeting every sabbath ; and
so he went on to speak very handsomely, &c. But
what do you mean by Popery ? said he : and before I
had time even to attempt to answer a question of so
great moment, he explain d it himself, and with looks
full of meaning, said, that Popery was the worship
ping of graven images. That s the very thing said I,
but do any of our Representatives worship graven


images? Here he was called to his duty, and I had
only time to tell him, that I was upon a little excur
sion into the country, to inquire of some friends
about POPERY that the hint he had given in the
ferry-boat had shock d me greatly, and when I re
turned I should hope he would explain to me his
mind more fully.

I then pursued my journey to Medford, where I
dined, and conversed upon the danger of POPERY
with a traveller from the western parts of this pro
vince, who alarmed me very much with a story he
related, which I shall open to my readers in some of
my future letters. I communicated to him my de
sign, and my list of protestant towns he told me
they were many of them very stanch, but that some
of them he fear d were not so apprehensive of
POPERY as they should be ; and particularly men
tioned them, which I noted in my memorandum
book, and so we parted. I mounted my horse and
proceeded to Salem, which town I had heard,
(whether true or not I cannot tell) had formerly
been visited by a romish priest, who had used all his
arts and tricks to draw them from their adherence to
the protestant cause ; and it was said that he had in
some measure prevailed, so that they began to won
der after the beast : But I have reason to believe
that their eyes are now open, and that they will
soon convince the world, that they have repented,
and will do their Jirst works. From Marblehead I
started away for Haver hill a town once mark d by
the French and Indian/tf/w& for ruin There I set
tled a correspondence with a very sensible and hon-

1 768] SAMUEL ADAMS. 207

est man, well spirited against POPERY, who assured
me that some fears I had suggested to him should
be removed ; and that he would in less than six
weeks give me a convincing proof that the town of
Haverhill) at least a very great majority, were ene
mies to POPERY, or he should much wonder. I in
tended to have travelled as far east as York. This
town I have a very great affection for, on account of
the intimacy I once had with their late very vener
able and aged pastor, who while he lived was greatly
instrumental in keeping out POPERY there. The in
fluence of this good old puritan among his people,
lasted many years after his death ; and I am told
that the most of them speak of him to this day with
great reverence : Some, it is said, have lately set up
the Image, and have been seen in public company
with the crucifixes at their breasts; but I do not
avouch for the truth of it. If it be a fact, I hope the
town of York, which has always been remarkable
for stanch puritanism, will take the most effectual
method to discountenance such glaring appearances

I shall at present give you no further account of
this Journey, only that on my return to Charlestown
I tarried there a night for the sake of further con
versation with the ferryman, from whom I received
great light, but little comfort. A few anecdotes
worthy of notice I shall send you at another time.

Your s,



[Boston Gazette, April 18, 1768.]

Messieurs EDES & GILL,

Last evening, happening to be alone at my fireside,
for the weather was something colder than usual at
this season, I rilled my pipe, and seriously ruminated
upon the momentous subject, which has of late so
much engag d my thoughts and attention. I began
to enquire what might be the probable causes of
POPERY in a land of so much light and knowledge
as this ; concluding that it would be in vain for me
to attempt to destroy the noxious weeds, while the
seed which lay latent, would be continually springing
up and increasing. While I was deep in contempla
tion, and just ripe, as I thought, to develop this mys
tery of iniquity, which I flatter myself I should have
done to the satisfaction of my protestant readers at
least, a person rapped suddenly at my door, and my
servant introduced the very man, the Traveller from
the western parts of this province, whom I had occa
sion to make mention of in my last letter. I was not a
little pleas d to see him, for I was in hopes he was
come to bring me some accounts of the state of prot
estantism in those parts, which wou d save me the
trouble of an intended journey, and herein I was not
disappointed ; he gave me several curious anecdotes,
which will serve to enliven as well as to inform and
instruct my Readers, when I shall publish my pro-
pos d course of letters Whether this Traveller is
an inhabitant of Hadley, or was only transiently there,
or en passant, as the French say, is immaterial to the

1768] SAMUEL ADAMS. 209

story I am going to relate. Hadley has in its neigh
bourhood Northampton and H at field ; the former a
true blue protestant town, but for the other I cannot
so positively answer ; it may be it has often been mis
represented. Be that as it may, there happened to
meet in this town of Hadley a couple of gentlemen of
figure ; the one from Northampton, the other from
H at field ; the one an open plain hearted honest and
sensible man, the other artful and guarded ; and one
who seem d to be so very cautious in expressing his
sentiments that it could hardly be determin d, with
any certainty, what he meant by what he said : , This
however may be charitably imputed to a certain
diffidence, peculiar to some folks, rather than a de
sign of speaking in the way of double entendre, or in
plain English, to be double tongud A man who is
double tongud, if he is not in his heart a friend to
POPERY, will be oftentimes speaking the language
of the Beast, whether he is sensible to it or not I
know not how it is with the Hatfield gentleman ; but in
his conversation he utter d certain expressions, which
seem d at least too much to savor of POPERY ; and al-
tho the other, with his usual and laudable zeal, endeav-
or d to prevent the ill effects of it, in the mind of a
Youth who happened to be in the room, yet he was far
from succeeding in his honest intention ; the young
gentleman, tho of Strong natural power and a good
education, suffer d himself to be so far led away that
he even ventur d afterwards in a public company to
harangue largely in favor of Images ; to the astonish
ment of the Traveller, who tho in another apartment,
was both an eye and ear witness, the doors being

VOL. I. 14.


wide open ; and from him I had the account. The
story may appear to luke warm protestants to be
simple and unimportant : but my view in relating it
is only to show the necessity of prudence : We ought
to be particularly cautious of what we say about
Popery before Youth: an Heathen has told us to
" reverence Youth." This young gentleman, it is"
said, has well improv d the advantages of his educa
tion. I hope his good sense and learning, especially
if he will submit to be directed by the Northampton
gentleman, will be sufficient to restore him to a right
way of thinking. When this change shall take place,
his natural abilities and acquired knowledge, with
further improvements, the Traveller says, may strongly
recommend him, as a candidate for a representative
of the town in which he lives ; but it is hoped they
will be quite sure that he is well principled, before
they entrust him with a place of so much consequence,
at this time especially.

While I was entertaining, or I may rather say, was
entertained by my honest guest, my servant bro t me \
a letter directed, To the Puritan to be delivered with
speed, which I found upon unsealing it, was dated at
Mendon, in the county of Worcester ; I read it, and
folded it up, and having noted in my memorandum
book, the letter from Mendon to be answered without
delay, I returned to the traveller, who, after repeated
whiffs, striving to recover his pipe which he had
almost lost, occasioned as I afterwards perceived, by
deep cogitation in my absence, he turned upon me
with a most significant look; Did you know, said
he, that we had POPES BULLS in the country f

1768] SAMUEL ADAMS. 211

The question was like a peal of thunder in my ears.
It gave me as sudden a shock as if I had been under
the force of Electricity. After recovering myself
a little, the POPES BULLS ! said I, what can you
mean ? Nothing more or less said he ; but don t be
over-frightened ; whatever tragical ideas you may
entertain, the story, as I shall relate it, will end
comically ; and to make it short, take it as follows :
While I was in the town of Hardwick, said he, in my
journey downwards Here he was interrupted by
the cry of fire in the street, which hurried us both
out, and after tarrying to assist in extinguishing it,
which to be sure at first threatened Desolation, in
the crowd I missed the Traveller, and was in hopes
of finding him at my house ; but I was disappointed,
he had return d from the fire, but was gone again.
He left however a Billet, in which he apologiz d for
his sudden departure, and promis d to renew his visit
in a few days, and finish his story about the Popes
Bulls ; which it is very like will be worth notice in
some future paper. Your s


P. S. I have heard, within this Day or two, that
a certain Gentleman of weight, has taken umbrage at
my last letter, thinking that a part of it was particu
larly pointed at him. Thus I have been told that it
is no uncommon thing for persons under the ministry
of a pungent preacher, to fancy that the Clergyman,
to use their own expression, preaches at them. This
must proceed, either from an unaccountable and un
reason able jealousy, or from a consciousness somewhat


like to that which David felt, when Nathan said
unto him, " Thou art the man." To prevent any
suspicion of this kind for the future, which will be a
great discouragement to me in the prosecution of my
intended work, I shall only say, that I am too much
of a stranger to particular characters, to pretend to
settle that of any one person in the province, from
the highest to the lowest. And I appeal to all my
courteous readers, except the gentleman aforesaid,
whether anything said in my last letter, or even hint
ed at, could lead into a discrimination between one
person and another, among those I mean who are
zealous to prevent the worshipping of images in the
land. If any are wavering in these perilous times,
their neighbours and others, who know them to be so,
will form such opinions of them as they please, with
out being influenced one way or the other, by any
thing I have said, or shall say, and I may add, can
say If this gentleman is in such a state of mind,
and let it be observed I do not say he is, I truly
pity him, and shall take upon me to recommend to
him to labor to get his doubts removed ; for it is
worth the serious consideration of ALL that a man
who WAVERS, is but a step from a TOTAL APOSTACY !

[S. A. Wells, Samuel Adams and the American Revolution^ vol. i., p. 135.]


I have sent you by M r Edward Church a passen
ger with Capt. Wilson the Journals of the House of

1 A manuscript work in three volumes, in the Bancroft Collection, Lenox

1768] SAMUEL ADAMS. 213

Representatives of the Last year ; the letters &c in
the Appendix I hope you have rec d ere now. 1 I
think they contain the true sentiments & spirit of the
most judicious & numerous part of this province.
The manner & event of their reception in England
is a matter of great expectation here. I wish Great
Britain may not be deceived with regard to the Colo
nies to her own prejudice by the false, very false rep
resentations of her & their enemies on this side the
water. The vessel is now on the point of sailing,
which prevents my writing my sentiments fully. M r
Church is a gentleman of integrity & ingenuity.
You may therefore rely on such intelligence as he
may give you of the circumstances of things here.

I am in haste &c


[MS., Lee Papers, American Philosophical Society, vol. I. A similar letter,
in draft form, is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, May 14, 1768.


By M r Edward Church a Passenger in Capt Will-
son who saild the 24 th ult. I sent you the Journals
of the House of Representatives for the year past.
There cannot be a better Evidence of the Modera
tion & good temper, with which y e Affairs of the last
Session, for the greater part of it, were conducted,
than the Governors Speech to the two Houses, when

1 The of Representatives, on February 12, directed that a copy of the
circular letter should be sent to De Berdt.

2i 4 THE WRITINGS OF [1768

it ended. The House of Representatives were con
stantly attentive to the late Acts of Parliament, &
almost their whole time was employd in preparing a
Petition to his Majesty & Letters to his Ministers
&c. Nothing extraordinary passd between the Gov
ernor & the House, who seemd determind to carry
on Business without giving his Excellency the least
Uneasiness that could possibly be avoided. As an
Instance, they readily complyd with his Request for
a further Establishment for Fort Pownal at the East
ward ; which I am satisfied was done rather to gratify
the Governor at this Juncture, than from an Appre
hension of the real Necessity of it. His Excellency
in the Speech above referrd to, complains, that the
Lovers of Contention have sought an Occasion of
reviving it. It is not difficult to find by the journals,
what gave occasion of Uneasiness in the latter part of
the Session. Had the Governor conceald from the
House, the Letter he had receivd from Lord Shel-
burne, which it does not appear he was under any
sort of Necessity of disclosing to them, all things
would have gone on quietly ; But when they found
that his Lordship had passd a Censure upon their
Conduct, grounded upon Information he had receivd,
& probably as they thought, by his Excellencys own
Letters, it is not to be wonderd at, that they judgd
it necessary to take Measures to set their Conduct
right in the Mind of a Nobleman of his Lordships
Dignity Character and Rank in his Majestys Service ;
especially as it appeard by the Letter that his Maj
esty himself had approvd of y e Governors negativing
some of the Gentlemen they had elected as Councel-

1768] SAMUEL ADAMS. 215

lors, as being done with due Deliberation & Judg
ment. The Steps which the House took were no
other than common Sense as I apprehend would
dictate to any private Gentleman in a similar Case.
They are publishd for the World to judge, if there
was any Contention in the Matter, to whom the
Blame ought to be imputed. It is observeable that
where there is a total Want of Confidence between a
Governor & the People, which appears to me to be
the Case in this Province at present, Suspicions of
each other will often take place & operate to disturb
the publick Tranquility, and hinder the Affairs of his
Majestys Government in the Province from being
carried on so prosperously as all good Men would
wish for. How far the Jealousys of the House in
the present Case of his Excellencys having misrep
resented them to his Majesty, as acting from un
worthy Views & Motives in their Elections is to be
justifyd by his Lordships Letter, disinterested Per
sons will judge. Such kind of Jealousy has long
been in the Minds of very many, if not the greater
part of the People ; and I am perswaded that noth
ing will remove it from the minds of by far the
greater part of those persons who constituted that
House, but a Sight of his Excellencys Letters ; or
a Declaration from His Lordship, if he will con
descend to give it, to the contrary. That House has
since been dissolvd, according to Custom, & a new
one will be returnd this month ; I have no Reason to
think that a Cordiality will ever subsist between the
present Governor & the Representatives of the peo
ple : Harmony upon the Principles of Liberty &


Virtue is much to be desired ; but Prejudices have
taken so deep Root that it is not to be expected:
Which side soever is in fault, if the Prejudice be in
vincible, his Majestys Government must be impeded,
& both the Governor & the People must be un
happy. I now speak my mind with an unreservd
freedom, & I hope with Candor & Impartiality, &
not indecently; for tho I can by no means say that I
am captivated with his Excellencys Administration, I
should always rejoyce in his Prosperity ; & were he
my Patron or Father, my Regards for his Ease &
Comfort as well as for the People would induce me
to wish for his Removal to another Government.

The Board of Commissioners of the Customs here \
is extremely disgustfull to the people ; they are neg
lected by Men of Fortune and Character & are viewd
in general in no better a Light than the late Com
missioners of the Stamps ; They appear to be a use
less & very expensive set of officers, & the Arrival
of their Appendages from time to time with large
Salarys, together with the many Officers of inferior
Class, which they have created, since they came here,
alarm the People with disagreable Apprehensions.
The Ideas of their being designd to facilitate trade are
now altered ; & they are considerd as the Regulators
of a Revenue raisd out of the People without their
Consent & therefore unconstitutional, & oppressive.
Besides it is apprehended that in a very little time
they will have an Influence that will be justly for
midable. By appointing as many officers under them
as they please, for whose Support it is said they may
sink the whole Revenue, they may have it in their

1768] SAMUEL ADAMS. 217

power to form such a Connection as to make them
selves terrible to the Liberties of the People. There \
is an anxious Expectation of the Event of the Peti
tion & Letters sent home ; It is hoped by the most
thinking & judicious here that the Revenue Acts
will be repeald and the Commissioners recalled ; If
this should not take place, it is hard to say what may
be the Consequence ; While America enjoyd her
Liberties, Great Britain reapd the Profits of her
Trade & had her warmest Affection ; But if her Lib
erties are violated by the Mother Country, & her
Trade rescinded, where is the Band of mutual
Affection !

The Resolution of the Americans, which had its
Rise in this Town, not to make use of foreign super-
fluitys, I perceive by the London Prints, is disre
garded there as a mere Puff, because upon Enquiry
it was found that the Merchants had not stopd their
Orders for such kind of Articles, & there have been
the usual Exportations to America this Spring. But
I wish that this Matter was considerd with a little
more Attention ; for altho it is very probable that
many Persons may break through their Agreement,
yet there is no Doubt in my mind but such numbers
will adhere to it, as must affect the British Manufac
turers. There is certainly such a Disposition among
the People to furnish themselves with the American
Manufactures as never was known before ; & there
have been late Instances of the Manufacture of a
Variety of Articles much beyond Expectation. It is
well known what large Quantitys of the British Man
ufactures are annually consumd in America. Could


Great Britain endure a total Stop of this Consump
tion ! or What part of it would she be willing should
be saved ? Will not the making of one Peice of
Woolen Cloth encourage the making of Another ?
And if this Spirit of manufacturing is excited by Re
sentment as some of your Writers alledge, is it natural
to suppose it will stop short of the utmost Possibility ?
Can any Man in England or America ascertain the
Bounds ? Will it not affect the Mother Country in

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