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their integrity, their abilities and their fidelity to their
country, as well as to their King, but also quite
necessary to the administration of government in the
very station from whence we have displaced them."
Had your Excellency thought fit to have favored us
with your sentiments and opinion of the candidates
previously to the election, it could not have more
arrested our attention as a breach of our privileges ;
and it would surely be as proper to give intimations
of this kind before, as now the business is past a
remedy, for this year at least. The Assembly of
another year will act for themselves, or under such
influence and direction as they may think fit. The
two Crown Officers who were of the Honorable
Board the last year, and not chosen this, are the
Lieutenant Governor and Secretary. The other gen
tlemen of the Board last year, who are not chosen
this, hold only provincial commissions. This province
has subsisted and flourished, and the administration
of government has been carried on here entirely to
the royal approbation, when no Crown Officers had a



1 766] SAMUEL ADAMS. 85

seat at the Board, and we trust this may be the case
again. We find not in the Secretary of State s letter
the least intimation that it was expected by his Maj-
jesty or his Ministry, that we should elect into his
Majesty s Council the principal, or indeed any other
Crown Officers. For anything that appears in the
letter, we are left entirely to the exercise of our own
judgment and best discretion in making our elections
agreeably to the royal charter.

If it is not now in our power in so full a manner,
as will be expected, to show our respectful gratitude
to the mother country, or to make a dutiful, affec
tionate return to the indulgence of the King and
Parliament, it shall be no fault of ours; for this we
intend and hope, we shall be able fully to effect.

We cannot persuade ourselves that it must and
will be understood that those gentlemen were turned
out, as your Excellency is pleased to express it, for
their deference to acts of the British Legislature.
We have given the true reason of this proceeding in
our answer to your Excellency s first speech of this
session. We are under no apprehension that when
the true grounds and reasons of our proceedings are
known and candidly considered, we shall be in the
least degree chargeable with unthankfulness and dis
satisfaction on ground of former heat and prevailing
prejudice, or on any other ground.

Your Excellency says, " it is impossible to give
any tolerable coloring to this proceeding." The in
tegrity and uprightness of our intentions and conduct
is such, that no coloring is requisite, and therefore
we shall excuse ourselves from attempting any. We



86 THE WRITINGS OF [1766

hold ourselves to be quite free in our suffrages ; and
provided we observe the directions of our charter,
and the laws of the land, both which we have strictly
adhered to, we are by no means accountable but to
God and our own consciences for the manner in
which we give them. We believe your Excellency
is the first Governor of this province that ever form
ally called the two Houses of Assembly to account
for their suffrages, and accused them of ingratitude
and disaffection to the Crown, because they had not
bestowed them on such persons as in the opinion of
the Governor, were quite necessary to the administra
tion of government. Had your Excellency been
pleased in season to have favored us with a list, and
positive orders whom to choose, we should, on your
principles have been without excuse. But even the
most abject slaves are not to be blamed for disobey
ing their master s will and pleasure when it is wholly
unknown to them.

Your Excellency says, " If it should be justified
by asserting a right, that is, a legal power to choose
whom we please, without regard to any considerations
whatever, the justification itself will tend to impeach
the right." We clearly assert our charter rights of a
free election. But for your Excellency s definition of
this right, viz. "a legal power to choose whom we
please, without regard to any considerations what
ever," we contend not. We made our elections after
the most mature and deliberate consideration, and
had special regard to the qualifications of the candi
dates, and all circumstances considered, chose those
we judged most likely to serve his Majesty, and pro-



1766] , SAMUEL ADAMS. 87

mote the welfare and prosperity of his people. We
cannot conceive how the assertion of our clear charter
right of free election can tend to impeach that right
or charter. We would hope that your Excellency
does not mean open and publicly to threaten us with
a deprivation of our charter privileges, merely for
exercising them according to our best judgment and
discretion. As to us, as our charter is, we should
think it of very little value, if it should be adjudged
that the sense and spirit of it require the electors
should be under the absolute direction and control of
the Chair, even in giving their suffrages. For what
ever may be our ideas of the wisdom, prudence, mild
ness and moderation of your administration, of your
forgiving spirit, yet we are not sure your successor
will possess those shining virtues.

We are very sensible that be our right of elec
tion ever so clear and absolute, there is a distinction
between a right and the propriety of exercising it.
This distinction we hope, will apply itself with full
force, and all its advantage to your Excellency s re
luctant exertion of the prerogative in disapproving
six of the gentlemen chosen by the two Houses of
Assembly. But this being a matter of discretion, is
solely within your Excellency s breast, and we are
taught by your just distinction, that such is the gift
of suffrages. It therefore gives us great pain to have
our discretion questioned, and our public conduct thus
repeatedly arraigned.

Your Excellency has intimated your readiness to
concur with us in any palliative or expedient to pre
vent the bad effects of our elections, which you think



88 THE WRITINGS OF [1766

must surely be very hurtful to the province, if it should
be maintained and vindicated. But, as we are under
no apprehensions of any such effects, especially when
we reflect on the ability and integrity of the Council
your Excellency has approved of, we beg leave to
excuse ourselves from any unnecessary search after
palliatives or expedients.

We thank your Excellency for your kind assurances
of " using all means to save the credit of this pro
vince." But we conceive that when the true state of
the province is represented and known, its credit can
be in no kind of danger. The recommendation en
joined by Mr. Secretary Con way s letter, and in con
sequence thereof made to us, we shall embrace the
first convenient opportunity to consider and act upon.
In the mean time cannot but observe, that it is con
ceived in much higher and stronger terms in the
speech than in the letter. Whether in thus exceed
ing, your Excellency speaks by your own authority,
or a higher, is not with us to determine.

However, if this recommendation, which your Ex
cellency terms a requisition, be founded on " so much
justice and humanity that it cannot be controverted : "
If "the authority with which it is introduced should pre
clude all disputation about complying with it," we
should be glad to know what freedom we have in the
case.

In answer to the questions which your Excellency
has proposed with so much seeming emotion, we beg
leave to declare, that we will not suffer ourselves to
be in the least influenced by party animosities or
domestic feuds, let them exist where they may : that



1 766] SAMUEL ADAMS. 89

if we can possibly prevent it, this fine country shall
never be ruined by any person : that it shall be through
no default of ours, should this people be deprived of
the great and manifest advantages which the favor
and indulgence of our most gracious Sovereign and
his Parliament are even now providing for them. On
the contrary, that it shall ever be our highest ambition,
as it is our duty, so to demean ourselves in public and
private life, as shall most clearly demonstrate our loy
alty and gratitude to the best of Kings, and thereby
recommend this people to further gracious marks of
the royal clemency and favor.

With regard to the rest of your Excellency s speech,
we are sorry we are constrained to observe, that the
general lir and style of its savors much more of an
act of .ree grace and pardon, than of a parliamentary
address to the two Houses of Assembly ; and we
most sincerely wish your Excellency had been pleased
to reserve it (if needful) for a proclamation.



THE TOWN OF BOSTON TO DENNYS DE BERDT.
OCTOBER 22, 1766.

[MS., Samuel Adams Papers, vol. i, Lenox Library ; a modified text appears
in Boston Record Commissioners Report, vol. 16, pp. 191-194.]

SIR

The Freeholders & other Inhabitants of the Town
of Boston being legally assembled in Faneuil Hall have
appointed as a Com te to address you in their Behalf
& to beg your friendly assistance as you shall judge
necessary in an Affair in which they apprehend their
Reputation & Interest may be greatly concernd



90 THE WRITINGS OF [1766

Before we proceed to the particular matter which
is the Occasion of our writing we beg leave to ob
serve that upon the happy repeal of the late Stamp
Act, we were informd that our Adversarys had even
predicted that America would receive the News in a
manner, haughty & disrespectfull to His Majesty &
the Parliament And we have seen with astonish
ment & Indignation, in the Protest of some of the
Lords against the Repeal, that one Reason of their
Lordships Protest was, that they had been made
acquainted that it was the Design of the Americans
to bring the Authority of Parliament for the future
into Contempt. We have Reason to believe that the
Decency which was observd by Persons of every
rank in all the Colonys in their publick rejoycings
upon that memorable Occasion has convincd the sen
sible & impartial Part of the nation that such Appre
hensions & Predictions were without just Grounds ;
& we flatter our selves that their Lordships may by
this time have reason to conclude that their Informa
tion from this side the Water was at least sudden &
injudicious, & perhaps the Effect of a deep rooted
Prejudice against the Colonys, a strong desire to
have the Act enforcd & a Determination at all Haz
ards to prevent its repeal.

"The Truth is, the Colonys who universally pride
themselves in being British Subjects, & have the
warmest Sense of the Blessings of the British Con
stitution, for ever considerd the Act as a Violation of
that happy Constitution, & they have the Satisfac
tion of being informd that this Opinion was sup
ported by a Number of the most illustrious as well as



1766] SAMUEL ADAMS 91

respectable of both houses of Parliam Tj In this View
of the nature of the Act the Colonys~first Petitiond
against it even when it was a Bill but without Success
& afterwards came into resolutions to transmit to Pos
terity their Sense of it, with Assurance that if it was
finally put into Execution it \v d not be with their Con
sent. The People universally opposd the Act but at
the same time discoverd the most zealous Attachment
to his Majestys Person & governm 1 & the strongest
Affection to their fellow Subjects the People of Great
Britain. This we know some of our Enemys have
endeavord to represent as a Paradox,& from an un
easiness or if they please an opposition to a single
Act, upon an apprehension of its being unconstitu
tional, they would inferr a settled Design to bring
the whole Authority of Parliam 1 into Contempt as if
it could not possibly be supposd of an affectionate
& dutifull son whose reverence for his fathers Au
thority could never be impeachd, that yet in a sin
gle Instance might see the unreasonableness of his
Fathers Command & with the deepest regret be even
ready to refuse Obedience. An Opposition to an
Act of Parliam merely from a regard to the Consti
tution cannot surely be lookd upon as a Contempt of
the Authority of Governm* since Government it self
is built upon & circumscribd by the Constitution,
or in other Words to contend for the grand Design &
Ends for which Governm was originally instituted is
the best if not the only Way to support its Authority.
The Colonys were discontented with the Act because
they thought it overleapt the Bounds of the Consti
tution that it defeated one of the essential Designs



92 THE WRITINGS OF [1766

qfjGovernm 1 in the Security of Property. l_ If they
were in an Error it -was an Error of their Judgment/
only of which however they have never yet been
convincd to insinuate that the Opposition to the
Act was mere pretence & that the Design to the
Colonys was to weaken the just Authority of Par-
Ham 1 & by degrees to shake off a constitutional De
pendence is unsupportable by a single fact or the least
Shadow of reason ; it is base ungenerous & unjust.

This Town has always been very carefull during
the late Times of Calamity to preserve as much as
possible Good order among its Inhabitants, of which
they gave an Early Proof when a dangerous Mob
arose & some Outrages were committed by Persons
as yet unknown. A good deal of Mischief was done
as all the World have been told, however after all
the Exaggerations the whole Dammage is short of
^4000 but it will appear the less surprizing that
so much was done when it is considerd that the Mob
was sudden & unexpected & appeard so furious as
to occasion a general Consternation, & besides it
being in the night, it was not easy to distinguish
between them & the innocent People. Yet the In
habitants were far from being inactive in their En
deavors to suppress immediately they made diverse
Attempts & took every step that could be thought
of amidst the Confusion. A number went to the
Gov rs House to take his Excys Orders but he was not
in town from whence one would conclude that he
was no more apprehensive of such a tumult from any
Appearances than others were. If there had been
any reason to have expected it, we presume his



iy66l SAMUEL ADAMS. 93

Exc ys Care for the Peace & Order of the Governm*
w d have procurd the first Intelligence & that he w d
have thought it his duty to have been present or
at least that he w d have taken the necessary Pre
cautions & given Orders to have prevented it but
the Inhabitants were left to do the best they could,
& there is no doubt but much more mischief w d have
been done if they had not made use of Art &
Perswasion when they fortunately wanted the Coun
tenance of his Excys Authority As a town they
express d their Detestation of such Proceedings
early the next day and assured the civil Magistrate
that they were ready to assist to their utmost in
restoring the Peace of the Town as you will see
by the inclosd vote & we may venture to assure
you that the Efforts of Persons of every order &
Condition in town in Consequence of this Resolution
was the principal Means of suppressing the Mob
which was done in one day. Yet we have been
ungratefully & publickly chargd with being tame
Spectators of this Outrage & have been told that
our reputation suffers much in the Opinion of the
World on this Account. But whatever representa
tion may have been made to our Prejudice, which
we think we have some good reason to suspect, our
most inveterate Enemy dare not openly assert that
the civil Authority in this County & even thro the
Province has not as good reason to be assured of
the Assistance of the People in the legal Exercise
of Power as in any County in England.

This leads us to give you an Account of some late
Occurrences in this Town which is the particular



94 THE WRITINGS OF [1766

.. Occasion of our troubling you with this Letter. A
few Weeks past the Collector & Comptroller of his
Majestys Customs for this Port having, as they said,
an Information that goods illegally imported were
lodgd in the Custody of one M r Malcomb an In
habitant of the Town, they accordingly repaird to
his House accompanied with the Sherriff of the
County & there demanded an Entry into his Cellars.
M r Malcomb admitted them into every Apartment,
saving one which being let he told them the Key
was not in his Possession. They threatned to enter
by force, which M r Malcomb told them they must do
at their Peril however not having sufficient Au
thority as they apprehended, they then retired, M r
Malcomb supposing they w d return, determind to
fasten his house that if they enterd it sh d be
forceably, being assurd from the Declaration of the
Person who hired the aforesaid Cellar & his own
knowlege of the other Apartments that no Countra-
band Goods were there. The Officers returnd in the
Afternoon & after some Attempts tho without Violence
to get an Entry they again retired & came no more.
His Excy our Gov r has been pleasd to summon
the Officers & Sherriff before mentiond & some other
Persons to give their Depositions respecting this
Matter. The Town thinking it unreasonable & a
Grievance that Evidences should be taken ex parte
touching the Conduct of any of their Inhabitants at
their Meeting Appointed a Com te to wait on the
Gov r & pray his Excy to give Orders to the Secre
tary to communicate to the Town Clerk Copys of
the Depositions, w ch was afterwards done. Upon a



1766] SAMUEL ADAMS,



95



Perusal of them the Town apprehended that they
containd a partial Account of the Behavior of the
People who from mere Curiosity had got together,
that they tended to corroborate the Designs of our
Enemy, & might be made the Ground of further
misrepresentations, & therefore directed their Comt e
to take the Depositions of other Persons of Credit
who were present Copys of which together with those
taken before the Gov r in Council are inclosd.

It is apprehended that it is his Excys Design to
transmit his Account of this Matter to the Ministry,
& therefore the Town beg the favor of you to make
Enquiry whether he has so done, & in Case he has,
that you would cause to be laid before the Ministry
the whole State of the Matter. We have the more
reason to apprehend that this Step will be taken,
as things of this Sort have been heretofore done :
There is a Set of Men in America who are continu
ally transmitting to the Mother Country odious &
false Accounts of the Colonys ; which is a Crime
of the most dangerous Tendency. It is probable
it has already had its ill Effect in exciting a ground
less Jealousy in the nation, & may, if not checkd,
too soon prove fatal to both Countrys. It is not
long since the Depositions of a Number of Persons
were clandestinely & illegally taken, in direct terms
prejudicing the Characters of some Gentlemen of
fortune & reputation in this Town, and representing
the Merch ts of the Province in general as setting up
in Opposition to the Acts of Parliam 1 for the Regu
lation of Trade, than which nothing can be more
notoriously false & injurious. One of their De-



96 THE WRITINGS OF [1766

ponents was a Person of the most infamous Charac
ter, whose name is Richardson. This Fallow has for
a long time subsisted by the Business of an Informer
& is said to be such an one as was never encouragd
under any Administration but such as those Nero
or Caligula that the Evidence of this detestable
Person might have its Weight, they gave him the
Addition of Enquire. We say these Depositions
were clandestine because they were taken ex parte -
the Person injurd by them were never notifyd as
Law & common Equity requires, & the first notice
they had of them was from their friends on your
side the Water, after they had made the Impressions
that were intended. If such mannagements as these
are allowd, What Man or what Corporation is secure
from Proscriptions! We must confess that the whole
Affair in all its Circumstances will appear too trifling
to claim the Attention of the gov r or the Town, but
the hopes of defeating the Designs of their Enemys
& an earnest Desire to stand fair in the Mind of
their Sovereign & his ministers as well as their
friends & all good Men at home especially at this
Juncture : they hope will excuse their giving you

this Trouble. 1

I am
Sir

Your most humble servant

JAMES OTIS.
P Order of the Committee.

P. S. The Town have passed a Vote to reimburst
any charge in your conducting this Affair

1 From this point the manuscript draft is not in the autograph of Adams.



1766] SAMUEL ADAMS. 97

TO DENNYS DE BERDT.

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

t
BOSTON Novr n 1766.

SIR

The House of Representatives have receivd
your several Letters of 28 July, the 6 th Aug 41 &
19 th Sept r . 2 Your early Care to get their humble
Address 3 presented to our most gracious Sovereign
is very agreable to them. It is a great Satisfaction
to the House, that as this Province is second to no
one of his Majestys Colonys in Point of Loyalty,
this publick Testimony of it was the first that arrivd
on the same Occasion from America. They ac-
knowlege with all possible Respect & Gratitude the
Letters they have receivd from their Friends &
Patrons, & now inclose you their Vote of Thanks to
several others, whom they had the great Misfortune
to omit.

Your Letter of the 6 th of Aug fc mentions Lord
Darmouth 5 having heard " that this Assembly had
refusd to make the Indemnification recommended by
Parliament." The House have the most grateful!
Sense of his Lordships Concern for us, & beg that
you would assure his Lordship, that the Informa
tion he had receivd, was without Grounds. His
Majestys most gracious & mild Recommendation,
a Term which his Lordship & our noble & generous
Patrons took so much Pains to use, was construed
by the Gov r of this Province into a Requisition pre
cluding all Deliberation : And his Excy is pleasd

1 Printed in Massachusetts Stale Papers, p. 101.

9 Ibid., p. 102. 3 Ibid., pp. 91, 92,

VOL. I. 7.



98 THE WRITINGS OF [1766

to tell the House 1 that it was expected that Com
pensation be made to the Sufferers at all Events :
Such Language from the Chair, to the representa
tives of a free People, who hold their Right of
granting their Constituents moneys, uncontroulable,
must unavoidably be very displeasing; & how far
it comports with the lenient methods so strongly
urgd in M r Secretary Conways Letter above a year
ago, it is needless at present to say. An exact
Compliance with his Majestys gracious Intentions,
that every conciliatory Purpose should be pursued,
could not have faild of producing the most happy
Effects, in promoting harmony among the several
Branches of Legislature, ever most earnestly de
sired, as well as Peace & Quietness among the
People ; but we are under a Necessity of saying
that, this Matter of Compensation was always
mentiond to the House in a Manner derogatory
to their Honor & in Breach of their Privileges.
This the House would have been far from mention
ing now had not his Excy at this Session referrd
us to his former Speeches on the Subject without
saying any thing to qualify or soften them.

The House however was so far from refusing to
comply with the Kings recommendation, that they
ever attended to it with the most dutifull respect,
& referrd the Matter to this Session that in the
mean time they might have an Opportunity to con
sult their Constituents, & the Suffer .... make
Application in a parliamentary Way . . . they

Governor Bernard to the House of Representatives, June 27, 1766; Mas
sachusetts State Papers, pp. 94, 95.



1 766] SAMUEL ADAMS. 99

have done at this session. The house have in the
present Session repeatedly & most dispassionately
considerd M r Secretarys Letter : And observing that
it is therein declared to be his Majestys most pious
Resolution that not only Compensation should be
made to the Sufferers, but the Undutifull Behavior
of any of his Subjects in the late unhappy times
should be forgiven & forgot : And being deeply
impressd with His Majestys Royal Clemency, they
have framd a Bill for making Compensation & to
indemnify accordingly. The Bill is publishd by
Order of the House for the Consideration of the
People, & there is good reason to expect that the
Matter will be compleated at our Winter Session. 1



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