Sam Adams document document,

Sam Adams

Nobody appears to have written this poor, lonely soul.


[To: Richard Henry Lee]

Boston, APRIL 10, 1773.

SIR Your letter to me of the fourth of February last, I received with singular pleasure, not only because I had long wished for a correspondence with some gentleman in Virginia, but more particularly, because I had frequently heard of your character and merit, as a warm advocate of virtue and liberty. I had often thought it a misfortune, rather than a fault in the friends of American independence and freedom, not taking care to open every channel of communication. The colonies are all embarked on the same bottom. The liberties of all, are alike invaded by the same haughty power. The conspirators against their common rights, have indeed, exerted their brutal force, or applied their insidious acts differently, in the several colonies, as they have thought, it would best serve their purpose of oppression and tyranny. How necessary, therefore, that all should be early acquainted with the particular circumstances of each, in order, that the wisdom and strength of the whole, may be employed upon every occasion. We have heard of bloodshed, and even civil war, in our sister colony of North Carolina; and how strange is it, that the best account we have of that tragical scene, should be brought to us from England.

This province, and this town especially, have suffered a great share of ministerial wrath and insolence. But, God be thanked, there is, I trust, a spirit prevailing which will not submit to slavery. The compliance of New York in making annual provision for a military force designed to carry acts of tyranny into execution, the timidity of some, and the silence of others, are discouraging. But the active vigilance, the manly generosity, and the steady perseverance of Virginia and South Carolina, give us reason to hope, that the fire of true liberty and patriotism, will at length spread itself through the continent; the consequence would be, the acquisition of all we wish for. The friends of liberty in this town, have lately made a successful attempt to obtain an explicit political sentiment of a great number of the towns of this province, and the number is daily increasing. The very attempt was alarming to our adversaries, and the happy effects of it, mortifying to them. I would propose it for your consideration, whether the establishment of committees of correspondence among the several towns in every colony, would tend to promote that general union, upon which the security of the whole depends. The reception of the truly patriotic resolves of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, gladden the hearts of all who are friends to liberty. Our committee of correspondence had a special meeting on the occasion, and determined to circulate immediately, printed copies of them, in every town in the province, in order to make them as extensively useful as possible. I am desired by them, to assure you of their veneration for your most ancient colony, and their unfeigned esteem for the gentlemen of your committee. This indeed, is a poor return I hope you will have the hearty concurrence of every Assembly on the continent. It is a measure which will be attended with great and good consequences. Our General Assembly is dissolved, and writs will soon be issued, according to the charter, for a new Assembly, to be holden the last Wednesday in May next. I think I can almost assure you, there will be a return of such members as will heartily co-operate with you in your spirited measures. The enormous stride in erecting what may be called a court of inquisition in America, is sufficient to excite indignation in every heart capable of feeling.

I am expecting an authentic copy of that commission, which I shall send to you by the first opportunity, after I have received it. The letter from the new secretary of state to the governor of Rhode Island, which, possibly you may have seen in the newspapers, may be depended upon as genuine. I received it from a gentleman of the Council of that colony, who took it from the original. I wish the Assembly of that province had acted with more firmness than they have done; but as the court of inquiry is adjourned, they may possibly have another trial. I have a thousand things to say to you, but am prevented from want of time, having had but an hour's notice of the sailing of this vessel. I cannot conclude, however, without assuring you, that a letter from you, as often as your leisure admits, would lay me under great obligations.

I am, sir, in strict truth, your humble servant,


Sam Adams