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Samuel Adams
by [?]

The style of the paper is lucid, firm and logical; it combines in itself the suggestion of all there was to be said or could be said on the matter. Adams saw all over and around his topic–no unpleasant surprise could be sprung on him–twenty-five years had he studied this one theme. He had made himself familiar with the political history of every nation so far as such history could be gathered; he was past master of his subject.

However, when he was forty years of age his followers were few and mostly men of small influence. The Calkers’ Club was the home of the sedition, and many of the members were day-laborers. But the idea of independence gradually grew, and, in Seventeen Hundred Sixty-five, Adams was elected a member of the Massachusetts Colonial Legislature. In honor of his writing ability, he was chosen clerk of the Assembly, for in all public gatherings orators are chosen as presidents and newspapermen for secretaries. Thus are honors distributed, and thus, too, does the public show which talent it values most.

On November Second, Seventeen Hundred Seventy-two, on motion of Adams, a committee of several hundred citizens was appointed “to state the Rights of the Colonies and to communicate and publish them to the World as the sense of the Town, with the infringements and violations thereof that have been or may be made from time to time; also requesting from each Town a free communication of their sentiments on this Subject.”

This was the Committee of Correspondence from which grew the union of the Colonies and the Congress of the United States. It is a pretty well attested fact that the first suggestion of the Philadelphia Congress came from Samuel Adams, and the chief work of bringing it about was also his.

It was well known to the British Government who the chief agitator was, and when General Gage arrived in Boston in May, Seventeen Hundred Seventy-four, his first work was an attempt to buy off Samuel Adams. With Adams out of the way, England might have adopted a policy of conciliation and kept America for her very own–yes, to the point of moving the home government here and saving the snug little island as a colony, for both in wealth and in population America has now far surpassed England.

But Adams was not for sale. His reply to Gage sounds like a scrap from Cromwell: “I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the Righteous Cause of my Country.”

Gage having refused to recognize the thirteen Counselors appointed by the people, the General Court of Massachusetts, in secret session, appointed five delegates to attend the Congress of Colonies at Philadelphia. Of course Samuel Adams was one of these delegates; and to John Adams, another delegate, are we indebted for a minute description of that most momentous meeting.

A room in the State House had been offered the delegates, but with commendable modesty they accepted the offer of the Carpenters’ Company to use their hall.

And so there they convened on the fifth day of September, Seventeen Hundred Seventy-four, having met by appointment, and walked over from the City Tavern in a body. Forty-four men were present–not a large gathering, but they had come hundreds of miles, and several of them had been months on the journey.

They were a sturdy lot; and madam! I think it would have been worth while to have looked in upon them. There were several coonskin caps in evidence; also lace and frills and velvet brought from England–but plainness to severity was the rule. Few of these men had ever been away from their own Colonies before, few had ever met any members of the Congress save their own colleagues. They represented civilizations of very different degrees. Each stood a bit in awe of all the rest. Several of the Colonies had been in conflict with the others.