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through the other actors, he says—but "Otis was a flame of fire! With a promptitude of classical allusion, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities, a prophetic glance of his eyes into futurity, and a rapid torrent of impetuous eloquence, he hurried away all before him. AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE WAS THEN AND THERE BORN. The seeds of patriots and heroes to defend the Non Sine Diis An imosus Infans, to defend the vigorous youth, were then and there sown. Every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I DID, READY TO TAKE ARMS AGAINST WRITS OF ASSISTANCE. IHEN AND There was THE FIRST SCENE OF THE FIRST ACT OF OPPOSITION TO THE ARBITRARY CLAIMS OF GREAT BRITAIN. THEN AND THERE THE CHILD INDEPENDENCE WAS BORN. IN FIFTEEN YEARS, VIZ. IN 1776, HE GREW UP TO MANHOOD, AND DECLARED HIMSELF FREE !"
"The first Charter, the Charter of James I. is more like a treaty between independent sovereigns, than like a charter of grant of privileges from a sovereign to his subjects. Our ancestors were tempted by the prospect and promise of a government of their own, independent in religion, government, commerce, manufactures, and every thing else, excepting one or two articles of trifling importance."
"Independence of English Church and State, was the fundamental principle of the first colonization, has been its general principle for two hundred years, and now I hope is past dispute."
"Who then was the author, inventor, discoverer of Independence? The only true answer must be, the first emigrants, and the proof of it is in the charter of James I. When we say that Otis, [S.] Adams, Mayhew, Henry, Lee, Jefferson, &c. were authors of Independence, we ought to say they were only awakeners and revivers of the original fundamental principle of Colonization."
"Worcester, Oct. 12, 1755.-Soon after the reformation, a few people came over into this new world, for conscience sake. Perhaps this apparently trivial incident may transfer the great seat of empire into America. It looks likely to me, if we can remove the turbulent Gallicks, our people according to the exactest computa tions, will in another century become more numerous than Eng. land herself. Should this be the case, since we have, I may say, all the naval stores of the nation in our hands, it will be easy to obtain the mastery of the seas; and then the united force of all Europe will not be able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from setting up for ourselves, is to disunite us. Divide et impera -Keep us in distinct colonies, and then some great men in each colony, desiring the monarchy of the whole, they will destroy each
other's influence, and keep the country in equilibrio. Be not surprised that I am turned politician; the whole town is immersed in politics. The interest of nations, and all the dira of war, make the subject of every conversation. I sit and hear, and after having been led through a maze of sage observations, I sometimes retire, and by laying things together, form some reflections pleasing to myself. The produce of one of these reveries you have read above."
Patrick Henry agreed with Mr. Adams (1774) that the meas ures that had been adopted would have no effect, but would be totally lost on the government-" Washington only was in doubt. The other delegates from Virginia returned to their State in full confidence, that all our grievances would be redressed. The last words that Richard Henry Lee said to me, when we parted, were, 66 we shall infallibly carry all our points-you will be completely relieved-all the offensive acts will be repealed-the army and fleet. will be recalled, and Britain will give up her foolish project." J. Adams.
That this was considered the decisive step, and that involving the deepest responsibility in the members, will be seen in Rees' Cyclopedia, Annual Register, Marshall, Botta, Gordon, &c. The representatives, in voting on this subject, acted on their own responsibility; in voting for Independence, they acted on the instructions of the Colonial Legislatures, and with the assurance of their support. Gordon says, the Pennsylvania Assembly withdrew from its union with Congress, upon the Congressional resolve of May 15, for suppressing all authority derived from the Crown of Great Britain, in the United Colonies. The committee of Philadelphia apprehended that by this step an appeal was made to the people; they called a Convention to bring about a re-union, and to form a government. The deputies of the people assembled, and in full provincial conference, June 24, unanimously declared their willingness to concur in a vote of Independence. A change in their delegates followed. Mr Dickinson opposed openly and upon principle, the Declaration, and was therefore removed. The Maryland Convention had instructed their delegation in December to oppose Independence. These, therefore, having given their vote against it, withdrew. Judge Chase was strongly attached to it; he returned from Congress to Maryland, procured County instructions to the members of the Convention, by which they were induced to alter their own instructions. Judge Chase sent an account of it to his friend in Congress, (John Adams) as follows:
"Annapolis, June 28-Friday evening, nine o'clock. I am this moment from the House to procure an express to follow the post, with an unanimous vote of our convention for Independence, &c. See the glorious effect of county instructions; our people have fire, if not smothered."
An anecdote of Mr. Adams' conduct on this passage, is going the rounds, which is incorrect. The correct account is this: Tucker saw a large English ship showing a tier of guns, and asked Mr Adams' consent to take her; this was granted. Upon hailing her, she answered by a broadside. Mr. Adams had been requested to retire to the cock-pit-but Tucker looking forward, observed Mr. Adams among the marines, with a musket in his hand, having privately applied to the officer of the marines for a gun, and taking his station among them. At this sight, Capt. Tucker became alarmed, for he was responsible for the safety of Mr. Adams, and walking up to the ambassador, desired to know how he came there; upon which the other smiled, gave up his gun, and went immediately below. Nor was this the only time he had shouldered the musket. After the Boston massacre, he says, "We were all upon a level; no man was exempted. I had the honor to be summoned in my turn, and attended at the State House with my musket and bayonet, my broad-sword and cartridge box, under the command of the famous Paddock. I know you will laugh at my military figure; but I believe there was not a more obedient soldier in the regiment, nor one more impartial between the people and the regulars. In this character I was on duty all night in turn."
Mr. Laurens, then late President of Congress, and minister to Holland, aged fifty-six, was captured, and confined to the tower, until the British Government being desirous of peace, Lord Shelburne solicited him to go over to France, and assist in the scheme of pacification with America. He signed the treaty with Adams, Jay, and Franklin. His commitment was accompanied with or• ders "to confine him a close prisoner-to be locked up every night-to be in custody of two warders-not to suffer him to be out of their sight one moment, day or night-to allow him no liberty of speaking to any person, nor to permit any person to speak to him to deprive him of the use of pen and ink-to suffer no letter to be brought to him, nor any to go from him." In this situation, worn down by the gout, and other diseases, the offer was made to him, if he would " barely say he was sorry for what had passed, that a pardon should be granted to him;" he answered, I will
never subscribe to my own infamy, and to the dishonor of my children. In 1781, his son was minister to France; he was requested to write to his son, if he would withdraw from that Court, it might procure his father's release. His reply was-" My son is of age, and has a will of his own. If I could write to him as you request, it would have no effect. He would only conclude that confinement and persuasion had intimidated and overcome me. I know him well. He loves me well, and would lay down his life to save mine; but I am sure nothing would tempt him to sacrifice his honor, and I applaud him."
Mr. Adams having been for fifteen months one of the commissioners of the war department, and a principal suggester of the terms to be offered to France for forming a treaty of alliance, was in 1777 elected one of the commissioners to the Court of Versailles. The dignity and consistency that he exhibited, and his integrity and high idea of virtue, were inauspicious to the intrigues of that Court. The subtle Vergennes, aware of this, exerted all his influence to procure his recal. When the office of commissioners was superceded by the appointment of a minister plenipotentiary, Mr. Adams returned to America. Congress at length judged it expedient to come to the choice of a commissioner to reside in Europe, vested with full powers to conclude a treaty of peace with Great Britain. Mr. Adams and Jay were proposed, and twice the votes were equally divided. Mr. Jay was at that time President of Congress, and in addition to the influence which the chair must have given him, Mr. Adams was opposed by the whole influence of the French minister. The balloting was adjourned, and in the mean time Congress agreed to send an envoy to his Catholic Majesty, and Mr. Jay was appointed. Mr. Adams was then elected minister for negociating the peace. In 1781, Mr. Adams was commissioned minister plenipotentiary to the States General of the United Provinces, and empowered to negociate a loan. The ability with which he executed this commission, defeated the intrigues of the British minister, and secured to this country a powerful ally. The measures pursued by Mr. Adams in Holland, were displeasing to M. Vergennes, as they counteracted his manœuvres, and he strove to have the whole business of peace taken out of Mr. Adams' hands. Congress were too faithful to their trust to comply with this, but to get rid of the importunity of that Court, joined Franklin, Jay and Laurens in the commission with him. The acquisition of territory and the fishery, obtained by the treaty of peace, is known to have been in great measure owing to the well directed exertions of Adams and Jay. And in this they were traversed at every movement by the minister of the Court of Versailles. It seems strange, but it is true, that it was
the policy of Vergennes, to secure privileges not only to Spain, but to Great Britain also, rather than the United States.
"The professed intention of the work is to refute the opinions of M. Turgot, the Abbe de Mably, and Doctor Price, who had declared themselves dissatisfied with the constitutions of the different States of America. M. Turgot had observed in his letter to Dr. Price, that the Americans "have established three bodies, viz. a governor, council, and house of representatives, merely because there is in England, a king, a house of lords, and a house of commons, as if this equilibrium, which in England may be a necessary check to the enormous influence of royalty, could be of any use in republics founded upon the equality of all the citizens." M. Turgot recommends collecting all authority into one centre; meaning that one single representative assembly, should have the entire control of the lives, liberty, and property of the people. These gentlemen were all of high reputation, and likely to make an impression on the minds of the Americans. This was a gloomy period in our history-without an efficient federal governmentwithout revenue-without public credit. At this time our faithful Ambassador, attentive to the honor as well as the interests of his country, produced the defence of the American Constitutionsa performance calculated to prevent his fellow-citizens being misled by mistaken philosophers, or their own passions and prejudices; to inculcate upon them the true principles of freedom and laws; and to give the American character, and the republican system, that respectability in the eyes of Europe, of which they were then grievously deficient."
IN CONVENTION-Nov. 15, 1820.
Whereas the Honorable JOHN ADAMS, a member of this Convention, and elected the President thereof, has for more than half a century devoted the great powers of his mind and his profound wisdom and learning, to the service of his country and mankind :
In fearlessly vindicating the rights of the North American provinces against the usurpations and encroachments of the superintendant government :
In diffusing a knowledge of the principles of civil liberty among his fellow subjects, and exciting them to a firm and resolute defence of the privileges of freemen:
In early conceiving, asserting and maintaining the justice and practicability of establishing the independence of the United Sates of America: