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They Signed It!



Facts about the Signers of the

Declaration of Independence


By Arthur W. Ritchie




They Signed It!
Facts about the signers of the

Declaration of Independence


By Arthur W. Ritchie


Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2018 Arthur W. Ritchie


Smashwords Edition, License Notes

:


This e-book is licensed for your enjoyment and may be shared as you please. It may be used for any purpose whatsoever save to make money for you. That right I reserve for myself. Enjoy!

Art Ritchie






For Bobbi Agins!


The Love and Joy of my Old Age!


Growing older is mandatory

Growing up, is optional


CONTENTS

Preface

Prolog

Chapter 1: The Acts

1733-63: The Molasses Act:

1764: The Sugar Act:

1764 The Currency Act

1765: The Quartering Act:

1765-66: The Stamp Act:

1767: New York Restraining Act:

1767: The Revenue Act:

1767: Indemnity Act:

1767: Commissioners of Customs Act:

1768: Vice Admiralty Court Act:

1773 The Tea Act:

1774 The Boston Port Act

1774 Massachusetts Government Act:

1774 Administration of Justice Act:


Chapter 2:

The First Continental Congress

The Second Continental Congress

The Articles Congress


Chapter 3: Defining Terms

Dates

Education

Travel

Sea Battles

Prisoners


The Delegates Alphabetically

The Delegates by Colony


Appendices

#1 1766 Westmorland Resolves

#2 1774 Suffolk Resolves

#3 1774 First Petition to the King

#4 1775 The Olive Branch Petition

#51776 The Halifax Resolves

#6 1776 The Declaration of Independence

#7 The story of Delaware

#8 Miscellaneous largest, smallest etc.




The Delegates in Alphabetical Order

John Adams

Samuel Adams

Josiah Bartlett

Carter Braxton

Charles Carroll

Samuel Chase

Abraham Clark

George Clymer

William Ellery

William Floyd

Benjamin Franklin

Elbridge Gerry

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

John Hancock

Benjamin Harrison

John Hart

Joseph Hewes

Thomas Heyward. Jr.

William Hooper

Stephen Hopkins

Francis Hopkinson

Samuel Huntington

Thomas Jefferson

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Richard Henry Lee

Francis Lewis

Philip Livingston

Thomas Lynch Jr.

Thomas McKean

Arthur Middleton

Lewis Morris

Robert Morris

John Morton

Thomas Nelson Jr.

William Paca

Robert Treat Paine

John Penn

George Read

Caesar Rodney

George Ross

Benjamin Rush

Edward Rutledge

Roger Sherman

James Smith

Richard Stockton

Thomas Stone

George Taylor

Matthew Thornton

George Walton

William Whipple

William Williams

James Wilson

John Witherspoon

Oliver Wolcott

George Wythe




The Delegates by Colony

Connecticut:

Samuel Huntington

Roger Sherman

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

Delaware:

Thomas McKean

George Read

Caesar Rodney

Georgia:

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

Maryland:

Charles Carroll

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Massachusetts:

John Adams

Samuel Adams

Elbridge Gerry

John Hancock

Robert Treat Paine

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett

Matthew Thornton

William Whipple

New Jersey:

Abraham Clark

John Hart

Francis Hopkinson

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon


New York:

William Floyd

Phillip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

North Carolina:

Joseph Hewes

William Hooper

John Penn

Pennsylvania:

George Clymer

Benjamin Franklin

Robert Morris

John Morton

Benjamin Rush

George Ross

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

Rhode Island:

William Ellery

Stephen Hopkins

South Carolina:

Thomas Heyward Jr.

Thomas Lynch Jr.

Arthur Middleton

Edward Rutledge

Virginia:

Carter Braxton

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Jefferson

Francis Lightfoot Lee Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Nelson Jr.

George Wythe


PREFACE

Why another boring book about the founders? Because while researching The Heros of ’76—and Heros is spelt correctly, look it upand Is America Becoming Too Stupid to Survive, I discovered that many historical figures were little more than ghosts—the recollection of distant relatives put on paper decades after the facts with the result that much of what we think we know about them is unreliable. You see, before copiers, scanners and such, documents came in editions of one. So when you’re dealing with a revolution where the leaders homes, offices and courthouses were burnt to the ground with regularity, you find entire areas where anyone elected to any office has almost nothing left in source material to tell us about them. Result? More than you might suspect of what is taught as history is pure spinach. Doubt it?

In writing an article on Benjamin Franklin, every single biography of him I read—10 I think—gave his height, and no two agreed. A Pulitzer prize winning biographer said he was, “an inch or two under six feet tall.” An obscure journal fully documented his height at five feet even. Between these rather disparate numbers I’ve found almost every intermediate height imaginable. Am I to assume Ben was adjustable? Or that the various authors were writing for cash and prestige rather than truth and accuracy and simply made numbers up as they went along?

I’ve been collecting this information for my own use for decades, and now make it available to anyone interested in that heroic era. Unresolved conflicts in the data I’ve included in red with all variations given and will continue to try and find resolutions to those conflicts.

PROLOG

As usual, it started with a war.

In 1750, there were roughly 20 Englishmen in North America for every Frenchman. Yet, both nations claimed huge hunks of the continent based on little more than when and where they thought someone or other of their nation had set their filthy boot as represented on a faulty map. And as much of that land was thinly populated it was ripe for speculators and the wars they breed.

Virginia’s royal Governor Dinwiddie was one of many Ohio Company investors upset to learn that the French had moved troops into what he considered British territory, and they were murdering Englishmen that refused to leave. Dinwiddie sent George Washington to chat with the French—they said screw you—and by the way, have you seen our new fort? You can’t miss it! It’s where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join to form the Ohio River. PS: we call it Fort Duquesne! [we call it Pittsburg]

Angered by big George’s report, Dinwiddie sent him back with a few troops and in May of 1754, the 22-year-old Washington ambushed a French patrol kicking off what we call the nine-year-long French and Indian War. But as most of Europe didn’t jump in for another two years, they take the deduction and call it the Seven Years War, and what a war it was! Before it was over, England, Prussia and Hanover were pitted against France, Austria, Saxony, Sweden, Russia and Spain! And it was fought all over the world from India and the Philippines to Boston and Georgia, and England won! So why is any of this important to the new-world’s colonies independence? Because whatever reason you give for the American Revolution that reason is spelled:

M-O-N-E-Y.

• With peace, England had thousands of politically connected military personnel that didn’t want to give up their cushy peacetime paychecks and return to England and a job. But who wants to pay soldiers in peacetime just because they’re politically connected?

• Needing a good excuse to keep troops and their officers here, Parliament noted that England’s spoils of war included the former Spanish colony of Florida, and the only way to keep it in British hands was to move people and troops there to defend it.


• And to make the Florida thing sound even better they pointed out that to the west there was this Indian named Pontiac who was raising hell because he felt his people had been screwed by the peace agreement. Now we don’t want to have to pay troops to protect you out there do we? So to keep you safe and the military budget down, we forbid you colonists from moving across the Allegheny mountains to the west. But if you felt you just had to move, why not move south?


A Comment on Britain’s Financial Advisors at the time.

According to Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, the French and Indian War cost Great Britain about £40 million, and the British wanted their American Colonists to pay some of that money back. And if we wouldn’t tolerate a little taxing, then that they had to fight the American Revolution to prove their sovereignty. That war cost them:*


• £250 million in cash

• 24,000 casualties plus the 7,554 dead Hessian that had to be paid for

• 338, 936 square miles of North American real estate was lost

• The gigantic Colony of Florida reverted to Spanish rule

• and ca. 2,500,000 former subjects were now lost to British control


And all that to collect a measly 40 million pounds. I’d avoid their investment advisors.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_costs_of_the_American_Revolutionary_War


The colonists’ investment in the war was about $400 million mostly as pay for their troops. The French cost of the war was about 1.3 billion livres. It ultimately ended their monarchy.


Anyway, these are the ways they tried to tax us to pay for that war:

As all those signing the Declaration of Independence had exactly the same background experiences with regard to the British acts attempting to tax the colonies, let’s discuss those acts that the individual delegate articles deal only with how that signer responded personally.



CHAPTER 1: THE ACTS:


1733-63: The Molasses Act:

Why start with something happening decades before the French and Indian War? Because, as most British laws of that era, the Molasses Act had an expiration date, and that date fell at just the right moment to be useful to Parliament’s plans to pay for the French and Indian war.

Around 1731, the British Caribbean Islands producing sugar cane and molasses didn’t like competition from the French, Dutch and Spanish Caribbean Islands and asked Parliament to tax molasses going to a British colony from any non-British colony. Wanting to keep their possessions happy while making a few bucks at the same time, Parliament said “sure!” And taxed molasses produced on non-British soil at the rate of six pence per gallon. Unfortunately, smugglers are not noted for paying taxes promptly and the act was a complete flop. It also expired in 30-years at which time Parliament had a choice: Just let it go? Or try again with a law that worked

http://statutes.org.uk/site/the-statutes/eighteenth-century/1733-6-george-2-c-13-the-molasses-act/

1764: The Sugar Act:

The Molasses act expired right on cue and Parliament thought they’d take another stab at taxing the colonies, only this time—even though the new act cut the tax on foreign bought molasses in half from six pence to three pence per gallon—they were going to collect it. But the act was a bit more complex than that, and among its more onerous provisions were that American lumber could only be sold in England, and that ship manifests carrying these products meet certain new high standards which had to be verified before the ship could be unloaded etc. But because the Sugar Act tax was paid by merchants and shippers rather than individual citizens, few noticed that it contained a hidden zinger: No longer could accused violators be sure that their cases would be heard by local, and therefore fairly lenient, civil courts. If a prosecutor felt that public bias would prejudice their case, they could have it moved to an admiralty court—which only met in Nova Scotia, Canada. Furthermore, those charged with the crime not only had to pay their own way to the Nova Scotia court, their nonappearance was automatically entered as a guilty plea.

https://ahp.gatech.edu/sugar_act_bp_1764.html


1764 The Currency Act

Lacking gold and silver mines, the colonies were always short of hard currency with which to do business, and to get around this, they took to printing paper money. Unfortunately, with nothing backing up those paper notes, there was no realistic conversion rate either between the various colonial currencies or those currencies and the British pound sterling and Parliament became uncomfortable with this.


September 1, 1764: Parliament passed the Currency Act which abolished colonial paper money by prohibiting the printing of new bills or the reissuing existing ones. From now on, the British Empire would be run on a hard currency based on the pound Stirling. Or so they thought.

As the colonies were already running a trade deficit with England, this caused instant chaos for how does one pay for needed goods with a hard currency they don’t have? Especially when they don’t have sufficient merchandize to sell to get that hard cash?

The Currency Act also loaded the law on Parliament’s side by creating an ersatz “superior” vice-admiralty court, callable at the whim of prosecutors wishing to be sure that those they suspected of violating the customs laws would be tried in a manner favorable to the crown. That means they loaded the dice.

https://books.google.com/books?id=0L4uAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA103&vq=%22legal+tender%22&source=gbs_search_r&cad=1_1#v=onepage&q=%22legal%20tender%22&f=false


1765: The Quartering Act:

May 15: Few things enraged the colonists more than this act which required those living where troops were stationed to pay for those troops’ quartering and in some cases, even providing them with places to stay. The Americans rebelled against it so strongly that it was not only retracted in 1767, its abolition became the third amendment to our Constitution on December 15, 1791.

http://www.ushistory.org/Declaration/related/quartering.htm


1765-66: The Stamp Act:

As Parliament’s first tax paid by individuals rather than merchants or shippers, it really got the public’s attention, especially since it taxed nearly everything in sight: 54 separate items including anything printed smaller than a book, plus playing cards, dice, land grants, lawyers’ licenses and on and on and on. Then there was this bit about iron products made in the colonies could only be exported to England and the taxes paid still had to be in hard currency not colonial paper money. This poorly thought through blunder severely impacted the two most influential groups in any colony: Its lawyers and newspaper printers, and it set up an arbitrage market in currencies that only helped rich currency speculators who owned the British hard money needed to pay the tax.

https://ahp.gatech.edu/stamp_act_bp_1765.html


The Townshend Acts:

Tired of the cavalier way the colonies were ignoring their laws, Parliament under Prime Minister Charles Townshend decided to get nasty.


1767: New York Restraining Act:

June 5: This prevented the colony of New York from passing any laws until they agreed to comply with the Quartering Act of 1765 which required them to provide and pay for the housing, food and supplies for British troops in the colony. New York pleaded taxation without representation, plus they didn’t believe British soldiers were necessary in the colony, since the French and Indian War was over. But they reluctantly agreed to pay for some of the soldiers' needs because the alternative was to involuntarily turn their homes into bed and breakfasts for those troops.

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/new-york-restraining-act-text.html


1767: The Revenue Act:

June 26: This taxed things that almost had to be imported from England because no one in the colonies was making glass, mining lead, picking tea, or mixing painters’ pigments, etc. It also gave customs officials broad authority to enforce the tax law via the newly minted “writs of assistance”—essentially search warrants giving them an unlimited right to invade private property in search of smuggled goods. It also reduced the tax on molasses: The Molasses Act started out as six pence a gallon, the Sugar Act took it down to three pence, and the Revenue Act reduced it to a single penny a gallon. Guess what? It still didn't work.

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/revenue-act-of-1767-text.html


1767: Indemnity Act:

June 29: One of England's largest corporations, the British East India Company was sitting on 17,000,000 pounds of unsold tea in their London warehouses and was on the verge of collapse, and all because British law required that their tea be brought to London and sold at auction with a two shillings six pence tax per pound. Even the British were drinking the cheaper smuggled Dutch tea. So, to save the company—and as many in Parliament had shares in the company their own investments—they wrote this act which refunded the duty paid on tea exported to the colonies. But the tea still had to go through the auction system, and when the act expired they’d be right back where they started—nearing bankruptcy—they’d learn in time.

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/indemnity-act-of-1767-text.html


1767: Commissioners of Customs Act:

June 29: This created a Boston headquartered Customs Board to enforce shipping regulations to increase tax revenue. It replaced England’s Customs Board which distance made ineffective. This new board increased law enforcement leading to numerous confrontations across the colonies, eventually leading to the occupation of Boston by British troops and the Boston Massacre.

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/commissioners-of-customs-act-text.html


1768: Vice Admiralty Court Act:

July 6: Written by the Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury instead of Parliament, it added admiralty courts in Boston, Philadelphia and Charleston to the one in Halifax Nova Scotia to make prosecutions more efficient.

As usual, the courts’ judges were appointed by the Crown. What was new was their ability to award ‘the court’—read themselves—5% of any fine levied. The decisions were made by judges which violated what was considered to be a fundamental right of British subjects: a jury of your peers. And, as usual, the accused had to travel to the court at their own expense, and nonappearance was entered as a default guilty plea.

http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/vice-admiralty-court-act-of-1768-text.html


1773 The Tea Act:

The Indemnity Act of 1767 expired in 1772 meaning that the British East India Company was right back where they started before the ill though through Indemnity Act and were going broke just as before. as a massive surplus of tea again began collecting in its London warehouses. Realizing that the Indemnity Act was a mistake, Parliament passed The Tea Act which allowed the East India’s Company’s ships to go directly from the tea’s source in the orient to American ports eliminating an enormous amount of wasted shipping time; the London tea auction; and its two shillings and six pence per pound tax. It also gave the company an exclusive right to sell tea in the colonies. But to prove Parliament had the right to tax the colonies, they kept the three pence per pound of tea Townshend tax. The first tea ship entering Boston Harbor under this new law brought so much joy to the populous that they held a party celebrating the event.

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/teaact.html


The Intolerable Acts:

1774 The Boston Port Act

March 31: In response to the Boston Tea Party, Parliament closed Boston’s harbor until they paid for the destroyed tea, and the king was satisfied that order had been restored to the city. Bostonians objected to this punishment of the whole city without giving them a chance to testify in their own defense which was basically that, as only a handful of people had destroyed the tea, why should the whole city be punished? Parliament took the posture that, as you all cheered, you all pay.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Boston_Port_Act


1774 Massachusetts Government Act:

May 20: Rescinding Massachusetts Bay’s charter, this act placed the colony directly under Parliaments control. All colonial offices would be filled by London appointees, and town meetings were limited to one a year, unless authorized by the Governor. It sent shockwaves across the continent as colonists feared that their own charters could be just as easily changed by Parliamentary fiat.

https://worldhistoryproject.org/1774/5/20/massachusetts-government-act


1774 Administration of Justice Act:

May 20: This empowered the governor of Massachusetts to move any trial to anywhere in the Empire if he believed the government would be unlikely to get an impartial verdict locally. And while the act reimbursed witnesses for travel expenses, it didn’t cover lost wages during the duration of the travel and trial meaning that few colonials were rich enough to be able to testify. George Washington dubbed it the “Murder Act” believing it allowed British officials to harass Americans and then escape justice.

http://www.stamp-act-history.com/intorelable-coercive-acts/administration-of-justice-act-1774/

1775

April 19: The mini Battles of Lexington and Concord. Now, very few cared what Parliament did.


May 10: The Second Continental Congress gaveled in.


June 17: The Battle of Bunker Hill. Now, no colonial gave a damn what Parliament did.


CHAPTER 2

Our First Attempts at Self Governance:


Before George Washington was sworn in as our first President under the Constitution on April 30, 1789, there were three Continental Congresses:


The First Continental Congress

1774

September 5th-October 26th at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia:

The First Continental Congress lasted 51 days and did little more than send George III a kissy kissy note* telling him that they loved him—but.... Even before it arrived, he opened Parliament on November 30, 1774 with a blistering diatribe against the colony’s arrogance in defying lawful acts. PS: When it did arrive? He refused to touch it.


* Called the First Petition to the King and dated October 25, 1774, it was ignored by the crown triggering the Second Continental Congress. It can be found in Appendix 3.


But it was this Congress that set the rules that would, for the most part, remain in effect until superseded 15 years later by our Constitution in 1789. These rules were basically:


• Sick of kings and incompetent prime ministers, in America there would be no executive to enforce anything, only impotent Presidents of Congress whose power was be limited to keeping order and ordering lunch.


• Without an executive, committees would be all powerful. It would be they and they alone that wrote laws, rules, etc., and then tried to enforce the same with no mechanism to do so.


• Each colony decided on the number of delegates they’d send to the Congress, but regardless of that number, each colony would have one vote.


• Colonies decided whether their delegates voted their conscience, or were strictly bound by instructions from the colony’s governing body such as the ever-abstaining New York delegation which was consistently without instructions.

• Voting would be in order from north to south with New Hampshire voting first and Georgia—which wasn’t represented in the first congress—voting last.


Between 1775 and 1781 they created a few standing committees to handle war related activities, such as the Committee of Secret Correspondence, the Treasury Board, the Board of War and Ordnance, and the Navy Board. But most of their work was done in ad hoc committees nominated from the floor with 3 to 5 members and the delegate with the most votes became the committee chairman. 77% of the committees had three members. Over the 14.5-year life of the congress, they created 3,294 committees—that’s nearly 19 a month.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Congress


The Second Continental Congress:

1775-81

Meeting in the Philadelphia State House now known as Independence Hall.

Three weeks to the day after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress gaveled in on May 10, 1775. Yet, leaderless and with mixed signals regarding who could do what, this was the congress that declared our freedom on July 2, 1776, and codified its actions in a document they named the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

The British Army kept the Second Continental Congress on the move a lot meaning that to avoid being captured they met at a variety of locations during its existence.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May 10, 1775 to December 12, 1776.

Baltimore, Maryland from December 20, 1776 to March 4, 1777.

Philadelphia from March 5, 1777 to September 18, 1777.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania on one day only on September 27, 1777.

York, Pennsylvania from September 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778.

Philadelphia from July 2, 1778 until February 281781.


Thus, the Congress that gaveled out in February 1781, next gaveled in as


The Articles Congress:

1781-89: For all practical purposes, the Confederation Congress was a continuation of the Second Continental Congress with its almost nonexistent rules codified. The delegates were the same; it first met in the same room; had no executive, voted from north to south with each colony getting one vote; and was just as toothless with regard to raising money or enforcing their “laws” as its predecessor. Yet it ran from March 1, 1781 until we recognized how worthless a government was without an executive and reorganized under an entirely new government structured by the Constitution of the United States in 1789.


AND WHERE DID IT MEET?

March 1, 1781–June 21, 1783, Philadelphia

June 30, 1783–November 4, 1783, Princeton

November 26, 1783– June 3, 1784, Annapolis Maryland

November 1, 1784– December 24, 1784, Trenton, New Jersey

January 11, 1785–March 2, 1789, New York, New York


PS: Re the Perpetual Union part? It lasted a rip roaring eight years and 61 days.



CHAPTER 3

DEFINING TERMS RE THE ERA:


This is about History. There are lots of

DATES:

Get used to it

Re Calendars:

In 1752, the British Empire switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian by removing 11 days from that year, and the days chosen for removal were September 3rd through the 13th. That means that in 1752, September went 1, 2, 14, 15 and so on. As all the signers of the Declaration were born before this transitional year and changed their birthdays by adding 11 days to it, this work only uses the new style of dating. If you wish to find the old-style date, just subtract 11 days from the new style date given.

Example: For the first 20 years of his life, George Washington celebrated his birthday on February 11th. Then, over the next 47 years of his life, he got around to celebrating it on December 22nd.

EDUCATION:

In 1760, the 14-year-old Benjamin Rush graduated from the College of New Jersey with a BA, and a Sheldon Cooper, this jerk was not. He became the quack doctor who either directly or through his myriad students killed more people by his incompetence than the revolution ever did.


During the 18th century, “colleges” were less than today’s high schools in terms of their practical usefulness. Harvard, Yale, William & Mary etc., were boarding houses for adolescent boys who entered at about puberty, were fed bread and a pint of beer in a leather cup for breakfast, studied under one or at most three or four teachers, and “graduated” in a class rarely exceeding 10 or 20 students with a bachelors’ degree that was somewhere between our junior high school graduation and a high school diploma. Master’s degrees were often given for nothing more than a request. And much of what they learned—in essence the very core of their curriculum—was pure crap.

The utterly worthless Latin and Greek languages were taught that you might read the ancients in the purity of their original tongues. For instance, how else would you know that most sublime of Greek thinkers, Aristotle, taught that

• women have fewer teeth then men? They don’t. [He never asked his wife to “open wide?”]

• That swallows—a bird—spend the winter in the bottom of streams? Only a few dead ones.

• That heavy objects fall faster than light ones. Not true.

• And everything not of this earth is of heaven and therefore perfect. Wrong again. And when Galileo pointed out the sun has spots, the moon has craters and there are things circling Mars that sure look like moons, he came skittishly close to being burned at the stake for questioning the ancients which the medieval church had essentially elevated to scriptural purity. Oh, and I almost forgot:

• Did you know that that ancient mental titan taught that the purpose of the human brain is to cool the blood: Well, this may be true of some people in academia.


And utterly primitive as these ‘colleges’ were, only one colony, New Jersey, had two of them: Queen’s College, (1766) now named Rutgers University, and The College of New Jersey, (1746) which is today’s Princeton University. And in writing, their use of capital letters, punctuation, and spelling can at best be called, “experimental” and the rules for the same were never settled by these “professors” but had to wait for professional thinkers to work out the kinks.

So remember, the next time you see the movie or play 1776! In the scene where John Adams challenges Thomas Jefferson’s use of the word ‘unalienable’ vs. ‘inalienable’ in the Declaration of Independence, they banter on their academic credentials and Adams says he went to Harvard and Jefferson says the College of William and Mary—what they’re really arguing about is, who had the better junior high school English teacher.

A few years later, these students would be trying to get help from the French—but knowing no French. Talking loans with the Dutch—without speaking Dutch. Dealing with Frederick the Great about a trade deal—knowing not a word of German. Ask yourself: If Latin and Greek were so important, why didn’t our diplomats communicate with their European counterparts in those languages? Because only English speaking lands were dumb enough to waste all that time learning dead languages. My guess is that, if they’d translated those ‘great’ works from antiquity into English, it would have put a lot of snobby language teachers out of business and that’s the reason for all that wasted time.


This language nonsense reached its zenith under President James Garfield. This Civil War general, and licensed preacher, was also ambidextrous and could modestly say that, if you spoke slowly, he could take dictation in Greek with one hand while simultaneously writing it in Latin with the other. Although probably not for this talent, he was assassinated. President Madison was fluent in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Why am I mentioning this? Perhaps because I consider this kind of “learning” more time wasting then watching a TV documentary on paint drying.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_colleges#The_nine_colonial_colleges


TRAVEL:

In 1766, it took the mail coach three days to travel the 94 miles between Philadelphia and New York City. And that’s on the best road in the country where a coach averaged about 30 miles a day. How fast do you think a Georgia delegate moved on the 800-mile trek to Philadelphia when hundreds of those miles were on nothing more than dirt trails? Whether by horseback, stagecoach or ship, it usually took a Georgia delegate over a month to get to Philadelphia, and any of these methods involved hardships and dangers.

In the summer’s sun, dirt roads were dusty ruts; in the stormy weather of spring and fall, they were quagmires; and life and limb were always at risk as travelers were subject to Indian attacks and highwaymen. Taverns were few and far between, food was awful, and you slept on the floor, 10 or more to a room, with the ever-present possibility that you’d wake up with your boots, purse, pants or baggage missing.

The British fleet organized to invade the south sailed from New York City on December 26, 1779 and arrived in Charleston harbor, South Carolina on February 1, 1780. It had taken 37 days to sail 755 miles or roughly 20.4 miles a day.

Yet, on the night of July first / second 1776, Caesar Rodney made the 80 odd mile trek from Dover Delaware to Philadelphia in 18 hours on horseback averaging 4.4 miles per hour.

SEA BATTLES

Hollywood has avoided one obvious fact about the sea battles of this era: They came in two very different types. Fleet actions were a fight to the finish no matter what because everyone involved knew that, regardless of the outcome, there’d be someone around to pick up survivors. But one on one battles were completely different in that both parties know that if both ships went down everybody dies. So one on one battles tended to be more like adolescent games of chicken where you either give up if it looks like you’re both going down, or you press your opponent to give up because they don’t want to die either. This is why questions like, “Do you surrender?” are answered with the braggadocios “I have not yet begun to fight!” which translates: ‘You ready to die? I am!’


PRISONERS OF WAR

Few wars have been more disparate with regard to the treatment of prisoners than the American Revolution, and for one very simple reason: While General Washington saw the revolution as just another run of the mill war where captured combatants were to be treated as prisoners of war, George III saw it as a treasonous rebellion and ordered that captured combatants be treated as traitors. And before you get your knickers in a knot over this one, ask yourself: Had we captured the traitor Benedict Arnold, how kindly do you think we would have treated him?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_of_war_in_the_American_Revolutionary_War







John Adams

1735-1826

Representing Pennsylvania


Born: October 30. 1735 John Adams was the eldest of three sons born to John Sr. and Susanna Bylston Adams on the family farm in Braintree—now Quincy—Massachusetts.

Died: July 4, 1826 at age 90

Education: Dame School, Braintree Latin School, Harvard College

Religion: Congregationalist turned Unitarian

Profession: Lawyer

Marriage: On October 25, 1764 John married his third cousin, Abigail Smith and they had three sons and three daughters:

Wealth: That of a successful lawyer, but in his last years his bank failed and he was left at the mercy of his eldest son, President John Quincy Adams, to survive.

Personal Facts: Brilliant and extremely hardworking, he was also a narcissistic egomaniacal, immature twit.

Offices Held:

1774: John Adams was elected a delegate to the First Continental Congress

1775-77: Second Continental Congress

1778: Adams was appointed a commissioner to France.

1779: August: On the committee produced the first colonial constitution for Massachusetts

Fall of 1779-85: Unanimously appointed a minister Plenipotentiary charged with negotiating a “treaty of peace, amity and commerce” with Britain.

1785: The Confederation Congress appointed Adams our first ambassador to the Court of St. James

War Damage: His Boston office was vandalized

Military Service: None.

Age at Signing: 40

Unusual Items:

• Although named exactly as his father who sometimes suffixed his name with Sr., our John Adams never used the Jr. after his.

• His home he bought in Holland while our ambassador there was America’s first owned foreign embassy.

• First Vice President of the United States.

• First President to live in the White House although for only four months.

• Last president to read his state of the union address to congress until Wilson.

• First President to fail to be reelected.

• First of five presidents who refused to attend their successors inauguration.

• Only Father / Son presidencies until the Bushes nearly two centuries later.

• July 4, 1826 began with three signers of the Declaration of Independence alive: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Carroll. When the day ended, only Charles Carroll lived. And five years later on this date, President James Monroe died. How strange that three of our first five presidents should die on exactly the same day. Oh, and Steven Foster, the song writer? He said he was born just after Jefferson died but before Adams did. Just thought you’d like to know.

________________


His Rotundity!”

__________Ralph Izard


“a monkey just put into breeches.”

_______ Senator William Maclay


In my many years I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.”

___________ John Adams


The History of our Revolution will be one continued lie ... The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Franklin's electrical Rod smote the Earth and out sprung Gen. Washington. That Franklin electrified him with his Rod—and henceforth these two conducted all the Policy, Negotiations, Legislatures and War.”

___________ John Adams


John Adams was a highly intelligent and extraordinarily hardworking immature pompous twit. Forever seeking fame and glory, he was annoying, complaining, cranky, and regardless of his talents you wonder why he’s not on our currency?


1735

October 30: John Adams was the eldest of John Adams Sr. and Susanna Bylston Adams three sons was born on the family farm in Braintree—now Quincy—Massachusetts. His father was a deacon in the Congregational Church, a farmer, cordwainer,* lieutenant in the militia, and town councilman who supervised the building of schools and roads.


* A cordwainer was a shoemaker using new leather to make new shoes as compared to a cobbler that repaired old shoes. The guilds of old loved to regulate everything and cordwainers and cobblers were different guilds. And while John the son was technically a junior, he never used that word.


By the year of John's birth, the Puritan tenets of predestination etc. were pretty much passé, and most of their fairly strict practices had mellowed, but John emphatically recalled that his parents “held every Species of Libertinage in... Contempt and horror,” making their son a truly stuffed shirt.

As the eldest son, John received a formal education beginning at six at a typical Dame School; the Braintree Latin School where his dislike of the master found Deacon Adams hiring one his son could get along with; and at 16, Adams entered Harvard College. As an adult, Adams was a scholar who read the works of such ancient writers as Thucydides, Plato, Cicero and Tacitus in their original Greek and Latin while looking down his nose at those who could not.

The French and Indian War [1754—1763] found him struggling with his perceived obligations, for as he later wrote, “I longed more ardently to be a Soldier than I ever did to be a Lawyer.” As a self-anointed member of the upper class, he believed he’d shirked his civic duty by failing to become a militia officer.


1755

Graduating from Harvard College he taught school for a few years while his diary filled with his longing for fame and glory. He craved “Honour or Reputation” and “defference from (his) fellows.” At 21, he decided law would make him “a great Man.” Or as he wrote to his father, lawyers involve themselves in “noble and gallant achievements,” while the clergy wallowed in the “pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces.”


1756

He apprenticed in the law office of John Putnam and in 1759 was admitted to the Massachusetts bar.

1763

Under the nom de plume, “Humphrey Ploughjogger;” he published seven essays in Boston newspapers, on political theory.

1764

October 25th: Over the bride’s mother’s objection that Adams was but “a country lawyer who still reeks of the farm” John married his third cousin, Abigail Smith (1744–1818). After the reception, they mounted a single horse and rode back to the farm he had inherited. They eventually had three sons and three daughters: Abigail (“Nabby” 1765-1813); John Quincy Adams (1767-1848); Grace Susanna (“Suky” 1768-70); Charles (1770-1800); Thomas Boylston (1772-1832); and Elizbeth (stillborn) 1777;


1765

Adams first taste of prominence came when he resurrected his sobriquet “Humphrey Ploughjogger;” to oppose the Stamp Act.

Imposed by Parliament without consulting the colonial legislatures, the Stamp Act directly taxed 54 items: Anything printed smaller than a book to pairs of dice and law licenses. But worst of all, was the provision that those charged with evading the tax would NOT be tried by their local courts, but by the British Vice Admiralty Courts—which met in Nova Scotia.

1770

March 5: A street brawl resulted in British soldiers shooting and killing five civilians and wounding six more in what we call, the Boston Massacre. Not surprisingly, the soldiers had trouble finding a lawyer to defend them until John Adams agreed to take their case.

John had their leader, Captain Thomas Preston, found not guilty of murder because of “reasonable doubt.” The first time these words appear in an American criminal Court case.

Six of the eight soldiers tried were acquitted, the remaining two had their murder charges reduced to manslaughter; were found guilty; both invoked the “benefit of clergy;” [proving they could read and write] thereby reducing their sentences to having their thumbs branded that they would not receive a lenient treatment in the future.

His success with the soldiers brought in a lot of new business, and in 1771 his wife and kids moved to the familial farm in Braintree while he stayed in Boston writing in his diary, “Now my family is away, I feel no Inclination at all ... to be anywhere but at my Office ... in by 6 in the Morning ... ‘til 9 at night....”


1772

August: Disenchanted with the “vulgar” family farm in Braintree where he had been born, Adams moved his family back to Boston. But that was the year Parliament passed the Coercive and Tea Acts to punish Massachusetts Bay for its rebelliousness. In response, Adams wrote Two Replies of the Massachusetts House of Representatives to Governor Hutchinson in which he argued that the Massachusetts Bay colony was never under the aegis of Parliament as their charter was exclusively with the king. And that if no way could be found around these allegations of parliamentary sovereignty, the colonies would have no choice but to declare their independence.


1773

December 16th: The schooner Dartmouth, had been at anchor in Boston Harbor loaded with taxable tea for weeks, today was the day they had to leave or pay the tax, the governor refused to let it return to England without paying the tax, and the locals decided to have a “party.” And by 9:00 PM, 342 chests of tea were flavoring Boston’s harbor. We call their little fandango the Boston Tea Party. To Adams it was the “grandest Event” in the history of the protest movement noting in his diary that it was “absolutely and indispensably” necessary.

1774

Too hot politically to remain in Boston, the Adams family moved back to Braintree where John was elected a delegate to the First Continental Congress called to reply to the Intolerable Acts which had closed Boston’s harbor. But John saw the real threat as coming from the courts, for according to the act, anyone charged with violating any of the tax acts would NOT be tried by the local colonial courts, but by the British Vice Admiralty Court, which only met in Nova Scotia.

At that First Congress, Adams pushed hard for the right of the accused to a jury trial saying:

Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty. Without them, we have no other fortification against being ridden like horses, fleeced like sheep, worked like cattle, and fed and clothed like swines and hounds.”


He longed to lead the congress—they didn’t buy it—and Adams loathed the other delegates. Of their pretentiousness, he wrote to Abigail:


I believe if it was moved and seconded that We should come to a Resolution that Three and Two make Five We should be entertained with Logick and Rhetorick, Law, History, Politicks and Mathematicks, concerning the Subject for Two whole Days, and then We should pass the Resolution unanimously in the Affirmative.”


The First Continental Congress was a flop. It’s 52-day run [September 5 to October 26, 1774] produced little more than a sweet, kind, gentle letter to the king begging him to be nicer.* But even before their fawning note was delivered, King George III opened Parliament [November 30, 1774] with a scathing speech condemning Massachusetts for its arrogance in what he believed were legal parliamentary acts. The party was over—guns were being oiled—and only time would tell when the shooting would start.


* Called, The First Petition to the Kingit is Appendix 3


1775

April 19th: The shots heard ‘round the world were fired at Lexington and Concord, and three weeks to the day later, Adams lead the Massachusetts delegation to the opening session of the:


May 10th: Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. And while publicly supporting “reconciliation if practicable,” he privately believed independence was inevitable writing, “In my opinion Powder and Artillery are the most efficacious, Sure, and infallibly conciliatory Measures We can adopt.”

Then he mentioned that only independent nations write trade agreements, thus trade agreements were going to be needed if we were going to become independent. This led to his being appointed to a committee “to prepare a plan of treaties to be proposed to foreign powers.” And Adams began working on the Model Treaty.


June 10th: One month to the day after the Second Congress convened, John Adams rose to propose that the colonial troops surrounding Boston be declared a Continental Army; that they be commanded by a General appointed by the Congress; and that that Commanding General be George Washington of Virginia.


1776

January 10th: Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense, was released as a blistering diatribe on the stupidity of a royalist system government. John Adams vocal views on it were so compelling that congressman urged him to put them in writing. He did as letters and allowed Richard Henry Lee to published one anonymously as Thoughts on Government. It was the most influential pamphlet Adams ever wrote.

In it Adams proposed the purpose of government was to protect the people and their property thus giving them happiness and safety. That “There is no good government but what is republican ... because the very definition of a republic is an empire of laws, and not of men.”

Then, recognizing that there is a natural order in mankind breaking us into classes, he defended bicameralism as “a single assembly—the lower class—is liable to all the vices, follies and frailties of an individual.” He then suggested that there be a separation of powers between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches, and if a continental government were to be formed, it “should sacredly be confined” to certain enumerated powers. This is exactly how he later created the Massachusetts Constitution which was used as a template for our current Federal Constitution.


June 7th: He seconded Richard Henry Lee’s resolution: “That these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.” And while independence’s mere mention seemed to make it inevitable, there were holdouts. And after two days of debate where a test vote failed,* Congress tabled the resolution for three weeks: Time to change minds. But to keep the inevitable before them, they created a committee of fiveto write an explanation for why we were leaving England, a Declaration of Independence.


* Pennsylvania was five to two nay; South Carolina was a unanimous nay; Delaware was split, and New York had no instructions and abstained.


John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman.


Most thought Franklin should write it, but Ben came with two problems: First, he never wrote anything without putting at least one joke in it, and Ben never allowed anyone to edit his routines. Jefferson then suggested Adams for the job, but Adams persuaded the Committee to choose Jefferson while agreeing to consult with Jefferson personally.

As the Committee left no minutes, the only thing we’re sure of is that Jefferson wrote the first draft, and Adams was quite significant along its way to completion. Years later in discussing the declaration, Jefferson hailed Adams as “the pillar of support on the floor of Congress, [its] ablest advocate and defender against the multifarious assaults it encountered.”

1777

Adams sat on no less than 90 committees and chaired 25 of them. The hardest working congressman, it’s generally conceded that Adams was “the first man in the House,” and a “one-man war department.” Working 18-hour days, he mastered the details of running a civilian managed army. In his spare time, he wrote the Plan of Treaties, a guideline for Congress' crucially needed treaty with France.


November 27: Adams was appointed a commissioner to France joining Franklin and Arthur Lee to negotiate a French alliance. And while Abigail was left behind to manage their home, 10-year-old John Quincy would accompany him, for a trip “of inestimable value.” When John Adams left for this trip, he left congress for the last time.


1778

February 17th: John and John Quincy set sail on a truly harrowing trip. During a storm, lightning killed one sailor and injured 19 others. On several occasions they had to evade British frigates, and as they neared Spain, Adams himself took up arms to help capture a heavily armed British merchantman. And before it was over, a cannon exploded killing one and injuring five more of the crew.


April 1st: Arriving in Spain, they learned that France had signed an alliance with the United States before they’d sailed. It was the colonies first recognition by a foreign power—and an annoyed John Adams could get none of the credit.

In France, Adams immediately found fault with the other commissioners: Lee he thought paranoid and cynical, and Franklin irritating, lethargic, and deferential to the French. Next problem: His not speaking French reduced his utility to being the commission's administrator / bookkeeper.


September: Congress named Franklin minister plenipotentiary to France; sent Lee to serve in Spain; and Adams? Well, they didn’t mention him at all. After months of doing nothing, the disgusted John and son boarded a ship for home.


1779

August 2: Arriving in Braintree just in time to be elected to the convention called to write a constitution moving them from a royal colony to the independent State of Massachusetts which Adams usually referred to as “My country.” With John Adams at the helm, the committee produced the first colonial constitution written locally and ratified by the local people. It was exactly as Adams had proposed to the Continental Congress: It was the first to have a bicameral legislature, a distinct executive and a separate judiciary.


Fall: The Continental Congress unanimously appointed Adams minister Plenipotentiary charged with negotiating a “treaty of peace, amity and commerce” with likely charged commissioners from Britain. With the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention’s work completed and ratification likely, Adams and his nine year old son Charles left for France again in November.

In this year he’d spent at home, Adams had taught himself to speak French making him far more useful there. Nevertheless, he was pessimistic about the Franco-American alliance suspecting the French were only negotiating with us for their own interests. The French, he wrote, mean to keep their hands “above our chin to prevent us from drowning, but not to lift our heads out of water.”

1780

June: Adams’ prickly manner led to a headbutting collision with French foreign minister Vergennes.

To control inflation, the Continental Congress had devalued the colonial dollar and Vergennes sent our delegation a letter stating that this devaluation of colonial currency was unacceptable unless an exception were made for French merchants. And he requested that our delegation ask Congress to “retrace its steps.”

Adams not only defended congress, he claimed French merchants were doing far better than Vergennes seemed to know. Then he dumped personal grievances on the French minister: The alliance was over two years old, and even though the French had sent an army to assist Washington, those troops were worthless without a French Fleet to counter the British Navy. Why he did this is unknown because Adams knew perfectly well that the French Navy was needed in the West Indies to protect French interests there. But we know Vergennes’ response exactly: From that moment, he would only deal with Dr. Franklin.

Ben sent a letter to Congress telling them the story, but before it reached our continent’s shores, John Adams received orders sending him to the Dutch Republic to replace Henry Laurens as ambassador.


1781

October 19: Gen. Cornwallis surrenders his army at Yorktown, the American Revolution is, for all practical purposes, over.

1783

September 3: John Jay and John Adams with Benjamin Franklin are empowered to create a peace treaty with England, but Jay and Adams go around Franklin to create The Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution without consulting our French allies. We are now at peace while the French are still in the war. But we need more money from the French. As there’s no way Adams could get involved in another French loan, Franklin, the great magician of the age, does exactly that.

1785

The Confederation Congress appointed Adams our first ambassador to the Court of St. James and he moved to London where Abigail joined him.


1787

In London—and knowing a convention we being held in Philadelphia to fix the Articles of Confederation—he published A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States. In which he suggested that “the rich, the well-born and the able”—read upper class—should be set apart from other men in a senate that would prevent them from dominating the lower house.

He believed that social classes exist in every society, and that a good government must accept that reality That dating back to Aristotle, a successful government had to balance monarchy, and aristocracy, with the people.

In 1788 he left Europe for the last time. The Constitution had been written and accepted, the first election under that Constitution had been held, and now the formalities of getting this new government started were begun.


1789

February 4th: The presidential electors gathered in their respective state's capitals to cast their votes for the president. Each state has a number of electors equal to its representation in Congress. And as there were no political parties and no one was actively running for Vice President, the rules were:


Each elector cast two votes for president

Their votes had to be for persons from two different states,

Meaning that they could not cast both votes for the same person.


The individual winning the most votes became president while the runner-up would be vice president. And when the electoral votes were counted that very first time, John Adams received 34 votes finishing behind George Washington, who garnered 69 votes.

Washington became our first president and John Adams our first vice president. And while finishing way ahead of everyone other than Washington, Adams was bitter that Washington had received more than twice as many votes. To Benjamin Rush, he wrote, “Is not my election to this office, in the dark and scurvy manner in which it was done, a curse rather than a blessing?” Petty, petty, petty.


March 4th: On the day the first presidential and vice-presidential terms were to start, it was found that the 1st Senate of the 1st Congress did not have a quorum and would not have one until April 6, when they could certify the electoral votes. Vice President John Adams first presided over the Senate on April 21, and Washington was inaugurated on April 30. The era of the Continental Congress was over.


Aftermath

In retirement, Adams returned to farming at his home in Quincy but not without problems. His bank collapsed in 1803 and he lost about $13,000; only his son, John Quincy’s buying his home and properties in Weymouth saved him from poverty, for his home was soon filled with relatives to o’r flowing.

His daughter Abigail’s marriage failed and she returned to live with her parents'; (she died of breast cancer in 1813), His wife, Abigail died on October 28, 1818 of typhoid fever. His son Thomas and his wife Ann, moved in with their seven kids; and Abigail's niece by her brother William, Louisa Smith, moved in.

But not was all sadness in the Adams’ household, 16 months before John Adams died, his eldest son, John Quincy was inaugurated the sixth president of the United States.


1812

January 1st: Adams sent a friendly note to Jefferson to accompanying “two pieces of homespun,” and a two-volume collection of lectures on rhetoric by his son, John Quincy Adams. Jefferson’s reply revived their friendship, which they sustained by mail for the remaining 14 years of their lives.


158 letters total, 109 from Adams, 49 from Jefferson.


1826

July 4th: The 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and the day John Adams died at his home at around 6:20 PM. He was 90 years and 247 days old, and his son, John Quincy Adams was president of these United States. Unaware that Jefferson had died just hours before, Adams last words included “Thomas Jefferson survives.”

John, Abigail and their son, John Quincy, lie in the United First Parish Church cemetery in Quincy, Massachusetts.

___________________


Miscellany


When this day broke, there were three living signers of the Declaration of Independence. At its end, only Charles Carroll of Carrollton lived. He would die on November 14, 1832 at the age of 95.


On July 4, 1731, five years after the deaths of Jefferson and Adams, our fifth President, James Monroe would die. Strangely enough, Adams, Jefferson and Monroe all died broke.


Samuel Adams

1722-1803

Delegate from Massachusetts


Born: September 27, 1722 in Boston, Massachusetts, he was one of the 12 children of Samuel Adams Sr., and Mary Fifield Adams, only three of whom survived beyond their third birthdays.

Died: At age 81 on October 2, 1803 and was interred at the Granary Burying Ground in Boston.

Religion: Puritan

Education: Boston Latin school, Harvard College

Profession: Malter, merchant, politician.

Marriage #1: October 1749: He married Elizabeth Checkley, and they had six children, only two of whom lived to adulthood.

Marriage #2: Adams married Elizabeth Wells, in 1764 but they were childless.

Wealth: Sam Adams was so shabbily dressed that friends bought him clothes, shoes and a wig and paid his expenses to attend the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. By his death he was moderately wealthy when he inherited his son’s war bonus credits and his land speculations payed off.

Personal Facts: At 42, his hair was becoming grey, and a peculiar tremulousness of the head and hands made it seem as if he were already on the threshold of old age. His frame of medium stature was muscular, his eyes were a clear steel grey, his nose prominent, the lower part of his face capable of great sternness, but in ordinary intercourse wearing a genial expression.

As an admirer said, Sam was an austere and distant man, feared by his enemies, but too secretive to be loved by his friends. His cousin John Adams noted, “when he was about to leave Congress, he cut up with his scissors whole bundles of letters into atoms that could never be reunited, and throw them out the window, to be scattered by the winds...”

Offices Held:

1746: Appointed to the Assembly

1747: Clerk of the Boston market.

1753: Elected town assessor of Boston.

1756-65: Elected Tax Collector.

1765: Elected to the Assembly

1766-74: Clerk of the Assembly.

1770: Appointed to a Committee of Correspondence.

1773: reelected to the Massachusetts House and elected moderator of the Boston Town Meeting.

1774: The First Continental Congress

1774: Massachusetts Provincial Congress,

1775-81: The Second Continental Congress

1779: Back in Boston, Sam was appointed to the colony’s Constitution drafting committee which was approved by voters in 1780.

1787: On the Constitution’s acceptance committee.

War Damage:

Military Service: None

Age at Signing: 53

Unusual Items:

• Adams would forget everything when he had a chance to talk politics, but if the conversation veered in another direction, he would leave in disgust.

• The most secretive of the Founding Fathers, if you discount the things he published, he left nothing behind in the way of letters, diaries, notes, literally nothing. When his cousin, John Adams joked about his anxious caution, Sam replied: “Whatever becomes of me, my friends shall never suffer by my negligence.”

• 1748-75, He with friends launched a weekly newspaper, The independent Advertiser.

_________________


Of all the signers of our Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams was the only purely political animal. He literally ignored his person, his family, his inherited business’ everything for politics and they all suffered for it. And while his parents hoped he’d go into the ministry, his Harvard master’s thesis was purely political arguing that it was “lawful to resist the Supreme Magistrate, if the Commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved.” As you can see, his political views leaned toward independence almost from the cradle.


1722

September 27th: Samuel Adams was born in Boston Massachusetts, to the devoutly Puritan family of Samuel Adams Sr., and Mary Fifield Adams. And while Sam’s father proudly added the ‘Sr.’ to his name, his son never added the ‘Jr’ to his. Sam was proud of his heritage, and emphasized Puritan virtue in his political career.


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