15 May 1770114
The Town of Boston, by their late choice of you to Represent them in the ensuing General Court, have given strong proof of their confidence in your abilities and integrity. For no period since the perilous times of our venerable Fathers has worn a more gloomy and melancholy aspect. Unwarrantable and arbitrary exactions made upon the people—trade expiring, grievances, murmurs, discontents convulsing every part of the British Empire, forbode a day of tryal, in which under God nothing but strict virtue and inflexible fortitude can save us, from a rapacious and miserable distruction. A series of occurrances, many recent events, and especially the late Journals Of the House of Lords afford great reason to believe, that a Deep laid & desperate plan of Imperial despotism has been laid, and partly executed, for the extinction of all civil liberty; —— and from a gradual sapping the grand foundation from a subtle undermining the main pillars, breaking the strong bulwarks destroying the principal ramparts and battlements, the august and once revered, fortress of english freedom—the admirable work of ages,—the BRITISH CONSTITUTION seems fast tottering into a fatal & inevitable ruin. The dreadful catastrophe threatens universal havock, and presents an awful warning to hazard all if, peradventure, we in these distant confines of the Earth, may prevent being totally overwhelm’d and buried under the ruins of our most established rights. For many Years past we have with sorrow beheld the approaching conflict; various have been the causes, which pressed on this decisive period, and everything now conspires to prompt a full exertion of our utmost vigilance wisdom and firmness;—and as ye115 exigencies of the times require, not only the refined abilities of true policy; but the more martial virtues; conduct valor and intrepidity; So, Gentlemen, in giving you our suffrages, at this Election, we have devolved upon you a most important trust; to discharge which we doubt not you will summon up the whole united faculties of mind and body.
We decline, Gentlemen, a minute detail of many momentous concernments, relative to which it is believed no Instructions need be given; but we shall express our thoughts on such matters as we suppose you will choose to have our explicit sentiments.
A Grievance which will early present itself in the ensuing Sessions (and to redress which you are to take all proper and spirited methods) is that of holding the General Court at Harvard College, not only against antient usage and established law, but also against the wellfare of that Seminary of learning, the happy advancement of which, this Province ever had and still have so much at heart.116
We would have you Gentlemen particularly Scrutinize into the wise and cautious transactions of our worthy Fathers of 1721. They, it should be known, in that year tho not directly called to weigh the high importance of the question, yet, on this very matter, behaved with a political foresight, and segacious circumspection, truly admirable and worthy imitation. The small pox then almost as pestilential as the plague, rendred the Meeting of the General Court in Boston morally impossible; yet so convinced was the Governor of the Province of his own defect of authority to remove the General Assembly out of Town, than when all the Members daring to attend the Court in that infectious season, were assembled in the Council Chamber, unable to make a quorum of the lower House, they were expressly assured by his Excellency that the proposed adjourning into the Country shown not be drawn into President. Accordingly a reliance doubtless being had on such solemn assurance, no objections appear entred on record against the Adjournment, when thro’ a providential calamity, a transaction of business in the proper place was become really impracticable. No Proverb is more familiar, than that necessity knows no law; and the Court no doubt on this natural consideration was immediately adjourned out of this Town. Yet so universally sensible were the people of that duty, and especially the three branches of Legislature, that an act of the whole Court, even when such a fatal emergency had forced the Adjournment, absolutely requisite to legalize and capasitate for their proceedure to publick business:—and accordingly a vote passed the honourable House to that purpose, the same was concurred by his Majestys Council, and approved & formally assented to, by the Commander in Chief:—all which appears on the publick records of the Province. Now we should be glad to be informed, how these proceedings in essence sense and spirit, differ from a full ample and final denunciation of the law establishing the seat of Government.
We are not ignorant that in 1728/9 a controversy was forced on relative to this point. This dispute had its rise, like many of more modern date, in consequence of ministerial Instructions, which to borrow a phrase of the then House “are not pleasant to mention.” We are not unacquainted that his Majestys Attorney and Solicitor General were at this time consulted relative to our legal seat of Government. We also know that the then Governor (Burnet), treating upon the same subject, informed the House of Representatives, that the King Determined the point,” according to the Attorney General and “Solicitors opinion, that the SOLE power of dissolving, proroguing and adjourning the General Court or Assembly as to time or place is IN HIS MAJESTYS GOVERNOR, and that the reasons against it from the tenth of King William had no real foundation; there being no clause in that Act laying any such restraint upon the Governor.”
Here it should be well observed is not barely a tacit but an express declaration that the sole power of dissolving is “devolved entirely” upon, and exclusively vested “in the Governor” From hence in our opinion, this consequence unavoidably follows, that no Instructions orders or mandates whatever ought to direct and control such power solely in the Governor. For it is not merely absurd in theory, and most mischievous in practise, that an authority incapasitated by distance to Judge of local and other critical circumstances, should have a power to fix such an imporant movement, but moreover it is palpably contrarient to the plain words of the preceeding determination. We freely own it would have given us more satisfaction to have seen this opinion under the hand of those Lawyers. But we would here Gentlemen direct you carefully to notice and remember, that as we always expect to defend our own rights & libertys so we are unalterably fixed to Judge for ourselves of their real existence, agreable to law. Yet as we believe this same opinion is far from being well grounded, so we now offer a few comments thereon; for your future consideration. But let it be recorded that we enter upon this task, protesting against the pretended right or power of any Crown Lawyer, or any exterior authority upon Earth to determine, limit or ascertain all or any of our constitutional or charteral, natural or civil, political or sacred Rights, liberties and privileges or immunities. These words there being no clause in the “Act of 10th. of William laying any such constraints upon the Governor” contained in the afore cited opinion are, we conclude, intended to convey that as the Kings prerogative to remove the General Court at pleasure is not by express words taken away, so such a power remains inherent in the Crown. We do allow indeed that the Kings Prerogative was once thought “a topic too delicate and sacred to be profaned by the pen of a Subject, that it was ranked among the areana imperrii [state secrets], and like the misteries of the bona dea [good Roman goddess, connected with fertility] was not suffered to be pried into by any but such as were initiated into its Service: because perhaps the exertion of the one, like the solemnities of the other, would not bear the inspection of a rational & sober enquiry.” We also have heard that there hath been a British Potentate who “dared to direct an English Parliament to abstain from discoursing of matters of state; that even that august assembly ought not to deal to Judge or to meddle with Majestys Prerogative Royal”—and James the first with his high notions of the Divinity of regal sway, more than once laid it down in his speeches, that “as it was athesm and blashemy in a Creature to dispute what the Deity might do so it is presumption and sedition in a subject to dispute what a King might do in the height of his powers; Good Christians, he adds, will be content with Gods will revealed in his word, and good Subjects will rest in the Kings will, revealed in HIS Law.” Surely when such mistical Jargon, such absurd and infamous rant was thus openly denounced in a Realm famed for understanding, freedom and true magnanimitie, nothing except an ineffable contempt of the reigning Monarch diverted that indignant vengeance, which would otherwise have made his illustrious throne to tremble and hurl’d the Royal diadem from his forfeit head.
The Kings prerogative in its largest extent includes only certain rights and privileges which by law the King hath as a third power of the Commonwealth, intrusted with the execution of laws already in being. This prerogative our law pronounces to be solely governed by the laws of the land; those being the measure as well of the Kings power as the Subjects obedience. For as the laws assert & bound the Just rights of the King; so they likewise declare & maintain the Rights and liberties of the people; hence it is adjudged law, that all prerogatives must be for the advantage and good of the people, otherwise such pretended prerogatives are to be allowed by law. Even our Crown Lawyers will inform us “that one of the principal bulwarks of civil liberty, or in other words of the British constitution, is the limitation of the Kings prerogative by bounds so certain and notorious, that it is impossible he should ever exceed them, without the consent of the people on the one hand, or without on the other a violation of that original contract, which in all states implicidly and in ours most expressly subsists between the Prince and the Subject—And for a consideration of the extent and the restrictions of the Kings prerogative, this conclusion will evidently follow that the powers which are vested in the Crown by the Laws of England; are necessary for the support of society; and do not retrench any further on our natural rights then is expedient for the maintenance of our civil. Sir Henry Finch under Charles the first, tho’ he lays down the law of prerogative in very strong and emphatical terms, yet qualifies it with a general restriction in regard to the liberties of the people.117 The King (says he) hath a prerogative in all things that are not injurious to the Subject, in them all it must be remembered, that the Kings prerogative stretcheth not to the doing of any wrong. And finally the best definition of the prerogative, which our law books afford, is “that discretionary power of acting for the public good where the positive laws are silent” and if this discretionary power is abused to the publick detriment, such prerogative is exerted in an unconstitutional manner.118
We, Gentlemen, have been thus particular in our instructions on this head, because we apprehend that this point of prerogative thro’ great inattention hath been much mistaken; and also because every other matter, set forth in the aforesaid opinion of Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General, has been irrefragably confuted by diverse Judicious replys of succeeding houses of Assembly.119 Now the clear law laid down (to the spirit of which we do order you punctually to adhere) proves beyond a cavil, that if the late removal of our General Court was not against plain provincial law, yet that such removal is not only unwarrantable by the principles of Crown Law, but is directly repugnant to the fundamental institutions even of prerogative law—For will any one be so weak or wicked nay, will even a Crown lawyer for his stipend or pension have the front publicly to maintain, that the late alteration of the seat of our General Assembly is “for the advantage and good of the people,” or “for the necessary support of society,” or that this assumed “prerogative stretcheth not to any wrong.” Now if all this, and much more, is not maintained, then waving our provincial law relative to the seat of government, we with good authority say, that the holding the General Court, from its antient and proper station, is unwarrantable, unconstitutional, illegal and oppressive. We have given you Gentlemen our full sentiments touching this important concern, because you ought not to be at any loss how to conduct your self herein conformable to the Judgment of your Constituents.—But had we not here spoken so largely, nay, had the express letter of the law been less favorable, & were it possible to romack up120 any absurd, obsolete notion, which might have seemed calculated to propagate slavish doctrines, we should by no more means have been influenced to forego our birth rights. For the prime and only reason which originated all laws, but more particularly and expressly the prerogative, was the general emolument of the state, and therefore when any pretended prerogatives do not advance this grand purpose, they have no legal obligation; and when any strictly Just prerogatives are exerted to promote any different design, they also cease to be binding. Indeed was a Solicitor General of Majesty in an express treatise “of the Kings prerogative will teach us” that mankind will not be reasoned out of the feelings of humanity nor will sacrifice their liberty by a scrupulous adherence to those political maxims, which were originally established to preserve it.
The despicable situation of our provincial militia you will make the object of your peculiar attention; and as it is apparent From what putred source, this decline of military emulation hath flow’d, we press, that such animated steps may be taken as shall speedily remove this Just reproach from the land.—When every method is obstinately pursued to enervate with foreign luxuries, every artifice practised to corrupt, in order to inslave, when we are denyed a free constitutional exercise of our rights as Men and Citizens; when high handed invasions are made on our property, and audacious attempts to intimidate not only from resistance but complaint; surely the constitutional watchmen and centinels of our liberties are asleep upon their stations, or traitors to the main body, if they not rouse and risque from this insiduous plot.
As a laudable and voluntary renunciation of a baneful Commerce has naturally occasioned a general stagnation of trade; and as the true riches of a people are numbers and industry, we warmly recommend to you such measures as will tend to increase population, incourage industry and promote our own manufactures; and as this is a very pacifick political devise for the defeat of our malicious foes, we presume it may be less obnoxious to the virulent slander of ministerial dependants—but these salutary methods of genuine policy ought never to exclude or supersede the more open, manly, bold and pertenacious exertions for our freedom.
One of the most weighty matters, which attracts our affection, and lies deep in the heart of every honest, sensible American, is the firm and lasting union of the Colonies; There is no one point which ought more to engage our affectionate zeal. Our enemies well knowing the consequence of this great acquisition, have bent their whole force to render it abortive. Without the least foundation, Jealousies have been assiduously infused, diabolical falsehood forged, idle tales propogated, little discords fomented; and every engine that fraud could invent, and hardy villains manage, has been set to work in order to retard if not utterly overthrow this desirable atainment, but all has not done it. The Eyes of our worthy Brethren thro’ the Continent are open. Yet as we know the plotting mallice, inveteracy & indefatigueable labour of the desperately wicked, we strongly inculcate that you be zealous to keep up a cordial intercourse, with our Sister Colonies; and as our interests are so apparently inseparable, nothing but an intimate Communion is requisite to cement our political and natural attachment.
We have for a long time beheld with grief and astonishment the unwarrantable practise of ministerial instructions to the Commanders in Chief of this Province; it is high time, Gentlemen, for this matter to be searched into and remidied.
Such an enormous stretch of power, if much longer unchecked, will eventually annihilate the essentials of all civil liberty. It is repugnant to the very first principle of true government (which was alone instituted for the good of the governed) that a remote power not only much disconnected but often different in interests should undertake at pleasure to controul any command in affairs of the last moment for the benefit and relief of the people—a power 3000 transmarine miles distant, not only ignorant of our true wellfare, but if perchance discovered, interested to oppose it; not only attempting to oppress, but actually oppressing—that such a power should be allowed, wontonly to proscribe patricians & plebeins, at will to fix the residence of our parliament; to order that parliament when and how to proceed, and where to retire; at one time to forbid the best improvement of our own produce, at another time effectually to force us to purchase forreign merchandize; and again, as it were, sword in hand, to demand our property; and anon to forbid our own disposal of a certain part of it.121 These are doctrines & political solicisms which may take root and spring up, under the meridian of modern Rome; but we trust in God will not flourish in the soil and climate of British America. We therefore strictly charge you not to grant any supplys to the instruments of government, if through their defect or misapplication the grand end for which we support and pay our Rulers are not accomplished. We also recommend to you carefully to enquire into the state of criminal Prosecution in our executive courts; and endeavor to revive the antient method of appointing the Attorney General, agreable to charter; for we believe that such a step will be attended with very salutary consequences, in the advancement of public Justice, the punishment of offenders and the general good order of the Province.
Our choice of you Gentlemen to represent us at this hazardous Juncture is a sufficient evidence of our great dependence on your wise, honest and steady conduct. We therefore leave all other matters to your best discretion and Judgment; till we shall see fit to give further instructions. We greatly confide that you will bear in strong remembrance, the hardships and sufferings of our pious fathers, to find out and purchase this remote asslym from ecclesiastical persecution and civil tyranny; that inspired by their glorious example, you will vigorously repel even unto the uttermost the insults and violences of internal and external enemies to our peace. We remind you that the further Nations recede and give way to the gigantick strides of any powerful Despot, the more rapidly will the Fiend advance to spread wide desolation; and then should an attempt be made to stay his ravaging progress—the dogs of war let loose and hot for blood rush on to waste and havock!122 Obsta principiis is the maxim now held in view.123 It is now no time to halt between two opinions: the demands of fraud, violence and usurpation are insatiable. It is therefore no season to stand listning to subtle alurements, deceitful cajolings, or formidable threatenings. We therefore enjoin you at all hazards to deport (as we rely your own hearts will stimulate) like the faithful Representatives of a freeborn, awakened and determined people—who being impregnated with the spirit of liberty in conception, and nurtured in principles of freedom from their infancy are resolved to breathe the same celestial ether, till summoned to resign the heavenly flame by that omnipotent God who gave it.
1. Pauline Maier, The Old Revolutionaries: Political Lives in the Age of Samuel Adams (New York, 1980), xiii. She certainly did know their “politics well,” having written the definitive book on that, Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765–1776 (New York, 1972).
2. See York, “A Life Cut Short,” Quincy Papers, vol. 1, 41–43.
3. Quincy, a man way ahead of his time on gender issues, would have appreciated Pauline, who, with Mary Beth Norton, was in the vanguard of women in the historical profession. See Coquillette, “An Odyssey of America on the Brink of Revolution,” the Southern Journal, Quincy Papers vol. 3, 22–28; “First Flower,” The Reports, Quincy Papers, vol. 4, 59–63.
4. See id., vol. 3, 81, for further explanation of jargon.
5. The two great latter volumes, American Scripture and Ratification, also particularly illustrate one of Pauline’s other great talents, spotting what now seem like “obvious” gaps in the massive pre-existing historical studies of the Revolution and the New Republic, and filling those gaps in a uniquely important way. So “obvious” in retrospect, but so brilliant an insight at the time! I owe this to my distinguished colleague and another devoted colleague of Pauline, Mary Sarah Bilder.
7. The Old Revolutionaries, supra, 270.
8. Id., 280.
9. See York, “A Life Cut Short,” Quincy Papers, vol. 1, 45–46.
10. Id., 46.
11. The Old Revolutionaries, supra, 48, 271.
12. Quincy’s eulogy for Leonard, which included the epigraph above, appeared on the first page of The Boston Evening-Post, 8 July 1771; a handwritten version is in the Quincy, Wendell, Holmes, and Upham Family Papers (hereafter QP), Massachusetts Historical Society (hereafter MHS), at QP 51; also on reel 28 of the microfilm edition of that collection. Quincy added this note for the printer: “The enclosed character was sketched by a very hearty friend to the Deceased. Plain truth has been aimed at. Seeing it corrected, or wholly new-drafted, will give real satisfaction.” The passage Quincy quoted is from Act III, Scene 2, with Cardinal Wolsey, just disgraced by the earls of Suffolk and Surrey at their King’s behest, finally realizing that his opposition to Henry’s decision to divorce Queen Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn could cost him everything.
13. Warren to Arthur Lee, 27 April 1775, in Peter Force, ed., American Archives, 9 vols. (Washington, D.C.: M. St. Clair Clarke and Peter Force, 1837–1853), 4th series, 2:425. Warren erred on the location of Josiah Jr.’s passing. Quincy died aboard ship in Gloucester harbor, not long after it anchored but before he could be carried ashore. Warren would be slain in the fighting on Breed’s Hill on June 17th, prompting John Adams to lament to Josiah Sr. the passing of “two characters as great in proportion to their age, as any I have known in America.” In ibid., 4th series 2:1751; letter of 29 July 1775. For Adams’s initial reaction, and that of his wife, Abigail, as well, see Daniel R. Coquillette and Neil Longley York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 6 vols. (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2005–2014), 1:43 n. 80.
14. Lovell to Wendell, 5 May 1775, Hugh Upham Clark collection in the MHS, on reel 30 in the MHS film QP collection (see note 1 supra). All three men had been involved in town affairs, joined in opposition to Thomas Hutchinson’s attempts to enforce imperial policy. Wendell, like Quincy, had been named to the town’s committee of correspondence formed in November 1772.
15. In Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 2:11.
16. Adams’s “Cicero” allusion is noted in ibid., 1:8. The political commonplace book is reproduced in that volume, along with Quincy’s London journal. Quincy’s law commonplace book is in volume 2, the Southern journal is in volume 3, and the law reports are in volumes 4 and 5. I edited the first volume, as I did this one; Dan Coquillette and his team of talented research assistants did the other four.
17. Quincy quoted passages from his speech in the Old South meeting house on 16 December 1773, the night of the Boston tea party, in a letter to his wife, Abigail, of 14 December 1774, from London. It is reproduced infra on pp. 335–37. Quincy may have quoted from memory; he may have taken a copy with him, possibly to share with those sympathetic to the American cause. Another of his speeches two days earlier in the town meeting was alluded to and paraphrased in part by an anonymous source that L. F. S. Upton edited for publication as “Proceedings of Ye Body Respecting the Tea” in the “Notes and Documents section of the William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series 22 (1965):286–300 (with the sentiments attributed to Quincy on p. 297). Quincy, who had been involved in debating what to do about the tea for over two weeks, joined others who concluded, as Upton put it, “that the destruction of private property was necessary for the maintenance of public liberty.” (Ibid., p. 287.)
18. Eustis, aged twenty at the time of the tea party, had graduated from Harvard the year before and was studying medicine under the tutelage of Joseph Warren. His reminiscence is included as a footnote in Josiah Quincy, Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy, Junior, of Massachusetts: 1744–1775, 2nd ed, (Boston: John Wilson and Son, 1874), p. 226n. A third edition, virtually identical to this one but published by Little Brown, would appear the next year. Eliza Susan Quincy expanded those volumes from the original, Josiah Quincy, Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy Jun. of Massachusetts (Boston: Cummings, Hilliard, & Company, 1825). She insisted that her father’s name be listed as author, hers as editor, in the later printings, though, from the beginning, the work had been done largely by her. The second edition is the one cited here, as it was in the first volume of this collection.
19. His opening and closing arguments for the soldiers’ trial from the Boston “Massacre” do survive, as least as they were recorded in John Hodgson, ed., The Trial of William Wemms (Boston, 1770). John Adams famously complained that Hodgson’s record is unreliable–see his letter to Jedediah Morse of 5 January 1816, in Charles Francis Adams, ed., The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1850–1856), 10:201. If Quincy felt the same way, he left no surviving record to indicate it. I did not include Quincy’s arguments as reported by Hodgson in this collection, in part because they are so readily available elsewhere, most notably in the printed version noted above, which was in turn included in the final volume of L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller Zobel, eds., The Legal Papers of John Adams, 3 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1965), pp. 158–69 and pp. 226–41 for Quincy’s opening and closing, resp. But another reason for not including them is that Hodgson went back and forth between purportedly recording what Quincy said verbatim and summarizing in his own words, thus leaving a mixed, incomplete record at best. Nonetheless, it is interesting that Hodgson recorded Quincy as quoting from Portia’s “quality of mercy” speech in The Merchant of Venice (Act IV, Scene 1), showing that Quincy even took Shakespeare into the courtroom. Hiller Zobel’s The Boston Massacre (New York: W. W. Norton, 1970) remains the standard study. I offered a few observations that differ from those presented there in “Rival Truths, Political Accommodation, and the Boston ‘Massacre’,” Massachusetts Historical Review 11 (2009):57–95; and The Boston Massacre (New York: Routledge, 2010), a documents anthology.
20. Just as I would rather not repeat here what I have already written about Quincy’s intellectual world in volume one of this collection, I would rather not rehash what I already wrote about history and memory in Fiction As Fact (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2001), pp. 127–45.
21. Norman Mailer, The Spooky Art (New York: Random House, 2003), pp. 156–57.
22. John Phillip Reid, Constitutional History of the American Revolution, abridged ed. (Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), p. 34; and, in more detail, his four-volume magnum opus of the same title, by the same publisher. For what he meant by “forensic history,” particularly as it applied to Boston (though with no particular emphasis on Quincy), see his In a Defiant Stance (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977) and In a Rebellious Spirit (University Park, Pa.: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1979). I disagree with Professor Reid, however, on his insistence that American patriots rarely made natural rights arguments before declaring independence. Quincy turned to them from the beginning and in that sense he was typical of his generation.
23. I discuss his ideas, and the sources for them, in detail in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:47–92. See too Dan Coquillette’s observations, in connection with Quincy’s trip to the South, in ibid., 3:62–82
26. See, in this connection, Dan Coquillette’s comments in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 4:63–75.
27. Nathaniel Appleton reported to Oliver Wendell (as noted in Coquillette and York, ed., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:43 n. 80) that Quincy died wondering if a battle had begun that would free his country—a sentiment obtained secondhand, and which could have meant that Quincy hoped that fighting might bring the disputants back to the negotiating table, making independence unnecessary. Appleton’s letter is in QP 51 (also on reel 30) MHS.
28. During debates over repealing the Stamp Act, on 3 February 1766, in R. C. Simmons and P.D. G. Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates of the British Parliaments Respecting North America, 1754–1783, 6 vols. (Millwood, N.Y.: Kraus International, 1982–1987), 2:144
29. See Adams to Arthur Lee on 4 April 1774 and William Checkley, 1 June 1774, in Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., The Writings of Samuel Adams, 4 vols. (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904–1908), 3:100–1 and 3:128, resp. Pauline Maier explains how Adams predicted independence long before he advocated it in The Old Revolutionaries (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), 3–50.
30. On this subject see my “The First Continental Congress and the Problem of American Rights,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 122 (1998):353–83.
31. Which is not to say that no political philosopher ever holds back, unconcerned with the socially acceptable; thus the debates over “esotericism” and the “noble lie,” discussed, notably, in Catherine and Michael Zuckert, The Truth about Leo Strauss (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), pp. 42–46, 120–36.
33. Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (New York: Viking Press, 1965; orig. ed., 1963), p. 30. Also see Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1969), for how this tendency played out for American Revolutionaries (but with no mention of Quincy in particular).
34. An attitude that became more difficult to sustain after both the American and French revolutions. For this changed setting see Bernard Crick, In Defense of Politics, 2nd ed. (New York: Penguin, 1982).
35. Adair’s 1967 essay can be found most conveniently in the eponymous Fame and the Founding Fathers, edited by Trevor Colbourn (New York: W. W. Norton, 1974), pp. 3–26 (quotation from p. 11). Adair steered clear of the distinction between “becoming” and “being” made by Oswald Spengler in his The Decline of the West, 2 vols. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1929; orig German ed., 1918), as part of Spengler’s argument that a “spiritual life force” is lost as a dynamic culture inevitably devolves into a more materialistic civilization. Even though I am avoiding repeating in this volume what I already stated in the first, Pauline Maier’s caution offered in From Resistance to Revolution (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972), p. xx, cited there, is worth quoting here as well: “Motivation remains the most elusive of historical problems, and efforts to attribute it to any one cause, or to identify conceptual structures as causes in themselves, seem to me inadequate.”
36. For the inclusion of books by Bacon, Locke and Sidney in Quincy’s posthumous portrait, painted by Gilbert Stuart, see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:xxix–xxxvi, 88.
37. Should his son die young, which of course he did not. My collaborator, Dan Coquillette, has pointed out that, had the Quincy bequest in fact carried through, Josiah Quincy Jr. rather than the slaveholding Loyalist Isaac Royall could have become the initial benefactor of what would become Harvard Law School. (In Coquillette and Bruce A. Kimball, On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, The First Century, forthcoming.) See Quincy’s will of 28 February 1774, with a codicil added on September 9th, after his daughter, Abigail, had been born. Joseph Warren acted as a witness in both instances. In QP 51 (also reel 29), MHS, and reproduced infra, pp. 173–79 (with £2000 for the endowed chair at p. 176).
39. Which he described in the letter that he dictated to a sailor on board The Boston Packet, 21 April 1775, anticipating that he would not survive the crossing. In QP 51 (and reel 30) MHS. He also described the ring that he had made for his wife, Abigail, to wear in memory of him. For context (without any mention of Quincy’s rings) see Sarah Nehama, In Death Lamented (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2012), a companion volume to a Fall 2012 exhibition at the MHS on “The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry.”
40. Quincy, Memoir, pp. 425–26, from Eliza Susan Quincy’s editorial notes to the volume. The wording of the inscription is taken from Josiah Sr.’s will, dated 23 March 1781, with a codicil added 17 February 1784, not long before he died. It is in QP 72 (also reel 32) MHS. The motto itself came from Alexander Pope’s epistle to Lord Viscount Cobham, with “Popes Works” listed as no. 312 in the “Catalogue of Books,” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:901. Drawing from the classical past as well as English history, to work in Caesar as well as Cromwell and the complicated nature of human motives, Pope ended: “And You! BRAVE COBHAM, to the latest breath Shall feel your ruling Passion strong in Death: Such in those Moments, as in All the past, ‘Oh, save my Country, Heav’n!’ shall be your last.” Pope also included this cautionary note earlier in his poem, which all biographers should take to heart: “And yet the fate of all Extremes is such, Men may be read, as well as Books, too much.” Josiah Sr. would quote another passage from this same poem in a letter to his daughter-in-law Abigail, after Josiah Jr.’s death. See infra, p. 398. Also see his letter to his grandson, written not long before he died, at infra, pp. 403. It is, fittingly, the last letter in this volume.
41. Josiah Quincy, An Oration Pronounced, on July 4, 1798, at the Request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence (Boston: John Russell, 1798). Quotations from pp. 31 and 24, resp. In calling for his audience to remember and emulate great patriots, he alluded to John Adams, James Otis, even Jonathan Mayhew, but not explicitly his father—though he did use a variation of a phrase his father had once used as well: “This is history. May we now say, it is also prophecy?” (p. 17). See infra, p. 216. He also used as the epigraph for the printed copy an extract from his father’s 1774 Observations, p. 78.
42. His second son became his first biographer: Edmund Quincy, Life of Josiah Quincy (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867).
43. See the notes that Eliza Susan Quincy wrote in 1876 and 1892 that she tipped into her “Memoir of Josiah Quincy jun.r” QP 46 (also reel 6) MHS. Directly under the title she wrote the epigraph: “The history of his Life, his Children shall venerate.” It is the second volume in her two-volume memoir, the first taking the family history up to Josiah’s Jr’s life. That first volume is QP 45 (also on reel 6) MHS. Therefore the “Memoir” for Josiah Jr. will be cited as volume 2, and not as a freestanding manuscript. As Eliza Susan recalled, “Mr. Ticknor”—probably Professor George Ticknor of Harvard—had advised against publication of what became the 1825 first edition of the published Memoir (see supra p. xxi, n. 7), whereas Joseph Savage had urged them to proceed. Her father decided that “Savage’s opinion is enough for me.”
44. See the note in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:11.
45. “As I was the entire cause of Stuart’s painting both portraits,” she explained in a letter to historian Justin Winsor of 23 May 1881, “I have a right to object if copies prove unsatisfactory.” QP 47 (reel 64) MHS.
46. More details about Josiah and Abigail’s burials are in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:44–46.
47. See her letters to George Gill, Quincy town clerk, beginning on 12 September 1881 (the one quoted in the text above) in QP 48 (reel 64) MHS. She hoped that the fund would also cover the maintenance of family graves in nearby Mt. Wollaston Cemetery, where her remains now lie in quiet hillside repose. Her father had been interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, not far from the Harvard campus that had defined so much of his later career.
48. As Dan Coquillette witnessed firsthand when he participated in events honoring Josiah Jr. in the spring of 2011.
49. For example, Quincy listed at the beginning of his Southern journal the date and addresses of sixteen letters that he wrote on his trip. Ten of those were to his wife Abigail (who would again be his primary correspondent when he traveled to London the next year). Of the sixteen total, only two appear to have survived, both of which are reproduced below (to Abigail on March 1st and his father on April 15th, infra at pp. 126–27 and 135–37, resp.). He forgot to include in his list a letter that he wrote to his brother Samuel on April 6th (see infra, pp. 128–30). Did he forget others as well? The list is in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 3:86.
50. Bela Lincoln, an informally trained (as was typical of the age) physician in Sherborn, had gone to Britain to improve his expertise. After completing his studies in Aberdeen he moved to his hometown of Hingham to practice. He was married to Josiah Jr.’s older sister Hannah. He died in July 1774; they had no children. Eliza Susan Quincy had the original letter in hand and used it for her “Memoir,” 2:2–4, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS (cited as volume 2, which is explained at supra, p. xxx, n. 32) and presumably the printed Memoir, p. 7n, although she only carried a portion of the letter below Quincy’s signature into the Memoir, and none of the rest. The letter does not appear to be among the papers that she later donated to the MHS. See the brief entry for Lincoln in John Langden Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, 18 vols. (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1873–), 13:455–57. Conrad Edick Wright, who took up the work begun by Sibley, also wrote an interesting study of “Harvard Men and the Consequences of Independence” in Revolutionary Generation (Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005).
51. Meaning, essentially, a person can change the scene—in this case, cross the ocean–but that does not necessarily mean he or she is changed by it. From Horace’s epistle 11, to Bullatius, which Quincy could have taken from any number of collected works then in print and published in London. His “Catalogue of Books,” no. 119 in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:895, simply says “Horace.”
52. A Gentlemen of the Inner-Temple, The Life of the Right Honourable Sir John Holt, Knight, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King’s-Bench (London: J. Worrall, 1764). Lincoln may have purchased the copy for his brother-in-law that is no. 113 in the “Catalogue of Books” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:894. Quincy drew upon Holt from the bench for both his law cases (ibid., 4:45 n. 28, 198n, 201, 216 n. 2, 298n and 300n) and his political commonplace book (ibid., 1:139, 201–2).
53. The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal [hereafter Boston Gazette], 28 September 1767. This piece took up over half of the first page of that (typical) four page issue. In Greek mythology Hyperion was one of the twelve Titans, linked with the power of the Sun. He was imprisoned–in some renditions of the tale unfairly—by Zeus when Zeus overthrew Kronos. He is alluded to in Hamlet (Act I, Scene 2), Quincy’s favorite play by his favorite playwright, in a positive light, with Hamlet’s assassinated father a “Hyperion to a satyr”–the satyr being the elder Hamlet’s own brother Claudius, a murderous usurper.
54. From “An Epistle to the Right Honourable the Lord Cornbury,” quite likely taken from Robert Dodsley, ed, A Collection of Poems in Four Volumes, 4th ed. (London: J. Hughs, R. and J. Dodsley, 1744), 2:172. This title is not in the “Catalogue of Books,” but there are two listings that say simply “Poems.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:900 (nos. 287 and 291).
55. A theme that Quincy returned to, again and again, a theme repeated in much that he wrote, just as it was repeated in much that he read. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:47–76.
56. From Shakespeare’s Richard II, Act III, Scene 2, Richard himself speaking, realizing that his kingdom was slipping away and that he might never regain the throne.
57. Printed on the first page of the Boston Gazette, for that date, filling two of the three columns there.
58. These are lines from Hamlet, the first eleven (through “Vengeance”) from Act II, Scene 2; the remainder are from Act I, Scene 5. Quincy was a great admirer of Shakespeare in general and Hamlet in particular. According to Eliza Susan Quincy in her “Memoir,” 2:7, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS, “the mighty genius of Shakespeare appears to have captivated his youthful imagination. Extracts from that author forming a manuscript of seventy closely written pages still remain among his papers.” Also see Quincy, Memoir, p. 6. Insofar as I can determine, Eliza Susan did not pass that item along to the MHS. For context see my “Hamlet as American Revolutionary,” Hamlet Studies 15 (1993):40–53, though I say nothing there about Quincy; and, more generally, Alden T. Vaughan and Virginia Mason Vaughan, Shakespeare in America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Quincy turned to Hamlet as well on his Southern journey and, not surprisingly, to The Tempest; see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 3:123 (Hamlet) 102 and 117 (Tempest).
59. Quincy assembled an Old Testament literary pastiche, from the Psalms to Amos to even Esdras in the Apocrypha before closing with a slight reworking of 1 Samuel 17:44 KJV (“give thy flesh . . .”), as the mighty Philistine Goliath hurls his challenge at the stripling David of Israel.
60. The Boston Evening-Post, 21 September 1767, printed a piece by “A true Patriot” that warned the people of Massachusetts against being drawn by local agitators into a dispute with Great Britain, a dispute they could not win and was unnecessary anyway. Much that follows is aimed at the author of that essay.
61. Beginning with “blandishments’ and ending with “free-men,” Daniel Webster quoted this piece in his speech at the dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument on 17 June 1825. Josiah Jr.’s son and namesake, then mayor of Boston, was there, as was Josiah the Mayor’s daughter, Eliza Susan. See Coquillette and York, eds, Portrait of a Patriot, 1:7–8. After the event Eliza Susan wrote: “How little did Josiah Quincy Junr anticipate when he wrote this sentence, fifty-eight years ago, at the age of twenty-three, that his children would hear it sounded over Bunker Hill, on such a day, and amid such a scene as this.” In 1775, she marveled, the firing of cannon meant “death and destruction” for the Americans fighting on that battlefield; in 1825, cannons “proclaimed the triumphs of American Liberty and Independence.” From the “Journal of E. S. Quincy of Lafayette’s Visit, 1824–1825" QP 44 (also reproduced on reel 7, no. 1) MHS.
62. Quincy resumed his Biblical allusions, with Hebrews 13:5 (never forsake) and Romans 8:31 (God be for us) KJV.
63. More of the same, ranging from Psalms 33:6 (breath) to Micah 7:16 (confound) KJV.
64. From the Boston Gazette for that date, all but filling the first two of three print columns, Quincy writing “for law” (pro lege).
65. High treason.
66. Often translated as “no one attacks me with impunity,” a familiar phrase to Quincy’s generation, as the motto of the Scottish Order of the Thistle, and a couple of British army regiments. Marchmont Nedham—which would be Quincy’s most frequent nom be plume–also employed it in his writings.
67. Quincy owned various editions of Virgil, as listed in the “Catalogue of Books,” nos. 118, 265, and 337, and only the last is identified—an edition done by Joseph Trapp, in 1718, with Trapp providing his own English translation, but not the Latin. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:895, 599, 902. Quincy may have owned and turned to Christopher Pitt, The Works of Virgil, In Latin and English, 4 vols. (London: R. Dodsley, 1763), 2:192 (for the Latin) and 2:195 (for Pitt’s translation into English) from the Aeneid, Book III. Pitt translated the line as “Cursed gold! how high will mortals rise” (the next line being “In ev’ry guilt to reach the glittering prize?”). Note that Quincy added “Imperii” to the passage—which he could have expected at least some of his readers to realize, as he attempted to make the reference more specific to the problems of the British empire at that moment. Remember that Quincy was proficient enough in Latin to consider doing his own translation of Virgil’s Eclogues–see his comment about doing so on his voyage south in February 1773, in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 3:91, and his quotations from the Eclogues in ibid., at 3:89 and 92. For the Latin passage from the Aeneid cited above, repeated on that voyage, see ibid., 3:193. For Quincy’s transcription of the Earl of Chatham’s famous speech on American reconciliation in the House of Lords on 20 January 1775, where Chatham alluded to Virgil’s Aeneid—as did Quincy in commenting on Chatham’s delivery—see ibid., 1:252–54.
68. John Rushworth, ed., Historical Collections, 7 vols. (London: Richard Chiswell and Thomas Cockerill, 1659–1701), which Quincy used for his political commonplace book as well. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:892 (no. 35) and 1:181–82, resp.
69. John Selden, Of the Judicature in Parliaments (London: Joseph Lawson, 1681). A three volume collection of Selden’s works was published in London in 1726. Quincy turned to Selden’s translation of Sir John Fortescue’s De Laudibus Legum Angliae for his political commonplace book, but he did not refer to this particular work, nor did a copy (if he owned one) appear in his posthumous “Catalogue of Books.”
70. Robert, Lord Raymond’s Report of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King’s Bench and Common Pleas, 2 vols. (London: Henry Lintot, 1743), or perhaps the three-volume 1765 edition. Listed in the “Catalogue of Books” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:892 (no. 39; author misidentified as Sir Thomas Raymond).
71. Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, The Life of Lord Clarendon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1759).
72. Sir Edward Coke, The Fourth Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, with no less than five editions being printed in London between 1644 and 1681, but none in Quincy’s lifetime. Coke, in some form, can be found in the “Catalogue of Books” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:892 (no. 34) and 893 (no. 81), the former listed as “A Comment: upon Littleton” and the latter as “Cokes D.”
73. Bliss was a lawyer in Springfield; Quincy was anticipating riding the circuit there in the fall. Letter in the Simon Gratz Autograph Collection, #250B, Case 8, Box 16, Historical Society of Pennsylvania mss.
74. Eliza Susan Quincy transcribed this letter for her “Memoir,” 2:8–11, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS, which she carried over, but only in part, into the printed Memoir, pp. 12–13. The original has apparently since been lost. Eagleson’s letter, which prompted this response, is also missing. With the differences between the two versions of the text, it would seem that Eliza Susan went back to the original when producing the printed edition. Unlikely as it sounds, this may have been the Reverend John Eagleson, who worked as an Anglican minister near Fort Cumberland, in what had been, until the last of the wars for empire, Acadia. Once a Presbyterian, by the time of Quincy’s letter he had converted to mainstream Anglicanism and represented the Society for Propagating the Gospel in that region. A confirmed loyalist, during the war he would be taken prisoner to Boston. He eventually made his way home. The basics of his story are told in Ernest Clarke, The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776 (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1995). There is an entry for him in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online as well as in the print version of that collection.
75. It is quite likely that Quincy borrowed, one way or another, from Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (Book 6, Chapter 8), which circulated in various editions at the time, the relevant passage reading: “the RECORDING ANGEL as he wrote it down, dropp’d a tear upon the word and blotted it out forever.”
76. Thomas Otway’s play Venice Preserved: Or. A Plot Discover’d was first staged in London in 1682 and was continuing to be performed, with the text being reprinted, in Quincy’s lifetime. Scholars dispute the extent to which Otway intended it as an allegorical commentary on English history—possibly the 1605 “gunpowder plot” against James I or the 1678 “popish plot” against Charles II.
77. These lines are from Virgil’s Eclogues, Book IV: “Now comes the last age of the Cumaean song; the great order of the ages rises anew. Now the Virgin returns, and Saturn’s reign returns; now a new generation is sent down from heaven.” Cumae was a Greek colony in Italy. Virgil would celebrate it in The Aeneid as the home of Sibyl, a priestess and prophetess. Eliza Susan Quincy combined the first and second paragraphs above to make one, with everything after “decision” in that paragraph deleted in the printed version. She cut the final paragraph and passage from Virgil as well.
78. Boston Gazette, in the supplement for that date, running about a half-column in length. Quincy was adding his voice to the chorus of complaints against the posting of troops to Boston, with the first regiments arriving within days of this piece, and another two just over a month later. It is not clear if Quincy had been involved with the extralegal gathering of town delegates that had assembled, starting the week before this essay appeared, to protest. Despite passing resolutions to resist the troops’ landing—as the Boston town meeting had already done—the delegates went home and no militia was mustered or sent forth from any town. There were those in London who thought the locals thereby proved they were cowardly, full of bluff and bluster and little more; politically, choosing not to resist proved wise in the long run. Hiller Zobel’s The Boston Massacre remains unmatched for overall context; John Phillip Reid’s In a Defiant Stance and In a Rebellious Spirit are indispensable for examining the uneven contest between theoretical imperial authority and real local power.
80. Governor Francis Bernard’s dismissive characterization of the convention.
81. Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5. Lines spoken by the ghost of Hamlet’s father to a stunned Hamlet that Quincy pasted together to create his own sense of treachery and betrayal.
82. This is a draft copy, which Quincy composed as he went, apparently, based on the number of words that he crossed out, then re-inserted. It is in QP 72 at the MHS; it was not microfilmed. The Identity of “Mr. Eliot” remains elusive. There is no Eliot among the list of lawyers practicing in Massachusetts in 1775 compiled by Charles R. McKirdy and attached as an appendix to his “Massachusetts Lawyers on the Eve of the American Revolution: The State of the Profession” in Daniel R. Coquillette, ed., Law in Colonial Massachusetts, 1630–1800 (Boston: The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1984), pp. 313–58.
83. Boston Gazette, 3 October 1768, p. 3, filling nearly the first two of the three columns.
84. Quincy was both quoting and paraphrasing from Andrew Marvell’s The Rehearsal Transpros’d: The Second Part (London: Nathaniel Ponder, 1673), p. 193, which he would later include in his political commonplace book; it is also in his posthumous “Catalogue of Books.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:103 and 5:900 (no. 295), resp.
85. Here is a fine example of the difficulty of pinning down every source that Quincy paraphrased, quoted directly, or quoted from memory. He may have borrowed the phrase “rolling the sweet morsel under his tongue” from Matthew Henry’s An Exposition of all the Books of the Old and New Testaments, 6 vols., 3rd ed. (London: J. Clark and R. Hett, et al., 1721–1735), Henry’s exposition on Job 20:12 (at 3:206) or variations on that phrase in Henry’s discussion of Psalms 34 and 73 (at 3:206 and 295, resp.), or from another edition of Henry’s Exposition, or from yet another writer, in New England as well as Old, who borrowed from Henry. The same could be said of finding the source of other borrowed phrases that precede and follow this particular one, whether from a Biblical source or not.
86. Pascal Paoli, fighting to keep republican Corsica free from French rule, had become a famous figure, in some sense the darling of his age in certain social circles, especially in London, where he would soon be living in exile. Perhaps he came to mind to Quincy just then because he had bought a copy of James Boswell’s recently published An Account of Corsica (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1768), with Boswell singing the praises of Paoli as a freedom fighter. Quincy quoted from Boswell in his political commonplace book and a copy is listed in the “Catalogue of Books” as well. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:165–66 and 5:898 (no. 240), resp.
88. Quincy, Memoir, pp. 19–20. Eliza Susan Quincy noted this is just an “extract” from a full letter. She did not transcribe it for the manuscript “Memoir” but she did paste in a portion of the original there, between pp. 16–17, beginning at the second paragraph, which includes the closing to his father missing from the printed Memoir. The top portion may have been lost since that time. Quincy Sr.’s response follows.
89. Pasted into the “Memoir,” 2:16, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; and, like Josiah Jr.’s of December 1768 (see previous entry), this is only a portion of a longer letter.
90. Boston Gazette, 11 September 1769, filling two columns, spilling over to the third. “Pro Aris et Focis,” the motto of a number of organizations that have sprung up since Quincy’s day, the phrase is often translated idiomatically as “For God and Country,” a variation from Cicero’s “for altar and hearth” (or “home”). See the comment on possible sources in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:67 n. 47. In the “Catalogue of Books,” in ibid., 5:899 (no. 256) “Cicero’s Thoughts” are listed–which well could be the 1750 London edition noted at 5:926, with English-French-Latin included, but this particular phrase is not there. It is in M. T. Ciceronis [Marcus Tullius Cicero], De Natura Deorum (Glasgow, 1748), at p. 244, but that seems an unlikely source for Quincy to have used. Fourteen years before William Bollan, then agent in London for the Massachusetts General Court, reported that Sir Thomas Robinson, then secretary of state for the southern department, used the phrase for Bollan to pass along to the colonists, to encourage them to prepare for the coming war with France. See Bollan’s letter to the Mass. house speaker of 4 September 1755 in the William Bollan Papers, Box 1, folder 6, New England Historic Genealogical Society mss.
91. Quincy could have taken these lines directly from The Institution of the Order of the Garter. A Dramatick Poem (London: R. Dodsley, 1742), p. 63, or a number of anthologies published since then that included it.
93. Boston Gazette, 12 February 1770, taking up most of the first page, from the second half of the first column through nearly the bottom of the third.
94. The Boston Chronicle, 5 February 1770, nearly filling the first page and spilling over onto the second. “A Bostonian” derided the advocates of non-importation as self-interested, duping the working men in the Boston town meeting who were foolish enough to support their self-interested efforts. The author of “A Bostonian” responded to “An Independant” in the Boston Chronicle for March 5th. John Mein and John Fleeming had started the newspaper near the end of 1767. It tended to favor imperial authority as extended through the governor, and law and order in general. John and Thomas Fleets’ Boston Evening-Post attempted to steer a more middle course. Richard Draper’s Massachusetts Gazette was, unofficially, as much the administration’s newspaper as, unofficially, Benjamin Edes and John Gill’s Boston Gazette was for the opposition. For Edes and Gill see Robert E. Burkholder’s entry in Benjamin Franklin V, ed., Boston Printers, Publishers, and Booksellers: 1640–1800 (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1980), pp. 117–35. Also see The History of Printing in America (Worcester, Mass.: Isaiah Thomas, 1810) by Isaiah Thomas, who founded the anti-administration Massachusetts Spy in July 1770; and Mary Ann Yodelis, “Boston’s Second Major Paper War: Economics, Politics, and the Theory and Practice of Political Expression in the Press, 1763–1775" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin 1971). The print duel that pitted “An Independant” against “A Bostonian” was but one of many. For another example see my”Tag-Team Polemics: The Centinel and His Allies in the Massachusetts Spy,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1995):85–114. There I suggest (on p. 107 n. 68) that Quincy may have been the “Centinel,” but I do not push the point. Eliza Susan Quincy did not mention this particular pen name as being one of Quincy’s.
95. Essentially an ironic response, a rhetorical question: “Can you help laughing, friends?” It is a line from one of Horace’s epistles that Quincy could have found in various editions of Horace’s works or even in a number of anthologies. The “Catalogue of Books,” no. 119, says “Horace” and no more. In Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:895.
96. Boston Gazette, 26 February 1770, p. 2, starting at the bottom of the first column and filling the remaining two.
97. Quincy took this paragraph from the second book of John Milton’s “Of Reformation in England,” possibly as found in The Works of John Milton, 2 vols. (London: A. Millar, 1753), 1:15. Quincy ended his quotation mid-sentence. He owned several sets of Milton’s writings. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:901 (no. 323). He turned to Milton for his political commonplace book (though not this passage) and for his “Marchmont Nedham” essays as well. See ibid., 1:177 for the commonplace book entry. The fable of Juno and Io, to which Quincy alludes, is the Roman version of the Greek tale of the goddess Hera and princess Io. Hera suspected that Zeus lusted after the beautiful Io; Zeus, sensing Hera’s approach, turned Io into a heifer. Hera, knowing what he had done, demanded that the heifer be given to her. Io suffers greatly, from one indignity after another, until eventually Zeus restores her to her human form and she bears him a son.
98. Quincy first addressed “A Bostonian” two weeks before as “An Independant” in the Boston Gazette, 12 February 1770 (supra, pp. 36–40); “A Bostonian” first appeared in the Boston Chronicle, 5 February 1770.
100. A fallen angel, one who rebels against God; to some, even Satan himself. (As in 2 Corinthians 6:15 KJV, “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”)
101. Quincy returned to Milton, this time Book II, lines 108–17 of “Paradise Lost,” with some slight changes, perhaps as taken from The Poetical Works of Milton, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: A. Donaldson and J. Reid, 1762), which, again perhaps, is the source listed the Catalogue of Books” in Coquillette and York eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:892 (no. 28).
102. (Lucius Quinctius) Cincinnatus, famous for having saved republican Rome in the 5th century BCE, giving up his dictatorial authority once the republic was secure; and Fabius (Maximus), for his tactics against the Carthaginians under Hannibal, after they had overrun much of Italy during the second Punic War in the 3rd century BCE. George Washington would eventually be celebrated as both, first as Fabius, for his decisive strikes at Trenton and Princeton, and later as Cincinnatus when he resigned his commission as commander-in-chief. Quincy could have read much about Fabius in his copy of John and William Langhorne, Plutarch’s Lives, 6 vols. (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1770), 2:56–95. Livy may have been his basic source for Cincinnatus, though Livy, unlike Plutarch, was neither cited in Quincy’s political commonplace book nor listed in the posthumous “Catalogue of Books,” and was much rarer, available only in Latin. Still, there were many commentaries on Caesar in print and a fair number of them at least alluded to Cincinnatus in an unfavorable (to Caesar) comparison of the two.
103. Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, 2 vols. (London: W. Strahan, 1755–1756), volume I [unpaginated].
104. Essays by PACIFICUS had appeared in the London Gazetteer some years before, with some reprinted in the colonies (see the Boston Post-Boy and Daily Advertiser, 3 March 1766).
106. Boston Gazette, 12 March 1770, filling the first column and carrying over to a small portion of the second.
107. King Lear, Act IV Scene 6, Lear ranting to Gloucester in despair, his life a tatters–Gloucester’s too, surrounded and undone by lies, their own as well as those of others.
109. In their complaints against Moses less than two months after they had escaped Egypt through a parted Red Sea, as recorded in Exodus 16.
111. Transcribed in the “Memoir,” 2:19–20, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; also in the printed Memoir, pp. 26–27, with slight variations. Which of the two is closest to the original? For now it is impossible to say; the original appears to be missing. For Quincy and the “massacre” trials see Zobel, Boston Massacre, passim; and my comments in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:21–27. Quincy’s closing argument during the soldiers’ trial can be found in John Hodgson, The Trial of William Wemms (Boston, 1770), pp. 139-48. John Adams complained that Hodgson did not record his arguments accurately. See his letter to Jedediah Morse of 5 January 1816 in Charles Francis Adams, ed., The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1850–1856), 10:201. If Quincy had similar complaints, they do not appear in his surviving writings.
112. The original letter, like the one that prompted it, is now missing, although Eliza Susan Quincy had it in hand at the time she wrote the “Memoir,” 2:20–21, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS) that became the basis of the Memoir (see pp. 27–28). The version printed here follows that transcribed for the “Memoir,” although I capitalized the first word in each new sentence, which Eliza Susan Quincy did not—presumably because Josiah Junior did not either.
113. Samuel Adams, John Hancock, William Molineux, Thomas Cushing, Joshua Henshaw, Samuel Pemberton, Dr. Joseph Warren, the Reverend Samuel Cooper, and William Phillips (Quincy’s father-in-law), town leaders all.
114. Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, Boston Town Records, 1770–1777 (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1887), pp. 23-32. I added commas and even a few periods to ease the reader’s way through. The other committee members were Richard Dana, Joseph Warren, Joshua Henshaw and Benjamin Kent. The newly-elected representatives were James Bowdoin, Thomas Cushing, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock. A handwritten copy is in QP 51 (also on reel 28 MHS), with various differences in spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Unfortunately, various errors crept into the printed version, making Quincy’s handwritten copy the better rendition. That that copy appears to be in Quincy’s hand, and is in his papers, is of course not proof, in and of itself, that he was the primary author of the final draft of these instructions. Eliza Susan Quincy added a note to the folder holding the manuscript copy, commenting that Hutchinson, in the third volume of his history, had noted that this particular set of instructions “not only afforded a strong presage of the measures of the House, but, in words more open and express than those that had been before ventured on, indicated to government in England the design of a general revolt, and excited the first measures taken with an apparent design to guard against it.” See Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, 3 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1936), 3:209, and the text itself in Appendix R, pp. 370–77, with the expected changes to capitalization found in a later printing; edited by Lawrence Mayo. Eliza Susan left out part of Hutchinson’s sentence in her note.
115. Quincy, who often used “ye” instead of “the,” in this case actually wrote the latter.
116. Donald C. Lord and Robert M. Calhoon discuss this dispute in “The Removal of the Massachusetts General Court from Boston, 1769–1772," Journal of American History 55 (1969):735–55.
117. Sir Henry Finch, A Description of the Common Laws of England (London: A. Millar, 1759), p. 57, from the Second Book, Chapter 1, “Of the Common Law, Customs, Prerogative, and Estates.” Finch, who died in 1625, the first year of Charles’s reign, was a barrister affiliated with Gray’s Inn.
118. As taken from Blackstone’s Commentaries, Book I, Chapter 7, 1:244, “Of the King’s Prerogative.”
119. The House challenged Hutchinson, as it had Francis Bernard before him, to provide the basis for his authority to move the General Court from Boston to Cambridge. Hutchinson responded that the attorney general and solicitor general supported him—in effect, giving him legal backing. To which the House replied on 31 July 1770: “The opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General has very little weight with this House in any case, any further, than the reasons which they expressly give, are convincing. This province has suffered so much by unjust, groundless, and illegal opinions of those officers of the Crown, that our veneration, or reverence for their opinions, is much abated.” In other words, the House would determine for itself what was legal and what was not, thereby drawing a line in the political sand. Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 55 vols. (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1919–1990), 47:64.
120. Bring to light by rummaging about.
121. Quincy wrote in his copy this comment in the margin: “See some extraordinary proceedings at the late sessions of the General Court relative to the manufactory house.”
122. Marc Antony, having done nothing to stop the conspirators from assassinating Caesar in the Senate, returns to the scene of the crime and, with the lines that inspired this phrase, announces his plot against the plotters, his intention to wreak bloody vengeance, in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 1.
123. Quincy wrote “Obsta Principiis” twice in the margins of his political commonplace book. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:125, abbreviated to “Obsta Prin.” in another entry at p. 12. Also see ibid., p. 96, n. 3, for John Adams’s use of the phrase in one of his “Novanglus” essays in early 1775. The admonition had probably become familiar to both men as they learned legal Latin, which means to resist or withstand from the beginning in order to nip the undesirable in the bud.
124. Boston Gazette, 6 August 1770, taking the first column and a half on p. 1.
125. Coriolanus, Act IV, Scene 3, Nicanor, the Roman, to Adrian, a Volscian, as he comments on the unrest in Rome and Coriolanus’s banishment. Coriolanus (Caius Martius), once Rome’s great battlefield hero, has been betrayed by rivals in Rome. He allied himself with former enemies in Volsci for revenge, ultimately relents, and is slain by those former enemies, now supposed allies, who felt in their turn betrayed.
126. Issachar was one of the twelve tribes of Israel (because one of Jacob’s twelve sons), being used here for a sarcastic aside, a jab at would-be scholars or those who thought they knew best.
127. Apparently a poke at the Earl of Bute, long out of power but still a symbol of the corruption of court politics at Whitehall because of his supposed influence on an impressionable George III. If Bute was the intended target—Hutchinson, in this instance, seems unlikely, given the “North” (Scotland) reference—Quincy was simply following the lead of opposition members of Parliament. For Bute and Hutchinson as scapegoats see Peter Shaw, American Patriots and the Rituals of Revolution (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University press, 1981), an intriguing attempt at psychohistorical explanation that nevertheless goes too far in asserting that “Quincy’s politics began and ended with Thomas Hutchinson.” (p. 153) Michael Wynn Jones, The Cartoon History of the American Revolution (London: London Editions Limited, 1975) reproduces various broadsides where an image of Bute—identifiable by Scottish garb (tam, kilt, broadsword, or the like)—was used to criticize policies coming out of Whitehall and Westminster, despite the fact that he had had little to do with them.
128. Nugent, Ode to Mankind, p. 12.
129. Boston-Evening Post, 11 February 1771, filling the first column of three, carrying over to part of the second.
130. This passage from E[dward] W[ortley] Montagu, Reflections on the Rise and Fall of the Antient Republicks (London: A. Millar, 1759), p. 153, is in the political commonplace book, and the title is listed in the “Catalogue of Books.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:102 and 5:898 (no. 233), resp.
131. Boston Gazette, 20 May 1771, p. 2, filling just over half of the third column. Quincy uses this particular pen name to enlist readers in his cause, translated as, “to those who know” or “those who understand.” My thanks to Professor Paul Rahe for suggesting this reading of the word, in the dative case.
132. This case resulted from the October 1770 trial of Captain Thomas Preston, and, following him nearly a month later, that of eight enlisted men also accused of murder in the Boston “Massacre” of 5 March 1770. Quincy was of course deeply involved in both trials as a counsel for the defense. His summary of the subsequent May 1771 case involving a petition from the jurors for payment, which he essentially repeated for newspaper readers in the piece above, is in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:798–807, 847–48 (with the text of “Intelligentibus” being reproduced from the Boston Gazette on p. 807).
133. Latin for “third in the clouds,” from the Boston Gazette, 20 May 1771, p. 3, the same issue as the preceding piece by “Intelligentibus.” It is Quincy’s shortest newspaper essay ever to be printed in the Boston Gazette (if, again, Eliza Susan Quincy’s attributions are taken as the source). Could it be that Quincy mocked Hutchinson so subtly that Hutchinson himself might have wondered what he meant—that he was accusing the Governor of thinking he was on the same level as the Father and the Son, when it came to deciding how the Sabbath ought to be observed?
134. The “Warden Act” alluded to a 1761 law stipulating that towns appoint wardens to make sure people observed “the Lord’s Day” each week.
135. Boston Gazette, 25 November 1771, on p. 2, filling most of the second column and all of the third. Boston shopkeeper Harbottle Dorr, Jr., Quincy’s contemporary and a Son of Liberty, marked his copy “By Dr. Young”—Thomas Young. Dorr did not mark the earlier “Hyperion” pieces in his collection that way; he did identify Quincy as the author behind “Marchmont Nedham (on 8 June 1772, and later issues). See the Harbottle Dorr Collection of Annotated Massachusetts Newspapers, 1765–1776, 4 reels microfilm (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1966); and Bernard Bailyn, “The Index and Commentaries of Harbottle Dorr,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 85 (1973):21–35. Was Dorr right and Eliza Susan Quincy wrong? We may never know.
136. More legal Latin: a pending action or litigation, which Hutchinson, serving until recently as chief justice, would have understood.
137. Caracalla (a nickname; more formally, Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus), a Roman emperor whose reign in the early third century CE was noted for barbarity and cruelty, he having murdered his own younger brother to become sole ruler after their father (Septimius Severus) died. He eventually would be assassinated as well. Dionysius, onetime student of Plato in Athens, fell far short of ruling Syracuse as Plato’s idealized philosopher king in the 4th century BCE. Deposed, he died in exile, a victim of his own violent and greedy ways, a petty tyrant—like his father before him.
138. Hutchinson wanted to silence “Mucius Scaevola,” whose essays began appearing in the Massachusetts Spy on 30 May 1771. In Hutchinson’s view press freedom extended only to forbidding prior restraint; anything appearing in the press critical of government policy he believed could be prosecuted for seditious libel. A grand jury refused to indict Isaiah Thomas, the Spy’s printer, and Hutchinson decided not to attempt a prosecution of the paper by pressuring the attorney general to proceed on the basis of an “information” (accusation). “Mucius Scaevola” continued to appear in the Spy. For details see York, “Tag-Team Polemics,” pp. 93–105.
139. I have not been able to locate the source that Quincy quoted at the beginning of this postscript. Accounts of the famous 1735 libel case prosecuted against John Peter Zenger in New York had appeared in pamphlet form in at least three different editions since that time; hence Quincy’s reference. The best modern version is Stanley Nider Katz, ed., A Brief Narrative of the Case and Trial of John Peter Zenger (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1972); and it figures in Leonard Levy’s discussion of The Emergence of a Free Press (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985). There Levy revises some of the arguments that he had made in an earlier book on the subject. Also see Jeffrey A. Smith, Printers and Press Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988). The Zenger case helped strengthen the idea that truth can be a defense for printers, but the burden of truth was still on defendants and the Zenger case did not serve as a formal precedent for press freedom cases in other colonies or in England either.
140. Boston Gazette, 10 February 1772, p. 2, all of the first column, carrying over to about a quarter of the second. Callisthenes was a Greek writer and orator who initially promoted Alexander the Great, then became his critic. Accused of treason, he was thrown into prison and apparently died there, after being tortured. His writings only survive in excerpts quoted later by others. Quincy could have come across Callisthenes in the Langhornes’ Plutarch’s Lives, in the chapter on Alexander (at 4:295–99).
141. In February 1770, Richardson, a minor customs official, shot and killed a young boy, Christopher Seider, who had been part of a crowd that gathered outside Richardson’s house. Richardson was tried for murder in April and the jury found him guilty, to the obvious displeasure of the judges presiding at the trial—the same four who would preside at Preston’s and the soldiers’ trials. Quincy had acted as defense counsel in the trial. The judges did not pronounce sentence and, awaiting a royal pardon, held Richardson in jail until they could slip him out of the province. The best discussion of Richardson’s case in the context of Quincy’s complaints as “Callisthenes” is Zobel, Boston Massacre, pp. 164-79; which builds on the earlier work Zobel did with L. Kinvin Wroth as editors of The Legal Papers of John Adams, 2:396–430. Zobel notes that Quincy wrote as “Callisthenes” (citing the Memoir). Wondering if Quincy wrote to “provoke” Richardson’s execution, Zobel also noted (Boston Massacre, p. 410) that such a position “would seem to contrast sharply not only with his duty as an attorney to his erstwhile client, but also with his stand in the Massacre trials.” But, if Quincy had also written as “Mentor” (see supra, pp. 66–68 from the Boston Evening-Post, 11 February 1771) in the aftermath of the “Massacre trials,” as Eliza Susan Quincy claimed, that would serve as an earlier example of the same phenomenon—which could simply be the result of Quincy taking off his lawyer’s hat and putting on that of the political activist. Besides, neither position—as “Callisthenes” or as “Mentor”—was literally inconsistent with the position that he argued in court, or his notions of how the law should be used to achieve justice.
142. Should be “amensed.” In this context, it meant to compensate or offer restitution.
143. Sidney was executed in 1683. John Hampden, the bane of Charles I, died in 1643 from wounds suffered in battle, fighting on the side of Parliament and therefore, to Parliament’s supporters, a martyr in the cause of liberty.
144. Boston Gazette, p. 3, filling roughly half of the first column.
145. Quincy demonstrates here, as well as anywhere, his ability to wield sarcasm and irony as rhetorical weapons. The resolutions sent in the circular letter to which he referred passed the Massachusetts House of Representatives on 11 February 1768, asserting the basic rights to which the Bay Colony was entitled while at the same time swearing loyalty to crown and empire. The Earl of Hillsborough, first to hold the new post of secretary of state for American affairs, instructed Governor Bernard to in turn instruct the House to repeal the resolutions or face prorogation (immediate end of the session) or dissolution (no new session until an election was held). The same held true for those legislatures in royal colonies that had endorsed them. Hillsborough’s instructions went to all of the royal governors. His letter to Bernard of 21 April 1768 is in the Public Record Office, Colonial Office 5/757, in the National Archives, Kew; for his instructions to the other governors, see, as an example, his letter to Governor Henry Moore of New York in E. B. O’Callaghan, ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of New York, 15 vols. (Albany, N.Y.: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1853-1857), 8:58–59. The Massachusetts House refused to rescind its resolutions and endorsed them by an even larger margin. They are printed in Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 55 vols. (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1919-1990), 44:20–23 (Appendix). A proud Massachusetts celebrated the stand taken by those who refused to rescind (and included various documents connected with the controversy) in The Glorious Ninety-Two (Boston: The Massachusetts General Court, 1949).
146. Boston Gazette, 8 June 1772, p. 2, filling half of the first column, all of the second and a dozen lines onto the third; more commonly “Marchamont” Nedham. Quincy would use this nom de plume more than any other, a total of eleven times, all for this newspaper, and in two distinct groupings, the first beginning now and running over five consecutive issues into the next month; the final six beginning in December 1773, carrying through consecutive issues to the beginning of February 1774. I discussed Nedham’s shifting political loyalties ever so briefly in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:85–86. Since then, Blair Worden has written an interesting essay on Nedham for his edition of The Excellencies of a Free-State; Or, The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth (Indianapolis, Ind.: Liberty Fund, 2011), pp. xv–cv. As Professor Worden noted there, Nedham “is a figure troubling to readers who expect political thinkers to pursue a disinterested search for truth. He is the serial turncoat of the civil wars.” (pp. xx–xxi)
147. Quincy was quoting lines from Book IX in Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”
148. Boston Gazette, 15 June 1772, p. 2, the entire first column and most of the second.
149. The pen name of an essayist who first took on “Marchmont Nedham” in the Massachusetts Gazette, 11 June 1772, and for several subsequent issues thereafter. This newspaper, printed by Richard Draper, produced as many pieces supportive of Hutchinson’s actions as Edes and Gill’s Boston Gazette printed squibs critical of them. “Lelius,” who may have been Hutchinson himself—Quincy seems to have thought as much, but then could not be absolutely sure—also aimed barbs at “Mucius Scaevola,” yet another writer whose essays criticized the Governor and his policies. “Mucius Scaevola” and “Marchnont Nedham” were joined by still others engaged in rhetorical battle with Hutchinson and his supporters. See my “Tag-Team Polemics” for details. The historical (Caius) Lelius had been the right-hand man to Scipio Africanus in the second Punic War, in Spain as well as Africa, and perhaps most notably as cavalry commander in the Roman victory over the Carthaginians at the battle of Zama.
150. These verses are from An Elegy on the Late Rt. Hon. W . . . . . . P . . . , Esq. (London: G. Kearsly, 1766), p. 3, condemning the “great commoner” for abandoning political principle and the people by accepting a peerage and taking a seat in the House of Lords. Quincy appears to have been more forgiving; he continued to admire Pitt, even when he had become the Earl of Chatham.
152. In reference to pieces by “Philanthrop,” whose essays first began appearing five years before, in defense of Governor Francis Bernard, Hutchinson’s predecessor.
153. Joseph Addison, The Whig-Examiner for 14 September 1710, which Quincy could have found in a number of sources, including various editions of Addison’s collected works. Quincy quoted from Addison’s The Free-holder in his political commonplace book, which was also listed in his “Catalogue of Books. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:176 and 5:899 (no. 259), resp.
154. Taken from Hutchinson’s message to the House of 30 May 1772, printed in the Mass. House Journals, 49:15. Many House members were still smarting from the assertion that Hutchinson made about his prerogatives as governor on 5 July 1771, printed in ibid., 48:115–17. His messages were usually printed in the Boston press soon after he delivered them.
155. From the same issue of the Boston Gazette, 15 June 1772 immediately preceding, the following being a brief note near the bottom of the first column on p. 3, taking just under thirty lines.
156. Cleaning the Augean stables in a single day, which housed thousands of cattle and had not been attended to in years, was the fifth of twelve tasks assigned to Hercules to humble himself before the Gods (most especially his father, Zeus). He performed them all successfully, despite their seeming to be impossible. In the case of the stables he diverted two rivers to flow through them, which flushed them quickly.
157. “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Matthew 6:5 (KJV), from Christ’s sermon on the mount.
158. Boston Gazette, 22 June 1772, a long piece taking up the first two columns and half of the third on p. 2.
159. From Act III, Scene 13 in Antony and Cleopatra, altered somewhat by Quincy to suit his purposes. In this scene Marc Antony lashes out verbally in frustration, fearing that he and Cleopatra were doomed and that his lover might try to save herself by accepting Caesar’s offer of mercy, leaving him to suffer his fate alone. To make it clear that Hutchinson was his target, Quincy changed “our confusion” to “his Confusion.”
160. “C ---- The Cobler” went after “Marchmont Nedham” in the pages of the Massachusetts Gazette, joining “Lelius” in the 18 June 1772 issue.
161. Quincy turned again to Greek mythology, the stone of Sisyphus referring to King Sisyphus, who, having betrayed Zeus, was obliged to try to push a huge rock to the top of a steep hill in Hades. He could never complete the task; the rock would roll back down, even over him, before he could get it to the summit. (The moral of the tale would later be reworked by the existentialist Albert Camus.) Tantalus, a more unsavory character, fell afoul of Zeus as well and was forced to stand in water that would recede every time he tried to drink, beneath a tree whose branches would rise out of his reach when he tried to grab its fruit (thus to “tantalize”).
162. That is to say, Wills Hill, the Earl of Hillsborough, secretary of state for American affairs. Like others who protested the policies coming out of Whitehall and Westminster, Quincy objected to any extension of prerogative power–whether it be Hutchinson as governor putting the instructions of an imperial administrator like Hillsborough over the wishes of the Massachusetts House and Council, or his deciding to move the location of the General Court from Boston to Cambridge, or his willingness to accept his salary as part of a civil list rather than from the people through the General Court. To Quincy these issues were every bit as important as the question of Parliament’s authority to regulate commerce or raise revenue through the navigation system. Hillsborough has come down to us as an ideologue, the personification of the imperial hardliner, determined to impress the colonists with Britain’s power. Actually, he was far more pragmatic in his approach to managing the empire, as was Lord North, who has been stuck with the same misleading label.
163. A relatively soft criticism of George III, compared with what would soon follow, but a reminder that colonial protest did not run in some simple sequence, with the king being criticized only after Parliament had been condemned and utterly rejected.
164. Legal Latin: he himself said it, trying to make that bare assertion stand as proof, without further evidence. (In effect, asking that a claim be accepted as true at face value.)
165. Which “C — the Cobler” returns to mockingly in the Massachusetts Gazette, 25 June 1772, at p. 2, column 1, hinting that he knew Quincy masqueraded as Marchmont Nedham: “Pray drink again, my dying Creature, And thus shew Life in ev’ry Feature, For even Mucius must allow, Th’ Symptoms of Death are on you now.”
166. From Milton’s “Of Reformation in England,” in the Works, 1:31. Quincy, with Edes and Gill’s help, highlighted as he saw fit with italics and capitalization.
167. Boston Gazette, 29 June 1772, p. 2, full first column and over half of the second.
168. Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Book III, lines 198-201, quite possibly from The Poetical Works of John Milton, 2 vols. (London, 1731), 1:59–60, which, again, Quincy edited to suit his purposes. There was also a three volume edition of Milton’s poetic works published more recently, in London in 1761. “Milton’s Po Works” is no. 28 in the “Catalogue of Books” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:892.
169. Boston Gazette, 6 July 1772, p. 2, all of the first two columns and roughly a third of the last.
170. Near the closing lines of Gilbert West, The Institution of the Order of the Garter (London: R. Dodsley, 1742), p. 64. It was also reprinted in various poetic anthologies. It is not clear which particular source Quincy used.
171. From Virgil’s Aeneid, Book VIII, lines 560–61: “If Jupiter would only restore the bygone years.”
172. “No one attacks me with impunity;” from the Order of the Thistle.
173. “Let it be perpetual.”
174. Nickname for Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero).
175. Boston Gazette, 28 September 1772, p. 3, a briefer piece filling half of the first column.
176. The crown had already begun paying the salaries of royally-appointed governors, which also stirred protest. Charles Townshend is most famous—infamous in patriot circles—for wanting to create a civil list with part of the revenues raised by the new navigation act that he shepherded through Parliament in June 1767. He did not originate the idea, even if he pressed it harder than most and was more successful in having it carried through. For Quincy, it was one of many inter-related issues, pitting American rights against British authority, issues that expressed themselves politically but were at heart constitutional.
177. See Zobel, Boston Massacre, pp. 245–46 and 270–71 for the selection of jurors in Preston’s trial and that of the soldiers that followed.
178. This refers to a case first tried in Worcester in April 1771 and continued to the next term in September, where Quincy and John Adams represented the defendants, Caleb Davis and Robert Pierpont (Pierpont would be one of the coroners involved in the “Massacre” post-mortems), in a suit filed by Ebenezer Cutler against them. Cutler accused them of being involved (with many others) in seizing goods he was taking out of Boston that he had imported in violation of the non-importation agreements that numerous merchants had signed. Davis was acquitted; Pierpont was fined the amount noted by Quincy. There were comments on the case in the Boston Gazette, 23 September 1771 and 22 September 1772. See too L. H. Butterfield, ed., The Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 4 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1961), 2:8–9.
179. William Murray, Earl of Mansfield and lord chief justice of the Court of King’s Bench, was also active in the House of Lords. He made a point of skewering what he dismissed as colonial political pretensions. Often, what men like Quincy considered rights, he considered privileges. On the bench he was notorious as an opponent to expanding the notion of press freedom beyond the elimination of prior restraint.
180. Quincy was quoting from a brief notice on Free Thoughts on Seduction, Adultery, and Divorce, By a Civilian (London: J. Bell, 1771) that appeared in the Monthly Review 45 (December 1771):497. That same issue carried a full review of Sir Robert Talbot, Letters on the French Nation, a title first published in French that had recently been translated into English, and that Quincy drew from for his political commonplace book—see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:213–14. Even if Quincy already owned a copy of Talbot before he turned to that issue of the Monthly Review, it is interesting to think that he, like many modern academicians, went to book reviews when looking for titles to add to his personal library.
181. Abbreviation for nota bene: to note well.
182. Boston Gazette, 12 October 1772, filling almost the entire first page–except for a portion of the third column devoted to a “letter” from the same author to Joseph Hawley (see the following piece). Quincy may have encountered Sexby in his reading of Catharine Macaulay’s history. Sexby was in his own way as much of a political opportunist as Marchmont Nedham, though Quincy probably did not realize it. See my brief comments in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:85-86; and ibid., 1:58–60, 109–12, 209–10, for Macaulay’s history and his use of it in the political commonplace book.
183. Once again Quincy quoted from Nugent’s Ode to Mankind, and, once again, altered the text (from p. 8) to achieve the desired effect (the original reading “And he who dares her Gift invade, By Nature’s oldest Law is made, Thy Victim or Thy Slave.”)
184. This is the opening sentence to a piece by “Common Sense” for the Massachusetts Gazette, 1 October 1772, supplement.
185. Samson’s tale is told in the Old Testament book of Judges 13–16.
186. The essay was indented for a half dozen lines to squeeze into the margin, as a source for the reference to Ehud, Judges 3. Although angered by the behavior of Israelites who had strayed off into evil ways, God forgave them and allowed Ehud to lead them out of captivity by the Moabites.
188. Quincy referred here to Algernon Sidney, one of his favorite writers in what historian Caroline Robbins called the “commonwealth” tradition. By Quincy’s era he had become revered as a champion of republicanism, a martyr to the cause of English freedom when he was convicted of treason and executed in 1683 for participating in the so-called Rye House Plot against Charles II. He had supported the dethroning of Charles I but ended up as appalled by the actions of Cromwell and the army in forming the Protectorate as he had been by those of the king they displaced. For Sidney and the American Revolutionary generation see Caroline Robbins, The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959); Peter Karsten, Patriot-Heroes in England and America ( Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978); and Alan Craig Houston, Algernon Sidney and the Republican Heritage in England and America (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1991). Quincy owned a compilation of Sidney’s writings that included an account of his trial: see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:893 (no. 61 in the “Catalogue of Books”).
189. As the newly-appointed chief justice of the Court of King’s Bench, Judge George Jeffreys presided at Sidney’s trial, the villain to Sidney’s hero in Quincy’s pantheon of important figures from the past.
190. Taken from Alexander Pope’s The First Satire on the Second Book of Horace (London: L. G., 1733), p. 17, though Quincy could have turned to any number of editions printed during this period or to a later compilation of Pope’s works; it is not clear which he actually used.
191. This brief piece appeared on the bottom right of the same page as the previous essay. Joseph Hawley practiced law in Northampton and sat in the Massachusetts House. He would become one of the leading patriots from the western part of the colony, an ally of Samuel Adams when it came to protesting imperial policy. He figures prominently as one of Hampshire County’s “river gods” in Robert J. Taylor, Western Massachusetts in the American Revolution (Providence, R. I.: Brown University Press, 1954).
192. Eliza Susan Quincy transcribed this letter for her “Memoir,” 2:38a, 39a, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS, and included most of it in the printed Memoir, pp. 54-55 as well. The original is not among the Quincy Papers at the MHS.
193. Inspired by, but not taken directly from, Samuel Butler’s Hudibras? These lines (along with some others) are among those from Quincy’s letter not included in the printed biography.
194. These resolutions, plus the town’s instructions to Ephraim Doolittle, its representative in the General Court, were printed in the Boston Evening-Post and the Boston Gazette, in the 18 January 1773 issue for both papers. The transcription here is from the BEP version. Edmund B. Wilson, Address Delivered in Petersham, Massachusetts, July 4, 1854 (Boston: Crosby, Nichols and Co., 1855), p. 99, noted that town leader Sylvanus How had readily acknowledged Quincy’s assistance with the resolutions and that Quincy’s son—Josiah the Mayor—had a handwritten copy in his possession. Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn, in his 29 January 1774 excoriation of Benjamin Franklin before the privy council, quoted in part from the Petersham resolutions as an example of the wrong thinking encouraged in Franklin’s “school of Politics.” See Leonard Labaree, et al., eds., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 38 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1959—) 21:63–64.
195. Quincy had been a member of the twenty-one-man Boston committee of correspondence, formed after a motion made by Samuel Adams, that drafted those resolutions. They were approved by the full town meeting on 20 November 1772, and then sent out “to the several Towns in this Province and the World.” See Record Commissioners, Boston Town Records, pp.95–106 for the “Rights” and “Infringements,” those rights being grounded in the law of nature. For context see Richard D. Brown, Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970).
196. Of the four British regiments sent to Boston in 1768, two (the 64th and 65th) had been re-assigned in less than a year. The remaining two (the 14th and 29th) had been removed from the town proper to barracks on Castle William within two weeks of the March 1770 “massacre,” with the 29th being transferred to New Jersey the following June. The 14th had been transferred to the West Indies in August 1772 and the 64th came down from Halifax to replace it. Hutchinson had effectively turned Castle William over to the army and he had begun to accept his salary from the crown rather than from the General Court; so had superior court judges. Whether Castle William should be garrisoned by militia or regulars, whether munitions stockpiled at public expense (an issue that would be brought to the fore during the “powder alarm” of September 1774), or whether the king’s troops had right of access on a road through town (such as would be seen at Salem and the near-confrontation there in February 1775)—all raised complicated questions of local versus imperial authority.
197. The asterisk was placed after the town’s instructions to Ephraim Doolittle, which advised: “See SIDNEY’s Apology in the Day of his Death.” Sidney’s “Apology” had been printed in various editions of his writings—one of which Quincy, a great admirer of Sidney, owned. See the posthumous “Catalogue of Books” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:893 (no. 61). The last paragraph was essentially taken from the Apology, most likely the version that appeared as an appendix to the Discourses Concerning Government (London: A. Millar, 1763), Appendix, pp. 197–98: “But I believe that there are many who haue kept their garments unspotted; and hope that God will deliuer them and the nation for their sakes. God will not suffer this land, where the gospell hath of late flourished more than in any other part of the world, to become a slave of the world; he will not suffer it to be made a land of grauen images: he will stirre up witnesses of the truth. And, in his owne time, spirit his people to stand up for his cause, and deliure them. I liued in this belief, and am now about to dye in it. I knowe my Redeemer liues; and, as he hath in a great mesure upheld me in the day of my calamity, hope that he will still uphold me by his spirite in this last moment, and giuing me grace to glorify him in my death, receaue me into the glory prepared for thoes that feare him, when my body shall be dissolued. Amen.”
198. Letter from Quincy to his wife Abigail, 1 March 1773, which Eliza Susan Quincy transcribed for her handwritten “Memoir,” 2:54–56, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS, and then included in the printed Memoir, pp. 71–73, with various small changes to punctuation and small additions to the latter version. The original is not in the MHS collections. A transcription of Quincy’s journal of this trip (by Michael H. Hayden, with copious notes) is in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 3:85–350. See too Dan Coquillette’s introduction for that volume on pp. 11–82.
199. Eliza Susan Quincy may have deleted some material that followed between this point and the next paragraph. Without the original for comparison, it is impossible to know how much.
200. The words from this point to the end of the paragraph are not in the handwritten “Memoir”—perhaps just a simple error in transcription.
201. Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1, from Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy.
202. “Last evening” in the printed Memoir, p. 72.
203. The remaining sentences and closing are not included in the Memoir.
204. From the original in QP 51 (also reel 29) MHS. Eliza Susan Quincy did not transcribe it for either memoir. Samuel Quincy was Josiah Junior’s older brother by a decade. He had joined the Massachusetts Bar in 1758, four years after completing his studies at Harvard. A good lawyer, even Whiggish in his politics (and acting as prosecutor in two of the three “Massacre” trials” in opposition to his brother as a defense counsel), he eventually chose law and order over protest, and sided with the those defending the empire against men like his younger brother who kept pressing their opposition to policies coming out of London, and the actions of Thomas Hutchinson in their support. He left for London after fighting erupted at Lexington and Concord, then made his way to Antigua, and eventually secured an appointment as the governor of St. Croix. In the meantime, he had been proscribed in Massachusetts and his remaining property there was sold at public auction. He perished while voyaging to England in 1789. He, his younger brother, and their father had done their best to try to keep political differences from breaking family ties. There is a nice sketch of him in Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 13:478–88.
206. It is not clear who Quincy quoted here. It may be a reference to the valley of the river Eden above Solway Firth, separating England and Scotland.
207. Transcribed from the original in QP 51 (also filmed, on reel 29) MHS; Eliza Susan Quincy copied most of it into her “Memoir,” 2:93a, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS, but it was not included in the printed Memoir. Portions near a torn right margin are missing, as noted above.
208. The widow of the Reverend Joseph Marsh of Braintree, whose son, also named Joseph, had acted as a tutor to prepare Josiah Junior for Harvard, as he had John Adams before him, and other boys in the town. Josiah Senior had married as his third wife Ann Marsh–sister of the younger Marsh, daughter of the elder Marsh, a good example of the kinship ties formed in this small farming community to the south of Boston that so many Quincys and Adamses would call home.
210. Norton Quincy, who had retired to Braintree to escape the hubbub of Boston, was sympathetic to the patriot cause but would have preferred to be left alone and live the life of a country gentleman. He was actually defeated in the election, then appointed to the governor’s council by the House, but General Thomas Gage, Hutchinson’s successor as governor, refused to approve the appointment. See the brief sketch in Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 10:75-78.
211. In QP 51 (and reel 29) MHS; also in the “Memoir,” 2:94a, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS.
212. Perez Morton, who had completed his studies at Harvard two years before and worked in Quincy’s law office as he prepared to become a member of the Massachusetts bar, the next year. He would become one of the town’s leading patriots and delivered the eulogy for Joseph Warren (Quincy’s doctor) in April 1776, nearly a year after Warren had been slain at the Battle of Bunker Hill, doing so when Warren’s body was re-interred in Boston after the British evacuation just weeks before. In later years he would serve as the state’s attorney general. There is an entry for him in Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 17:555–561. Also see p. 370, n. 1 infra.
213. Transcribed by Eliza Susan into her “Memoir,” 88a–90a, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS, with the original now missing.
214. Drawn from Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man,” Epistle IV, lines 237–38, 241–42; probably from “Popes Works” as listed in the “Catalogue of Books” (no. 312) in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:901. There are too many possibilities to list here–and he may have gone to a copy of the “Essay” that had been printed separately, which only adds to the number of potential sources. He turned to Pope’s piece a number of times in his journal while on this Southern trip—see ibid., 3:88, 120, 122.
215. Quincy worked from memory, and was just a bit off. He was correct that it was Bacon—in this case, his essay “Of Vain-Glory,” the relevant passage of which is: “For the Fame of Cicero, Seneca, Plinius Secundus, had scarce lasted to this Day, or at least not so fresh, if it have not been joined with some Vanity and Boasting in themselves. For Boasting seems to be like Varnish, that makes Wood not only Shine, but Last.” The “Catalogue of Books” (no. 42) lists “Lord Bacons Works 4," which, if it was a complete set, could have been the edition published in 1740 in London by A. Millar. Even so, Quincy did not have that edition in mind when recalling this particular passage. Instead, he was drawing on what he had read in an earlier edition of Bacon’s Essays rather than the complete Works (the phraseology from the translated Latin being notably different). For those other possibilities see my comments in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:202.
216. He may have thought it was Seneca, perhaps one of his epistles, but the more likely source is Adam Fitz-Adam [Edward Moore], The World, 4 vols. (London: R. And J. Dodsley, 1753–1756), 1:2.
217. A passage from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book VIII, lines 20–21—“I see and approve the better course, though I follow the worse”—that has passed into legal Latin. Quincy owned a copy of Metamorphoses: see the “Catalogue of Books” at Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:899 (no. 257), which could have been a translated edition or one in the original Latin. He turned to it for his journal too at this same time: at ibid., 3:275.
218. QP 51 (and reel 29) MHS; also in the “Memoir,” 2:107b, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; and the Memoir, pp. 117–18. Smith, the son of a wealthy merchant involved in trade himself and just a couple of years older than Quincy, was one of the rising leaders among Philadelphia radicals.
219. He probably referred here to Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Traffiques of the English Nation, the first three volumes of which appeared in London between 1599 and 1600. There were no eighteenth-century editions printed in either Britain or the American colonies.
220. [Thomas Hutchinson] A Collection of Original Papers Relative to the History of Massachusetts-Bay (Boston: Thomas and John Fleet, 1769). Quincy quoted from the Collection twice in his political commonplace book. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of Patriot, 1:103, 173–74.
221. Which Smith abbreviated as simply “v. h. s.”
222. QP 51 (also reel 29) MHS; and in the Memoir, p. 115. Bee would become one the leaders of the Revolutionary movement in South Carolina, and he sat in the Continental Congress during the latter part of the war. Bee studied at Oxford and had been a member of the South Carolina bar for well over a decade before Quincy’s arrival in Charleston. There are various references to Bee in Quincy’s Southern journal; see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, vol. 3 passim.
223. QP 51 (and reel 29) MHS; the “Memoir,” 2:108b–109, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; and Memoir, pp. 118–19. Clymer was a wealthy merchant, deeply involved in patriot politics. He would serve in the Continental Congress during the war and as a delegate to the constitutional convention in 1787. Gaspare Saladino’s sketch in John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 24 vols. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 5:90–92 is the best introduction to Clymer.
224. In the “Memoir,” 2:110–11, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; and Memoir, pp. 119–20. E. S. Quincy copied from the original, which has since disappeared.
226. Boston Gazette, 20 December 1773, p. 2, filling the bottom half of the second column and carrying over to the top third of the third column.
227. From Comus, lines 582–84. He had turned to that play on his Southern journey, earlier in the year; in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 3:123 and 219.
228. Boston Gazette, 27 December 1773, p. 1, the full first column and nearly half of the second.
229. Milton, Paradise Regain’d, Book I.
230. French for small, slim dagger; eventually anglicized as poniard.
231. Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, John (First Baron) Finch, and Sir Robert Berkeley were all caught up in the clashes pitting Crown against Parliament prior to the English Civil War. They sided with Charles I and suffered the consequences. Strafford was executed; Finch and Berkeley, both judges, were impeached and removed from the bench.
232. Boston Gazette, 3 January 1774, p. 2, taking nearly three quarters of the first column.
233. Quincy blended passages from different Shakespeare plays here, opening with a line from Henry VI, Part I, Act I, Scene 3 (hurled by the Duke of Gloucester at the Bishop of Winchester). The following two lines are from Richard III, Act III, Scene 4 (the future Richard III to Lord Hastings). The final four are from Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene 1 (Brutus, before Cassius has lured him into the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar).
234. Lieutenant Governor Andrew Oliver, customs commissioner Benjamin Hallowell, and customs inspector Charles Paxton.
235. See Copy of Letters (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1773), for all four listed above: Paxton’s to Whately of 20 June 1768 (p. 37), Andrew Oliver’s of 13 February 1769 (pp. 27–33), Thomas Hutchinson’s of 20 January 1769 (pp. 15–16), and Oliver’s of 7 May 1767 (pp. 18–24). The title page ended with: “In which (notwithstanding his Excellency’s Declaration to the House, that the Tendency and Design of them was not to subvert the Constitution, but rather to preserve it entire) the judicious Reader will discover the fatal Source of the Confusion and Bloodshed in which this Province especially has been involved, and which threatened total Destruction to the Liberties of all America.” Bailyn, Thomas Hutchinson, pp. 221–73 (in a chapter called, fittingly, “The ‘Scape-goat’”), reviews the controversy surrounding these letters, within the context of Hutchinson’s loss of power in the colony.
236. Boston Gazette, 10 January 1774, p. 1, filling the first two columns and well over half of the third.
237. Once again showing his Shakespeare expertise, Quincy takes his own line, directed at Thomas Hutchinson—“Think of thy country”—and uses it as a lead to a line from Richard III, Act V, Scene 3, the ghost of the Duke of Buckingham appearing to a treacherous and yet troubled Richard III in a dream on the eve of the Battle of Bosworth Field. Other ghosts of those victimized by the King had preceded Buckingham, reminding Richard of his crimes before urging him to “despair, and die.”
238. The faces had changed (somewhat), but the issues remained the same. Hutchinson now played the role once filled by Francis Bernard, his predecessor as governor, with letters that Bernard had written being published to embarrass him and rally public support. The letters of June 1768 to which Quincy alluded appeared in Letters to the Ministry (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1768), pp. 25–29. Those letters were part of the controversy associated with the Liberty affair of 10 June 1768, which is sometimes (wrongly) pointed to as the cause of troops being sent to Boston. The decision to send them had actually been reached before the event even occurred. For details see Hutchinson’s version in his The History of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, 3 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1936), 3:136–40, edited by Lawrence Mayo. Also see Benjamin Hallowell’s affidavit of 11 June 1768 in Add. Ms. 38,340, fo. 251 at the British Library (Liverpool Papers) and his testimony before the Treasury lords on 21 July 1768 in the National Archives, Public Record Office T1/468, fos. 338–40; and the overview in George Wolkins, “The Seizure of John Hancock’s Sloop ‘Liberty,’” Massachusetts Historical Society. Proceedings 55 (1921-1922):239–84.
239. The nine resolutions actually passed the House of Commons first, in December 1768, then were concurred in by the House of Lords, after some minor revisions, the following February. They are printed in the Journals of the House of Commons, 32:185–86, and were reprinted in various newspapers around the colonies. Edes and Gill added their own emphasis.
240. Drawing once again from the Copy of Letters, pp. 18–24, for this one, and the respective pages for the ones above it.
241. On 9 June 1773, which triggered House resolutions a week later in protest. In the Mass. House Journal, 50:40–41 and 58–61, resp.
242. Boston Gazette, 17 January 1774, p. 1, all of columns one and two, and over half of column three.
243. Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5, for the first line (Hamlet, upon hearing from his father’s ghost how his father was murdered by his uncle, who then married Hamlet’s widowed mother Queen Gertrude and took the throne as King Claudius), the second from Act III, Scene 1 (Polonius to his daughter Ophelia, as he and Claudius endeavor to learn what Hamlet is about).
244. Mass. House Journal, 5,:40-41.
245. Of all the passages pulled from these letters, this was in some minds, apparently, the most damning (in Copy of Letters, p. 15, Hutchinson’s letter of 20 January 1769).
246. An allusion from Greek mythology, familiar to at least some of his readers, Scylla was a multi-headed beast and Charybdis a whirlpool, both in the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Italy. They had been sea nymphs, transformed into monsters by angry, jealous gods.
248. The references to Hutchinson are from the letter noted above. Those from Oliver are in the letter of 13 February 1769 in Copy of Letters, pp. 27–33—with a reference to the Boston Gazette as the “vehicle” for poisoning the minds of the people.
249. All of the excerpts that Quincy quoted are from the two letters cited above.
250. Boston Gazette, 31 January 1774, p. 1, filling the entire page, except for the last third of the third column.
251. From Samson Agonistes, lines 829–33. Garry Wills played off of Milton in Nixon Agonistes (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969).
252. There is a sketch of Brattle in Sibley, et al., Harvard Graduates, 7:10–23. A Cambridge lawyer and long-time member of the governor’s council, he had only recently switched his political sympathies. Once a critic of Hutchinson, placed on the council by Hutchinson’s opponents in the House (which Hutchinson chose not to fight), he had decided that the men of Quincy’s ilk were widening the divide between mother country and colony. He, like Hutchinson, supported the new policy out of London that paid judges’s salaries from proceeds raised through the navigation system rather than by the General Court, as had been the tradition. He differed fundamentally, then, with Quincy over what constituted a more independent judiciary. Perhaps it was a sense of betrayal that caused Quincy to depict the sixty-seven-year-old Brattle as a doddering, superannuated non-entity. Although Brattle was four years older than Quincy’s father, he was three years younger than Josiah Junior’s uncle Edmund, who was still very active as a justice of the peace in Boston—and a thorough-going patriot.
253. Hutchinson’s messages of June 3rd and June 9th, with the House resolution of June 16th, are in the Mass. House Journals, 50:29, 40–41, and 57–61 (quotation from p. 59), resp.
254. Boston Gazette, 7 February 1774, p. 1, taking roughly the same amount of print space as the previous installment. This would be the last.
255. From Henry VI, Part III, Act III, Scene 2. Quincy altered the future Richard III’s speech from first person to second—“Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,” and the lines that follow—to target Hutchinson. Unfortunately, we cannot know how consciously Quincy was mimicking Shakespeare as well as quoting him. Was he attempting to make his Hutchinson the historical Hutchinson, as, over time, Shakespeare’s Richard III had become, for many, the historical Richard III?
256. Hutchinson to Whately, 4 October 1768, Copy of Letters, pp. 9–12 (quotation from p. 9).
257. Letter of 18 June 1768, ibid., pp. 3–5 (quotation from p. 4).
258. Macbeth speaking, as it begins to dawn on him that he is about be brought down by a fate that he, in his ambition and avarice, made inescapable. Act V, Scene 3 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Quincy changed the first person—“I have liv’d long enough”—to second, to act as commentator on Hutchinson, and he compressed the speech to produce the final line.
259. Mass. House Journals, 50:41.
260. QP 51 (and reel 29) MHS.
261. I created the paragraph breaks that follow, added some periods where Quincy continued on, inserted apostrophes where needed, substituted “and” for “&,” and filled in abbreviations.
262. He wrote “Hond,” after scratching out “Beloved.”
263. Light carriage, pulled by a single horse.
264. Quincy, Memoir, p. 289, left out both Gordon’s Sallust and Macaulay’s History. Bernard Bailyn, in his The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967), used Quincy’s bequest as the epigraph to Chapter 2, but he worked from the Memoir rather than the original, so he did the same–most likely without realizing that Eliza Susan Quincy had made the deletions.
265. The fair amount due a party for services performed, with no formal written contract specifying a fixed total.
266. With the will annexed.
267. A Latin phrase that has passed into common American English usage: “by the fact itself.”
268. The original note is in QP 51 (and reel 29) MHS; Eliza Susan Quincy transcribed it for her “Memoir,” 2:117–20, QP 46 (and reel 6) MHS; and it is reproduced with slight changes in the printed Memoir, pp. 131–35.
269. Samuel Adams, Dr. Thomas Young, the Reverend Samuel Cooper, and Dr. Joseph Warren. The author’s thinking parallels that of Peter Oliver, who repeatedly decried the “black regiment” of congregational ministers who, he felt, had undercut legitimate imperial authority. See Douglas Adair & John A. Schutz, eds., Peter Oliver’s Origins and Progress of the American Rebellion (San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library Press, 1961), pp. 29, 41–45, 53, 63, 106, 163.
270. Original in QP 51 (and reel 29) MHS; printed in the Massachusetts Gazette, p. 2, column 3, with various small changes in punctuation and capitalization. Addressed to “Mess’rs DRAPER and BOYLE.”
271. Quincy inserted this paragraph after having written a first draft without it.
272. Was Quincy opening the door for a duel—the “in company” a veiled allusion to his second, in such an event?
273. “JOSIAH QUINCY, Jun’r.” in the print version.
274. Quincy’s epigraphs came from a range of sources. Those from Lamentations are of course from the Old Testament. The passage from Lucan’s Pharsalia, Book 10, lines 407–8 (on Caesar), condemns soldiers who have become mercenaries, fighting for money rather than duty or honor. Quincy could have taken those lines from any one of several Latin editions published in London in the 18th century. The Alexander Pope passage is from the prologue that Pope wrote for Joseph Addison’s play Cato. The longer passage by John Milton is from Paradise Lost, Book 12, lines 493–97. Quincy owned copies of the Works of both Milton and Pope. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:892 (no. 28) and 5:901 (no. 312), resp., in the posthumous “Catalogue of Books.” Of the five epigraphs on the printed page, only the passage from Lucan is in the original manuscript.
275. He changed the order of the two sentences in this paragraph, to put the freeholders first, the landed interest second.
276. He had written “the first fruits of my pen,” then changed it–at the printer’s?–to “this temporary work.”
277. Pamphlet pages are set within brackets. Edes and Gill placed those numbers at the top of each page; here, they should be considered as at the bottom. Reprint editions were published in both Philadelphia and London, the former by John Sparhawk, the latter by Edward and Charles Dilly (which was also sold by John Almon in his Piccadilly shop). The Dillys removed the epigraphs from Lamentations on the title page and made other, smaller changes as well–not unusual when printers reset type and made editorial choices as they went. See the listings for the Observations in Thomas R. Adams, American Independence: The Growth of an Idea (Providence, R. I.: Brown University Press, 1965), pp. 101–2; and idem, The American Controversy, 2 vols. (Providence, R. I.: Brown University Press, 1980), 1:228–29.
278. That is to say the Boston Port Act, in Danby Pickering, ed., The Statutes at Large, 46 vols. (Cambridge, Eng.: Joseph Bentham, 1762–1807), 30:336–41 (24 George III c. 19). Quincy included at the bottom of this page the following “ERRATA: Page 6, line 13, for ‘was’ read were—page 8, line 25, for “popular” read populous—page 13, line 20, for lawers, read lawyers—page 21, line 26, for ‘pay’ read make—Dele[te] the word ‘king’ in the 8th Page 4th line from the bottom.” I have made the changes in the text itself. There were other errors that Quincy did not note, and perhaps did not catch; these too I have corrected silently in the text.
279. Quincy altered this paragraph somewhat, noting in the original version that the Boston Port Act had been published in Draper’s paper (the Massachusetts Gazette), which had prompted him to write the pamphlet. He also crossed out: “If the author appears warm, it is to be remembered that he is a native of Boston, and that what he delivers is the language of his heart.”
280. He deleted “the destruction of power” after “animadversions.”
281. Quincy deleted “as an inferior species of parliamentary extravagance” in the manuscript copy, and added this footnote to the print version: “Since this treatise was advertised in the public papers, as being in the press, the author hath received, from the British Coffee-House, an anonymous Letter, in which he is represented as being ‘in eminent hazard of THE LOSS OF LIFE and confiscation of estate:’ It is said, that ‘I shall very probably get into the hands of a power, from which no power I can call to will be able to deliver me.’—There is (says the writer) ‘but one expedient left to save me:’ — ’Employ, for GOD’s sake, those rare talents, with which (saith the artful flatterer) he hath blessed you, in convincing THE PEOPLE that they have nothing to do, but to SUBMIT, and make their peace WITH GOVERNMENT:—You may, (continues he) by this means probably make your peace, and ward off the punishment that hangs over your head. It is barely possible, THAT GOVERNMENT may still continue IT’S GREAT LENITY, and overlook your offences.’” On a separate line Quincy added: “The Reader is left to his own Reflections.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:33–4 for context. The source of the “threat” is not clear, though it seems likely that Quincy knew the author’s identity. The letter to Quincy, and Quincy’s response (which was printed in the Massachusetts Gazette), are reproduced at supra, pp. 180–84.
282. Quincy crossed out “exertions” on the manuscript.
283. Quincy deleted after “concerns” the passage “will lose much of” and also “find what he delivers desperately to the swift.”
284. For which see the brief overview in Robert J. Allison, The Boston Tea Party (Beverly, Mass.: Commonwealth Editions, 2007); Benjamin L. Carp, Defiance of the Patriots (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2010); Harlow Giles Unger, American Tempest (Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 2011); and what remains the standard study, Benjamin Woods Labaree, The Boston Tea Party (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962).
285. Most likely taken by Quincy from his commonplace book, p. 177, in York and Coquillette, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:165, which Quincy had copied from Mr. [Thomas] Hutchinson, The History of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay, 2 vols. (Boston: Thomas and John Fleet, 1764, 1767), 2:156, the first two of what eventually were three volumes. Hutchinson’s History is not in Quincy’s “Catalogue of Books.” It is most accessible in the three-volume version published by Harvard University Press in 1936, as edited by Lawrence Shaw Mayo.
286. Also from the political commonplace book, p. 9, in ibid., 1:105, which Quincy had copied from William Robertson, The History of Scotland, 4th ed., 2 vols. (London: A. Millar, 1761), 1:167; listed in the “Catalogue of Books,” ibid., 5:897, at no. 210.
287. He inserted this sentence in the left margin, perpendicular to the text, presumably at some later point before going to press. Quincy did not indicate his source here, perhaps because he just went to his commonplace book, p. 47, for it. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:121, Quincy having originally found this passage in John and William Langhorne, eds., Plutarch’s Lives, 6 vols. (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1770), 5:323 (Cicero). This is almost certainly the set listed in the “Catalogue of Books” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:207.
288. This time Quincy did cite his source–A Complete Collection of the Lords’ Protests, 2 vols. (London, 1767), 2:140–41, a protest made in 1735–as taken from the political commonplace book, p. 198, in ibid., 1:172. The first volume began with a protest lodged in 1242, during the reign of Henry III; the second ended with a protest against rescinding a dividend granted to the East India Company in June 1767. A Supplement to the Last Edition of the Lords’ Protests (1770) added protests made through May 1770, and was added to volume 2 when a new printing of the Protests was done in 1772.
289. Quincy inserted this sentence in between lines already written.
290. Pickering, ed., Statutes, 30:337 (24 George III c. 19).
291. Most of this paragraph is squeezed into the left margin, again running perpendicular to the text, after beginning between lines—Quincy changing his mind about what he going to write before settling on it? He had already written the next paragraph, then came back to the one inserted here.
292. Quincy copied this passage into his political commonplace book, p. 48–see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:121, but, once again, he did not include a footnote referring readers to where he had found it–in this instance the Langhornes’ Plutarch’s Lives, 5:329 (Demosthenes and Cicero Compared).
293. Another case of drawing from the political commonplace book, p. 212. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:176; from an “An Essay upon the Ancient and Modern Learning” found in Sir William Temple, The Works of Sir William Temple, 2 vols. (London: A. Churchill, et al., 1740), 1:159–60. Temple is not in the “Catalogue of Books.”
294. A supporter or abettor.
295. Quincy provided no citation, but the passage is from a speech made by Sir John Phillips in the House of Commons, 29 January 1744, as copied into the political commonplace book, p. 114, in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:144, from The Debates and Proceedings of the British House of Commons, 8 vols. (London: J. Almon, 1766–1772), 23:48. This is most likely the set listed in Quincy’s “Catalogue of Books,” at no. 268 (see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:899).
296. Again, as quoted from the Boston Port Act, in Pickering, ed., Statutes, 30:340 (24 George III c. 19).
297. Quincy was going to add a line to his footnote, but then crossed it out: “This will be explained presently.”
298. This sentence was inserted between the lines.
299. Quincy crossed out the next sentence, which is now barely legible. In it he continued his sarcastic tone, saying that it had been “the design of some” not to “excruciate” the “body” with “uncommon misfortunes,” but to “excruciate” it nonetheless.
300. Passed by the General Court in 1692; printed in Charters and General Laws of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay (Boston: T. B. Wait, 1814), pp. 243–45.
301. A passage from Hector St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Letters on the Study and Use of History, 2 vols. (London: A. Millar, 1752), 1:278; copied into the political commonplace book, p. 129, in Coquillette and York, eds, Portrait of a Patriot, 1:149. Bolingbroke is not listed in Quincy’s “Catalogue of Books.”
302. Substituted for “boasts.”
303. G. B. Cheever thought this paragraph moving enough to include it in his The American Common-Place Book of Prose (Boston: Carter and Hendee, 1832), 37–38, but he encountered it in the appendix to Quincy’s Memoir, where it was reprinted (at pp. 386–87 in the original 1825 edition), not in the pamphlet itself.
304. Meaning, during or at pleasure (as opposed to good behavior). In the manuscript Quincy had written “quamdiu se bene gesserit,” another phrase in legal Latin that said the same thing a different way, in specifying the terms of an appointment.
305. Quoting (and paraphrasing) again from the Boston Port Act, in Pickering, ed., Statutes, 30:340 (24 George III c. 19).
306. Quincy inserted the phrase after “disgrace,” and moved “Here waiving . . . and civil society” to p. 27 in the print version, to end this first section of the essay.
307. Quincy deleted, after “Boston,” the phrase “as being trespassing against them.”
308. He deleted “if an individual or any body of men have a claim,” after “company.”
309. He changed around the wording in this sentence before settling on the final form.
310. For the English background (and a passing reference to Quincy) see Lois G. Schwoerer, No Standing Armies (Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974). For how those issues played out in the colonies (with a fair amount on Quincy’s pamphlet) see John Phillip Reid, In Defiance of the Law (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1981).
311. After crossing out this entire paragraph, Quincy inserted: “Set the following for the press, notwithstanding the X.”
312. Quincy quoted here, repeated on the next page, from Marquis Beccaria, An Essay on Crimes and Punishment (London: J. Almon, 1767), published in Italian three years before, a sentiment too often thought to be original to Jeremy Bentham in his explication of “utilitarianism.” Quincy quoted other passages in his political commonplace book and the title is listed in the Catalogue of Books. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:121–22, 127 and 5:898 (no. 232) resp.
313. Quincy went to Beccaria’s Essay for this particular passage (from p. xi), which he had included in the political commonplace book, p. 51; see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:122.
314. Quincy included a footnote, drawing again upon the political commonplace book, at p. 196 (in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:171), to quote from Catharine Macaulay’s Observations on a Pamphlet Entitled, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, 5th ed. (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1770), p. 10: “The modes of government which have been imposed on credulous man, have been not only deficient in producing the just ends of government; viz, the full and impartial security of the rights of nature; but also, have been rather formidable and dangerous cabals against the peace, happiness and dignity of society.” Macaulay’s pamphlet is not in Quincy’s “Catalogue of Books.”
315. This sentence replaces another that Quincy crossed out.
316. Quincy added this footnote: “This (standing army) is a monster, that will devour all your liberties and properties—there is a time for all men to speak, and now, when our liberties are at stake, duty to GOD, our Prince and country forbid [him; left out, presumably a printer’s error] to be silent.” He drew this from a 1673 speech by Sir John Hotham in the House of Commons, as recorded in Anchitell Grey, Debates of the House of Commons, From the Year 1667 to the Year 1694, 10 vols. (London: D. Henry, R. Cave and J. Emonson, 1763), 2:391. He also tapped Grey’s Debates for his commonplace book, though he did not include this particular passage. Grey’s Debates are not listed in the “Catalogue of Books.”
317. Quincy may have gleaned this phrase from Trenchard and Gordon’s Cato’s Letters (no. 83, 30 June 1722) or from a number of other sources. It was common enough by then that he saw no need to cite it, if indeed he was aware himself of where he first heard or read it. He did leave his set of Cato’s Letters to his son in his February 1774 will (see supra, p. 174), although that set is not listed in the Catalogue of Books–yet another reminder of how incomplete our knowledge of Quincy’s intellectual world is.
318. Quincy went back and inserted “inattentive to the calamities of others” after writing the sentence without it.
319. Quincy entered three separate footnotes for just one source in this paragraph–the essay on Caesar in Langhorne, Plutarch’s Lives, 4:328–29, 331. Those passages are also in the political commonplace book, pp. 44–45; see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:119–20.
320. Quincy had “but” in the manuscript, after “was.”
321. Replacing “foliage.”
322. Quincy included a footnote: “All this, and much more, hath Boston been witness to.”
323. Quincy referred readers to Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, p. 202, and turned to the 1764 London edition printed by T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt for the political commonplace book, though he did not include this passage there, and Rousseau is not listed in the “Catalogue of Books.”
324. From Tiberius Gracchus in Langhorne, Plutarch’s Lives, 5:194, presumably taken from the political commonplace book, p. 47, in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:120–21.
325. Quincy did not tell readers his source here, which was the printed version of William Hooke’s 1640 sermon, New Englands teares, for old Englands feares (London: T. P. For John Rothwell and Henry Overton, 1641), p. 12. It was not cited in the political commonplace book nor is it in Quincy’s “Catalogue of Books.”
326. Quincy offered no attribution for these lines from Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man,”which he squeezed between lines that he had already written. Quincy did not include anything from Pope in his political commonplace book, but he did own a copy of Pope’s works (which edition is unclear). See Quincy’s “Catalogue of Books” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:901 (no. 312).
327. Quincy referred readers to William Blackstone’s Commentaries, 1:307. Quincy did not cite the Commentaries in his political commonplace book, but he did own a set—presumably the second edition published in Oxford at the Clarendon Press between 1766 and 1767. See the “Catalogue of Books,” Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:893 (no. 67). The four volumes of Commentaries went through several editions very quickly, and there were Dublin and Philadelphia printings as well. Naturally there are variations in pagination. The p. 307 in that first volume fell within Chapter VIII, “Of the King’s Revenue.” Since Blackstone was discussing the problematical nature of customs duties, their impact on trade, and prosecution of those who violated them on the page in question, it is not clear what the connection is, beyond Quincy’s own mind, or he miscopied the page number.
328. Quincy added this footnote: “It is grown a principle among the army (an ill nursery for young men) that Parliaments are roots of rebellion.” He cited “Sir John Hotham in the house of commons 1673,” once again from Grey’s Debates, 2:203.
329. The portion of the paragraph beginning at “The general of an army” was added later, with Quincy carrying the insertion over the left margin to fit it in the text.
330. Quincy cited the Lords’ Protests,1:280, from a February 1718 protest against excluding the provision in a mutiny bill that would have forbade court martial courts from passing a death sentence. Quincy used this source in his political commonplace book (though not this particular protest) and it is listed in his “Catalogue of Books.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:172 and 5:898, resp.
331. Quincy again referred readers to the source above.
332. Quincy quoted from Blackstone’s Commentaries, 1:416 and referred readers as well to Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, presumably the two-volume second edition published in London by J. Nourse and P. Vaillant in 1752 that he listed in the very next note, although the two numbers that he entered here, 12 and 15, seem to connect to Book XV, Chapter 12 (“Danger from the Multitude of Slaves”), rather than page numbers in either volume. He may have used another edition for this particular allusion, though it is not likely. The 1752 printing is what he turned to for the political commonplace book; the “Catalogue of Books” does not specify. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:109 and 5:894 (at no. 112), resp.
333. Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws, 1:348. Quincy paraphrased this passage: “Nothing more assimilates a man to a beast, than living among freemen, himself a slave.”
334. In the manuscript copy Quincy crossed out “affection or” before “consideration.”
335. Quincy did not inform readers that he was paraphrasing the political commonplace book, p. 79, here, copied from comments that Thomas Gordon had made in his translation of The Works of Tacitus, 2nd ed., 4 vols. (London: T. Woodward and J. Peele, 1737), in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:132, and 5:898 (no. 231) for the listing in Quincy’s “Catalogue of Books,” which simply says “Tacitus.”
336. Inserted in the margin after the passages before and after had been written.
337. Quincy added “hath avowed and” after dropping “has” before “exercised.”
338. Quincy quoted from Rousseau’s Social Compact, p, 65, but he did not cite it for his readers.
339. Quincy referred readers to William Robertson’s History of the Reign of Emperor Charles V, 3 vols. (London: W. and W. Strahan, 1769), 1:3, which was used for the political commonplace book, p. 9, and was listed in the “Catalogue of Books,” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:105 and 5:897 (no. 206), resp.
340. He crossed out this question: “What is there valuable among us that remains to extirpate?”
341. Quincy: “Part of a noble speech recorded by Tacitus (vita [see] Agricola) of an old Briton to his followers, exciting them to free their country, when a Province of Rome, from the yoke of bondage.” The passage was taken from Thomas Gordon’s The Life of Agricola. By Tacitus (Glasgow: Robert Urif, 1763), p. 59, or some other edition of Tacitus edited by Gordon–perhaps the 1737 four-volume Works (see n. 62 supra).
342. Quincy sent readers to [Sarah Scott], The Life of Theodore Agrippa D’Aubigné (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1772). It is not cited in the commonplace book or listed in the “Catalogue of Books.”
343. Quincy to the reader: “Whoever wants information of the spirit, cruelty and rapine of soldiers quartered in popular cities, let them peruse the first book of the elegant and instructive history, written by the masterly hand of Tacitus.”
344. This sentence and the entire next paragraph appear to have been inserted in the manuscript later, squeezed onto the bottom of one page and then carried over to the left margin of the one following.
346. Quincy cited Philip De Commines, The History of Philip De Commines (London: John Bell, 1614), p. 206, a passage he altered somewhat. He alluded to The History in the political commonplace book, p. 99 (see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:139) but it is not listed in the “Catalogue of Books.” Robertson, Charles V, which is in both, covered much of the same ground, with the same tone (see p. 237, n. 66 supra).
347. Quincy cited Robertson, Charles V, 1:95; and also included Catharine Macaulay’s The History of England From the Accession of James I to the Elevation of the House of Hanover, 5 vols., 3rd ed. (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1769–1772), 2:165; and a 1744 speech by Sir John Phillips in the House of Commons, in the Debates, 2:61.
348. Quincy quoted John Milton’s Eikonoklastes, as most likely taken from one of the many editions of his collected Works then in print.
349. Here Quincy cited David Hume, “Idea of a perfect Commonwealth” in Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects (London: A Millar, 1758), p. 278, the passage one of many from Hume that he included in the political commonplace book (in this case, p. 59), from a volume also listed in the “Catalogue of Books.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:125 and 5:898 (no. 220), resp.
350. Quincy inserted the previous two sentences, writing them in the margin, then added the “But” as well.
351. Quincy slipped “(a)” into the text, to refer readers to a footnote, which read: “Of a like opinion was Sir Thomas Lee in Charles the 2d’s reign. See Grey’s debates 2 vol. 391. In order to discourage the train bands in Charles the first’s time, the court found means to enhance the price of powder; and it was accordinly complained of in Parliament as ‘a great grievance.’” Quincy urged readers to consult Rushworth, Historical Collections, 1:33, and then admonished: “Let us not be surprized, if any like artifice should be practiced in our day.” Quincy drew on Rushworth’s Collections for the political commonplace book; they are also listed in the “Catalogue of Books.” In Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:181–82 and 5:892 (no. 35), resp.
352. Citing again Hume’s “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth,” in Essays, 279. Hume deleted this last sentence from subsequent editions–his own form of political correctness, the philosophical skeptic as political moderate?
353. He inserted this phrase to replace “pro aris et focis” [idiomatically, for hearth and home], a favorite Latin phrase, one that he had used as the nom de plume for his 11 September 1769 piece in the Boston Gazette (see pp. 32–35 supra).
354. The rest of the paragraph, beginning with this sentence, appears to have been inserted later, written as it was on two smaller sheets of paper. The sentence beginning “A spirited nation,” originally part of this paragraph, was afterward set apart as the start of a new paragraph (see p. 211, supra).
355. Quincy owned a copy of Caesar’s commentaries, as indicated in the “Catalogue of Books” no. 117 (“Caesar’s Comment”), mislabeled as “Caesar’s Government” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 5:895. He did not copy excerpts from it for the political commonplace book. He may have owned and used the version translated and edited by Johnson Towers, C. Julii Caesari, Commentaria De Bello Gallico, 2nd ed. (London: L. Hawke, et al., 1768); or, given his Latin proficiency, he may well have owned–and used–an untranslated copy. In Towers’ edition, the comment about Cassibelan (Cassivellaunus) is at p. 248 (Book V, paragraph 11) and the Druids at p. 344 (Book VI, paragraph 20).
356. It appears that Quincy went to an edition of Tacitus in the original Latin, not Gordon’s translation, to quote from “Germania,” the first passage referring to kings being chosen by birth, generals for merit by a popular council; the second, finishing the thought expressed in the first part of the sentence: not being called to bear arms, unless capable of doing so.
357. Quincy referred readers to Robertson, History of Scotland, 1:204–5; a passage that he had copied into the political commonplace book, p. 11 (in Coquillette an York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:106).
358. Quincy wrote in a footnote: “See Rapin”—Paul de Rapin de Thoyras, whose history of England had circulated in various editions since its first appearance a half century before, first printed in French but long since reprinted in English.
359. Quincy added this now seemingly cryptic note, but clear to readers at the time: “See the Late Gover. Bernard’s Speeches.” He meant Letters to the Ministry (Boston: Edes & Gill, 1769), which included official reports from General Thomas Gage and Commodore Samuel Hood as well as Bernard to London. Those reports were intended to discredit administration critics in Boston; supporters of those critics published them to return the favor, with the hope that Whitehall and Westminster would reconsider the Townshend program and the stationing of troops in Boston.
360. “See before p. 31.” Quincy again sent readers to the collection noted above, and a letter from Bernard dated 25 June 1768 to the Earl of Hillsborough in particular. The letter is in diary form, with entries for June 28th and July 1st as well as June 25th. It is one of many where Bernard complained of the intransigence of his political opponents, most especially in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. For dissident Bostonians, this was proof that Bernard was behind the dispatch of soldiers there. It was more complicated than that, however.
361. “See Sallust.” Quincy owned Thomas Gordon’s The Works of Sallust (London: T. Woodward and J. Peele, 1764). He cited it in the political commonplace book and it is listed in the “Catalogue of Books.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portait of a Patriot, 1:159–64 and 5:893 (no. 70), resp.
362. “M T Cicero. See Plu. Life of Caesar.” Quincy had copied the line about “smiles of his benignity” from Plutarch into his political commonplace book, p. 44—see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:119–20.
363. Quincy’s note: “A similar infatuation hath, oft[e]ner than once, prevailed in this Province: an instance of which we have in the time of Governor Dudley. This Gentleman ‘after he had been agent for the Country, tacked about, and joined with the instruments that overthrew the charter, and accepted an illegal and arbitrary Commission from King James, by which he held the Government, until the arrival of Sir Edmund Andross; and then was, (as president of the Council, and Chief Judge of the territory,) a chief tool of all the insuing, barbarous and infamous administration.’ After his appointment to the Government, his conduct was of the same texture with his former life: (it was his Son Paul, who wrote to England, that this Country would never be worth living in, for lawyers and Gentlemen, till THE CHARTER IS TAKEN AWAY.”)—yet such was the dulusion at that day, ‘Some of the Council would firmly believe charitably of him because his family and interest were here, and therefore thought it unreasonable to believe he would do any thing that should hurt his Country.” He added “See a Book published in London, about 1708, intitled ‘The deplorable state of New-England, by reason of a covetous and treacherous Governor and pusillanimous Counsellors.” Quincy quoted from the title page for this last sentence, and from p. 3 for the one before it. Sir Henry Ashurst, a London merchant and onetime member of the House of Commons who acted as agent for the Massachusetts General Court, authored the piece anonymously. Quincy added a second part to this note, but then moved it to a later page–see p. 241, n. 112, infra.
364. “Justice was faction in antient Rome as well as modern Britain,” wrote Quincy in a footnote. He referred readers to Macaulay, History, 405; and Montagu’s Rise and Fall of the Antient Republicks, a source that he turned to for his political commonplace book, which is also listed in the “Catalogue of Books.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:101–2 and 5:898 (no. 230), resp.
365. Quincy quoted here from the Langhornes’ Plutarch’s Lives, 4:365, the essay on Caesar, which he had copied into the political commonplace book, p. 46 (in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:120).
366. Quincy crowded much–too much–onto this page of the original manuscript, so the rest of this sentence and the larger paragraph, plus the paragraph that follows, were written on separate, smaller sheets as insertions.
367. Quincy observed in a note: “Thus also the Bishop of Verdun, who was the modern contriver of a new species of State-prison (for which, many have cursed him) was by the righteous dispensation of providence, first put it into himself and confined ‘in the cruel prison’ fourteen years.” He gave as his source Commines’ History, p. 216. The tales of Goliath and Haman came from 1 Samuel 17 and Esther 7 in the Old Testament.
368. Quincy commented: “It was an observation applied by the first settlers of New England to their great consolation, that when wicked men are nearest their hopes, godly men are furthest from their fears, because the insolence and cowardice of the wicked usually engage GOD to defeat their design.” Quincy may have had in mind Proverbs 10:24, which would have been familiar to the province’s Puritan fathers: “The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.”
369. He cited the King’s speech to Parliament of 5 February 1673, as recorded in Grey, Debates, 2:1–2.
370. The Works Of the Late Reverend Mr. Samuel Johnson (London: John Darby, 1710), p. 312.
371. William Harbord in the House of Commons, 3 November 1673, in Grey, Debates, 2:219.
372. William Russell in the Houe of Commons, 7 February 1674, in ibid., 2:393.
373. Ibid., 7:72 and 73, Sir William Coventry and William Sacheverell, resp., in the Commons on 1 April 1679.
374. Quincy only referred to Rapin parenthetically in the text. The lines that began this paragraph, and to this point, were actually written in the left-hand margin of the manuscript–on the very crowded page alluded to at n. 93 supra. Most of what is written in these pages actually came as insertions–smaller sheets of paper slipped into the larger, as Quincy decided at that moment–not coming back later, it appears–to revise his text, even as he wrote it.
375. Quincy’s note said simply “See King’s Speech October 1678” (it is in Grey, Debates, 6:112–13, 21 October 1678). There, Charles II contended that the continued fighting in Flanders made it necessary to keep troops in the field, and he expected Parliament to provide funding for them.
376. “Rapin” was all he entered as his footnote.
377. Grey, Debates, 8:365–66, Edmund Waller and Thomas Coningsby, resp. in the Commons, 16 November 1685. Quincy squeezed this sentence and the next into the top margin, above “Such was the fate . . . ,” which had started a new paragraph.
378. Quincy’s long note: “Patriae Patri, Regum optimo [essentially father of the country, best of kings] was part of an inscription on the marble statue erected to Charles the second, as worthless and odious a Prince as any in the history of England. See Rapin 1734. Fol. Edit.—Even Richard (the third) generally represented, both as a monster in person and disposition, hath however had panegyrists who affirm, that he was remarkably genteel, and the best of Kings. See Barrington’s Obs. on the more antient statutes. p. 392, 3" [meaning Daines Barrington, Observations upon the Statutes, 2nd ed. (London: W. Bowyer and Nichols, 1766)]; cited in the political commonplace book, pp. 300–1, and listed in the “Catalogue of Books,” in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:185, 186 and 5:893 (no. 69). Quincy continued, at a new paragraph: “Thus that insolent tyrant, Hen. 8th, who disgraced his species by repeated violations of his most solemn vows and the practice of open debauchery and riot; a despot, who, lost to the common feelings of humanity made his laws more bloody than those of Draco or Dionysius, and caused a greater number of executions, than any other King of England, is characterized on the Journals of the house of Lords, as a Prince of wonderous goodness and wisdom. See the same Observations 461, 2 and 472. Surely He who calls the REIGNING MONARCH ‘the wisest and best of Kings’ ought always to be suspected of burlesque and sarcasm, or something worse.”
379. Sir John Phillips in the House of Commons, 29 January 1744, in Debates, 2:56–58; quoted in the political commonplace book, 119–20 (in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:146).
380. Quincy answered his own question in a footnote that alludes to another speech made soon after that delivered by Sir John Phillips (see supra, p. 195): “By a numerous army and a severe riot act, you may indeed prevent mobs and riots among the people; but if this method be pursued for a long time, you will make your ministers tyrants and your people slaves.” Noting that Sir John Bernard stated this in the Commons (on 12 February 1744), in the Debates, 2:118, Quincy added this “Qu: [query] If this method hath not been thus pursued? and Qu. Whether the prophecy is fulfilling, or already accomplished in Great-Britain?”
381. From the Langhornes’ Plutarch‘s Lives, 3:198 (Lysander), quoted in the political commonplace book, p. 40 (in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:117–18.
382. Also from the Langhornes’ Plutarch’s Lives, 4:126 (Pompey); in the political commonplace book, p. 43 (and in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:119).
383. Quincy’s note: “Whoever uses a mercenary army (says the good Ld. Chancellor Bacon) tho’ he may spread his feathers for a time, he will mew them soon after: and raise them with what design you please, yet, like the West-India dogs, in Boccaline, in a little time they will certainly turn sheep-biters.”
384. Quincy sent readers to Francis Stoughton Sullivan, An Historical Treatise on the Feudal Law, and the Constitution and Laws of England (Dublin: Thomas Ewing, 1772), 56, which he paraphrased here. Quincy quotes a different passage from Sullivan in the political commonplace book, p. 213, and a copy is listed in the “Catalogue of Books,” at no. 68. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:149 and 5:893, resp.
385. Quincy’s note: “Sir Robert Atkins (afterwards Ld. Ch. Justice of the Common Pleas in England) said in Parliament, (anno 1667)—‘Six Emperors in five years had their heads tumbled down by a military government.” Quincy cited Grey, Debates, 1:23; it was actually a statement made by Edmund Waller, entered ten pages earlier, on 29 October 1667.
386. Lords’ Protests, 1:273, from a formal dissent signed by six peers to the passage of a mutiny act in the Lords, 32 to 9, on 25 March 1717.
387. Quincy cited no source here. It seems unlikely that he simply reworked it from a phrase that appeared in Edward, Earl of Clarendon, A Complete Collection of Tracts (London: C. Davis, 1747), p. 396 (“Some have undergone this Fate literally, as if it had not been a History, but Prophecy;”). He had included the same passage in the political commonplace book, p. 116 (in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:145), and he appears to have slipped it into the Observations manuscript as a second thought. See too the comment he made as Marchmont Nedham on 6 July 1772 about Hutchinson’s behavior boding ill for the Bay Colony: “How far this prophecy is, or will be, history others are left to consider.” (At supra, p. 109.) John Adams used a variation of this phrase when commenting as “Novanglus” for the Boston Gazette, 23 January 1775, on punitive British policies: “The people had been warned” but they “could never be persuaded to believe, until prophecy, became history.” Did Adams do so because he had read Quincy’s tract? And if so, did it simply cause him to recast sentiments he had expressed in an earlier piece for the Boston Gazette, 13 January 1766 (“Are we not to prophesy the future by the experience of the past?”)–that he signed “Clarendon,” interestingly enough?
388. Lords’ Protests, 1:279, from a protest against a bill passed by the House of Lords on 20 February 1718 that did not prevent a military court from imposing the death sentence for desertion in time of peace. Forty-one peers signed it.
389. Quincy quoted from another protest made by peers less than a week later, against setting the peacetime army at over 16,000 men.: “A law unknown to our constitution, destructive of our liberties, not indured by our ancestors, and never mentioned in any of our statutes, but in order to condemn it.” Ibid. 1:283.
390. “Very notable instances of this have been seen in this Province—which will be recorded to the eternal infamy of those who brooked the insult.”
391. Substituted for the thicker-tongued “We are not destitute of.”
392. Originally he had “dangerous to our laws and liberties.”
393. From a protest of 16 February 1723 signed by twenty peers, once again against the content of a mutiny bill, in this case one that proposed to augment the size of the peacetime army. In Lords’ Protests, 1:377.
394. See Lords’ Protests, 2:162, a protest signed by twenty-four peers, questioning the financial and political wisdom of raising yet more troops that would ultimately result in “commissioned pensioners” in the officer corps.
395. Quincy: “See the declarative act of the British Parliament Anno 1766. From that period (Sir Robert Walpole’s day) to the present time (1762) has proved a very remarkable one in the history of the British constitution:—no one instance can be produced in which the royal business has been retarded, through the scrupulousness of the people’s representatives. From the revolution to this day (1762) the measures of the crown have UNIVERSALLY been the measures of the Parliament.” The date 1762 is a misprint by Edes and Gill. Quincy quoted from [Arthur Young], Political Essays Concerning the Present State of the British Empire (London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1772), 31, a passage that he had copied into the political commonplace book, p. 137; Young’s treatise is no. 126 in the “Catalogue of Books.” See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:152 and 5:893 (but misidentified on p. 920). For Parliament’s attempt at evasivenesss by leaving the word “tax” out of the Declaratory Act see Neil York, “When Words Fail: William Pitt, Benjamin Franklin and the Imperial Crisis of 1766," Parliamentary History 28 (2009):341–74.
396. “See hereafter,” wrote Quincy in a footnote.
397. “Eadem Magistratuum vocabula, sua consulibus, sua paretoribus species,” Quincy’s take in the text above on the translation in Gordon’s Works of Tacitus, 1:3 (wth Gordon actually relying on John Dryden).
398. Was Quincy consciously slipping in a bit of Shakespeare (from Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act III, Scene 1 of that eponymous play)? Sadly, his Shakespeare commonplace apparently did not survive. Quincy compressed this paragraph into the left margin (perpendicularly) and then along the bottom, in the same direction.
399. In the manuscript copy, this paragraph comes before the one now preceding it. The order was switched perhaps at the printer’s, as type was being set, since there is no indication on the manuscript itself that Quincy had made that decision.
400. Quincy entered this long footnote: “If the king could at pleasure levy the necessary sums of money (for the expences of government &c.) he being sole Judge of the necessity, both as to measure and quantity, as Charles the first claimed, in the case of ship-money, the state of the subjects would be precarious, and the king would be as absolute a monarch as the present king of France or Spain. Dr. Sullivan’s lectures on the laws of England 189. What is it to America, whether the King or the Parliament of Great-Britain or any other body natural or political is absolute master over her,—and where is the difference between French, Spanish, and English Dragooning?—In the reign of Charles the 2d. a wooden shoe, such as the Peasants wear, in France, was laid near the chair of the Speaker of the Commons-house:—the arms of England drawn at one end of it, and those of France at the other, with these words in the interval, utrum horum mavis accipe. Grey, Debates, 2:220 [which could be translated as “take whichever you prefer”].
401. Quincy: “See Sir Robert Carr’s Harangue in Parliament.” 3 November 1673. Grey, Debates, 2:220.
402. Quincy’s footnote said simply “Commons of Great-Britain.” He was quoting from a speech in the Commons on 2 February 1734 by Sir William Wyndham, and he could have gone to a number of sources for it–such as The Bee: Or, Universal Weekly Pamphlet, 3:157.
403. Blackstone, Commentaries, 3:135 (Book III, Chapter 8).
404. Ibid., 1:325 (Book I, Chapter 8).
405. Ibid., 1:238 (Book I, Chapter 7).
406. Quincy added this clause between the lines.
407. Quincy’s note: “Galba had the greatest integrity of heart: but in the court of Galba appeared all the extortion of Nero’s reign:—and as the rapacity and other excesses of his ministers were imputed to him, Galba was no less hated, than if he had committed them himself.” Quincy drew this from the Langhorne’s Plutarch’s Lives, 6:198–228 (Galba). And he sent readers as well to Gordon’s Tacitus, 3:19, 35, 38, 79. He added: “A Monarch justly dignified with the appellation—‘of the wisest and best of kings’—will surely receive some advantage by attentively contemplating an instance so replete with instruction.” He crossed out: “What an instructive lesson. How replete with instruction is this anecdote to a British monarch.”
408. That is to say, during good behavior.
409. Replacing “made.”
410. Quincy refers readers to Gordon’s Sallust, 3, 6, 128.
411. With “of Britain” replacing “of the land.”
412. Lords’ Protests, 1:282.
413. Ibid., 1:315. From a December 1721 protest, signed by fifteen peers, against a bill funding a standing army during peacetime.
414. Ibid., 2:80. From a dissent, signed by twenty-three peers, in March 1733 over failure to pass a bill that would have limited the army to 12,000 men.
415. Ibid., 2:83, in response to a failed March 1732 bill that would have kept customs collectors from being involved in House of Commons elections. Signed by twenty-two peers.
416. Quincy referred readers to a January 1730 protest in the Lords against a treaty with Spain (at ibid., 2:56–61), signed by twenty-four peers, and a protest against the failure to pass a March 1730 bill restricting pensioners from sitting in the House of Commons (ibid., 2:63–68).
417. He inserted most of this paragraph, written on another sheet, here, then he added material from an insertion in the left margin (beginning with “Since the age . . .”)
418. In reference to the “dissentient” lodged by twenty-six peers on 21 March 1729 when a bill that would have blocked placemen and pensioners from sitting in the House of Commons failed to pass in the House of Lords–overwhelmingly, 86–31. In the Lords’ Protests, 2:63–68. Quincy took the two hundred figure from the fifth of eight particulars enumerated there (on p. 66).
419. See Lords’ Protests, 8 February 1768. Supple. to Lords’ Protests, p. 9. In this instance, eleven peers (the Duke of Richmond, the Marquess of Rockingham, the Earl of Dartmouth and Earl Temple among them) protested an act where Parliament intervened in the affairs of the East India Company, bolstering dividends, “which was a pure act of power,” not in the public’s interest.
420. Quincy quoted here from a protest of 15 January 1770 signed by eleven peers (including Richmond, Rockingham, Temple), in ibid., pp. 11–14. It was prompted by the lingering results of the Wilkes crisis. There were peers who had protested against Wilkes being expelled and then, after an election, being denied his seat in the House of Commons. One of those was Lord Camden, then the lord chancellor, and rumors were that he was going to be removed by the king because of it. The protesting peers wanted to go on record that a member of the ministry should not be removed from office simply because he took a stand against what the king and his men preferred. Grafton’s ministry, already shaky, fell soon after, and North replaced him—which did not solve the deeper-seated problems.
421. This protest of 2 February 1770, ibid., pp. 17–24, from which Quincy quoted, was signed by forty-two peers–an unusually large number (which included the three noted above, plus William Pitt, Earl of Chatham–whom Quincy admired greatly). Superficially, it dealt with a fairly narrow issue: the reasons that the House of Commons used to expel one of its members. The protesting peers did not question the Commons’ authority over its own membership; they did, however, question removal that seemed to be based on personal politics rather than a matter of law, thus turning out someone chosen by the people to represent them.
422. This protest was made the same day as the one noted above and carried forty signatures (including, again, those of Richmond, Rockingham, Temple and Chatham). It was in response to a resolution that carried, declaring that the House of Lords should not insert itself into the internal affairs of the House of Commons. In ibid., pp. 24–32.
423. Quincy wrote the material following “consider” in the left margin, and inserted it here, through “decide:”
424. Quincy’s footnote, quoting a printed source: “It will be proper to lay on the Americans EVERY BURDEN which the hand of power can impose, if they should attempt to become manufacturers.” The Conduct of the Administration (London, 1767; reprinted by Edes in Gill in Boston, also 1767), p. 62. Quincy admonished: “THUS Americans are to be treated for an attempt only to do, what is their duty as soon as possible to effect, and what no Power on earth can restrain without violating the laws of GOD and nature.”
425. Lords’ Protests, 2:291. 17 March 1766. By the twenty-eight peers who entered their protest against repeal of the Stamp Act.
426. Quincy: “Englishmen in the reign of Henry the 4th had the virtue and courage to ‘declare it in Parliament as the undoubted right of the Kingdom, not to be charged with ought, for the defence of the realm, or safeguard of the seas, but by their own will and consent in Parliament.’ [John Sadler], The Rights of the Kingdom (London: J. Kigdell, 1682), p. 146. Quincy cited different pages from this tome in his commonplace book, pp. 224–25 (see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:180–81). He added: “Had Britons in the age of Geo. 3d. been as considerate of the spirit of their laws and constitution, or attentive to that old rule—to do as you would be done by—they would not have charged America with a large revenue for ‘the subsistence of troops and military expences, without consulting it’s local Parliaments, and against the will of it’s Commons; more especially since it was the position of that able, tho’ most arbitrary prince, Edward the first of England, touching martial affairs—Quod omnes tangit, ab omnibus approbetur” [What touches all, must be approved by all].
427. Quincy directed readers to pages 56–57, 58, 65 of his pamphlet.
428. Here he sent readers to Robertson, Charles V, 3:434, and to pp. 56–57 and 65 of the pamphlet.
429. Robertson, Charles V, 3:434.
430. Originally “my Country.”
431. Replacing “consider.”
432. Quincy’s footnote: “The loss of liberty (says that sagacious politician Tacitus) is ever accompanied with the loss of spirit and magnanimity. Vita Agricola.”
433. Robertson, Charles V, 1:153.
434. The sentence beginning “The same Athenians” and ending here was an insertion, from the lower part of the page.
435. These three words were apparently added for emphasis.
436. See Hutchinson, History, 1:iv; preface.
437. Ibid., 1:19, 45; Appendix, p. 558.
438. In the manuscript this paragraph, and the one before it, actually follow the next one (“So early as . . .”)
439. Hutchinson, History, 1:31.
441. Hutchinson, History, 1:31n.
442. This opening portion of the sentence was inserted between the lines.
443. Hutchinson, History, 1:31.
444. Barrington, Observations, p. 146 note c. Quincy included this passage in the political commonplace book, p. 303. There he followed it with a sarcastic comment: “The Colonies must be prodigiously well governed by such legislators and with such an Administration.”
445. Quincy’s note stated simply “See Morton’s Letter before cited” (in Hutchinson, History,1:31n).
446. Hutchinson, History, 1:51 (with Quincy paraphrasing from this page).
447. Quincy: “Laud was the favourite character selected for a correspondent by the American letter-writers of the last century; in the next age mankind will be as well acquainted with the genius and spirit of some more modern British correspondents, as they now are with the temper of that renowned prelate.” This comment and eight of the preceding references were on a separate sheet of paper, with Quincy numbering them for the printer to locate.
448. Hutchinson, History, 1:86.
449. Nathaniel Morton, New-England’s Memorial (Newport, R.I.: S. Southwick, 1772; orig. ed., 1669), p.15.
450. Ibid., 1:35. Quincy also referred readers to [Thomas Hutchinson], A Collection of Original Papers Relative to the History of the Colony of Massachusets-Bay (Boston: Thomas and John Fleet, 1769), pp. 52–53. The document he referred to was a letter from Governor John Winthrop of the Bay Colony to Governor William Bradford at Plymouth, expressing relief that their patents would not be vacated and joy that the Lord still smiled upon them. Winthrop copied for Bradford the finding of the privy council in January 1633 not to proceed against either colony, despite the request by Sir Ferdinando Gorges and others, who were rival claimants to both. Quincy drew upon this collection for his political commonplace book, pp. 5 and 203–204, though not this particular document (in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:103 and 173–74, resp). It is not in the “Catalogue of Books.”
451. Morton, New-England, pp. 96, 187.
452. Simply “ago” in the manuscript.
453. Hutchinson, History, 1:194, with Quincy altering the phraseology only slightly.
455. A parenthetical insertion, written into the margin.
456. Ibid., 1:194.
457. Ibid., 1:211.
458. Ibid., 1:220n. Hutchinson was quoting a letter from William Pynchon to John Davenport of 26 March 1662, so he was not necessarily expressing his opinion on the subject–though, ironically, even if unintentionally–Hutchinson’s history reinforced the views of those who decided that the empire had failed from the beginning, that it was never a family, never a community.
459. Ibid. 1:224–25.
460. Ibid., 1:535–36 (Appendix, No. 15; the 1664 royal commission). Quincy: “Another native of New-England in (we have seen adopt) the year 1705, wrote to England, that “this country, would never be worth living in for Lawyers, and Gentlemen, until the CHARTER was taken away.”
461. Hutchinson, History,1:232.
462. Substituted for “conflicts.”
463. Hutchinson, History, 1:542 (Appendix, No. 16, 1664 Massachusetts General Court appeal to Charles II), Quincy mixing quotation with paraphrase; 1:537–43 for full document.
464. Ibid., 1:242–43.
465. Ibid., 1:318. Quincy noted also: “Anno 1676.”
466. Ibid. 1:310. Quincy added: “See also in confirmation of the above: same history, 1: 93–114 and 2:130, 204.”
467. Ibid. 1:310, 311. “The dominion of the crown over this country before the arrival of our predecessors was meerly ideal. Their removal hither realized that dominion, and has made the country valuable both to the Crown and Nation, without any cost to either of them from that time to this. EVEN IN THE MOST DISTRESSED STATE of our Predecessors, when they expected to be destroyed by a general conspiracy and incursion of the Indian natives THEY HAD NO ASSISTANCE FROM THEM. The answer of the Council of the Province to Governor Hutchinson’s Speech 25th of Jan. 1773.” Quincy wrote this note in two parts, at the bottom of one page (the first sentence) and on a separate slip of paper (the rest). Hutchinson’s debate with the Council and House, spread over January-March 1773, was printed contemporaneously as The Speeches of His Excellency, Governor Hutchinson to the General Assembly of the Massachusetts-Bay (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1773), but it is most accessible in John Phillip Reid, ed., The Briefs of the American Revolution (New York: New York University Press, 1981), with Reid’s invaluable commentary.
468. Hutchinson, History, 1:319.
469. Ibid., 1:335–36.
470. Hutchinson, History, 1:329. Randolph had become the great bogeyman of colonial Massachusetts history. See Michael Garibaldi Hall, Edward Randolph and the American Colonies, 1676–1703 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1960); Richard R. Johnson, Adjustment to Empire (Leicester, Eng.: Leicester University Press, 1981) for context; and Robert M. Bliss, Revolution and Empire (Manchester, Eng.: Manchester University Press, 1990), for a broader context still.
471. Hutchinson, History, 1:329. Hutchinson actually put it “fresh orders and powers.”
472. Ibid. 1:337. Edward Cranfield, who as governor of New Hampshire tried to secure the Mason family’s proprietary interests there.
473. Ibid., 1:442. Quincy added: “See too pp. 295, 336.”
474. The second clause (after “provision”) read originally: “many would tremble for their heads, who seem to feel no remorse at their crimes.”
475. Hutchinson, History, 1:31, 32. Anno 1632. Sir Christopher Gardiner and Thomas Morton, both of whom were troublesome for the first generation of Bay Colony leaders.
476. Ibid., 1:51. Anno 1636. Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason, members of the Council for New England determined to undercut the 1629 charter rights and land patents of the Bay Colony.
477. Ibid., 1:337; “and Collection of Original Papers, :&c., p. 477, &c.”
478. Ibid., 1:31, and 48–53 passim (in requests for the Massachusetts charter to be revoked).
479. This paragraph was added later, from two slips of paper, as was a footnote reference to Jeremiah Dummer’s A Letter to a Noble Lord, Concerning the Late Expedition to Canada (London: A. Baldwin, 1712). Craig Yirush, Settlers, Liberty, and Empire (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), discusses Dummer in detail and calls his pamphlet “the most comprehensive case for settler rights in the empire to date.” (p. 98)
480. Quincy did not include a footnote here, but he was drawing on the same source that he used in his political commonplace book–“Divide and conquer is the maxim of Satan,” which is from Archbishop Robert Leighton’s Expository Works, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: David Wilson, 1748), 1:470; in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:117.
481. This sentence was apparently inserted later, after Quincy had moved on to the next paragraph.
482. Hutchinson, History, 1:53.
483. Quincy borrowing Christ’s admonition from the Sermon on the Mount, as found in Matthew 7:20 (KJV).
484. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23 (KJV)
485. Lords’ Protests, 2:140–41 (1735), which Quincy had copied into the political commonplace book, p. 198; in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:172.
486. Quincy inserted this now first part of the sentence later.
487. Langhorne, Plutarch’s Lives, 1:140 (Solon). Quincy had copied this passage into his political commonplace book, p. 36 (in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:116).
488. Ibid., 6:88 (Brutus); in the political commonplace book, p. 50 (Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:122).
489. Quincy, Shakespeare devotee, slipped in these lines from Henry V, Act IV, Scene 3, the young king, seemingly on the verge of defeat, about to lead his men (“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”) to glory at Agincourt. For Hampden and Sydney and their appeal to the Revolutionary generation see Karsten, Patriot-Heroes in England and America.
490. This was not Quincy’s original final paragraph. That one read: “When the spirit of patriots & heroes, like these, shall arise, & form into a band of brothers; when such firmness shall compact, & such intrepidity go forth with us against our enemies, our fathers will then cry to us, as one of them did to his Countrymen, who were in arms for their Law and Liberties: ‘Go on, brave Englishmen [Renowned Gentlemen, in the actual text], fall on resolvedly, till your hands cleave to your swords, your swords to your enemies hearts, your hearts to victory, your victory to triumph, your triumph to the praise of him, that giveth your spirits to offer yourselves willingly, & to jeopard your lives in high peril, for his name & service sake . . . Your words shall be furthered & sharpened, by HIM who made their metal;—your wounds bound up with the oil of a good cause, and sudden death shall be present martydome & life. Your greatest losses are greatest gains, where you leave the troubles of an earthly warfare, to lye downe in beds of eternal rest.’” Quincy quoted from Theodore de la Guard [Nathaniel Ward], The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America (London: John Dever & Robert Ibbiton, 1647), pp. 70 and 71, resp. He had turned to the first passage, though not the second, for his political commonplace book, p. 87, in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:135.
491. This postscript was composed on separate sheets of paper.
492. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; also in the “Memoir,” 2:123–125, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; and the Memoir, pp. 138–40.
493. QP 51 (and reel 29) MHS; also “Memoir,” 2:125–28, QP 46 (reel 6) and Memoir, pp. 144–47, with the usual changes in spelling, capitalization and punctuation; and also reprinted in Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:406–7, the first of over a dozen pieces of Quincy correspondence that would appear there. Force and Clarke, needless to say, worked from the original 1825 edition of the Memoir (on pp. 164–68) rather than the 1874 edition used here. In places they added their own emphasis, italicizing words that were not in the printed text.
494. He referred to two of the so-called “Coercive” or “Intolerable” acts, the Massachusetts Government Act that passed Parliament in mid-May (in Pickering, ed., Statutes, 30:381–90, 19 George III c. 45) and a new quartering act in early June (ibid., 30:410, 19 George III c. 54). The Government Act was an attempt to change the balance of power in the colony and restore imperial authority. It altered the selection of members of the governor’s council, judges, justices of the peace, and sheriffs, and restricted the calling of and agenda for town meetings, all in an effort to check the growing oppositionism on both the local and provincial levels. The act, not surprisingly to some, had the opposite effect. The new quartering act renewed and extended what had been in place since 1765 (see ibid., 26:305–18, 5 George III c. 33), which took on new significance with the return of troops to Boston and the appointment of General Thomas Gage, who retained his position as commander of the British army in North America, to succeed Hutchinson as governor. This, again as many astute observers at the time understood, was a particularly volatile mix in the minds of dissident colonists, and not just in Massachusetts. Gage had arrived the month before but he was still in the midst of implementing changes, as he would be through the summer.
495. Presumably his younger brother Philemon, who lived in Trenton. He would serve as a New Jersey militia general during the war and eventually sat in the Continental Congress.
496. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:128–29, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 147–48; and Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:434. Quincy had met Dickinson on his Southern journey in April 1773—see Quincy’s journal entries in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 3:294–306. He had been a longtime admirer, quoting the third of Dickinson’s “Pennsylvania Farmer” letters during his opening arguments in the soldiers’ defense during the “Massacre” trials (see Wroth and Zobel, eds., Adams Legal Papers, 3:164–66). Samuel Adams had written Dickinson from Boston on 27 March 1773 that Quincy, “a young Gent but eminent here in the profession of the law,” should be arriving in Philadelphia, and he would appreciate it if Dickinson would meet with him and introduce him to Joseph Reed as well. “His Conversation m[igh]t not be unentertaining even to them,” Adams wrote Dickinson. Printed in Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., Writings of Samuel Adams, 4 vols. (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904–1908), 3:14. Milton Flower’s John Dickinson: Conservative Revolutionary (Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press, 1983), which mentions the Dickinson–Quincy connection only in passing, remains the standard biography. Dickinson’s political thinking was more recently assessed in Jane E. Calvert, Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009). Quincy is mentioned there in connection with his letter to Dickinson of 20 August 1774, which is reproduced infra at pp. 262-63.
497. Dickinson inserted this paragraph, opposite his closing lines, apparently as an afterthought.
498. QP 71 (reel 29) MHS; printed in the Memoir, pp. 151–53; reprinted in Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:534. For Quincy meeting Brewton in March 1773 during his stay in Charleston, see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 3:185–86. Brewton used dashes to end his sentences; I substituted periods. I also added most of the commas, and extended shortened names to full length. Eliza Susan Quincy wrote a note opposite her transcription of Brewton’s letter (having deleted the sentence about the Madeira, among others), lamenting that Brewton had been all but forgotten as a leading patriot because he died early on in the contest. Roughly a year after he wrote this letter, he and his family perished at sea while sailing for England. (“Memoir,” 2:129)
499. What they were, I cannot say; they are not in the Quincy Papers at the MHS.
500. In response to the closing of the port of Boston to private traffic. See Pickering, ed., Statutes, 30:336–41 (14 George III c. 19); and David Ammerman’s overview, In The Common Cause (Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press, 1974).
501. For the first Continental Congress see Jack N. Rakove, The Beginnings of National Politics (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979); and Jennifer Greene Marston, King and Congress (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1987). Also see my “The First Continental Congress and the Problem of American Rights,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 122 (1998):353–83.
502. Proof that news circulated the colonies fairly quickly, Brewton was aware of the two “farewell testimonials”—as Bailyn, Thomas Hutchinson, p. 273 put it—presented to Hutchinson before he departed for London, that were printed in a broadside dated 30 May 1774, Addresses &c. to the Late Governor Hutchinson. One was from lawyers in the province, the other from “gentlemen” in general. Samuel Quincy was among the twenty-four lawyers whose names were listed in the former testimonial. The names and addresses of sixty of those in the latter (just under half the total) were printed in another broadside “so that every Friend to his Country may know who is Assisting to carry the execrable Purposes of the British Administration into Execution.” (. . . a true LIST of those Persons . . . )
503. From the Samuel Adams Papers, New York Public Library; most of it is printed in the Memoir, pp. 155–57. In this letter (as in some others), Quincy would end a phrase with a colon, then continue with the first letter of the next word in lower case. I changed those colons to periods, to end the sentence, with the first letter of the next word being capitalized as the first word in a new sentence.
504. Edward Rutledge, younger than Quincy by five years, had studied at Oxford and, like his older brother John, had been admitted to the English bar after studying law at the Middle Temple. Quincy spent some of his time in Charleston copying reports on cases that Rutledge had recorded while practicing the law in Charleston, which can be found in QP 60 (also on reel 4) MHS. Rutledge was fast rising as a patriot leader and would be one of South Carolina’s delegates to the first Continental Congress. He is among those listed in E. Alfred Jones, American Members of the Inns of Court (London: St. Catherine’s Press, 1924), pp. 187–88. No Quincy, incidentally, ever followed that track into law during the colonial era. Josiah Junior of course knew that Adams would be leaving soon for Philadelphia to attend Congress, and that Rutledge and others he mentioned would be there as well.
505. Eliza Susan Quincy wrote this note in the Memoir, p. 407: “Thomas Bromfield, born in Beacon Street, Boston, New England, 1733,” moved “to England in 1760, and was established as a merchant in London, until his death in 1816, aged eighty-three years. His sister, Abigail Bromfield, married William Phillips, of Boston; and their daughter, Abigail Phillips, married Josiah Quincy, Junior, 1769.” Thomas’s brother Henry carried on the business with him on both the London and the Boston sides of the Atlantic.
506. Verbum sat sapienti: “a word to the wise” [is sufficient]. This paragraph is not in the printed Memoir.
507. William Shippen Jr., on the rise as a Philadelphia physician with an interest in politics, who trained at Edinburgh.
508. This sentence and the brief paragraph above it were also left out of the Memoir.
509. Referring to his father-in-law, William Phillips, prominent Boston merchant and political ally of Thomas Cushing and others in the town meeting, and thorn in the side of Thomas Hutchinson, who refused to allow him a seat on his council when he was nominated for it by the House. He had begun as an apprentice to the merchant Edward Bromfield, eventually marrying his daughter and becoming his business partner.
510. William Molineux, referring to his position with the town of Boston. Though English-born and an Anglican, Molinuex, a merchant of modest income, was associated with the more outspoken elements in the Boston town meeting. He died in October 1774 before independence became the primary political objective. Whether he would have joined others in determining that the quest for rights within the empire had to be abandoned for something more ambitious must therefore remain moot, his “radical” politics and involvement in political street theatre regardless.
511. The rest of the paragraph was not included in the Memoir.
512. Adams referred here to the new “mandamus” council set to replace the old governor’s council, as stipulated under the Massachusetts Government Act. John Murray of Rutland, one of those named to the council, was, like all of the others, pressured to resign. Failure to ever get a full set of thirty-six council members was an indicator that royal government was being eclipsed by a rival shadow government, as Massachusetts Patriots became subconscious revolutionaries long before they decided on independence as the only solution to the problems of empire. See my “Imperial Impotence: Treason in 1774 Massachusetts,” Law and History Review 29 (2011):657–701; and Ray Raphael, The First American Revolution (New York: The New Press, 2002). This paragraph is also not in the Memoir.
513. The Administration of Justice Act was, like the Massachusetts Government Act, designed to bolster imperial authority in the colonies, allowing imperial officials—civilian or military—to request a change of venue, even to a court in England, if accused of a capital crime in the colonies. In Pickering, ed., Statutes, 30:367–71 (14 George III c. 39).
514. Not included in the Memoir.
515. Neither Arthur Lee nor Thomas Cushing are identified in this “Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman of Distinction,” dated 1 June 1774, London, that appeared on the front page of the Boston Gazette, 2 August 1774. It derided the laws affecting the colonies then coming out of Parliament and lumped the pending Quebec Act with them—all being part of the same legislative program designed to strip the colonists of their liberties.
516. The Memoir reproduces this sentence as the “PS” rather than the “Post PS,” and excludes the “PS” above it altogether. In the original letter both were sandwiched into the margins of different pages, as was the “NB” (to “note well”).
517. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:131–33; and Memoir, pp. 149–51; and reprinted in Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series 1:725–26. The original was obviously a rough draft, with more than the usual number of words in shorthand, and perfunctory punctuation.
519. Be sober; be calm.
520. Eliza Susan Quincy excised the reference to London as modern Babylon from the printed Memoir, but not her transcribed “Memoir.”
521. Joseph Reed Papers, New-York Historical Society manuscripts. Quincy met Reed while passing through Pennsylvania on his overland return trip from South Carolina. For tidbits about their meetings see Quincy’s Southern journal in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 3:294, 298–99. Reed had met Josiah’s father and wrote the senior Quincy to tell him how impressed he had been by his son—see his undated letter in QP 51 (also reel 29) MHS, written shortly after Josiah Jr. resumed his journey north. Reed expressed great pleasure at the stands taken in the Bay Colony in defense of colonial rights. “It is truly surprizing that the two most remote Colonies, Massachusetts and Virginia, differing in every Point of Religion and domestick Policy, should thus harmonize in the Essentials of American Liberty,” he wrote Quincy Sr., adding, “some spark of the sacred Fire, it is hoped, will in Time warm the intermediate Provinces.” On 6 May 1773 Reed wrote Josiah Jr. a letter of introduction to William Smith to open doors in New York, as Quincy made his way back home, still eager to meet potential political allies and correspondents. Quincy had carried with him for Reed a letter of introduction from Thomas Cushing, speaker of the Massachusetts House. Both are in QP 51 (reel 29) MHS.
522. QP 51 (also reel 29) MHS. In the note to Percy that follows, I added the paragraph breaks and altered some of the punctuation, to make the reading less awkward. Lee used dashes to serve all his punctuation needs. Lee had left active duty in the British army as a major but went on to become a general in the Polish army, fight against the Turks, return to England, and go from thence to the colonies in 1773. By then a retired lieutenant colonel on half-pay, Lee identified increasingly with the critics of empire; hence his letter to Earl Percy. He would enter the lists as a pamphleteer for the American cause with Strictures on a Pamphlet Entitled, A Friendly Address to All Reasonable Americans, on the Subject of Our Political Confusions (Philadelphia: William and Thomas Bradford, 1774), which responded to the pamphlet of that title written (anonymously when published) by Thomas Bradbury Chandler. Not identifying himself as the author, Lee sought to reassure Americans (and warn Britons) that they were right in objecting to Parliament’s presumed authority to tax them, and that they should be confident they could defend themselves against any attempt to impose policies on them by force. He would have a stormy wartime career as a major general in the Continental army. John Richard Alden’s General Charles Lee, Traitor or Patriot? (Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1951) is largely sympathetic.
523. Hugh, Earl Percy, son of the Duke of Northumberland, was a brigadier posted with the British army in Boston, who by then had also held a seat in the House of Commons for over a decade. Although he believed that crown and parliament had been far too lenient for far too long when dealing with opposition leaders in Boston, he was not particularly enthusiastic about the use of force to quell political protest. Still, he did not think the locals would be “mad” enough to resist and on 19 April 1775 he commanded the relief column that saved the expeditionary force sent out to Concord. He served honorably, going where duty took him, but he was happy to leave the American war behind and return to England in 1777. See Charles Knowles Bolton, ed., Letters of Hugh Earl Percy (Boston: Charles E. Goodspeed, 1902); and the brief sketch of him by Stephen Conway in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 60 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 43:754–55.
524. Lee almost invariably wrote “‘em” rather than “them.”
525. Francis Bernard, Hutchinson’s predecessor as governor, who was popular enough when he arrived in 1760 but was reviled among Boston’s leaders by the time he left in 1769. For his controversy-riddled years in the Bay Colony see Colin Nicolson’s excellent The ‘Infamas’ Governer (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2000).
526. A reference to Arthur Lee’s anonymously published A True State of the Proceedings in the British Parliament and In the Province of Massachusetts Bay (London: W. Bingley, 1774). In the space of twenty-four pages, Lee reviewed imperial policy, from the governorship of Francis Bernard through that of Thomas Hutchinson, to show how both men had fed the unrest caused by foolish, insensitive imperial policies coming out of London. The good people of Massachusetts, he contended, were loyal subjects of the crown, willing to accept parliamentary authority within proper constitutional limits, but their motives and actions had been misrepresented by those seeking to cause contention.
527. Daniel Scovil and Charles Paxton.
528. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; transcribed in the “Memoir,” 2:135; printed in the Memoir, p. 154. Adams and Quincy were well aware of their family tie by marriage—John’s wife Abigail being connected to the Quincy line through her mother Elizabeth Quincy Smith, whose father John Quincy was a first cousin of Josiah Sr. John Adams, famously, felt slighted in national historical memory. Josiah Junior, by contrast, is even more in his shadow than Adams was in that of Franklin or Jefferson. It is often forgotten that Josiah Junior, nine years younger than Adams, served alongside the future president as defense counsel in two of the three “Massacre” trials, and that, as Josiah told it, the jailed Preston asked for him first. See Josiah Junior to his father, 26 March 1770, at supra pp. 51–52.
529. For efforts to spread the word of Quincy’s trip and make connections in England, see Charles Chauncy to Samuel Adams, 26 August 1774, Samuel Adams to Charles Chauncy, 19 September 1774, and Chauncy’s letter of introduction for Quincy to Dr. Thomas Amory of 13 September 1774, for Quincy to use in London, all in QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; and the latter two in the “Memoir,” 2:136 and 134; and Memoir, pp. 155, and 159–60, resp.
530. Presumably Ephraim Leonard, by then just over seventy years old, who had been a militia colonel in the French and Indian War, a judge, and was still a prominent resident of East Mansfield. Unlike his son Daniel of Taunton, a future loyalist who wrote as “Massachusettensis” in a newspaper essay debate with John Adams (who wrote as “Novanglus”) in 1774–1775, the elder Leonard remained attached to the patriot cause and lived to see American independence. In the Ferdinand J. Dreer Collection #175, American Statesmen, Historical of Pennsylvania [hereafter HSP] manuscripts. The postscript was written along the left edge of the letter, perpendicular to it.
531. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Memoir, pp. 161–65; reprinted in Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:948–49.
532. Lovell may have been under the care of Dr. Joseph Gardner for some sort of gastrointestinal disorder, which Quincy probably knew—and which was why Lovell could engage in a bit of sarcasm; at least, that is my reading of the tone, reinforced by the insights of J. L. Bell, the man behind the ingenious “Boston 1775” blog.
533. The provincial conventions that sprouted up in 1774 are the best evidence of shadow governments that were the result of changing loyalties, a revolutionary subconscious taking root months before the shooting war started, and well over a year before independence would be declared. Jackson Turner Main reviews these developments in The Sovereign States, 1775–1783 (New York: New Viewpoints, 1973), pp. 123–42. The Journals of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775 (Boston: Button and Wentworth, 1838) provide an excellent case study of the phenomenon. The fortifications to which Lovell referred were being erected on Boston Neck.
534. For Molineux see p. 261, n. 5 supra. Jonathan Mayhew, who died in 1766, was revered as one of Boston’s most influential congregational ministers. John Adams considered him in some sense an intellectual father of American independence, with his emphasis on immutable, God-given rights, and the right to resist if they were trampled upon. Higher truth comes from God, not man, Mayhew emphasized, but man had the rational capacity and moral obligation to act on it. His was a bully pulpit, from which he denounced imperial policies that he considered oppressive, the Stamp Act heading the list. Oxenbridge Thacher, who died the year before Mayhew, was a prominent Boston lawyer, under whom Josiah Jr. trained. Quincy essentially inherited Thacher’s practice, which helps to explain his quick rise in the profession. Richard Dana had also been a prominent Boston lawyer, a Son of Liberty and protestor against British policies that were thought to infringe on American rights. He died in 1772.
535. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; also printed in Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, ed., “Letters to Josiah Quincy, Jr.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 50 (1917):471–96. The letter above was the first of seventeen gathered by Howe, all taken from the originals. They were printed as an appendix to Quincy’s London journal (on pp. 433–71), also taken from the original at the MHS. I offered a new edition of that journal in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:223–69. I also commented there (on pp. 219–21) on Howe, a prolific writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer some years later, and what led to his involvement with things Quincy.
536. Chauncy, nearly seventy, was the oldest of Boston’s prominent congregational ministers who proved such a frustration to Thomas Hutchinson. The First Church provided him a bully pulpit to harangue against foolish policies and the foolish men who passed and attempted to enforce them. There is a good sketch of him in Sibley, Harvard Graduates, 6:439-467.
537. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; also in the “Memoir,” 2:142–44 the Memoir, pp. 165–67; and reprinted in Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:892. Either this letter, or the one following, was misdated. I divided a few sentences that ran on for too long, with Reed quite possibly composing as he wrote.
539. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS.
540. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:149–51; Memoir, pp. 168–70; Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:947–48.
541. Was this Dickinson’s way of telling Quincy he knew Quincy wrote the piece under that nom de plume for the Boston Gazette, 11 September 1769 (see supra, pp. 32–35) or could his use of the phrase—common enough among Dickinson’s contemporaries—have just been a coincidence?
542. Quoting Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book IV, beginning at line 1: “Oh For the warning voice, which he who saw Th’ Apocalypse heard in heav’n aloud . . .”
543. Quincy was familiar with Voltaire but the “Catalogue of Books” does not include Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary which would have been translated into English and published in London in 1765. Dickinson was referring to Voltaire’s chapter on “Chain of Events.”
544. QP 51 (reel 29); “Memoir,” 2:138–41; Memoir, pp. 160–62; Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series 1:952; Howe, “Letters,” pp. 479–82. Josiah Sr. may have begun the letter on October 26th, but he did not complete it until at least November 3rd, as he stated in the letter itself. Eliza Susan Quincy transcribed the full letter for the “Memoir,” 2:138–41, but deleted portions from the Memoir, pp. 160–62, and inserted “Braintree October 1774" at the top. Force worked from the printed Memoir and dated the letter October 31st. Howe worked from the original and may have deduced the start date that he used, October 26th (“four weeks since . . .”).
545. Eliza Susan Quincy could not resist adding “do” in the Memoir, p. 160, to better end the sentence.
546. Eliza Susan Quincy excised everything after the sentence ending “oppressed” until this point in the Memoir.
547. She also deleted the first two sentences of this paragraph.
548. [John Dickinson], An Essay on the constitutional power of Great-Britain over the colonies in America (Philadelphia: William and Thomas Bradford, 1774); A Letter from Thomas Lord Lyttelton, to William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, on the Quebec Bill (Boston: Mills and Hicks, 1774).
549. Quincy Sr. referred to the anonymously authored A Letter To The Earl of Chatham On The Quebec Bill (London: T. Cadell, 1774), which, at the time, was assumed by some (including Josiah Sr.) to have been written by Thomas, the second baron Lyttelton. See Adams, ed., American Controversy, 1:224, for the suggestion that Sir William Meredith may have been the actual author. Thomas Lyttelton had succeeded his father, George, the first baron, just the year before. While his father chose to keep out of the limelight and not be too tied to any particular faction, his family connections to the Grenvilles and William Pitt notwithstanding, the younger Lyttelton cut a more rakish figure. Pitt (Chatham) was the “Illustrious Uncle” Quincy Sr. alluded to later in the letter. Lyttelton supported the Quebec Act, despite disagreeing with North over Parliament’s authority to tax the colonies (he leaned more toward Pitt), proof, again, that constitutional differences did not necessarily determine political positions. For his part, Lyttelton supported the use of force in 1775, then changed his position to oppose the war, just before he died suddenly in 1779.
550. This last sentence does not appear in the Memoir.
551. Everything after the sentence-ending “Duty” to this point was left out of the Memoir.
552. Everything from this point was jumped over in the Memoir until the closing that begins “I have filled . . .”
554. Thomas Cushing, speaker of the Massachusetts house of representatives.
555. The Reverend William Gordon, who crossed over from England before the war erupted, served as the pastor of a congregational church in Roxbury, then returned to England after the war and wrote a three-volume history of the American Revolution, published in London in 1788 and in an American edition the next year.
556. Joseph Galloway of Pennsylvania, onetime political ally of Benjamin Franklin, whose proposal at the first Continental Congress to save the empire by restructuring it along the lines that Franklin had first suggested twenty years before, went down to defeat. Embittered by what he considered the conspiratorial actions of the “radicals” there, Galloway eventually went into exile. For his failed plan see Julian Boyd, Anglo-American Union (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1941); and John E. Ferling’s The Loyalist Mind (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977).
557. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, “Quincy Letters,” pp. 472–73. On 2 April 1771, at the Old South meetinghouse, Lovell delivered the first oration commemorating the Boston “Massacre.” By the time of Quincy’s trip abroad, the Harvard-educated schoolmaster and member of the Sons of Liberty had become a leader in patriot politics. Waiting too long to leave Boston once the fighting erupted, he was taken as a prisoner to Halifax when the British evacuated, was exchanged, returned to patriot politics and served in the Continental Congress.
558. Which are printed in Worthington C. Ford, Journals of the Continental Congress, 34 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1904-1937), 1:115–22 and 1:82–90, resp.; and widely reprinted in the colonial press.
559. Dr. Benjamin Church, not yet exposed as a traitor—the appellation by which he is most remembered. Inoculation enthusiast, Son of Liberty, deliverer of the “Massacre” oration the year before, Church was apparently already reporting to Thomas Gage on the activities of his associates in the patriot cause. His treachery would not be discovered for many months, well after the shooting had started and he was heading the medical department for the Army of the United Colonies under Washington. There is a brief essay on Church in Sibley, Harvard Graduates, 13:380–98. David James Kiracoffe revisits Church’s case and the difficulty of determining when treachery constitutes treason under law in “Dr. Benjamin Church and the Dilemma of Treason in Revolutionary Massachusetts” New England Quarterly 70 (1997):443–62.
560. Daniel Wiswall.
561. That is, “according to law.”
562. Howe, ed., “Letters,” p. 473, changes the identity to that of Lieut. Col. William Walcott.
563. The brigantine Peggy Stewart docked at Annapolis in October 1774 with a cargo of East India Company tea. The local owners paid the duties but were put under intense pressure not to unload and sell the tea. So, instead, they allowed the ship to be burned, with the tea still on board, in the harbor.
564. Jonathan Trumball stayed in Cambridge after completing his studies at Harvard and found a place as a staff officer in the army under Washington. After two years in the field he would return to Boston, where he halfheartedly pursued a career as a merchant. His deeper desire was to be an artist, so he crossed over to England, with the war still going, to study under Benjamin West, an expatriate who had made a name for himself in London society. It would take Trumball a decade to become modestly successful as a portraitist, and another two decades before he embarked on his commissioned work to capture dramatic moments from the history of the American Revolution on canvas.
565. Samuel Peters. His letter, dated October 1st, Boston, was printed in the Boston Evening-Post, 24 October 1774. In the paragraph leading into the letter he was derided as a “diabolical Incendiary” and a “detestable Parricide.”
566. The Reverend Henry Caner, rector of King’s Chapel, the center of the Anglican Church in Boston. He would be among those who fled Boston with the British evacuation in March 1776.
567. Robert Auchmuty had become a vice-admiralty judge, after success as a lawyer in Boston (including as a defense counsel with Adams and Quincy in the Preston trial). Siding with the empire, he would eventually be obliged to flee Boston with other loyalists. The Reverend John Troutbeck was associated with the King’s Chapel Anglican congregation in Boston. He too would go into exile.
568. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir.” 2:152–53; Memoir, pp. 170–72; Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:958.
569. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS.
570. Chauncy appears to be referring to a broadside printed by the Fleet brothers (publishers of the Boston Evening-Post), laying out the component parts of The Association, approved by Congress on October 20th.
571. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:166–69; Memoir, pp. 187–89. This is the first of Josiah Jr.’s (surviving?) letters to Abigail written on this journey. At the time Josiah Jr. wrote, they had two children, the son born in 1772 and named for him, and the daughter born not long before he left, named for her. The son, of course, lived a long life; the daughter died not long before her father. Part of Eliza Susan Quincy’s objective in keeping her grandfather’s memory alive was also to pay tribute to her grandmother. Theirs, she felt, was a true partnership built on mutual love and respect. See the grieving Abigail’s letters to her father-in-law and sister-in-law of 18 September and 11 November 1775, resp., at infra, pp. 396–97 and 401–2, and the brief comments in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:44–45.
572. The rest of this paragraph, after the sentence ending with “absence,” was not included in the printed version.
573. Quincy scratched out the paragraph following this so completely that is now impossible to read.
574. Boston merchant William Hyslop and Dr. William Paine of Worcester.
575. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:154–55; Memoir, pp. 172–74; Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:963–64. For the problems that beset New York see Joseph S. Tiedemann, Reluctant Revolutionaries (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1997); and Carl Becker’s classic The History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760–1776 (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin, 1909).
576. The sentence is ended at “Summer” in the printed version—Eliza Susan Quincy and her father not wanting to include a passage so critical of New Yorkers ostensibly united in the common cause?
577. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Memoir, pp. 190–91.
578. Which Eliza Susan Quincy converted to “written” for the Memoir.
579. Ammerman, Common Cause, discusses Congress’s response to the Suffolk Resolves, pp. 74-75, 90–92 and passim; the Resolves themselves are in Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 1:32–39.
580. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Memoir, pp. 174–76; Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:980. Nathaniel Appleton was a Boston chandler who was very active in town politics, joining with those who protested attempts to raise revenue from the colonies through new navigation laws and sought to strengthen their hand through non-importation agreements. He was close to James Lovell.
581. Louisbourg fell to a combined colonial and British force in June 1745, the colonists providing most of the funding (for which there was some reimbursement by London) and men, and the Royal Navy a small fleet. It fell more easily than most had anticipated, its high stone walls insufficient protection for an undermanned, undersupplied garrison cut off from aid and reinforcements. Since Massachusetts provided most of the men and much of the funding, and William Pepperrell of the Maine country commanded the land forces, Bay Colonists considered the victory somehow primarily theirs. That Louisbourg and all of Cape Breton Island were returned to the French at the end of the war in 1748 proved an irritant to them at the time, turned into an underlying cause of revolution later—as proof that colonial needs were always secondary to those of the mother country, that the empire was not an effective community of interests, much less a true family.
582. Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph, a Welsh diocese, who often sided with Chatham in the House of Lords in opposing the North ministry’s policies toward the American colonies. Paul H. Smith, ed., English Defenders of American Freedom, 1774–1778 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress), pp. 9–14, discusses Shipley before reproducing one of his sermons and a speech he had written to deliver in the Lords.
583. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Memoir, pp. 195–97. Quincy misdated this letter December 13th; Eliza Susan Quincy corrected it to the 17th. On the 13th Quincy was in Exeter, still four days out of London. It being a Sunday, he attended communion services at the cathedral there as well as toured the city. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:226–27, from Quincy’s journal of his journey to England.
584. He rented rooms from a Mrs. Lawrence at Arundel Street on Panton Square, in the Haymarket district, which put him about a ten-minute walk from Benjamin Franklin’s lodgings on Craven Street.
585. After attending Harvard, Jonathan Williams traveled to London in 1770 to live with and assist his great-uncle Benjamin Franklin. He spent well over a decade in Europe, at various enterprises, before recrossing the Atlantic to become a military engineer, and eventually superintendent of West Point.
586. Bernard Donoughue, British Politics and the American Revolution (London: Macmillan, 1964), pp. 177–200; and Peter D. G. Thomas, From the Tea Party to Independence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), pp. 143–49 discuss the implications of the fall 1774 election for the Americans, when North obtained a more solid majority and, it is argued, better secured the hard-line policies that had been decided upon in the spring.
587. It is not clear to whom Quincy refers; perhaps his father-in-law, William Phillips. As such, it is yet another example of a lost letter in the very incomplete correspondence passed on to the present.
589. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:156–59, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 176–79; Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:990–91. Dr. Joseph Warren is best remembered for having fought and died at Bunker Hill. Modest background notwithstanding, he had worked his way up in society, as a scholarship student at Harvard and as a successful physician in Boston–with Josiah Quincy Junior among his many patients. Most of his papers have not survived; John H. Cary’s Joseph Warren (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1961) remains the standard biography, the vague portrait painted there a reflection of that lack of sources.
590. This sentence and the one above it (“It is . . .”) were turned into a “facsimile” for a page tipped in between pp. 176–77 of the Memoir, with a “facsimile” of Joseph Warren’s signature added, along with Josiah Quincy Esq. as the addressee. A copy of it is also in the Simon Gratz Autograph Collection, #250B, Case 8 Box 16, HSP.
591. This letter, inferred to have been from Gage to North, had also purportedly been printed in the London Chronicle, 13 September 1774 (actually for September 13th–15th), which is why Warren assumed Quincy had seen it. It had been printed in both the Boston Evening-Post and Boston Gazette for 21 November 1774 (the same day that Warren wrote to Quincy), and Isaiah Thomas would reprint it in his Massachusetts Spy for November 24th. All three papers reported that the letter had been forwarded to them by yet another missive dated November 9th from Philadelphia. The Fleets later printed a retraction in their Boston Evening-Post on 28 November 1774, claiming that they had since learned that the letter was spurious and that it had not appeared in the London paper (they were right; it was not printed there). It is still not clear how the “letter” came into being in the first place. As forgeries went, it was not far off from what Gage was actually writing to the Earl of Dartmouth about his difficulties as governor and his frustrations with those in the Bay Colony who opposed him.
592. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 476–77. Originally from Boston, Green was by then living in London. The note was addressed to “Mr. Quincy, At Mrs. Laurence’s, Arundel Street, Panton Square, Haymarket.”
593. Howe, “London Journal,” p. 445, suggested that “Keen” might have been Winstead Keene, whose wife was the sister of the Earl of Dartmouth (and therefore the half-sister of Lord North). Selina Hastings, widow of Theophilus Hastings, 9th Earl of Huntingdon, was a fixture in London society and close friend of Dartmouth, who shared her Methodism.
594. Quincy appears to be indicating the captains of the vessels by which he would be sending letters.
595. The Earl of Dartmouth, who succeeded the Earl of Hillsborough as secretary of state for American affairs, had a much less confrontational style than his predecessor. Colonists frustrated by what they deemed Hillsborough’s inflexibility looked to Dartmouth to intercede on their behalf against the Coercive Acts. They misunderstood their position at Whitehall, and his views as well. B. D. Bargar, Lord Dartmouth and the American Revolution (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1965) remains the best starting point. I reviewed desperate attempts to stave off confrontation that were directed at Dartmouth in “Federalism and the Failure of Imperial Reform, 1774–1775,” History 86 (2001):155–79.
596. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; transcribed in the “Memoir,” 2:190b–97. QP 46 (reel 6) MHS (where she dated it simply November 27th); printed in the Memoir, pp. 205–12.
597. Once again changed to “written” by Eliza Susan Quincy in both the Memoir” and the Memoir.
598. North has long been one of the bogeymen of Revolutionary American history, his disrepute among American patriots only being matched by that of George Grenville. Even though North, like Grenville, believed that Parliament had the authority as well as the need to tax the colonists directly, he did not seek confrontation and did not take any sort of hard-line stand until after the Tea Party, over four years after he formed his ministry. Evenhanded biographies include Peter D. G. Thomas, Lord North (London: Allen Lane, 1976); and Peter Whiteley, Lord North (London: Hambledon Press, 1996). Corbyn Morris sat on the board of customs, capping a thirty-year career with the customs service. A mercantilist who supported the navigation system, he also saw the need for imperial reciprocity, wrote thoughtfully about issues concerning trade within the empire, and had been named a fellow of the Royal Society.
599. Thomas Pownall, an Englishman, had been a popular governor of Massachusetts during the French and Indian War. The more that difficulties arose between the Bay Colony and Britain, the more longing there was among a few in the Bay Colony for someone like him to play that role once again. He was a public advocate of imperial reform. Whether the changes he had in mind, if implemented, would have changed the destiny of Massachusetts in the empire must remain an unknown, a speculation in counterfactual history. John A. Schutz, Thomas Pownall, British Defender of American Liberty (Glendale, Calif.: A. H. Clark, 1951) is the only full-length biography. Pownall’s ideas for reform are reviewed in G. H. Guttridge, “Thomas Pownall’s The Administration of the Colonies: The Six Editions,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series 26 (1969):31–46.
600. William Lee and his brother Arthur had both gone to England over a decade before to make their reputations and restore their family fortune. William established himself as a merchant and became part of the opposition political movement associated with John Wilkes. He was successful in being named a sheriff of London but unsuccessful in a bid to win a seat in the House of Commons. He and his brother figure prominently in the escapades of their fellow expatriate from the colonies in London, Stephen Sayre, as told by John Alden (Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1983). Also see John Sainsbury, Disaffected Patriots (Kingston, Ont.: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1987).
601. Which Eliza Susan Quincy (or her father or even the printer?) changed to “Great is the anxiety . . .” in the Memoir; it is not rewritten in the “Memoir.” This is one of several instances of such changes in just this one letter. Similar changes had been made in earlier letters, as they would be in later epistles.
602. Quincy had long admired Pitt, the “Great Commoner,” who by this point had been sitting in the House of Lords as Earl of Chatham for eight years. Pitt styled himself a friend to America and in some sense he was: he denied that Parliament had the authority to tax the colonists directly, he thought the use of force to impose policies he deemed foolish even more foolish, and he was willing to work with the Continental Congress, if that is what it took to placate dissident Americans and restore a lost sense of community. Nonetheless, he believed that Parliament had to be supreme even if its constitutional powers were limited, and that Britain must reign sovereign over the empire, which meant that Americans had to accept their subordination once their rights were secured—if indeed he or anyone could have clearly delineated what those rights were. The best introduction to Pitt and his complexities and inconsistencies on such matters is Marie Peters, “The Myth of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, Great Imperialist. Part II: Chatham and Imperial Reorganization, 1763–1778,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 22 (1994):393–431.
603. Quincy was still learning the ropes of British politics. Sir George Savile, not a peer, was tied to the Marquis of Rockingham and had long sat for Yorkshire in the House of Commons. The baronet supported Wilkes in his quest to be seated there and he disagreed with policies aimed at coercing the colonists, from Grenville’s ministry through North’s, though he resisted taking too strident an opposition.
604. Ireton does not turn up in Quincy’s other writings, but he was obviously a heroic figure to Josiah Jr. Originally from the Nottinghamshire gentry, he had attended Trinity College, Oxford, and studied law at the Middle Temple, but without becoming a barrister. Elected to the House of Commons because of his valor in the New Model Army during the civil war, he married a daughter of Oliver Cromwell. Pious, a Puritan not given to ostentatious display nor enriching himself by public service, Ireton had many admirers on the Roundhead side. Initially reluctant to depose Charles I and bring an end to monarchy, he eventually joined with the regicides. While sympathetic to those Levellers who wanted more radical political and social change, he tried to keep the army subordinate to Parliament. Even though he died in 1651 while campaigning in Ireland, that did not stop supporters of the Restoration a decade later from disinterring his remains to disgrace him posthumously.
605. Abigail’s father.
606. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; transcribed in the Memoir, pp. 180–81; printed in Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 477–79.
607. He probably had in mind William Jackson and William Taylor, Boston merchants who refused to support non-importation and, as Loyalists, eventually left Massachusetts.
608. Guy Carleton, who as wartime governor of Canada would turn back the rebel invasion of 1775–1776 and, as Sir Henry Clinton’s successor as commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America in 1782, would preside over the formal British withdrawal from an independent United States. Four years after that he would return to govern Canada as a baron in the peerage, capping an interesting career reviewed in David Paul Nelson, General Sir Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester (Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2000).
609. Everything after the sentence ending “Combination” in the previous paragraph to this point was not printed in the Memoir.
610. Jonathan Sewall, though older than John Adams, had risen in the legal profession with him. Politically they took different roads and Sewall, as attorney general, chose to defend the empire. He left the Bay Colony during the 1775 siege. See Sibley, Harvard Graduates,12:306–25; and Carol Berkin, Jonathan Sewall (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974).
611. Gage’s proclamation condemning the Provincial Convention that met in Cambridge in October as an unlawful assembly was printed as a broadside, and reprinted on the first page of the Boston Evening-Post, 14 November 1774, which was satirized in some anonymous doggerel on the third page of the Boston Gazette for that same date. Harrison Gray was the Bay Colony’s treasurer and, in the battle for control of tax monies being paid into the towns–should they go to the crown, or be held in reserve–Gray, not surprisingly, sided with the crown. See resolutions passed in York County (the Maine country) on November 16th that determined Gray had lost his mind; printed in the Boston Gazette, 5 December 1774.
612. The delegates appointed by the Massachusetts House in June to attend the Continental Congress, before Gage could dissolve it, were Thomas Cushing, Samuel Adams, John Adams, and Robert Treat Paine. James Bowdoin had been selected as well, but did not attend.
613. In a second sizeable excision, everything following “a former one” in the previous paragraph to the sentence following this was left out of the Memoir.
614. There is no more of this letter in the Memoir after this point, except for Lovell’s closing and signature.
615. The Quebec Act is in Pickering, ed., Statutes, 30:549–54 (14 George III c. 83); and discussed thoroughly in Gustave Lanctot, Canada & the American Revolution, 1774–1783 (London: George G. Harrap & Co., 1967); and Philip Lawson, The Imperial Challenge (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1989).
617. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; transcribed in the “Memoir,” 2:190a, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS. A note at the bottom of the letter indicated that it had been received on 28 February 1775.
618. Possibly Ezekiel Goldthwait, the same age as Josiah Sr. He had once served as the Boston town clerk and had been prominent in the town meeting.
620. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; transcribed in the “Memoir,” 2:200a, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; and printed in Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 482–83.
621. Thomas Brand Hollis was the friend and heir of Thomas Hollis. He added the Hollis to his name as a tribute to his benefactor. Brand Hollis was a supporter of parliamentary reform and John Wilkes, an admirer of William Pitt and critic of the North ministry’s hard-line policies. Thomas Hollis had been a business associate of Josiah Jr.’s deceased older brother Edmund. He died less than a year before Josiah Jr. arrived in London and had continued a tradition of giving to Harvard College begun by his great-uncle, also named Thomas Hollis. Books were among his most important bequests, including the writings of John Milton and Marchmont Nedham. There is a letter from Thomas Brand Hollis to Quincy of 2 March 1775, at infra, p. 375. The Hollises are discussed in Robbins, Eighteenth-Centutry Commonwealthman, passim. Also see W. H. Bond, Thomas Hollis of Lincoln’s Inn (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
622. William Petty, Earl of Shelburne in the Irish peerage, Baron Wycombe in Britain, was a leading Pittite. He had long taken an interest in American affairs, dating back at least to when he was on the Board of Trade, and, in Chatham’s ministry, when he was the secretary of state for the Southern Department. Political allies thought him clever; political opponents thought him devious. He believed better policies devised in London could have headed off confrontation. Heading his own ministry in 1783, he saw through the preliminary treaty recognizing American independence, but reluctantly, out of necessity; he would have preferred some sort of informal postwar federation with the Americans, tapping into the two nations’ cultural and trade connections. For Shelburne and American affairs see John M. Norris, Shelburne and Reform (New York: St. Martins Press, 1963).
623. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; transcribed in the “Memoir,” 2:201–7, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; printed in the Memoir, pp. 216-20.
624. Quincy, paraphrasing as well as quoting lines from Shakespeare’s King John, Act III, Scene 3, the King to his chamberlain, Hubert.
625. Changed to “upon the rack” in both the “Memoir” and the Memoir.
626. Meaning Thomas Hutchinson, who of course had left Massachusetts for England well before Quincy.
627. Quincy wrote “where,” by mistake no doubt.
628. Presumably Commissioner Morris.
629. The sources for the House of Lords on 30 November 1774 in Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates, 5:237-39, do not allude to this exchange.
630. Italicized, with an exclamation point for emphasis, in the Memoir, but not in the original, or as transcribed for the “Memoir.”
631. “Lay before” being changed to “lie before you” in the Memoir.
632. From Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2. Quincy repeats these lines, plus more from the same soliloquy, in his letter to Joseph Reed of 17 December 1774 (see infra, p. 340). Hamlet is on the eve of staging the play-within-the-play that he hopes will expose his uncle as the killer of his father. He knows that Polonius, acting for Claudius, has a plot of his own involving Hamlet’s old, and unwitting, friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
633. “Embrace” is left out of the Memoir, though Eliza Susan copied it into the “Memoir.”
634. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:208–9, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 221–22.
635. Changed to “My dear wife” in both the “Memoir” and the Memoir.
636. Quincy saw Garrick perform as Hamlet at the Drury Lane theatre–no doubt a thrill for him, since there was as yet no theatre in Boston. Still, he was not uncritical, writing in his journal: “He is certainly the Prince of Players, but most certainly not without his faults as an Orator.” In Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:241. He had first seen Garrick at the Drury Lane in George Farquhar’s “Beaux’ Stratagem” two weeks before. “He was a surprising fellow,” Quincy noted cryptically then (at ibid., 1:237). Garrick had been on the London stage for well over thirty years by that point. He would play Hamlet ninety times, in the later years casting himself even if he was past his prime and long in the tooth for the part.
637. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 482–83.
638. Richard Price—often called Dr. Price in recognition of his doctor of divinity degree—was the longtime pastor of a presbyterian congregation at Newington Green, on the north edge of London. By the time Quincy met him he had become friends with Franklin, and was part of a small circle of intellectuals that revolved around the Earl of Shelburne that also included Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph, and Joseph Priestley. Price had also been named to the Royal Society. His public fame would come a couple of years later, with his pamphlet on the nature of civil liberty, which included a defense of the American patriot cause. For this side to Price see William Bernard Peach, ed., Richard Price and the Ethical Foundations of the American Revolution (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1978); Cal B. Cones’s somewhat dated biography, Torchbearer of the Revolution (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1952); and two briefer pieces—chapters on Price in Robert E. Toohey, Liberty & Empire (Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1978); and Jerome R. Reich, British Friends of the American Revolution (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1998).
639. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 482–84.
640. Sampson Salter Blowers, a few years younger than Quincy and from a far more modest background, had assisted Quincy and John Adams with the soldiers’ defense in 1770. Tied to Hutchinson from the time he had decided to study law after finishing at Harvard, it would not have surprised Quincy to see Blowers in London; he set sail just a couple of months later. He eventually was named chief justice of Nova Scotia.
641. Quite likely Daniel Bliss, a Concord lawyer who had been close to Hutchinson, reported on local affairs to Gage and fled, never to return, with the outbreak of fighting. See Sibley, Harvard Graduates, 14:563–66. For Bliss in the context of how the coming revolution transformed one Massachusetts town see Robert A. Gross, The Minutemen and Their World (New York: Hill and Wang, 1976).
642. In the military sense, to make a decisive strike, deliver a quick blow.
643. A field outside of Jerusalem where, according to some traditions (see Acts 1:18–19), Judas Iscariot suffered a miserable death, his bowels “bursting asunder” after he betrayed Jesus Christ; thus Aceldama, or “the field of blood.”
644. What Lovell described presaged a wider outbreak of “variola,” as examined in Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775–1782 (New York: Hill & Wang, 2002).
645. The Association, as called for by the Continental Congress, laid out in Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 1:75–81, and discussed in Ammerman, In the Common Cause, pp. 73–87.
646. Admiral Samuel Graves, relatively new commander of the North American station, a position he would hold through the end of 1775 and into early 1776 during the siege of Boston.
647. Lovell may have been offering a generic catchphrase rather than a direct quotation.
648. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:211–14, QP (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 224–27.
649. A salutation changed to “My dear wife” in the “Memoir,” and “My Dear Friend” in the Memoir.
651. See, for example, his “Hyperion” essay for the Boston Gazette, 5, October 1767, lines that Daniel Webster would repeat at the fiftieth anniversary commemoration at Bunker Hill (see supra pp. 7–11).
652. Quincy quoted himself here, from the speech that he gave at the Old South meetinghouse on 16 December 1773, just as men disguised as Indians went to dump tea into Boston harbor, tea in the holds of three ships that could not leave (Governor Hutchinson would not grant permission for them to sail away) nor could they land their cargoes (local protestors patrolling the docks as an informal posse comitatus made that impossible). These passages have been reprinted elsewhere, such as in Richard Frothingham, The Life of Joseph Warren (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1865), p. 276; and Francis Drake, Tea Leaves (Boston: A. O. Crane, 1884), p. lx. Frothingham may have seen Quincy’s letter. The 1825 first edition of the Memoir included it (as did the later two editions). In our own generation, Quincy’s words were even recorded and repeated in a taped dramatization provided to headphone-wearing visitors to the Old South.
653. William Dennie and James Bowdoin were ardent patriots, prominent in Boston politics. William Bollan had once served as the agent for the Massachusetts General Court in London, then for the governor’s council, and, with Franklin and Arthur Lee, would try (and fail) to get Parliament to deal formally with the Continental Congresss.
654. Shelburne, perhaps?
655. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:216–18, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 229–31.
656. North was responding to comments made by George Johnstone; in Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates, 5:256 (North) and 5:253 (Johnstone).
657. Eliza Susan Quincy added “them” in the “Memoir,” which was carried into the Memoir.
658. Congress would in fact approve a message to the people of Ireland in July 1775, after it had reconvened—see Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 2:212–228—the next year. Congress, still professing to want reconciliation, did not call for Ireland to join in rebellion, however, and it appears that the provision for Ireland to join in an expansive political union drawn up by Franklin at about that time, but never formally proposed, was left out. For more on Ireland and the American Revolution see my Neither Kingdom Nor Nation (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1994), pp. 74–108; and Vincent Morley, Irish Opinion and the America Revolution, 1760–1783 (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
659. Draft copy in QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; a cleaner version is in the Joseph Reed Papers, New-York Historical Society. Also transcribed in “Memoir,” 2:219–25, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS, and printed in the Memoir, pp. 231–37.
661. “Last Friday” referred to debates in the Commons just the day before, on December 16th; in Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates, 5:250–56.
662. In the original draft Quincy went back and deleted this unfinished closing sentence to the paragraph: “Whenever we survey the odious havock and devastation, the feelings of the man rise paramount we are apt to rise paramount the dictates”
664. Quincy may have been reporting what he heard firsthand. Charles Pratt, Inner Temple trained barrister, owed his rise in public life to William Pitt, and Camden never strayed politically far from his patron’s side. By the time of Quincy’s trip to England he had served as attorney general, left his seat in the Commons to become chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, been elevated to the peerage as Baron Camden and took the post of lord chancellor in Pitt’s ministry formed in 1766. He survived the ministry’s fall in 1768 but by 1770 had been pressured to step down because of his vocal opposition to policies the king supported, including those toward the colonies. His was a leading voice in the House of Lords, second only to that of Chatham, against any sort of punitive policies against the Americans. He and Shelburne, Chatham’s other leading ally in the Lords, kept their distance from each other.
665. I have not been able to find a source for these lines being spoken by Hannibal, if indeed Quincy remembered correctly.
666. These lines were excerpted to serve as the frontispiece for the Memoir in its second and third editions. They are reproduced as if they were in facsimile; they are not. It is not clear who wrote them for the printer to reproduce in this fashion. There is also a copy of this “facsimile” in the Simon Gratz Autograph Collection #250B, Case 8 Box 16, HSP.
667. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:226, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 237–38.
668. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:227–28, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 239–41.
669. Eliza Susan Quincy added “these copies” in the “Memoir,” which she carried into the Memoir.
670. Which Eliza Susan rendered as “in so much haste” in both the “Memoir” and Memoir.
671. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:160–62, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 181–83; Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 1:1080.
672. The sentence is ended at “Intelligence” in the “Memoir” and Memoir.
673. David Hackett Fischer recounts the details of this episode in Paul Revere’s Ride (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 52–57. As with the so-called “powder alarm” in Cambridge the previous September, and the near confrontation between townsfolk and regulars in Salem the following February, the seizing of munitions at Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth raised questions about whether “public property” belonged first and foremost to the crown, or to the people of the province.
674. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:163-64, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 183-85.
675. He was referring to the prize money that he made as a result of the privateering exploits of the Bethell in the summer of 1748. Commanded by Isaac Freeman, the Bethell had traversed the Atlantic to Gibraltar and back, in search of targets. Freeman’s success in securing prize money added considerably to Josiah Sr.’s fortune and that of his business partners, brother Edmund and brother-in-law Edward Jackson. The August 1748 letter that Freeman wrote to Quincy, detailing his activities, is reproduced in L. H. Butterfield’s pamphlet A Pride of Quincys (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1969), n.p. The tale of how the Bethell captured its largest prize, a Spanish merchantman with a cargo of bullion, by a clever ruse is recounted briefly in the biography of Josiah Jr.’s son, written by Josiah the Mayor’s son (Josiah Jr.’s grandson), Edmund Quincy, The Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1868), pp. 4-5.
676. Eliza Susan Quincy transcribed this paragraph for the “Memoir,” but did not carry it into the Memoir.
678. Possibly Ezekiel Goldthwait.
679. Neither this paragraph nor the one above it appear in the “Memoir” or the Memoir.
681. A relative by marriage. Anne Marsh had become Josiah Sr.’s third wife in 1762; she died in 1805. Her brother Joseph, who had been in Josiah Sr.’s 1728 Harvard class (as a Hollis scholar—see supra p. 426 n. 608 for Thomas Hollis), served as the tutor for Josiah Jr., and earlier, John Adams, to prepare them for entrance to Harvard.
682. This paragraph and the one above it are not in either the “Memoir” or the Memoir.
683. This paragraph, but only to this point, is in the Memoir; it is not in the “Memoir” at all.
684. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:236–39, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 247–49. Quincy mistakenly dated it 1774.
685. Printed in Ford, ed., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1:82–90.
686. Quincy may have taken a passage from Othello (Act III, Scene 3)—spoken by Othello as Desdemona leaves him and the suspicions planted by Iago begin to fester—and changed it for his purposes. The original reads: “Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul But I do love thee! And when I love thee not, Chaos is come again.”
687. Quincy could have had in mind the riddle about the wind; he may also have been quoting from Edward Search, The Light of Nature Pursued, 7 vols. (London: T. Jones, 1768–1777), 1:3, speaking of the “Faculties of the Mind.” He did not turn to it for his commonplace book nor is it listed in the ‘Catalogue of Books.” Abraham Tucker, the author, used Edward Search as a pseudonym.
688. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:240–47, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 250–54.
689. Although I have not been able to find this full statement anywhere but here, the phrase “a nobler field” turns up in a dozen or so sources known to Quincy, from a translation of Ovid to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida to poems by John Dryden and James Thomson.
690. The “Memoir” includes the two postscripts, but not the paragraphs after that, which Quincy had marked with insertion points in the text, then squeezed into the margins. The printed Memoir only has the material above “Henry Ireton.”
691. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:247–52, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 254–60.
692. Jedediah Preble and Seth Pomeroy; Artemas Ward was the third. This was part of the selection of various individuals to serve under the authority of the provincial convention, including a standing committee of safety—which Thomas Gage, not surprisingly, condemned, as illegal and unconstitutional. See Lincoln, ed., Journals of the Provincial Congress, p. 35 for the appointments noted above, and p. 21 for Gage.
693. Pownall had revised and expanded his Administration of the British Colonies to a fifth edition in two volumes (see p. 318, n. 4, supra). Over the previous five years he had also had reproduced as pamphlets a couple of his speeches in the Commons and his reflections on the “wretched state” of the East India Company. Quincy’s impressions of Pownall ought to be contrasted with those he left of Thomas Hutchinson, in what the former governor had hoped (unrealistically) would be a temporary London exile. In Peter Orlando Hutchinson, ed., The Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson, 2 vols. (London: S. Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1883–1886). Samuel Cooper, the minister of Boston’s Brattle Street congregational church, had befriended Pownall when he was the Massachusetts governor and kept up a correspondence with him after he left. Cooper chose the patriot side in the imperial contest and welcomed independence when it came. See Charles W. Akers, The Divine Politician (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1982).
694. Burke had delivered the first of his two most famous speeches on American affairs the previous April (the second would be on 22 March 1775, after Quincy had begun his fatal voyage) but it was not published until January 1775, as the Speech of Edmund Burke, Esq., on American Taxation, April 19 1774 (London: J. Dodsley, 1775). Catharine Macaulay’s An Address to the People of England, Scotland, and Ireland, on the Present Important Crisis of Affairs (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1775) had also just been published. Quincy had long admired Macaulay as a writer, quoting from both her 1770 Observations and her five-volume History of England in his political commonplace book. He had in fact just returned from his trip to Bath over the New Year’s holiday, taken in part to meet her. For the commonplace book entries and Bath excursion see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:102, 109–12, 120, 125, 138, 171, and 246, resp. Macaulay’s History is in the “Catalogue of Books” in ibid., 5:898 (no. 230). There is no listing for the Observations.
695. NB—Nota Bene: to note well.
696. Eliza Susan Quincy transcribed most of this lengthy postscript in the “Memoir.” Somewhat less ended up in the Memoir.
697. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:252–56, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 260–62.
698. Lovell’s letters are here; Abigail’s are not—their whereabouts, now unknown. None of the letters that Abigail wrote to Josiah in fact survive, or at least that I have been able to find.
699. Adino Paddock was a successful coach maker in Boston, an officer in the town’s train of artillery. He sided with Gage when the General arrived as Governor, remained in Boston during the subsequent siege, evacuated with other Loyalists in March 1776, and took up residence on the Isle of Jersey.
700. Clarendon, Life, p. 41. Hyde claimed Marten made that statement very early on in the English civil war, an indication of republican tendencies that only became more pronounced and more militant with time. Marten’s sympathies for the Levellers carried him to regicide and deep involvement in the attempt to create a commonwealth in the wake of Charles I’s execution. Tempestuous, irascible, Marten did not get on well with Cromwell as lord protector and narrowly avoided execution himself when Charles II took the throne. Hyde, like Marten, had been a barrister who held a seat in the House of Commons as the nation split between crown and parliament. Unlike Marten, he chose monarchy, served as a diplomat on the Continent and had attached himself to Charles II when the future king was still a prince during the civil war. He was eventually rewarded with an earldom. Rising to become lord chancellor, his falling out with Charles II led to his exile in France, where he died. He had begun his history of the rebellion while it was still being waged and wrote his autobiography just a few years before his death in 1674. There is a good bit on Marten, Hyde and their differences in David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1999). It seems likely that Quincy owned a copy of the 1759 edition of Clarendon’s Life (see the citation in his allusion in his “Pro Lege” essay at supra, p. 16, n. 8), even though he did not turn to it for his political commonplace book, nor is it listed in the “Catalogue of Books”—evidence, again, that his intellectual world cannot be perfectly reconstructed.
701. An observation he also made in his London journal on 29 November 1774. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot,1:237. He was probably quoting (from memory) the introduction to the 1753 edition of Milton’s Works that he used for the commonplace book—not Milton himself, but the editor, Thomas Birch.
702. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir,” 2:256–57, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, pp. 262–63.
704. The first postscript is in the “Memoir” and Memoir, but not this second one.
705. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; another copy by a different hand in the Simon Gratz Autograph Collection, Case 8, Box 16, #250B HSP mss.; “Memoir,” 2:27, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, p. 278.
706. Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates, 5:268-87; and the note on Quincy’s place in the record of this debate in Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:252–53, n. 95.
707. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS. Abigail Quincy’s father, who was helping manage the family’s finances. In a notice printed in the Boston Gazette, 10 October 1774, Quincy had informed the public that he had left for London and former clients should take their concerns to Perez Morton, who had taken over his office. “Those Persons who owe the said Quincy, on Bond or Note, are hereby notified to make their payments to WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Esq;” with whom Quincy had left power of attorney.
708. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 486–89. Baillie used few commas or periods, writing, seemingly in a grammatical stream of consciousness. I made a a few changes, similar to those made by Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe. Joseph Reed had written Quincy a letter of introduction (see Reed to JQ, 25 October 1774), supra, p. 279; Quincy met with Baillie on January 20th, after hearing debates in the House of Lords (see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:261). Baillie had long been living in retirement in London, after a stormy career as a judge in Ireland. During this period he wrote a tract taking on both John Shebbeare and Samuel Johnson for their position on American affairs. For Baillie’s background see Kevin Costello, “The Court of Admiralty of Ireland, 1745–1756,” American Journal of Legal History 50 (2008-2010):23–48.
709. John Dalrymple, second Earl of Stair, who served as George I’s minister plenipotentiary in Paris from 1715 to 1720. He had risen as a protégé of the Duke of Marlborough in the fighting on the Continent that led to the great victory at Blenheim in 1704.
710. That is, “throw.”
711. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” p. 489. Quincy noted in his London journal for March 3rd that he received “eight valuable books and eight pamphlets” from Hollis, and two more books and pamphlets from Theophilus Lindsey. See Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:267.
712. Draft copy, with various excisions and insertions, in the Alexander McDougall Papers, New-York Historical Society, to be copied and sent to Quincy through Thomas Bromfield. Son of Scottish immigrants, McDougall, a onetime privateer, had risen to become a wealthy merchant in New York City and leader of the local Sons of Liberty by the end of the 1760s. His subsequent challenges to imperial authority led some to consider him New York’s John Wilkes. He went as a delegate to the First Continental Congress, served in the New York provincial congress, and rose to major general in the Continental army during the war, earning George Washington’s respect along the way.
713. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 489–90.
714. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 490–91. The Dilly brothers, Edward and Charles, London printers, had produced the London edition of Quincy’s Observations, less than a week before he arrived in London. Bachelors who lived above their London shop, they sold as well as published books and pamphlets. Edward was the more passionate politically of the two, a champion of John Wilkes and friend of Benjamin Franklin, but also on good terms with James Boswell and Samuel Johnson. Like Quincy, he died of consumption (in his late forties, unlike Quincy). Very little is now known of the brothers, despite their prominence in the book trade and their place in London social circles; hence the value of the two letters that Charles wrote to JQ, included here.
715. The literature on Dr. Johnson is large, his biographers, many. For his view of the American crisis as expressed in Taxation No Tyranny (London: T. Cadell, 1775), his one pamphlet-length piece on the subject, the best starting point is Donald Green’s introduction in Political Writings, volume 10 in John H. Middendorf, et al., eds., The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, 23 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1958–2010), 10:401–11, with the text of the pamphlet itself on pp. 411–55.
716. The note by “Plain Truth,” with a retort by “A State Tinker,” which included comments on Quincy, appeared in the Public Advertiser for 7 March and 9 March 1775, resp. “Americus” entered the newsprint fray on April 20th to defend the “State Tinker” by disparaging Quincy (and his “feigned illness”). “A State Tinker” had started it all with a jibe in the February 28th issue that accused “Dr. Quinancy” and the “notorious Electrical Doctor” of attempting to “kindle the Sparks of Sedition.” Quincy’s passing was noted sympathetically in the June 1st issue: “Josiah Quincy, Junior, Esq. of Boston, who came here last Winter to give a true State of the Province of Massachusetts Bay to our obstinate and willingly misinformed Ministers, unfortunately died the Evening after he landed in his own Country. This Gentleman’s Loss is peculiarly to be lamented at this Time, as his Abilities, Virtue, and Patriotism, would be an Ornament to any Age, and would surely have been of Essential Service at this alarming Crisis to the Liberties of England as well as America.”
717. “A Friend to Government desires us to say that a certain swivel-eyed, scribbly Lawyer lately from Boston New-England who has taken great Pains in his impudent Attempts to traduce the spotless Character of the late amiable Governor of that Province (struck with a panic at hearing of the spirited Measures going forward against the Rebels) has very precipitately embarked for his own Country, justly apprehending he might fall under the Hands of the Crown Lawyers for publishing an impudent, treasonable Pamphlet.” Public Advertiser, 8 March 1775.
718. North in the Commons, 9 March 1775, in Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates, 5:518–19.
719. Quincy had used Chesterfield’s two volume Letters in his political commonplace book–see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:183–184. It is not listed in the “Catalogue of Books,” which is perhaps why he was hoping to trade James Burgh’s three volume Political Disquisitions, which the Dillys had just published, for a new or replacement set. He had met briefly with an ill Burgh as he was preparing to sail for home–see Coquillette andYork, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:264.
720. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” p. 492.
721. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; “Memoir, 2:284–85, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; Memoir, p. 284. This appears to be the last letter that Josiah Jr. wrote before he died. His final message (on April 21st) was dictated to a sailor on the packet taking him home. He began it two days earlier (with that date scratched out), as the ship was preparing to sail down the Thames.
722. Boston merchant John Rowe, one of Quincy’s friends. Quincy, but not Hill, is mentioned in Anne Rowe Cunningham, ed., Letters and Diary of John Rowe (Boston: W. B. Clark Company, 1903).
723. Everything between “write legibly” and “A word to my health” was left out of the “Memoir” and the Memoir.
724. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” p. 492n.
725. For “Americus” see supra, p. 381, n. 3. Once again the “State Tinker” does not mention Franklin by name, referring to him sarcastically as “the great ELECTRICAL DOCTOR,” a “skunk,” a “polecat,” preparing to return to his own country–and good riddance to an ingrate. Public Advertiser, 29 March 1775.
726. QP 51 (reel 30) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 493–94.
727. James E. Bradley discusses the petition to George III, along with failed attempts to sway Parliament by the same method, in Popular Politics and the American Revolution (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1986), pp. 37–58.
728. [Arthur Lee], A Speech, intended to have been delivered in the House of Commons, in support of the Petition from the General Congress at Philadelphia (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1775). Not in line to inherit the family lands or fortune inVirginia, William Lee and his older brother Arthur had chosen to make their way in London society, William as a merchant, Arthur without really settling on a profession, despite his training in both medicine and law. Both were involved in the city’s opposition politics and loosely associated with John Wilkes. William was elected a sheriff, then an alderman for London, but failed in his bid to win election to the Commons. Arthur wrote various pieces for the London press, most notably as the essayist “Junius Americanus.” He attached himself to Benjmain Franklin when Franklin was the agent for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He and William thereby became acquainted with Josiah Junior–thus various references to Arthur in Quincy’s London journal (see Coquillette and York, eds., Portrait of a Patriot, 1:221–69, passim). The brothers left London for the Continent, seeking their fortunes in a new venue, after the rebellion became a revolution. The best introduction to them can be found in Garraty and Carnes, eds., DNB, 13:356–58 and 406–7, in essays by Louis W. Potts.
729. Abbreviation for hogsheads, or large barrels, with specific weights varying according to the contents, which could run from tobacco to wine to rum.
730. The Speech of Edmund Burke, Esq. (London: J. Dodsley, 1775); and in Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates, 5:598–631.
731. Lee’s signature is crossed out.
732. QP 51 (reel 29) MHS; with a draft copy in the Alexander McDougall Papers, New-York Historical Society. Printed in the Memoir, pp. 255n–57n, and Force, ed., American Archives, 4th series, 2:283–84. Addressed “To Josiah Quincy Junior Esq. London, by the Duke of Cumberland Packet.”
733. QP 51 (reel 30) MHS, written by a clerk practiced in calligraphy; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 494–95.
734. QP 51 (reel 30) MHS; Howe, ed., “Quincy Letters,” pp. 495–96.
735. QP 45 (reel 6) MHS, as transcribed by Eliza Susan Quincy for her “Memoir,” 1:95–96, from an original not in the MHS collections. Also printed, with slight changes, in George Atkinson Ward, ed., Journals and Letters of the Late Samuel Curwen (New York: C. S. Francis and Co., 1842), pp. 562–64.
736. She quoted from A Monody Inscribed to Benjamin Church jun. M.D. in Memory of Mr. Edmund Quincy, tert (Boston, 1768), p. 4.
737. She quoted here from Edward Young’s The Complaint; Or, Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742), which would have been available to her in many editions.
738. QP 45 (reel 6), MHS; as pasted into the “Memoir,” 1:68–70 by Eliza Susan Quincy.
739. She refers, of course, to the Lord’s prayer, as offered by Jesus Christ at the Sermon on the Mount, and in Matthew 6:10 of the New Testament (“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” KJV)
740. QP 51 (reel 30) MHS.
741. He quoted from Alexander Pope, An Epistle to the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Cobham (London: Lawton Gulliver, 1733), p. 6—or perhaps from later Edinburgh or Dublin printings—changing “vulgar” to “human.”
742. A portion of the letter at the top right edge, one inch wide by three inches long, is missing, so a few of the words that follow have been deduced.
743. Writing perpendicular to the regular text, Quincy Sr. squeezed his postscripts into the margins. For the context of the events Quincy reported, see Frothingham, Siege of Boston, pp. 207–45; and Allen French, The First Year of the American Revolution (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934), pp. 466–546.
744. “Memoir,” 2:300a–301a, QP 46 (reel 6) MHS; as transcribed by Eliza Susan Quincy.
745. Taken from Edward Young’s poem “Resignation.” Abigail altered the fourth line, which Young had written as: “Tho’ Transports are denied.”
746. From “On the Death of Mr. Thomas Rowe,” by Elizabeth Singer Rowe, which appeared in Philomella (London: E. Curll, 1737), p. 184, but had also appeared earlier as “A POEM, by a Lady on the Death of her Husband” in the London Magazine 4 (May 1735):271, and under that same anonymous title even earlier in Musapaedia, or Miscellany Poems (London: B. Francklin, 1719), p. 67. The poem was also reprinted in later anthologies—meaning, Abigail had any number of sources to which she could have turned. Thomas Rowe died of consumption in 1715, which Abigail probably knew, and which could explain why his widow’s poem offered her comfort. Abigail altered the lines as originally written to fit her circumstances, as Josiah Jr. often did when quoting others. The original reads: “For Thee, all thoughts of pleasure I forego, For Thee my Tears shall never cease to flow.”
747. QP 69 (reel 32) MHS. Young Josiah was at school at the Phillips Academy in Andover; his grandfather sent the letter to his mother, for her to forward to him.
748. From Alexander Pope’s First Epistle of the First Book of Horace Imitated, lines 92–93. The elder Quincy could have been quoting from a number of London editions printed in the late 1730s or even from memory.
749. He died within days of writing this letter.
750. Jonathan French, a Harvard graduate and congregational minister who taught religion to students at the Academy. He was a native of Braintree.