Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 19 of 1,110

fOHN1AT Ar2AStIS._____________!. 17

prophetic glance into futurity, he hurried
away all before him. American independence
was then and there born. Every man of an
immensely crowded audience appeared to
me to go away, as I did, ready to take up
Soon Mr. Adams wrote an essay to be
read before the literary club of his town,
upon the state of affairs, which was so able
as to attract public attention. It was published
in American journals, republished
in England, and was pronounced by the
friends of the colonists there as "one of the
very best productions ever seen from North
The memorable Stamp Act was now
issued, and Adams entered with all the
ardor of his soul into political life in order
to re.S,;al. He drew up a series of resolutioil
' onstrating against the act, which
were ac)pted at a public meeting of the
citizens of Braintree, and which were subsequently
adopted, word for word, by more
than forty towns in the State. Popular
commotion prevented the landing of the
Stamp I -f: papers, and the English authorities
then closed the courts. The town of
Boston therefore appointed Jeremy Gridley,
James Otis and John Adams to argue a
petition before the Governor and council
for the re-opening of the courts; and while
the two first mentioned attorneys based
their argument upon the distress caused to
the people by the measure, Adams boldly
claimed that the Stamp Act was a violation
both of the English Constitution and the
charter of the Provinces. It is said that
this was the first direct denial of the unlimited
right of Parliament over the colonies.
Soon after this the Stamp Act was
Directly Mr. Adams was employed to
defend Ansell Nickerson, who had killed an
Englishman in the act of impressing him
(Nickerson) into the King's service, and his
client was acquitted, the court thus establishing
the principle that the infamous
royal prerogative of impressment could
have no existence in the colonial code.
But in I770 Messrs. Adams and Josiah
Quincy defended a party of British soldiers
who had been arrested for murder when
they had been only obeying Governmental
orders; and when reproached for thus apparently
deserting the cause of popular
liberty, Mr. Adams replied that he would a
thousandfold rather live under the domination
of the worst of England's kings than
under that of a lawless mob. Next, after
serving a term as a member of the Colonial
Legislature from Boston, Mr. Adams, finding
his health affected by too great labor,
retired to his native home at Braintree.
The year 1774 soon arrived, with its famous
Boston "Tea Party," the first open
act of rebellion. Adams was sent to the
Congress at Philadelphia; and when the
Attorney-General announced that Great
Britain had "determined on her system,
and that her power to execute it was irresistible,"
Adams replied: "I know that
Great Britain has determined on her system,
and that very determination determines
me on mine. You know that I have
been constant in my opposition to her
measures. The die is now cast. I have
passed the Rubicon. Sink or swim, live or
die, with my country, is my unalterable
determination." The rumor beginning to
prevail at Philadelphia that the Congress
had independence in view, Adams foresaw
that it was too soon to declare it openly.
advised every one to remain quiet in
that respect; and as soon as it became apparent
that he himself was for independence,
he was advised to hide himself, which
he did.
The next year the great Revolutionary
war opened in earnest, and Mrs. Adams,
residing near Boston, kept her husband advised
by letter of all the events transpiring

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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. ( accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Dallas Public Library.