A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
During this country’s first “... times that try men’s souls…,“ a member of a small minority of the American colonists, thought of as a radical, a rabble rouser, even a traitor, kept the fires of freedom burning in the hearts and minds of his fellow colonists. His name was Samuel Adams. He was known by his friends as just plain “Sam.”
Just plain Sam became a Founding Father of the United States of America.
Sam was born on September 27, 1722 in Boston, Mass.. At the height of his formal education he held a Master of Arts degree from Harvard.
Sam became a politician. He was a tax collector. So when he wrote those rants concerning the king’s taxes, ole Sam knew what he was talking/writing about.
He was elected to Massachusetts Assembly in 1765, became a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774, signed Declaration of Independence in 1776, became a member of Massachusetts State constitutional convention in 1781, was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Mass. in 1789. and was elected Governor of Massachusetts, 1794 until 1797.
“Samuel was the son of a merchant and brewer. He was an excellent politician, an unsuccessful brewer, and a poor businessman. His early public office as a tax collector might have made him suspect as an agent of British authority, however he made good use of his understanding of the tax codes and wide acquaintance with the merchants of Boston. Samuel was a very visible popular leader who, along with his second cousin John (John became President), spent a great deal of time in the public eye agitating for resistance.”
It was as a Massachusetts Assemblyman that Samuel first purposed a Continental Congress.
Of all Sam Adams’ accomplishments, the single most important, for me, is his ability to fire up the masses with his writing. Ole Sam could write — and he had a flare for embedding his passion for freedom and republicanism in every treatise he produced as a pamphlet.
Sam also managed to fire-up the British (and American) King and the British government, too. When Sam published his circular letter in 1768 calling for colonial non-cooperation with the Brits it prompted the occupation of Boston by British soldiers. Many historians claim that led to the Boston Massacre in 1770.
“To help coordinate resistance to what he saw as the British government’s attempts to violate the British Constitution at the expense of the colonies, in 1772 Adams and his colleagues devised a committee of correspondence system, which linked like-minded Patriots throughout the Thirteen Colonies. Continued resistance to British policy resulted in the 1773 Boston Tea Party and the coming of the American Revolution.”
241 years later, Sam Adams’ actions and writings are STILL motivating Americans to political action in defense of freedom.
Ole Sam wrote such sagacious nuggets as:
“It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.’
He also wrote:
“The Constitution shall never be construed… to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
Sam also wrote this one and I am very afraid we modern Americans have completely forgotten the wisdom it encapsulates:
“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”
It is difficult to believe, but Sam Adams is considered a controversial figure in early America. So far as I am concerned, that is pure bunk. Sam Adams was a passionate patriot who fought for freedom from Great Britain with the skill and talent with which God had blessed him. This country was extraordinarily lucky to have had a Samuel Adams in the right place at the right time.
Some claim that Sam had been steering his fellow colonists towards independence long before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. There is written evidence of that.
Then there are others who say Sam was a propagandist who incited his fellow colonists to mob violence to accomplish his goals.
“In January 1748, Adams and some friends, inflamed by British impressment, launched the Independent Advertiser, a weekly newspaper that printed many political essays written by Adams. Drawing heavily upon English political theorist John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, Adams’s essays emphasized many of the themes that would characterize his subsequent career. He argued that the people must resist any encroachment on their constitutional rights. He cited the decline of the Roman Empire as an example of what could happen to New England if it were to abandon its Puritan values.”
The more one reads of Sam Adams’ writings the more he begins to sound very mush like a modern day conservative blogger. Indeed, I suspect that were he alive today that is exactly what he would be doing.
I did not set out to deliver a history lesson in this piece. My intention was to draw a comparison between the literal host of conservative bloggers who write daily much the same message as did Samuel Adams. Unfortunately the conditions in America have deteriorated until they once again resemble the same conditions between the government and the governed as they did in Sam Adams’ day. The only difference — we are now suffering oppression at the hands of our own government and not that of a British king. To this scribe that makes it doubly difficult to abide.
I submit that Americans are going to find they must become bold again. Sam Adams showed the way. His love of freedom, his passion for liberty was the fuel that drove him to become a Founding Father of this nation.
Each time we sit or stand passively by and allow our President and our Congress to ignore the constitution with impunity, we are spitting on the constitution. We are effectively “selling-out” our Founding Fathers who risked everything to give us a free nation. We are also demonstrating disrespect for our fellow Americans who have given their lives, their limbs, and their future on some foreign battle field to preserve the freedom and rights enumerated within our constitution.
What’s happening in America today is unconscionable. Americans standing by and allowing the US to be bludgeoned and bled dry by the domestic communist movement – with renewed vigor, as a result of the election of a Marxist (Communist) President is a deeply troubling mystery. I cannot fathom it.
We desperately need men of the caliber of Samuel Adams to lead a freedom movement in America today. Without those men, we will lose out beloved country.
J. D. Longstreet