Samuel Adams, A Founding Father, 1772

“Is it not high time for the people of this country explicitly to declare whether they will be freemen or slaves? It is an important question, which ought to be decided. It concerns us more than any thing in this life. The salvation of our souls is interested in the event; for wherever tyranny is established, immorality of every kind comes in like a torrent.

It is the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice, for they cannot live in any country where virtue and knowledge prevail. The religion and public liberty of the people are intimately connected. their interests are interwoven; they cannot subsist separately, and, therefore, they rise and fall together.

For this reason, it is always observable that those who are combined to destroy the people’s liberties practise every art to poison their morals. How greatly then does it concern us, at all events, to put a stop to the progress of tyranny. It has advanced already by far too many strides. We are at this moment upon a precipice. The next step may be fatal to us.

Let us, then, act like wise men, calmly look around us, and consider what is best to be done. Let us converse together upon this most interesting subject, and open our minds freely to each other. Let it be the topic of conversation in every social club. Let every town assemble. Let associations and combinations be everywhere set up to consult and recover our just rights.”

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