The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 3

Author: Samuel Adams

To James Otis.

[MS., copy in Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.]

BOSTON, March 19th 1773


I have the honor of joining with my brethren the Committee of Correspondence for the town in a letter to you, which the bearer of this is chargd with & will deliver to you.

The occasion is somewhat singular. Our Brother Mr William Molineux, a few days ago receiv’d an ANONYMOUS letter dated Barnstable &.c, in which mention is made of some rude Aspersions cast upon the characters of himself and several others of our Committee by your Representative Mr Bacon in a public meeting of your Town. As the intelligence was thus uncertain the Committee would fain hope that it was impossible for one of Mr Bacon’s station in life to act so unjustifiable a part; especially after the handsome things which he had the credit of saying of every one of Committee upon a late occasion in the House of Representatives. Admitting however, that this might be the case, they thought it prudent to address you, as the Moderator of your meeting, and it is their desire, if you judge there is a proper foundation for this letter AND NOT OTHERWISE, to obtain the consent of the Town that it should be openly read in the meeting at the ensuing adjournment. This the Committee refer to your known discretion, as they cannot place a full dependence upon an anonymous letter, although there are some circumstances that may seem to corroborate it.

As there is no measure which tends more to disconcert the Designs of the enemies of the public liberty, than the raising Committees of Correspondence in the several towns throughout the Province, it is not to be wondered at that the whole strength of their opposition is aim’d against it. Whether Mr B. is of this character is a question in which his Constituents ought certainly to satisfy themselves beyond a reasonable doubt. A man’s professions may be as he pleases; but I honestly confess I cannot easily believe him to be a sincere friend to his Country, who can upon any consideration be prevail’d upon to associate with so detestable an enemy to it as I take a BOSTON BORN (I cannot say educated) Commissioner of Customs to be.

I am with great regard for your family and conexions in B[arnstable.]

Sir your assured Friend & most humble servant

P. S. If there is not foundation for what is asserted in the anonymous letter, we desire that you will not only not read our letter in your meeting but also not let the original or a copy of it go out of your hands, but return it by the first opportunity.

ut supra


Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options

Title: The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 3

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options

Title: The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 3

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Samuel Adams, "To James Otis.," The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 3 in The Writings of Samuel Adams—Volume 3 Original Sources, accessed December 9, 2023,

MLA: Adams, Samuel. "To James Otis." The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 3, in The Writings of Samuel Adams—Volume 3, Original Sources. 9 Dec. 2023.

Harvard: Adams, S, 'To James Otis.' in The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 3. cited in , The Writings of Samuel Adams—Volume 3. Original Sources, retrieved 9 December 2023, from