The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 2

Author: Samuel Adams

To Elbridge Gerry.

[J. T. Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, vol. i., pp. 23-25.]

BOSTON, Dec. 23, 1772.


The further proceedings of the truly patriotic town of Marblehead, together with your own esteemed favours of the 16th and 21st instant, came to my hand in due season, The proceedings I immediately communicated to our chairman; and from your hint that it was thought proper to suspend the publication, together with assurances of letters from some other towns speedily, we agreed also to suspend the calling a meeting of our committee, which however will be done soon. Agreeably to the intimations in your last I find in the Essex Gazette1 a, - what shall I call it? a disapprobation, to use their own term, signed by a few men, of the proceedings of a whole town. If "in fact there was but about twenty persons who voted at the meeting" and all the rest were against the measure, I wonder much that they did not follow the example of so eminent a person as the single dissentient and outvote you when they had it in their power. Or why could not the twenty-nine disapprobators have attended the meeting the second time and prevented your taking such measures from which they "are apprehensive the town will incur a great deal of public censure"? This would indeed have been meritorious. I am a stranger to most of the gentlemen who have thus signalized themselves; Mr. Mansfield I once thought a zealous whig, perhaps I was mistaken. After all, the whole seems to be but a weak effort; their third reason appears to me so excessively puerile, that I am surprised that gentlemen of character could deliberately set their hands to it.

Your last proceedings sent to us in manuscript are attested by the town clerk. I am sorry to observe that the printed copy in the Essex Gazelle is without his attestation, because an advantage may be made of it in our Court Gazette to lessen its credit and authority; to prevent which I intend the next Monday’s papers shall have it from the manuscript unless (which I cannot much expect) I shall be otherwise advised by you.

I was thinking that you might turn the tables upon your disapprobating friends, by getting a much larger subscription from persons who were not at the meeting and approve of the proceedings. Whether it be prudent or worth while to try this method you must certainly be a better judge than I am.

The tools of power, little and great, are taking unwearied pains to prevent the meeting of the towns, but they do not succeed altogether to their wishes. I cannot help entertaining some sanguine hopes that the measures we have pursued will have a happy event.

1 Published at Salem, by S. and E. Hall.


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Chicago: Samuel Adams, "To Elbridge Gerry.," The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 2 in The Writings of Samuel Adams—Volume 2 Original Sources, accessed September 30, 2023,

MLA: Adams, Samuel. "To Elbridge Gerry." The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 2, in The Writings of Samuel Adams—Volume 2, Original Sources. 30 Sep. 2023.

Harvard: Adams, S, 'To Elbridge Gerry.' in The Writings of Samuel Adams— Volume 2. cited in , The Writings of Samuel Adams—Volume 2. Original Sources, retrieved 30 September 2023, from