Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776

By James Truslow Adams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
THE DEFEAT OF THE CONSERVATIVES

Continental Congress -- Suffolk Resolves -- Conservatives Defeated in Congress -- Opposing Parties -- Trouble on the Frontier -- First Acts of War -- Lexington and Concord -- The Restraining Act -- English Opinion -- Ticonderoga -- Bunker Hill -- Canadian Expedition

ON the 10th of August, 1774, the four representatives of Massachusetts to the Continental Congress set out from Boston for Philadelphia. They were John Adams, Samuel Adams, Thomas Cushing and Robert Treat Paine. "Am told they made a very respectable parade," wrote John Andrews, "in sight of five of the Regiments encamped on the common, being in a coach and four, preceded by two white servants well mounted and armed, with four blacks behind in livery, two on horseback and two footmen. Am in hopes their joint deliberations will effect something for our relief; more particularly to concert such measures as may be adopted by the Mother Country, so as to settle a friendship between us that may be lasting and permanent."1 From all the other colonies except Georgia delegates were similarly setting forth on the same fateful errand. From New Hampshire went Major John Sullivan and Colonel Nathaniel Folsom, from Rhode Island Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward, and from Connecticut Eliphalet Dyer, Silas Deane and Roger Sherman. It would be impossible to say whether the meeting of the delegates was more favored or feared by the people at large. Both radicals and conservatives hoped that they might win control, and on the other hand feared to lose. Extremists like Sam Adams did their best to commit the colonies to a course from which there could be no turning back

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1
Andrews Letters, cit. supra, p. 339. For the incidents of the journey vide J. Adams, Works, vol. II, pp. 340ff.

-406-

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Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface V
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Chapter I- Introductory 3
  • Chapter II- The Machinery of Empire 18
  • Chapter III- The Dawn of the Century 30
  • Chapter IV- The Policy of Unified Control 46
  • Chapter V- Attempts at Coöperation, Imperial and Colonial 60
  • Chapter VI- The Rising Tide 84
  • Chapter VII- Diverging Interests 111
  • Chapter VIII- Expanding Energies 138
  • Chapter IX- The Great Divide 169
  • Chapter X- The Wrong Turning 200
  • Chapter XI- The Fate of a Continent 221
  • Chapter XII- War and Business 250
  • Chapter XIII- The Price of Peace 278
  • Chapter XIV- The Insoluble Problem 304
  • Chapter XV- Darkening Skies 338
  • Chapter XVI- The Issue Defined 369
  • Chapter XVII- The Defeat of the Conservatives 406
  • Chapter XVIII- Civil War 433
  • Index 453
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