PERSPECTIVE 1: Samuel Adams and The Sons of Liberty
"American patriot Samuel Adams (1722-1803) failed as a brewer and newspaper publisher before becoming one of the Independence movement’s most celebrated leaders and statesmen. An organizer of Boston’s Sons of Liberty, Adams conceived of the Boston Committee of Correspondence and coordinated Boston’s resistance to the Tea Act, which climaxed in the famous Tea Party. He represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress from 1774 through 1781, and was elected to the Massachusetts convention on the ratification of the Constitution in 1787. After serving as John Hancock’s lieutenant from 1789 to 1793, Adams took over as governor before retiring in 1797."
Abigail was the wife of John Adams, the second president of the United States, and the mother of Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. Abigail was a political activist who stood up for independence and women's rights. Her letters and memoirs are considered important historical documents. Here is one letter to John Adams, written April 5, 1776:
"Not having an opportunity of sending this I shall add a few lines more; tho not with a heart so gay. I have been attending the sick chamber of our Neighbour Trot whose affliction I most sensibly feel but cannot discribe, striped of two lovely children in one week. Gorge the Eldest died on wedensday and Billy the youngest on fryday, with the Canker fever, a terible disorder so much like the throat distemper, that it differs but little from it. Betsy Cranch has been very bad, but upon the recovery. Becky Peck they do not expect will live out the day. Many grown persons are now sick with it, in this street 5. It rages much in other Towns. The Mumps too are very frequent. Isaac is now confined with it. Our own little flock are yet well. My Heart trembles with anxiety for them. God preserve them.
"I want to hear much oftener from you than I do. March 8 [John to Abigail, 08 March 1776] was the last date of any that I have yet had. -- You inquire of whether I am making Salt peter. I have not yet attempted it, but after Soap making believe I shall make the experiment. I find as much as I can do to manufacture cloathing for my family whowhich would else be Naked. I know of but one person in this part of the Town who has made any, that is Mr. Tertias Bass as he is calld who has got very near an hundred weight which has been found to be very good. I have heard of some others in the other parishes. Mr. Reed of Weymouth has been applied to, to go to Andover to the mills which are now at work, and has gone. I have lately seen a small Manuscrip describing the proportions for the various sorts of powder,such asfit for cannon, small arms and pistols [illegible] . If it would be of any Service your way I will get it transcribed and send it to you. -- Every one of your Friends send their Regards, and all the little ones. Your Brothers youngest child lies bad with convulsion fitts. Adieu. I need not say how much I am Your ever faithfull Friend."
PERSPECTIVE 3: Loyalists to the British Crown
Here is an excerpt from an excellent historical fiction book entitled, The Loyalist's Wife.
In the mid- to late-1700s, the Colonies experienced a spiritual awakening, called the "Great Awakening." This meant that a pretty religious region turned into a SUPER religious region. One product of the great Awakening was Jonathan Edwards, a fiery Puritan who wrote one of the most famous sermons in American history:
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
"We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell. What are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down?
"They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell.
"So that it is not because God is unmindful of their wickedness, and does not resent it, that he does not let loose his hand and cut them off. God is not altogether such an one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them.
"The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. The scripture represents them as his goods, Luke 11:21. The devils watch them; they are ever by them at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back. If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost."