The Early Modern Commons

Search Results for "James Otis"

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Your search for posts with tags containing James Otis found 88 posts

Cicero and the American Revolution

Despite Cicero’s significant reputation and widespread readership, little scholarship has focused upon Cicero’s reputation and oratorical practices’ influence upon the Founding Generation. Once Cicero... The post Cicero and the American...

A Critical Review in The Critical Review

In 1764 James Otis, Jr., published The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, which based the campaign against Parliament’s new colonial revenue laws on the ideas of natural rights and (though this term wouldn’t be formulated...
From: Boston 1775 on 16 Nov 2020

“A Day which ought to be forever remembered in America”

Earlier this month I posited that the American Revolution began on 14 Aug 1765 with the earliest public protest against the Stamp Act, the first step in turning a debate among legislatures into a continent-wide mass movement.After the riots on 26 August,...
From: Boston 1775 on 30 Aug 2020

Preparing for the Political Season to Reopen

Back in May 1768, the Massachusetts General Court added seven Whig House members involved in the Circular Letter dispute to the Council, which functioned as the legislature’s upper house and an advisory board for the governor. Gov. Francis Bernard...
From: Boston 1775 on 29 May 2020

After James Otis “behaved very madly’

On 8 May 1770, 250 years ago today, Bostonians gathered for one of their annual town meetings.Every March, the white men of the town elected its selectmen and other officials for the coming year. Every May, a smaller section of those white men, those...
From: Boston 1775 on 8 May 2020

Why There Are No James Otis Papers

When James Otis, Jr., died in 1783, John Adams was in Europe as one of the U.S. of A.’s first diplomatic ministers. While occasionally peeved by Otis’s moods, Adams admired the older man greatly for his learning, legal skills, and early resistance...
From: Boston 1775 on 23 Apr 2020

“Otis got into a mad freak to-night”

With everything else going on in Boston in the wake of the Boston Massacre, I don’t want to lose track of James Otis’s mental state.In early September 1769, Otis was speaking extravagantly, monopolizing conversation, and annoying even his...
From: Boston 1775 on 18 Mar 2020

The Great 1770 Quiz Answers, Part

Here are the answers to the questions remaining from part 1 of the Great 1770 Quiz, along with the background and sources for each answer. III. Match the person to the weapon he reportedly carried at the Boston Massacre.1) catstick2) cordwood stick3)...
From: Boston 1775 on 12 Feb 2020

Confrontation at Governor Hutchinson’s House

When we left the “Body of the Trade” in Faneuil Hall yesterday, Whig leader William Molineux had just threatened to storm out of the meeting and kill himself.Molineux wanted to lead the body to Thomas Hutchinson’s mansion in the North...
From: Boston 1775 on 25 Jan 2020

William Molineux and “the legality of the proceedings”

On the morning of 18 Jan 1770, Boston’s Whigs thought that Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson’s sons, Thomas, Jr., and Elisha, had agreed to put their inventory of imported tea into the hands of the committee enforcing the non-importation boycott.That...
From: Boston 1775 on 24 Jan 2020

“James Otis having ever entertain’d a most consummate Contempt of seeking a Purse”

On 14 Sept 1772, a little more than three years after James Otis, Jr., and John Robinson got into a fight inside the British Coffee-House, the lead item on the front page of Edes and Gill’s Boston Gazette spelled out the end of that dispute.Otis...
From: Boston 1775 on 8 Dec 2019

James Otis’s Legal Recovery

As James Otis, Jr., recovered physically from the blow on his head with the help of top Boston doctors, he also took legal steps with the help of top Boston lawyers. In order of seniority, the three men Otis hired to represent him were:Samuel Fitch (1724-1799)John...
From: Boston 1775 on 7 Dec 2019

James Otis’s Medical Recovery

According to James Otis’s first biographer, William Tudor, Jr., after his brawl in the British Coffee-House in September 1769 he received care from “Doctors Perkins and Lloyd.”Dr. James Lloyd (1728-1810, shown here) was one of Boston’s...
From: Boston 1775 on 6 Dec 2019

The Career of Captain Dundas

Once I saw that “Captain Dundas” had come up in the dispute between James Otis, Jr., and John Robinson, I had to figure out who that was and what role he played in the coming of the Revolution.In September 1769, Otis called Dundas “a...
From: Boston 1775 on 5 Dec 2019

Otis and Robinson Continue Their Fight in the Newspapers

The earliest public comment I’ve seen from James Otis, Jr., about his altercation with John Robinson on 5 Sept 1769 was an “Advertisement” that appeared in the 11 September Boston Gazette. It’s remarkable for the amount of emphasis...
From: Boston 1775 on 4 Dec 2019

“Count Brown” of King William County, Virginia

In 1767, William Burnet Brown moved out of Massachusetts. He sold his father’s country house on Folly Hill, “Browne Hall,” to his cousin William Browne, by then one of Salem’s representatives on the Massachusetts General Court....
From: Boston 1775 on 25 Oct 2019

“Too late to see your Friend Otis have a good Drubbing”

One of the more evocatively named citizens of Revolutionary Boston was a sea captain named Mungo Mackay (1740-1811).According to family tradition, Mackay came from the Orkney Islands to Boston as a teen-aged cabin boy. He married Ruth Coney in 1764 and...
From: Boston 1775 on 19 Oct 2019

“Mr. Otis made a Trip (as they call it) at Mr. Robinson”

In the 25 Sept 1769 Boston Gazette, printers Benjamin Edes and John Gill ran two more eyewitness accounts of the fight between James Otis, Jr., and John Robinson. One came from Thomas Brett, a merchant from Ireland. He said that on 5 September he was...
From: Boston 1775 on 18 Oct 2019

“The discipline of the stick, next ensued”

On 11 Sept 1769, the Boston Post-Boy published a response to what the writer called “a very gross misrepresentation of the quarrel which happened at the British coffee-house between Mr. Robinson and Mr. Otis” in earlier newspapers. In particular,...
From: Boston 1775 on 18 Oct 2019

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