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Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Adams’

Imagine this, a banking and financier heavily involved in American and international derivatives during wartime and who constantly deceives friends, bankers, and foreign governments, a man active in illegal international arms sales, is now considered an American patriot and Founding Father.  It is both true and a joy to read about in Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution by Charles Rappleye.

He managed the financial and diplomatic affairs of America under the Articles of Confederation which happens to be the period of the Revolutionary War.  Without him and his clever shuffling of the financial cards, General Washington would have had to flee to Spanish territory and later send for Martha.  Samuel Adams would have fled to the Caribbean.  It is impossible to know where James Madison would have gone.

In the nationalist and capable hands of Morris, derivatives kept the Continental Army in the field; and his insightful understanding of public credit and free capital markets set up America to become an international economic behemoth in the decades to follow.  He jeopardized his personal finances to keep the army clothed, fed, and provisioned; and unfortunately with peace, he pushed into devastating western land speculation in an effort to recoup his financial clout.  He failed and was put in debtor prison.  He was eventually freed but what he deserved was a presidential pardon and pension.

If you are building a Founding Fathers library, this is a must buy.  Charles Marlin

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Oh, the shame of it.  The only Puritan redux among the Boston patriots has a beer named after him.  He would not have approved.  A new biography Samuel Adams: A Life by Ira Stoll documents him as a religious zealot true to the Puritan foundation of Massachusetts.  He wanted to outlaw cursing, loitering, and condemned frivolous behaviour such as gossip and idle thought.  Entertainment was totally out of the question.  He thought more than one ruffle on a man’s shirt was excessive and might lead to ungodliness.  All this is the part that’s hard for readers today to respect, but there was another side of him.

Samuel Adams birthed the American Revolution.  He molded public opinion first in Boston, then Massachusetts, and eventually all the colonies.  He kept at it year after year.  He continually argued the basis for colonial liberty and self-government, and from these he declared revolution.  Our independence would not have come as soon as it did except for him.  Our form of government was pattered on the Massachusetts constitution which he largely wrote.  It is no exaggeration to call him the foremost of all patriots.  He stand shoulder to shoulder with Washington, Jefferson, Madison.

So much of his story is lost to historians because he considered it vain and perhaps ungodly to preserve the record of his accomplishments.  He lived on his public salaries which were never more than adequate and often less.  So he lived modestly and died poor.  Much of his story comes from his published newspaper articles of which there are many, but none are personal .  The lack of personal details is our great lose.  Charles Marlin

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