The Principles upon which the Americans opposed the Stamp Act

“Father of the American Revolution” — Samuel Adams

Liberty Letters, Samuel Adams, September 9, 1771

The supreme power says Mr. Locke, is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary, over the lives and fortunes of the people – The supreme power cannot take from any man any part of his property without his own consent. For the preservation of property being the end of government, and that for which men enter into society; it necessarily supposes and requires that the people should have property, without which they must be supposed to lose that by entering into society, which was the end for which they entered into it. Men therefore in society having property, they have such a right to the goods which by the law of the community are theirs, that no body hath a right to take their substance or any part of it from them without their consent. Without this, they have no property at all: For I have truly no property in that, which another can by right take from me when he pleases, against my consent” – These are the principles upon which alone, the Americans founded their opposition to the late acts of parliament.


Source: Samuel Adams, 9 September 1771, Samuel Adams letter, to the Boston Gazette.


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The Moral Liberal recommends David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize Winning Biography: John Adams