Definition of a Slave – Samuel Adams


Sam Adams, July 16, 1788

For your use I subjoin the following creed of every good American :—I believe that in every kingdom, state, or empire there must be, from the necessity of the thing, one supreme legislative power, with authority to bind every part in all cases the proper object of human laws. I believe that to be bound by laws to which he does not consent by himself, or by his representative, is the direct definition of a slave. I do therefore believe that a dependence on Great Britain, however the same may be limited or qualified, is utterly inconsistent with every idea of liberty, for the defence of which I have solemnly pledged my life and fortune to my countrymen; and this engagement I will sacredly adhere to so long as I shall live. Amen.

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Source: Samuel Adams. Excerpt from “An American to the Earl of Carlisle and Others,” published in the Massachusetts Spy, July 16, 1788.

Founders Corner Library has been researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional introductory and explanatory notes and commentary) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor In Chief of Self-Educated American. Spelling has been modernized in this selection. Formatting, notes, and commentary, as well as the collection taken as a whole Copyright © 2014, 2019 Steve Farrell.