Liberty Letters, Samuel Adams, 1771
We cannot think the doctrine of the right of Parliament to tax us is given up, while an act remains in force for that purpose, and is daily put in execution; and the longer it remains the more danger there is of the people’s becoming so accustomed to arbitrary and unconstitutional taxes, as to pay them without discontent; and then, as you justly observe, no Minister will ever think of taking them off, but will rather be encouraged to add others. – If ever the provincial assemblies should be voluntarily silent, on the Parliament’s taking upon themselves a power thus to violate our constitutional and Charter Rights, it might be considered as an approbation of it, or at least a tacit consent, that such a power should be exercised at any future time. It is therefore our duty to declare our Rights and our determined Resolution at all times to maintain them: The time we know will come, when they must be acknowledged, established and secured to us and our posterity.
Source: Samuel Adams letter to Benjamin Franklin, 29 June 1771. The Writings of Samuel Adams, collected and edited by Harry Alonso Cushing, Volume II.
Liberty Letters is a project of The Moral Liberal’s, Editor in Chief, Steve Farrell. Copyright © 2012 Steve Farrell.