The Novanglus Essays by John Adams

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Novanglus, meaning “New Englander,” is the pseudonym used by John Adams in 1774 and 1775 for a series of letters he published in the Boston Gazette just prior to the start of the armed conflict in America. An answer to the Massachusettensis essays, Adams laid out the American position on the natural rights of individual Americans and the rights enjoyed by all colonial governments under British law.

From Novanglus #3 – “The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue.

The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.” —Novanglus Essay No. 3 by John Adams.

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