Cheers to You, Sam Adams

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

Today marks the 300th anniversary of Samuel Adams’s birth. More than just a brewer (maybe), Adams was a politician and Founding Father of America. In that capacity, he wrote in favor of resistance to the British rule over the colonies. Earlier this morning, I came upon a particularly stupendous quote of his which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since:

Copley’s portrait of Samuel Adams, with the text of the quote embedded: If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Telling those siding with the Crown “may posterity forget ye were our countrymen” is just so gracefully vicious. To my modern ears, the “ye”s make it all that much more cutting, but it was surely devastating even back in 1776. Happy Birthday, Sam, you fantastic firebrand. I’ll have a beer in your honor.


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