The SAR Magazine

Spring 2018

The SAR MAGAZINE is the official quarterly publication of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published quarterly.

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SPRING 2018 13 Honoring Our Colonial Ancestors If you are an American and a direct male descendant of someone who rendered civil or military service in one of the 13 American colonies before July 4, 1776, consider joining the NATIONAL SOCIETY SONS OF THE AMERICAN COLONISTS. For information on its activities and eligibility requirements, contact: Registrar General R.D. Pollock P.O. Box 86 Urbana, OH 43078-0086 www.americancolonists.org Registrar General, NSSCNE 147 12th Street SE Washington, DC 20003-1420 Men and women, ages 18 and older, who can prove lineal descent from an ancestor who was a resident on land presently part of the State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations prior to January 1, 1647-1648, may be eligible for membership. For more information, please write to the Registrar General: Jean Hacker whacker@cox.net SPRING 2018 19 Great Britain could avoid the reactions against the Stamp Act simply by laying "external," not "internal," levies. James Otis had denied the validity of that distinction as early as 1764. Nevertheless, Townshend and a substantial number in Parliament thought that the Colonials would accept it. Of course, "the Farmer" laid it to rest. His careful and studied Letters persuaded many of the Colonial leaders and a significant group in the Mother Country that the Townshend Duties constituted "taxation without representation" and were therefore unconstitutional and an abridgment of the rights of British subjects. In the increasing heat that followed the calm dignity of his Letters, Dickinson made another contribution, this time in another genre. As noted at the outset of this article, in the summer of 1768, Dickinson wrote his famous "Liberty Song," set to the popular tune, "Hearts of Oak." Calvert has called it "America's first hit song" (p. 211). Its refrain summed up the basic content of the Letters as well as the growing spirit of the early phase of revolutionary America: In FREEDOM we're born, in FREEDOM we'll live, Our Purses are ready, Steady, Friends, steady, Not as SLAVES, but as FREEMEN our Money we'll give. Bibliography Calvert, Jane E. Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009. Chaffin, Robert J. "The Townshend Acts Crisis, 1767-1770, in Jack P. Greene and J.R. Pole, eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1991, pp. 126-145. Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies, with an Historical Introduction by R.T.H. Halsey. New York: The Outlook Company, 1903. Flower, Milton E. John Dickinson: Conservative Revolutionary. Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, 1983. Knight, Carol Lynn H. The American Colonial Press and the Townshend Crisis 1766-1770: A Study in Political Imagery. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990. Lyles, Brooks. "The Townshend Acts," The SAR Magazine, Vol. 112, No. 2 (Fall 2017), pp. 14-16. "Massachusetts Circular Letter [February 11, 1768]. http:// www.historycentral.com/documents/MassCircular.html. Schrader, David E. "The Declaratory Act," The SAR Magazine, Vol. 112, No. 1 (Summer 2017), pp. 32-33. Thomas, Peter D. G. The Townshend Duties Crisis: The Second Phase of the American Revolution, 1767-1773. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987. Dr. David E. Schrader earned his doctorate in philosophy and taught philosophy for more than 35 years. He served as executive director of the American Philosophical Association from 2006 to 2012. He has served as president of the Edmund Terrill Chapter, TXSSAR, the George Washington Chapter, PASSAR, and the Major Robert Kirkwood Chapter, DESSAR, and is currently president of the Cape Cod Chapter, MASSAR. He has served as state chaplain in both the PASSAR and the DESSAR and serves as the current chaplain of the Germany Society. He also serves as First Vice President of the Massachusetts Society.

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