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5.5.4 An address to the true-born sons of liberty in the government of the Massachusetts-Bay. [Signed] A Countryman. [1765]

Library of Congress

An address to the true-born sons of liberty in the government of the Massachusetts-Bay. Signed A Countryman. 1765. Pdf. 

The Sons of Liberty started as a secret group of colonists who opposed the Stamp Act. These men became leaders of the movement to oppose what they saw as British policies that threatened the liberties of the colonists. What does this author ask that people do to support liberty? Do you think the author is suggesting that the colonists should rebel against the British? Why or why not? What does he think is the role of people in government?

The Sons of Liberty emerged in Boston as a direct response to the Stamp Act; this group flourished elsewhere as well, with chapters in each of the colonies. Their activities included public protests, such as mock funerals for liberty, and the explicit articulation of their ideas in the public sphere through the use of the media. The Sons of Liberty printed tracts like this source, advocating for active participation in politics and an end to secrecy and favors in politics. See the literacy activity for a strategy to support students in reading and analyzing this source.

An ADDRESS to the True-born Sons of Liberty in the Government of the Massachusetts-Bay.
THE spirit with which you have of late opposed the stamp act, shews, that you have taken upon you, to think something of affairs. Go on my friends, and inquire further: It is the proper business of every man, who is governed by laws, to study into the nature of those laws; and wherever he finds an error, point it out, in order for amendment. I beg of you go on, and inquire into the constitution and economy of this government: And if your rights and liberties are invaded, study what measures you must take for redress; and be, (as you were in the late case of the stamp act) united to those measures, and you are morally certain of success and remedy. The method you have taken to put a stop to the stamp act, (however exploded by some designing persons) are, for aught I know, the only method to oppose despotism . . .