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Quotes of the day: James Otis, Jr.
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Published Wednesday, February 04, 2015 @ 10:34 PM EST
Feb 04 2015

James Otis, Jr. (February 5, 1725 – May 23, 1783) was a lawyer in colonial Massachusetts, a member of the Massachusetts provincial assembly, and an early advocate of the Patriot views against British policy that led to the American Revolution. His catchphrase "Taxation without representation is tyranny" became the basic Patriot position. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A man is accountable to no person for his doings.

An act against the Constitution is void; an act against natural equity is void.

But I think I can sincerely declare that I cheerfully submit myself to every odious name for conscience' sake; and from my soul I despise all those whose guilt, malice, or folly has made them my foes.

Can there be any liberty where property is taken away without consent?

Every man may reign secure in his petty tyranny, and spread terror and desolation around him, until the trump of the Archangel shall excite different emotions in his soul.

Every one with this writ may be a tyrant; if this commission be legal, a tyrant in a legal manner, also, may control, imprison, or murder any one within the realm.

I do not say that, when brought to the test, I shall be invincible.

I pray God I may never be brought to the melancholy trial; but, if ever I should, it will then be known how far I can reduce to practice principles which I know to be founded in truth.

I will to my dying day oppose, with all the powers and faculties God has given me, all such instruments of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the other as this Writ of Assistance is.

If we are not represented, we are slaves.

It is a clear truth that those who every day barter away other men's liberty will soon care little for their own.

Let the consequences be what they will, I am determined to proceed.

My dear sister, I hope, when God Almighty in his righteous providence shall take me out of time into eternity, that it will be by a flash of lightning.

One of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one's house. A man's house is his castle.

Parliaments are in all cases to declare what is good for the whole; but it is not the declaration of parliament that makes it so.

Taxation without representation is tyranny.

The only principles of public conduct that are worthy of a gentleman or a man are to sacrifice estate, ease, health, and applause, and even life, to the sacred calls of his country.

These manly sentiments, in private life, make good citizens; in public life, the patriot and the hero.

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(February 5 is also the birthday of Adlai Ewing Stevenson II and William S. Burroughs.)


Categories: James Otis, Jr., Quotes of the day


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