ADAMS, John, President. Autograph letter signed ("John Adams") to the Bunker Hill Association ("Messieurs Homans, Smith and Blagrove, Committee"), Quincy, 6 August 1810. 1 full page, 4to. In extremely fine condition.
ADAMS RECALLS THE BOSTON POLITICAL CLUBS, WHERE...THE INDEPENDENCE OF AMERICA ORIGINATED"
Many years after the American Revolution, Adams astutely observed that the Revolution had begun in the minds of Americans before shots were fired or any blood was shed, alluding to the formation of Whig political groups in response to such British provocations as the 1765 Stamp Act, taxes on tea and the closing of the port of Boston. Here, the former President recalls those early years of swelling anti-British agitation in New England, especially the Whig Club of Boston, where, he asserts, "the Independence of America originated."
As part of Independence Day observances on 4 July 1810, Daniel Waldo Lincoln (1784-1815) had delivered an oration before the Bunker Hill Association, published later as a 20-page pamphlet. The Association had evidently sent a copy of the address to the former President, who acknowledges the gift, explaining that "the Procrastination of Age, is the best Apology I can make for my long neglect to acknowledge your favor of the 12th July." He is complimentary of Lincoln's speech: "Be pleased to accept of my Thanks for your acceptable Present of the Sprightly oration of our ingenious young Friend Mr. Lincoln, which I have read, as I heard it, with the more pleasure, as his Father though not my Élève, was in some sort my Protegé in his youth; and his Grandfather was one of my habitual social Friends in the ancient Whig Clubb in The Town of Boston, where, as Tradition says and History perhaps ought to Say, The Independence of America originated. In conclusion, Adams tenders his "Respect to the Association you represent and many Thanks for your Politeness in communicating their Wishes...."
Adams, of course, was the first American patriot to predict, only a day after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, that its anniversary would become an important occasion for the new nation. That historic day, he prophesied, "will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward, forever" (John Adams to Abigail Adams, 5 July 1776). Daniel Waldo Lincoln (1784-1815, author of the 1810 oration referred to here), was the son of Levi Lincoln (1749-1820) and the Grandson of Enoch Lincoln (1720-1802), whom Adams had known as a fellow member of Boston's Whig Club.