History of The Mental Militia
Notes by Elias Alias, editor
UPDATING May 16 2019
Just a note in passing – This year, 2019, marks our 20th consecutive year online as The Mental Militia. Wow! Twenty Years! See below for details please.
They call me “Elias Alias“. In 1999 I got online for the first time and discovered the ACLU’s international “Message Boards”. There I met about twenty new friends whose intelligence I appreciated. Also, at the end of the 1990s it was common to invent a screen name for online activity, and I found that I gravitated to other folks’ favored screen names naturally, almost unconsciously. In our group, for example, were “FireSilk”, “scarmig”, “2A”, “General Kit”. It was there that I took the screen-name “Elias Alias”. I had liked the name “Elias” when watching Oliver Stone’s movie, “PLATOON”, and I had liked the name “Alias” as spoken by Bob Dylan in the movie “Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid”. I noticed a natural fit of the two names when put together and liked that idea and have been posting as Elias Alias ever since.
Each day I would meet my new friends online at the ACLU international message boards. I was a poetic jewelry designer who was just awakening to new insights into the over-view of how things work in our society while discussing things with strangers on the Internet, and I was eager to learn as well as to share what I thought I knew — much of which has been majorly overhauled in the ensuing sixteen years online.
In October of 1999 the ACLU announced it would close its message boards where my friends and I were accustomed to making daily posts in verbal combat with the great unwashed masses. The one common view all of us had at that time was the importance of “individual freedom” under the umbrella of “self governance”. The small group of friends included folks from widely varied philosophies, political orientations, and religions. We were philosophically inclined and intelligently open-minded, and our discussions were educational, which fact interested me greatly. Alarmed that our circle of cyber friends would have no place to “meet” online when the ACLU ceased its message boards, we saw the need to create our own forum.
By December of 1999 I had created a Yahoo Club and named it “The Mental Militia”. I invited in the more than twenty individuals with whom I had been exchanging meaningful discourse at the ACLU forums, and we launched The Mental Militia as a group effort. I was the guy who thought up the name for our group, and the others voted to adopt the name. The full name for our group was:
The Mental Militia:
“The Corporate Dynasty, The War on Terror, and You”
In the year 2000 I launched a short-lived “Pagemill” website for TMM, but I did not know what I was doing and the site did not serve our needs at all, so it went away quickly. Meanwhile, “scarmig” came up with a new forum and named it “The Liberty Gryphon”, owing to Lady Firesilk’s design for The Mental Militia’s official logo — a fierce “liberty gryphon” sitting upright and striking steel with flint to “spark the world-wide consciousness revolution“.
That forum used “threads” and “thread titles” just as the ACLU’s message boards had used, so we quickly moved from the Yahoo club into scarmig’s new forums. TMM was active there until Walter “Bark” Doss created a brand new state-of-the-art php website which featured its own internal forums. That new site was done in early 2003, and when Bark died in 2006 we lost the site.
However, while the new website was lost, one of our external forums remained. The story on that is that in early 2003 I asked Bark if we had enough bandwidth to furnish Claire Wolfe with a forum of her own. Bark assured me that we could handle that load and immediately built a forum for Claire Wolfe’s many friends and fans.
Claire Wolfe writes wonderful liberty-oriented books and is one of my favorite authors. She had (and still does) a rather large following, so in no time at all there were thousands of members at “The Claire Files” forums. Providing Claire with that forum was one of the best things The Mental Militia ever did. When Bark died and we lost the national website, Claire insisted that we re-name her forum “The Mental Militia”. So we did, and I believe that the date on the name change was September 17, 2007.
From some time prior to September 2007 until present our I.T. Guy Bill St. Clair has maintained The Mental Militia Forums.
Bill handles server and security matters for not only the forums but also for this site as well. Bill’s personal website is < Here >
Additionally, Bill has archived Claire Wolfe’s past websites at his personal site. Here is a < Link > to Claire’s “Shameless Self-Promotional Copy“.
In October of 2006 a new member registered at the forums using the screen name, “Stewart The Yalie”. Having already become familiar with the Russell family of Boston and the Russell Trust at Yale University, which founded the infamous Skull And Bones secret society on campus, and having also become aware of the Rhodes Round Table group as laid out in Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy And Hope, I noticed on his registration page that Stewart The Yalie listed his last name as “Rhodes”. I was compelled to keep an eye on that newcomer. What I learned about him as time went by was that he was a military veteran and Constitutional attorney from Yale Law School who had worked in Congressman Ron Paul’s staff. He was very smart and expressed himself well at the forums. I would come to know him as Stewart Rhodes, and have been working for him as the content editor for his national website since 2009.
Before Stewart Rhodes launched his organization on April 19, 2009 at Lexington Green, Massachusetts, he had already named it “Oath Keepers”. The month before Lexington Green, in March of ’09, The Mental Militia opened a forum for Oath Keepers, which is still there. Although mostly forgotten when Oath Keepers built their own national forums on their “dot Net” site, there have been some posts since back in 2009. < Link >
In October 2009 I was registered in Nevada as a member of the Board of Directors for Oath Keepers, and for the next six years I would be mostly “MIA” at The Mental Militia forums, spending most all of my time and energy working for Oath Keepers and with Oath Keepers. But now I have turned 70, need occasional naps, am road-weary and “third-stage burned out” in some regards, and it dawned on me finally that I should be more involved in The Mental Militia — an idea who’s time has come. I am, after all, the guy who thought up the name sixteen years ago, way back in 1999.
Over the years I have managed to meet a lot of strong liberty activists, and for some of those introductions I owe gratitude to Stewart Rhodes and his crew at both the national and State levels. It occurred to me early on in 2015 that The Mental Militia was actually a great idea which hit the Internet sixteen years before its time. I began to realize that the very premise of The Mental Militia when we formed it was open-minded conversation in the human voice unfettered, with a touch of mild moderation by our Administrator staff. That purpose was to recognize everyone’s voice in a proper argument format peopled by sensitive and mature personalities.
The Mental Militia would be an online discussion group which welcomed the Buddhist as readily as welcoming Christians or Agnostics, or even Wiccans or Native Americans or Hindus – everyone with an alert mind would be welcome to hold discussions and debates on many various aspects of life in this best of all possible worlds. The Mental Militia would explore candidly all avenues to Truth in general and to “personal freedom” in particular by people of every culture, ethnicity, religious affiliation, philosophy or nationality who display maturity and objectivity while using proper rules of logic. The Mental Militia would be like a public think-tank peopled by highly awakened and aware individuals.
That basic idea has now experienced a metamorphosis of sorts. While holding true to that ideal, The Mental Militia is also focused as well on networking highly intelligent Web operations of all sorts. By corralling the diverse sources which constitute the basic philosophy of individual freedom into one website, we will provide our forums with source materials at their fingertips.
It is obvious to Mentalitians that what Tragedy And Hope podcasts portray is somehow related to the mission of the Fully Informed Jury Association, which itself is perhaps related tangentially to Bob Schulz and his “We The People Foundation For Constitutional Education”. Tangentially at the least, the Tax-Honesty movement, the End The Fed movement, the 912 Project, the anti-war factions, the Second Amendment advocates, the anti-drug war activists, and actually hundreds of other single-or-limited-focus groups can find some common ground with other groups or organizations here. And that is a formula for returning political power into the hands of We The People. I’m told that Sir Francis Bacon, in the Court of Queen Elizabeth I, said that
“knowledge is power”.
So in 2015 I decided to launch a new national site for TMM. I purchased from the State of Montana an official Limited Liability Company license. I established a bank account and was granted an Employer’s Identification Number (EIN) by the IRS. I bought the domain and server service and had Bill St. Clair take care of the details. Over the last several months of 2015 I engaged the services of several friends to create the core staff for administering the activities of this site on the World Wide Web.
This site’s Webmaster and designer is Cindy Hawk, aka “Medicine Hawk”. Cindy is organizing the mass-email service, membership lists, online store, and a hundred-and-one other important details, including managerial policies and a national phone system (coming soon).
UPDATING: Susan, aka “MamaLiberty” *was* a Contributing Editor here, and was one of our Chief Administrators at the TMM forums. A certified handgun instructor and Registered Nurse (ret.), Susan operated her own website, “The Price of Liberty“. We lost MamaLiberty to cancer in mid-2018. I was able to visit with her before she passed. We all shall miss her!
Don Doig is an Associate Editor at TMM who may contribute an occasional article. Don is one of the two Co-Founders of the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) and has a long track record in the fight for freedom in America. Headquartered in Helena, Montana, his organization now has a strong national outreach across America. Their press release of December 16 2015 covering one of their victories in Colorado is < here >
Joan Stanley will be an Assistant Editor beginning in January, 2016. Joan is a former Montana Senate candidate and popular Activist who published a newsletter and newspaper called “The Montana Messenger“. Joan also serves as a business consultant.
Wendy McElroy is an Editor here at The Mental Militia. Wendy is one of the original founders of the Voluntaryist movement, a prolific writer, book author, public speaker, and one of our favorite philosophers for freedom. Wendy founded and operates the Individualist Feminist web operation as well as her own website. Wendy has served as a weekly columnist for FoxNews.com and is also a research fellow at the Independent Institute, and contributing editor to The Dollar Vigilante, Ideas on Liberty (formerly The Freeman), The New Libertarian, Free Inquiry and Liberty magazines. Her writing has appeared in such diverse periodicals as National Review, Marie Claire and Penthouse. For over a decade, McElroy was a series editor for Knowledge Products. She has written and edited many documentary scripts for audio cassette, some of which were narrated by Walter Cronkite, George C. Scott and Harry Reasoner.
Please learn more about Wendy McElroy at her Landing Page here at TMM — https://thementalmilitia.net/2016/08/22/wendy-mcelroy/
Editing to add on March 09 2017 — I am welcoming a talented new associate editor here at TMM, Ms Wendy Blanks. Wendy is the founder and owner of The Sleuth Journal. Wendy Blanks hosts a remarkable line-up of creative writers and current-news specialists at The Sleuth Journal. Wendy Blanks also owns and operates a wonderful small business named “Wendi Organics” featuring her own creations in Aroma Therapies, Organic Soaps, Teas, Essential Oils and Perfumes, etc. Please treat yourself by discovering Wendy Blanks at her landing page here at TMM –
So that is the nutshell history which brings us to the beginning of 2017. Looking forward, TMM shall step up in 2017 and create more history by spreading the word about the “M” word. We are not here to create a Militia — we are here to create in our own minds a regimented system of consciousness which is a psychological template of America’s long-lost Militias system. All readers here are welcome to participate, because the Constitution, which clearly requires that the States have their Militia, belongs to everyone, and because the Militia system strengthens individual control over anyone’s mental states. That, of course, leads to self-ownership, which is the opposite of unconscious slavery..
Editor’s Note: The graph atop this page is courtesy of: http://www.lessrad4u.co.nz/education/electromagnetic-spectrum/
Paul Craig Roberts
In a voice which is less caustic than his written words, Paul Craig Roberts dishes for RT’s Bianca Facchinei in a candid and poised gentleman’s voice. Dr. Roberts delivers a truck load of truth which must make the globalists squirm. Why globalists might take notice of Dr. Roberts’ dialogue has to do with his remarkable credentials. At his website we find this —
President Reagan appointed Dr. Roberts Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and he was confirmed in office by the U.S. Senate. From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy. After leaving the Treasury, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Dr. Roberts was associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He was a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.
I have copied the above two paragraphs from Dr. Roberts’ page to assure any skeptic that Paul Craig Roberts is well qualified to speak of the things he candidly exposes in this excellent interview. He has been on “the inside” of things for a long time and is qualified to hold views which are entirely supportive of today’s American liberty movement. Enjoy!
Paul Craig Roberts on the US economy and global refugee crisis
Elias Alias, editor[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Tancredo: Organize State, Local Militias to Defend Against Radical Islamist Assaults
DECEMBER 4, 2015 – from email newsletter – started by ilona trommler at America Conservative 2 Conservative.
(Breitbart) By Tom Tancredo
The Islamist assault in San Bernardino may prove to be the turning point in the Islamist war on America. Americans are realizing that it’s time to get deadly serious about self-defense.
- The cavalry is not coming: we must defend ourselves.
- We need a national movement for a trained, deputized Citizens Reserve Militia.
Islamist assassins are here, and by “here” I do not mean in New York or Washington, D.C. Islamist radicals are in every state and in your community — in San Bernardino, Phoenix, Portland, Miami, Chicago, and for certain, Minneapolis, Detroit and San Francisco. Also, in Peoria, Aspen and Topeka.
The FBI has said there are 900 investigations under way in all 50 states, and 48 Islamists “deserve” round-the-clock surveillance. Most likely there are 9,000 Islamists who deserve that 24-hour surveillance and monitoring, but the FBI does not have the resources for that task.
So, here we are.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and the New York Times are worried more about the oceans rising two inches over the next 50 years than about keeping radical Muslims out of our country. But that’s not the worst of it.
Our problem is no longer national security, it is hometown security.
The solution is not a bigger defense department, it is a homeland reserve militia trained in self-defense – trained for defense of our communities, our neighborhoods, our schools, our sports events, our shopping malls — in short, the everyday defense of our way of life.
Consider the dire condition of our law enforcement capabilities.
- The FBI is not given the resources to do its job in preventing radical Islamists from acting on their plans. Stopping nine out of ten plots probably means a hundred mass killings not blocked.
- The CIA and other intelligence agencies issue warnings that are ignored by our leaders—it doesn’t fit the head-in-the-sand political narrative.
- The Republican-controlled Congress refuses to halt the flow of refugees from regions known to be infused with radical Islamists.
- Our LEGAL immigration and asylum policies allow a half-million Muslims into the country each year.
- The local police are great but are 5-to-10 minutes away after a 911 call.
We can wait to fix all of those obstacles to self-defense through the political process, or we can act while we work on those fixes. We can act to defend ourselves by arming ourselves. If attacked, do you call 911 and wait for police to arrive, or do you take the bastards down?
In San Bernardino, the police arrived in 4 minutes of the first shots, and still 14 people were slaughtered. Next time it could be 140 or 400.
In San Bernardino, the assassins were two “self-radicalized” Islamist jihadists, one of them an American-born Muslim of Pakistani immigrant parents. The mastermind of the Paris attack of last month was not a refugee, he was a French citizen born to Moroccan immigrants. The female half of that pair of assassins had been “vetted” by two federal agencies and awarded a visa.
It’s time to wake up and smell the ashes of self-delusion.
In response to radical Islam’s declaration of war on America, Barack Obama plays golf and Hillary Clinton wants to have a “national conversation” about gun confiscation. Let’s hope she continues with such vapid stupidities, as it will be a fitting final chapter to her political biography.
If President Obama or any president ever attempts gun confiscation in America, there should be and will be a second civil war. An America disarmed is an America in subjugation.
But there are things government can do — if citizens will demand it. In the absence of statesmanship and leadership from above, it’s time for states and communities to act in their own self-defense.
- Without any action by Congress, under the Tenth Amendment states and local governments can organize local reserve militias, a properly trained and deputized battalion of local citizens who serve as backup to local law enforcement.
- Reserve militia members will be sworn to uphold the Constitution and protect communities from violent assaults from any quarter.
- States and communities can also declare an end to so-called “gun free zones,” which are nothing but suicide pacts formed by delusional escapists.
- States and communities can allow and indeed encourage more private citizens to obtain concealed carry permits and arm themselves.
To show we are serious about empowering 100 million citizens for self-defense, we should seriously consider subsidizing the purchase of firearms by low-income citizens. Terrorists and criminals already know how to obtain guns, so why not help the defenseless? If we can afford food stamps and housing subsidies, why not gun stamps to help urban citizens survive the next Islamist assault?
We now live in a very polarized nation, divided not between Republicans and Democrats but between those who want to defend our liberties and those who want to defend politically correct stupidities.
Citizens should not wait for the politically correct and our cowardly Congress to wake up; they can act now at the state and local level. Before it really is too late.
Original published at Breitbart.com
From The Book, “Wives of the Signers”
The women behind the Declaration of Independence
A devoted band of women who shared the outlawry of their husbands and brought upon themselves by declaring their independence of British rule—
….bitter persecution from British and Tories—-
Mary Bartlett forced to fly with her family from her burning home—-
Elizabeth Adams compelled to resort to needle-work to support her family—-
Elizabeth Lewis, imprisoned for months, suffered privations and hardships that led to her death—-
Mary Morris (N.Y.) driven from a beautiful home, wantonly devastated—-
Annis Stockton, a homeless refugee after the British looted and burned her home—-
Deborah Hart, driven from her home, saw her husband hunted for months as a criminal and came to her own death from exposure and anxiety.
History has been generous in its recognition of the patriotism of the men who, on that hot July day in Philadelphia in 1776, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to uphold and support the Declaration of Independence of all foreign rule. Through that act, these men “put their necks in the halter as traitors” to the British Government, and from John Hancock to George Walton had no other prospect but ignominious death should the struggle for independence prove unsuccessful.
From the day that Declaration was published, these men were proscribed outlaws. Their names were read in every British camp and every British soldier and Tory adherent were taught that they were beyond the pale of consideration as mere military enemies and that they and their families were to be persecuted as dangerous criminals. As opportunity gave, this policy of persecution was duly carried out, and any signer who fell into the hands of the enemy was treated with marked cruelty. A price was set on the heads of John Hancock and Samuel Adams…….
The above was taken from the book Wives of the Signers, by Wallbuilder Press, PO Box 397, Aledo, Texas, 76008-0397, phone: (817) 441-6044. ISBN: 0-925279-60-9.
TMM recommends this book very highly, if for no other reason than the language, which, as it carries forth in the letters of the wives of the Revolutionaries, provides the reader with significant insights into the culture and character predominant in the 1700s. But the book, as well as the letters contained within it, also gives an undebatable view backward in time to the living reality of the Revolution as men and women of conscience defied, resisted, and finally, with guns, overthrew the government of their day.
It is hoped that by including a selection from the book here the reader will become inspired to purchase this book and avail oneself of this source of truthful history about the outlaws who gave to the world the American Revolution. Below is the chapter of the book which gives the accounting of the second wife of Samuel Adams, Elizabeth Wells Adams.
Far removed from the brilliant social circle of which Dorothy Hancock was the bright particular star, and inferior intellectually to Abigail Adams, (wife of John Adams), Elizabeth Wells, second wife of Samuel Adams, was yet a woman of most excellent qualities and well worthy of being the helpmeet of that patriot and statesman during the most trying period of his life.
Samuel Adams’ characterization of Benjamin Franklin as being “a great philosopher but a poor politician” might be paraphrased as applied to himself as being “a great politician but a very improvident family man.” His whole life was practically given up to public affairs, while private interests, business, and family matters were neglected in a way that would have driven a woman less loyal and even-tempered than Elizabeth Adams to bitter complaint, if not open rebellion. Yet always we find her cheerful and sympathetic; always a faithful and loving wife to Samuel Adams and a tender mother to his motherless children. (His first wife, Elizabeth Checkley Adams, had died prior to his marriage to Elizabeth Wells.) His business might be going to ruin through neglect while he talked politics with his neighbors on the street corners, his leaky roof go unshingled while he made patriots of the workmen of the sail-lofts and shipyards of Boston, but not one word of complaint or fault-finding do we hear from his family.
Politics came as natural to Samuel Adams as the air he breathed–not the petty politics that plots and plans for place or patronage, but the great politics that is the practical side of statesmanship; the politics that began by teaching a crude and simple-minded people their inherent rights as freeborn men and women, and building up a spirit of opposition to any encroachments upon those rights, whether foreign or domestic; the politics that finally wrenched a handful of straggling Colonies from a great and powerful monarchy and welded them together into a compact and harmonious republic. Such was the politics of Samuel Adams, and the very thesis that won for him from Harvard College, in 1743, his Master of Arts degree, “Whether it be lawful to resist the Supreme Magistrate, if the Commonwealth cannot be otherwise be preserved,” shows, not only the bent of his mind, but also, that however much other leaders of revolutionary sentiment may have looked forward to reconciliation with the mother country, on a basis of justice to the Colonies, Samuel Adams, almost from the first, saw nothing ahead but independence.
Samuel Adams was forty-two years old when he married Elizabeth Wells, fifth daughter of his intimate friend, Francis Wells, an English merchant who came to Boston with his family in 1723. She was twenty-nine years old at the time of the marriage. He was not a successful man according to the standard of his thrifty neighbors, though looked upon as one of strict integrity and blameless morality. He could not make money and, what was more to his discredit in their eyes, he seemed to have no desire to accumulate property. His father had left him a fairly profitable malting business, a comfortable house on Purchase Street, and one thousand pounds in money. Half the money he had loaned to a friend who never repaid him. The malt business was neglected and mismanaged so that it did not pay expenses. But always and ever, “Sam” Adams, as he was generally known, was talking politics, writing for the newspapers, debating some measure before the town meeting, or framing up some act for the Assembly calculated to strengthen the rights of the people or to awaken opposition to British encroachment.
Boston at that time was a city of about 18,000 inhabitants and noted already as a “reading town”. Education was general. Nearly every person read some one of the five newspapers that were published there and they carried columns of announcements from the booksellers. Of news and impersonal articles, such as go to make up the newspapers of our day, there was little. But letters from the people championing various lines of thought, letters that argued, letters that pleaded, letters of vehement invective and insinuating sophistry, letters signed by the writers and letters signed by *nom-de-plume*, filled the columns of the papers and exercised a vast influence on public opinion.
Samuel Adams was an indefatigable writer for the newspapers, appearing under many pen names, but always in advocacy of some measure that he was preparing to have the town meeting endorse of the Assembly put through. A Tory writer of the day is quoted as saying, “The town meeting of Boston is the hotbed of sedition. It is there that all their dangerous insurrections are engendered; it is there that the flame of discord and rebellion is lighted up and disseminated over the Province.”
“In the year 1764,” says Hosmer, his biographer, “Samuel Adams had reached the age of forty-two. Even now his hair was becoming grey, and a peculiar tremulousness of the head and hands made it seem as if he were already on the threshold of old age. His constitution, nevertheless, was remarkably sound. His frame of about medium stature was muscular and well knit. His eyes were a clear steel grey, his nose prominent, the lower part of his face capable of great sternness, but in ordinary intercourse wearing a genial expression. Life had brought him much of hardship. In 1757 his wife had died….Misfortune had followed him in business. The malt house had been an utter failure; his patrimony had vanished little by little, so that beyond the mansion of Purchase Street, with its pleasant harbour view, little else remained. His house was becoming rusty through want of means to keep it in repair. On the sixth day of December of this year he married for his second wife Elizabeth Wells, a woman of efficiency and cheerful fortitude, who, through the forty years of hard and hazardous life that remained to him, walked sturdily at his side. It required indeed no common virtue to do this, for while Samuel Adams superintended the birth of the child “Independence”, he was quite careless how the table at home was spread, and as to the condition of his own children’s clothes and shoes. More than once the family would become objects of charity if the hands of his wife had not been ready and skillful.”
In the present day Samuel Adams would have been called a political “boss”. Boston was as absolutely ruled by its “town meeting” as any city of today is governed by its mayor and council, and “Town-meeting Sam” Adams was absolute in his direction and control of the town meeting. It was he who outlined policies, made up slates, and saw that they were put through. Always he held some minor office, generally one without a salary attached and entirely out of keeping with his services and the power he exercised. For “Sam” Adams as a boss had his limitations which would have been laughed at by the political bosses of later days.
He remained as poor as ever. No shadow of corruption ever fell across his path. No political job ever left the taint of graft on his hands. He was a collector of taxes for years. Times were hard, money woefully scarce, and the collections became sadly in arrears. Adams’ enemies raised the cry of defalcation. Then it came out that Sam Adams had refused to sell out the last cow or pig or the last sack of potatoes or corn meal or the scant furniture of a poor man to secure his taxes. He had told his superiors in authority that the town did not need the taxes as badly as most of these poor people needed their little belongings and that he would rather lose his office than force such collections. It was, of course, a poor showing for an official, but it put Sam Adams and the plain people of Boston so closely together that they were ready, ever after, to elect him to any office that he would accept.
Writing of Adams in 1769, Hosmer says: “For years now, Samuel Adams had laid aside all pretence of private business and was devoted simply and solely to public affairs. The house on Purchase Street still afforded the family a home. His sole source of income was the small salary (one hundred pounds) he received as clerk of the Assembly. His wife, like himself, was contented with poverty; through good management, in spite of their narrow means, a comfortable home life was maintained in which the children grew up happy and in every way well trained and cared for. John Adams tells of a drive taken by these two kinsmen on a beautiful June day, not far from this time, in the neighourhood of Boston. Then as from the first and ever after there was an affectionate intimacy between them. They often called one another brother, though the relationship was only that of second cousin. ‘My brother, Samuel Adams, says he never looked forward in his life; never planned, laid a scheme or formed a design of laying up anything for himself or others after him.’ The case of Samuel Adams is almost without a parallel as an instance of enthusiastic, unswerving devotion to public service throughout a long life.”
It is not our purpose in these pages to give, even in outline, a history of the great work that Samuel Adams did for the cause of American independence. But in order to gain insight into the character of Elizabeth Adams and show what the wife had to contend with, the utter devotion of her husband to the public business and his singular unselfishness, so far as that business was concerned, must be dwelt upon. It is easy enough at this time to see the great stakes for which Samuel Adams was playing; to understand his carefully laid plans and to sympathize with his disinterested patriotism. But we must remember that Elizabeth Adams, doing needlework and kitchen gardening to eke out the scant allowance which had to furnish a livelihood for herself and family, was looking at the fabric from the wrong side. What is to us a strong, harmonious, and beautiful pattern, must have been to her a motley collection of ragged ends, thrown together without rhyme or reason–something dull, distorted, and indescribably ugly. Yet we hear no complaining–no chidings because of his thriftless waste of time and talent working for other people without compensation and neglecting his own affairs and family. Always she and his children seemed to think that whatever he thought or whatever he did must be right.
During the summer of 1774, Samuel Adams was a busy man. He was making preparations to attend the Congress that was to be held in Philadelphia, and was at the head of several committees devoted to the relief of Boston. Owing to the closing of the port, the city was in sadly straitened circumstances. Donations were coming from far and near and were distributed by one of the committees of which Adams was chairman. Another of his committees laid out public works, opening streets and wharves and furnishing work for many citizens. Hosmer, writing of Samuel Adams at this time, says:
“He still occupied the house in Purchase Street, the estate connected with which had, as time went forward, through the carelessness of its preoccupied owner, become narrowed to a scanty tract…. Shortly before this time he had been able, probably with the help of friends, to put his home in good order, and managed to be hospitable. For apparently, life went forward in his home, if frugally, not parsimoniously, his admirable wife making it possible for him, from his small income as clerk of the House, to maintain a decent housekeeping. His son, now twenty-two years old, a young man for whom much could be hoped, was studying medicine with Dr. Warren, after a course at Harvard. His daughter (Hannah Adams) was a promising girl of seventeen. With the young people and their intimates the father was cordial and genial. He had an ear for music and a pleasant voice in singing, a practice which he much enjoyed. The house was strictly religious; grace was said at each meal, and the Bible is still preserved from which some member read aloud each night. Old Surry, a slave woman given to Mrs. Adams in 1765, and who was freed upon coming into her possession, lived in the family nearly fifty years, showing devoted attachment. When slavery was abolished in Massachusetts, papers of manumission were made out for her in due form; but these she threw into the fire in anger, saying she had lived too long to be trifled with. The servant boy whom Samuel Adams carefully and kindly reared, became afterwards a mechanic of character and worked efficiently in his former master’s behalf when at length, in his old age, Adams was proposed for Governor. Nor must Queue be forgotten, the big intelligent Newfoundland dog who appreciated perfectly what was his due as the dog of Sam Adams. He had a vast antipathy to the British uniform. He was cut and shot in several places by soldiers in retaliation for his own sharp attacks, for the patriotic Queue anticipated the ’embattled farmers’ of Concord Bridge in inaugurating hostilities, and bore to his grave honourable scars from his fierce encounters.
“Until his fifty-third year, Samuel Adams had never left his native town except for places a few miles distant. The expenses of the journey and the sojourn in Philadelphia were arranged for by the legislative appropriation. But the critical society of a prosperous town and the picked men of the Thirteen Colonies were to be encountered. A certain sumptuousness in living and apparel would be not only fitting but necessary in the deputies, that the great Province which they represented might suffer no dishonour. Samuel Adams himself probably would have been quite satisfied to appear in the old red coat of 1770 in which he had been painted by Copley and which his wife’s careful darning doubtless still held together; but his townsmen arranged it differently.”
How this arrangement was brought about is told in a private letter written August 11, 1774.
“The ultimate wish and desire of the high government party is to get Sam Adams out of the way, when they think they may accomplish everyone of their plans; but however some may despise him, he has certainly very many friends. For, not long since, some persons (their names unknown) sent and asked his permission to build him a new barn, the old one being decayed, which was executed in a few days. A second sent to ask leave to repair his house, which was thoroughly effected soon. A third sent to beg the favour of him to call at a tailor’s shop and be measured for a suit of clothes and chose his cloth, which was finished and sent home for his acceptance. A fourth presented him with a new wig, a fifth with a new hat, a sixth with six pairs of the best silk hose, a seventh with six pairs of fine thread ditto, an eighth with six pairs of shoes, and a ninth modestly inquired of him whether his finances were not rather low than otherwise. He replied it was true that was the case but he was very indifferent about these matters, so that his poor abilities were of any service to the public; upon which the gentleman obliged him to accept of a purse containing about fifteen or twenty Johannes.”
The next glimpse we get of the family relations of Samuel and Elizabeth Adams was in a letter that has been preserved, which he wrote from Philadelphia, June 28, 1775, nearly a year after his friends had bought him new raiment and filled his purse in Boston to attend the first Continental Congress. Governor Gage had just made his proclamation offering pardon “to all persons who shall forthwith lay down their Arms and return to the Duties of peaceable Subjects, excepting only from the benefit of such pardon Samuel Adams and John Hancock, whose Offences were of too flagitious a Nature to admit of any other Consideration than that of condign Punishment.” The Battle of Bunker Hill had been fought and Dr. Joseph Warren had been killed. The letter was as follows:
“My Dearest Betsy, yesterday I received Letters from some of our Friends at the Camp informing me of the Engagement between the American troops and the Rebel Army at Charlestown. I cannot but be greatly rejoiced at the tryed Valour of our Countrymen who by all accounts behaved with an intrepidity becoming those who fought for their Liberties against the mercenary Soldiers of a Tyrant. It is painful to me to reflect on the Terror I suppose you were under, on hearing the Noise of War so near. Favour me, my dear, with an Account of your Apprehensions at that time, under your own hand. I pray God to cover the heads of our Countrymen in every day of Battle and ever to protect you from Injury in these distracted times. The
death of our truly admirable and worthy Friend Dr. Warren is greatly afflicting; the language of Friendship is, how shall we resign him; but it is our Duty to submit to the Dispensations of Heaven ‘whose ways are ever gracious and just’. He fell in the glorious Struggle for publick Liberty. Mr. Pitts and Dr. Church inform me that my dear son has at length escaped from the Prison at Boston….Remember me to my dear Hannah and sister Polly and to all Friends. Let me know where good old Surry is. Gage has made me respectable by naming me first among those who are to receive no favour from him. I thoroughly despise him and his proclamation…..The Clock is now striking twelve. I therefore wish you good Night. Yours most affectionately, S. Adams.”
Early in August, Samuel Adams and the other delegates from Massachusetts hurried home. Congress had adjourned from August 1st until September 5th, but when Adams arrived from Philadelphia, he found the “General Assembly of the Territory of Massachusetts Bay” in session and himself entitled to sit as one of the eighteen councilors. The delegation had in charge five hundred thousand dollars for the use of Washington’s army. Samuel Adams was at once elected Secretary of State. Mrs. Adams, who had been forced to leave Boston, was living with her daughter at the home of her aged father in Cambridge, and Samuel Adams, Jr., held an appointment as surgeon in Washington’s army. Friends were looking after all of them. Mr. Adams’ visit with his family was a short one, and on September 12th, he started on his return to Philadelphia, traveling on horseback, on a horse loaned him by John Adams. An interesting letter is still preserved, written by Mrs. Adams to her husband during this Congress. It is as follows:
“Cambridge, Feb. 12, 1776.
My Dear–I received your affectionate Letter by Fesenton and I thank you for your kind Concern for my Health and Safty. I beg you Would not give yourself any pain on our being so Near the Camp; the place I am in is so Situated, that if the Regulars should ever take Prospect Hill, which God forbid, I should be able to make an Escape, as I am Within a few stone casts of a Back Road, Which Leads to the Most Retired part of Newtown….. I beg you to Excuse the very poor Writing as My paper is Bad and my pen made with Scissars. I should be glad (My dear), if you shouldn’t come down soon, you would Write me Word Who to apply to for some Monney, for I am low in Cash and Every thing is very dear. May I subscribe myself yours, Eliza Adams.”
The closing years of Mrs. Adams’ life brought more of peace and comfort than had been her portion during the Revolutinon or the years leading up to it from her marriage in 1764. After the British evacuated Boston she and her family returned to the city to live. Sometimes they were “low in cash”, as she naively put it, but with her fine sewing and Hannah’s “exquisite embroidery”, they managed to live in comfort. Samuel Adams retired from Congress in 1781, but was constantly in office in Massachusetts, the salary of which, while he did not much consider it, must have been of great help to her. During Hancock’s incumbency of the gubernatorial chair Adams was Lieutenant-Governor, and upon the death of Hancock in 1793, Adams succeeded him as the chief executive of the State and was re-elected Governor in 1795 and ’96, declining re-election because of failing health.
The death of Dr. Samuel Adams (Jr.) In 1788, was a great blow to the father, which was somewhat ameliorated by his satisfaction at the happy marriage of his daughter Hannah, who had become the wife of Captain Thomas Wells, a younger brother of Mrs. Adams, her stepmother. They lived in a comfortable home on Winter Street. The last days of the aged pair were made comfortable by his son who, dying, left claims against the government which yielded about six thousand dollars. This sum fortunately invested sufficed for the simple wants of the old patriot and his wife. Samuel Adams died in 1803 and his wife followed him five years later.
Editor’s Note: The book, Wives of The Signers, is available at Amazon dot com
The Purest Sovereignty Is The Sovereignty Of The Creator
The Clue In The Two-Letter Word
A Brief Introduction To Sovereignty
by Elias Alias
In speaking with people about sovereignty I often refer to a very small word which is found in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution for the united States of America. It is the tiny word “or”.
The document reads:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, *or* to the people. (emphasis EA)
At the root of the Tenth Amendment is the phenomenon called sovereignty. The Constitution insists that sovereignty begins with:
We The People
The Constitutionalist View On That Word
Looking at the last phrase in that Amendment we note that it says “…or to the people.” It could have been worded: “…and to the people” instead of being worded: “…or to the people”. Some people in America today think that it should have been “and”. I generally refer to such people as “statists”. We will look at their view of that Amendment, below, but first let us look at the Constitutionalist’s view.
To many Americans today there would be no apparent reason for choosing one word over the other, because on the surface of contemporary American life our consensus perception of the word “or” vs the word “and” would not seem to matter. The difference in the use of either of those words in that particular place in the Tenth Amendment’s wording is not readily apparent until one peers more deeply into the nature of the Constitution and the General government which that Constitution created. (That to which we today refer as the “Federal” government was in the Founders’ day called the “General” government.)
While not being very apparent, the choice of the word “or” as the proper word for that place in the wording of the Amendment is hugely indicative of the ultimate source of sovereignty. On this earth, the truest source of sovereignty would be, of course, “We The People”. Regarding the religious concept of “Heaven”, that is of course not here on this earth at present time, hence We The People, being by virtue of our presence in this three-dimensional world as created beings and therefore being the closest to the Creator, are the next-highest source of sovereignty under, as the Founders put it, “Nature’s God”.
That means that, on Earth, the individual is the source of all sovereignty, and he was granted that sovereignty by Nature or by Nature’s God. The Constitution is built around that fact, and supports that fact. In truth, as we learn by studying the writings of Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., the Constitution in its entirety is designed specifically to protect that fact in the application of governance as willed and written by the People.
The hierarchy of sovereignty in our American experience would list in proper order:
1. The individual self; and,
2. The State in which that self lives and to which that self extends a portion of its original sovereignty; and,
3. The Union of the several States with its delegated and granted powers, duties and disabilities, which function, as we commonly term the infrastructure, as the “Three Branches” of federal government.
The individual is properly placed above the respective State governments, and the State governments are properly placed above certain spheres of the General government in WDC. There are, as Justice Scalia noted in the majority opinion on Mack/Printz v USA (1997), areas within the States into which the General government may not properly intrude or incur, and there are areas in the General government into which the States may not intrude or incur. Here is a portion of Scalia’s statement:
It is incontestable that the Constitution established a system of “dual sovereignty”…. Although the States surrendered many of their powers to the new Federal Government, they retained “a residuary and inviolable sovereignty”…. Residual state sovereignty was also implicit, of course, in the Constitution’s conferral upon Congress of not all governmental powers, but only discrete, enumerated ones. Article 1, Section 8, which implication was rendered express by the Tenth Amendment’s assertion that “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”. The Framers’ experience under the Articles of Confederation had persuaded them that using the States as the instruments of federal governance was both ineffectual and provocative of federal state conflict. The Framers rejected the concept of a central government that would act upon and through the States, and instead designed a system in which the state and federal governments would exercise concurrent authority over the people. The great innovation of this design was that our citizens would have two political capacities, one state and one federal, each protected from incursion by the other” – “a legal system unprecedented in form and design, establishing two orders of government, each with its own direct relationship, its own privity, its own set of mutual rights and obligations to the people who sustain it and are governed by it.”… The Constitution thus contemplates that a State’s government will represent and remain accountable to its own citizens. As Madison expressed it: “[T]he local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere.” ….This separation of the two spheres is one of the Constitution’s structural protections of liberty.”
It is highly recommended that all readers go to Sheriff Mack’s website and get your copy of the little pamphlet in which Scalia’s majority opinion comes out in favor of Sheriff Mack’s suit against the Federal government’s “Brady Bill”. This pamphlet shows clearly that Federal powers are limited and enumerated and all other powers are retained by the States or by the People. Here is that link:
We may take a closer inspection of the concept Justice Scalia was denoting in that passage by looking next at a brief passage from:
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
BOND v. UNITED STATES
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
No. 09–1227. Argued February 22, 2011—Decided June 16, 2011
(b) Amicus, appointed to defend the judgment, contends that for Bond to argue the National Government has interfered with state sovereignty in violation of the Tenth Amendment is to assert only a State’s legal rights and interests. But in arguing that the Government has acted in excess of the authority that federalism defines, Bond seeks to vindicate her own constitutional interests. Pp. 8–14.
(1) Federalism has more than one dynamic. In allocating powers between the States and National Government, federalism “ ‘secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power,’ ” New York v. United States, 505 U. S. 144, 181. It enables States to enact positive law in response to the initiative of those who seek a voice in shaping the destiny of their own times, and it protects the liberty of all persons within a State by ensuring that law enacted in excess of delegated governmental power cannot direct or control their actions. See Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U. S. 452, 458. Federalism’s limitations are not therefore a matter of rights belonging only to the States. In a proper case, a litigant may challenge a law as enacted in contravention of federalism, just as injured individuals may challenge actions that transgress, e.g., separation-of-powers limitations, see, e.g., INS v. Chadha, 462 U. S. 919. The claim need not depend on the vicarious assertion of a State’s constitutional interests, even if those interests are also implicated. Pp. 8–12. Cite as: 564 U. S. ____ (2011)
Note the phrase, “…the diffusion of sovereign power”
The political climate in contemporary America silently and falsely, but strongly, implies that the opposite of the proper Constitutional hierarchy of sovereignty is the true status of things. The Federal government acts today as if it is the supreme source of sovereignty and that therefore the States must bow to its statutory edicts or executive orders, or to the treacheries of Congress or the debauchery of statist courts. Did anyone truly believe that the Supreme Court had any standing to hear a case on the Second Amendment’s protection of the Militia of the several States, indirectly, and the right to keep and bear arms, individually, directly? The Amendment is what it says, and no court has standing to “interpret” it. Only the People have that right, and that right is implied by, and remembered in, that little two-letter word “or”.
The Statist View On The Word
The hierarchy which the typical “progressive” statist embraces runs then thusly:
1: First sovereignty is the Federal government;
2: Second sovereignty is that of the State(s) in compact; and
3: The third sovereignty is the individual human within the geo-boundaries of the States and the National Union.
Had that philosophical hierarchy of sovereignty prevailed in the writing of the Tenth Amendment, it would have read:
The Powers not delegated to the General government, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States *and* to the People.
The use of the word “and” at that place in the phraseology of the Amendment would consciously equate the States’ sovereignty with the sovereignty of the People. It would also create a concept for “legal” purposes, which would infer that the Peoples’ station is subservient to a higher sovereignty (one’s respective State) than that with which all individuals are born. Put another way, those “unalienable rights” which our Constitution protects above all else are present at birth and were not granted by any man-made government. Those unalienable rights come from a higher source of sovereignty than any earthly sovereign can bestow. In Jefferson’s view, they come from Nature, or Nature’s God.
Sovereignty is intertwined within the totality of the rights which are unalienable. The right to defend oneself, for example, would be no right at all if one were not a self. The self is the vessel into which Nature or Nature’s God pours the divine spirit of life itself, which is at the core of everyone’s being. The very nature of “being” is an individual experience, an exercise of an autonomous soul, and the conscious awareness of “being” is prerequisite to being an awake person.
The fact of the existence of “the person”, the individual human being as a self who is possessed of a soul, is what is protected in the Bill of Rights, including the Tenth Amendment. It is protected because the Founders saw the freedom and liberty of the individual self as irreplaceable and important in creation’s grand pattern of things; realized that the human self is the epitome of Nature’s God’s creation, or of Nature’s creation, a truth which shines healing light equally upon everyone who thinks of oneself, and this the statist cannot refute.
Sovereignty was extended by the People, each and each by offering up a small portion of his own natural sovereignty into the pool of individuals comprising their respective States, to not only create the States in a furious Revolution but to also ultimately Federalize a union of those new States, which would in turn, in legal and lawful and orderly compact, create for the People a national/central government to operate on behalf of the States or on behalf of the People.
The Constitution, as written, is as “American” as one can get. Standing up for the Constitution at times when it is under direct threat is the patriot’s duty and honor, as has always been this country’s tradition. Helping one’s neighbor, (doing RT&I with someone on the police force or in the military or down at the firehall), to see the beauty in the protections of the Constitution against official violation of everyone’s guaranteed unalienable rights, is the American way.
As a friend puts it, “help them remember who they are”. Knowledge of one’s sovereignty renders a value to oneself which is healthy for a strong and prosperous society of free individuals. President John Adams in 1798 noted that in America an Oath is a sacred obligation sworn or affirmed by the individual citizen in service to his country. That Oath is sworn to the Constitution, and provides the General government its only authority, which are delegated, enumerated, and limited, in writing, on paper which has not changed in two and a quarter centuries. By remembering that We The People are the sovereign, and that our States, through our individual sovereignty, have sovereign rights as well, we can finally contain the unchecked centralization of power which today threatens our heritage, culture, and society.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]