Samuel Adams writes a letter to Reverend Samuel Cooper dated December 30th, 1776 of his hopes for another conflict between American and British forces as he states his belief that, ” One battle would do more towards a Declaration of Independence than a long chain of conclusive arguments in a provincial convention or the Continental Congress.”
When the letter was actually composed, the British had been driven successfully by General George Washington from Boston with a win on March 17th at Dorchester Heights. The British had remaining meager footholds in North America which included Canada, Quebec as well as the Floridas and Nova Scotia.
The colonies effectively were able to overthrow the British just fifteen days after Adams had hoped for bloodshed but not by the power of the sword rather through the strength of the pen. Thomas Paine was able to embolden through the choice of impassioned words the colonists through his pamphlet called Common Sense. The citizens of New Jersey and Pennsylvania went through with the congressional injunction declared on May 15th to use “every kind of authority” from the crown of the British as well as to overthrow their royal governments; Maryland, New York and Delaware soon followed suit. Thomas Jefferson started to write the Declaration of Independence by June with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams by his side.
The recipient of Adams’ letter, Reverend Cooper, played an influential but quiet role in the revolution. Cooper was became part of the Brattle Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts in 1746 and became over time one of the well-known preachers in the country. The Brattle Street Church was established in 1699 and became popular for their rejection of conservative Calvinism as well as their influence on Harvard University; like the church, they were changing into becoming liberal like the church. Eventually, the church no longer believed in the idea of the Christian trinity but instead became Unitarian.
Cooper was devoted to both civil and religious liberty while being a critic early of British policy in America. Besides writing several political works, he boisterously shared his beliefs with his congregation in Brattle Street; this included John Adams, John Hancock and James Bowdoin. Adding to Cooper’s circle of friends were Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams and his fellow Massachusetts Patriot James Otis.
Cooper discovered that abroad his political writings were well-known and with his foreign acquaintances worked to cement with Europe American alliances throughout the American Revolution. Cooper would eventually receive from the French crown a stipend because he was extremely instrumental in lobbying with France for a Patriot alliance; this would be negotiated by his friend Benjamin Franklin.