"[The tea party] had been conducted as correctly as a crime could be."
"Gentlemen may cry peace, peace—but there is no peace. The war is
actually begun! The next gale that sweeps the north will bring to our ears
the class of resounding arms. Our brethren are already in the field!"
– Patrick Henry
"The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was
in the minds and hearts of the people.... This radical change in the
principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real
– John Adams
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the
sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his
country, but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of
man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this
consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the
triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; 'tis dearness only
that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on
its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as
Freedom should not be highly rated...."
– Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, 1776
Interviewer: [Describe the British oppressions]
Levi Preston: What were they? Oppressions? I didn't feel them.
I: What, were you not oppressed by the Stamp Act?
LP: I never saw one of those stamps; I am certain I never paid a penny for one of them.
I: Well, what about the tea-tax?
LP: Tea-tax! I never drank a drop of the stuff; the boys threw it all overboard.
I: Then I suppose you had been reading Harrinton or Sidney and Locke about the eternal principles of liberty.
LP: Never heard of 'em. We read only the Bible, the Catechism, Watts' Psalms and Hymns, and the Almanack.
I: Well, then, what was the matter? and what did you mean in going to the fight?
LP: Young man, what we meant in going for thos redcoats was this: we always had governed ourselves, and we always meant to. They didn't mean we should.
By the rude bridge that arched the food,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.