Songs & Ballads Of the American Revolution

90+ Songs With Notes & Illustrations - online book.

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A short time after the refusal of the Massachusetts Legislature to rescind the Circular Letter of February 11, 1768, relating to the imposition of duties and taxes on the American colonies, John Dick­inson1 of Delaware, the celebrated author of a series of essays enti­tled " The Farmer's Letters," wrote to James Otis of Massachusetts, as follows: " I enclose you a song for American freedom. I have long since renounced poetry, but as indifferent songs are very pow­erful on certain occasions, I venture to invoke the deserted muses. I hope my good intentions will procure pardon, with those I wish to please, for the boldness of my numbers. My worthy friend, Dr. Arthur Lee,2 a gentleman of distinguished family, abilities and pa­triotism, in Virginia, composed eight lines of it. Cardinal De Retz always enforced his political operations by songs. I wish our at­tempt may be useful." This song was published in the Boston Ga­zette of July 18, 1768, to which paper Mr. Otis, and other early ad­vocates of political and religious liberty, often contributed. It also appeared in the various newspapers of New England, where it soon became very popular.
On the sixth of July, two days after the date of his first letter, Mr. Dickinson wrote again to Mr. Otis, saying, " I enclosed you the

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III