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Origin of the American Contest with Great-Britain - LEONARD Daniel - 1775. 
1775 - (REVOLUTION) (LEONARD, Daniel). The Origin of the American Contest With Great-Britain, Or, The present political State of the Massachusetts-Bay, in general, and The Town of Boston in particular. New-York: Printed by James Rivington, 1775. Slim octavo, later black leather gilt rebacked with original spine laid down, marbled boards, uncut; pp. (i-ii), (1-2), 3-86. $9000.First edition of the first publication in book form of the Boston loyalist's controversial defense of Britain following the Stamp Act and Britain's punishment for the Boston Tea Party, issued under the name of Massachusettensis"""one of the first accounts of the pre-revolutionary controversy to examine the complex interaction of struggles between patriots and loyalists". Leonard's major claim to a place of prominence among the leading loyalists in revolutionary America" (ODNB)""prompting John Adams, writing as Novanglus, to defend the colonial cause in his own series of letters. By 1774 many colonists "felt that they had to choose between Britain and a mild tyranny on the one hand and American freedom and tumult on the other." In the wake of the Stamp Act and the Boston Tea Party, prominent Massachusetts lawyer Daniel Leonard published a series of articles in newspapers under the name of Massachusettensis from December 1774 to April 1775 (with New York publisher Rivington assembling the initial eight articles in this very scarce first edition of The Origin of the American Contest with Great-Britain). Here Leonard, once a good friend of John Adams and one-time supporter of Samuel Adams and James Otis, emerges "as a champion of Britain" (Alden, 156). Challenging patriot views on the authority of Parliament and arguing the inevitability of America's defeat against British might, Leonard warns Massachusetts-Bay is "in danger of being drenched with blood and carnage" (53). "The leader of the faction that would come to be known as the 'Loyalists,' Leonard went so far as to insist that the colonists had no right to oppose taxes and to defy the authority of the mother country". Leonard also charged that a small clique of agitators was misleading the colonists and inflaming them with the suspicion that England intended not only to regulate the colonies but to subvert the people's rights and liberties" (Diggins, John Adams, 27). This is the "most influential early Tory attempt to defend England's conduct" (Howes L258). When John Adams read Leonard's Massachusettensis essays, erroneously attributing them to Jonathan Sewall, he responded with a series of letters written under the name of Novanglus, publishing the first 12 in the Boston Gazette from January 23 to April 1775. "Leonard's was one of the first accounts of the pre-revolutionary controversy to examine the complex interaction of struggles between patriots and loyalists in each colony, on one level, and the merging of these conflicts at the continental level". The Massachusettensis letters are Leonard's major claim to a place of prominence among the leading loyalists in revolutionary America." His writings were so influential at the time that some saw Lexington and Concord in April 1775 as confirmation of Leonard's warnings. As colonial rebellion broke into open revolution, Leonard "volunteered for military action in the assault on Bunker Hill. When the British evacuated Boston in March 1776 the Leonard family joined in the exodus". By August 1776 he had made his way to London where he became an active member of the loyalist exile community" (ODNB). Later in life Adams wrote that Thomas Hutchinson "Seduced from my Bosom, three of the most intimate Friends I ever had in my Life, Jonathan Sewall, Samuel Quincy, and Daniel Leonard" (November 16, 1816 letter to William Tudor). "This contains eight of the 17 letters that appeared originally in the Massachusetts Gazette and The Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser". At the bottom of page 86 is a note that the rest of the letters are in press. They never appeared". Page [I] is a [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
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