John Adams: “Letters of Novanglus”

(1775)

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John Adams’s letters signed with the pseudonym Novanglus (“New Englander”) arose in part out of his public service; he began this long series of newspaper essays in reply to a Massachusetts author who was critical of the authority and policy of the First Continental Congress, in which he had just served. But his “Letters of Novanglus” say virtually nothing about Congress. Instead, they launch into an examination of the last fifteen troubled years in Massachusetts and move on to a broad...