Thursday, February 05, 2009

Today In History: Father of the Revolution...

James Otis died on this day in 1783.
"A man’s home is his castle, and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it is declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Custom house officers may enter our houses when they please and we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court, can inquire. Bare suspicion without oath is sufficient. This wanton exercise of this power is not a chimerical suggestion of a heated brain. What a scene does this open! Every man, prompted by revenge, ill humor, or wantonness to inspect the inside of his neighbor’s house, may get a writ of assistance. Others will ask it from self-defense; one arbitrary action will promote another, until society be involved in tumult and blood." -James Otis, Jr.

There is no truth to the rumor that his last words were "...and if it should ever be worse under a Congress of free men than under that tyrant in England, may God strike me down with a bolt of lightning!"


EDIT:

D'oh!

Don't post before your first cuppa joe, kids!

2/5 was his birthday, not the day he got jabbed by the celestial joy buzzer...

Still, it was an awesomely prescient quote, wannit?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very impressive that you know who he is.

Without question James Otis was the father of the American Revolution. Without him, it would not have transpired.

It is a horrific thing that genius and madness often walk hand in hand.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

I just realized that I'm impressed.

Obviously I do not work for IMPD.

Shootin' Buddy

Davidwhitewolf said...

While visiting Plymouth many years ago, I toured an old house open to the public. At one point I picked up a woman's shoe to ask a question about it, thinking it was a replica. The docent smiled and told me I was holding one of Mercy Otis Warren's shoes. I felt like an electric bolt had hit me myself. One of the great thrills of my younger life.

She had small feet. :)

Anonymous said...

Minor nitpick, but everything I've seen says he was born on Feb 5 and died on May 23

Tam said...

Damned Wikipedia!

I still like my imaginary lightning bolt quote, though...

Tam said...

EDIT:

D'oh!

Don't post before your first cuppa joe, kids!

2/5 was indeed his birthday, not the day he jabbed by the celestial joy buzzer...