American Independence (Front Matter) by Ben Ponder

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Title Pages, Table of Contents, Chronology of Key Events, Abbreviations

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AMERICAN

Independence

From Common Sense to the Declaration

BEN PONDER

AMERICANINDEPENDENCE

AMERICANINDEPENDENCEFrom Common Sense to the Declaration

BENJAMIN PONDER

ESTATE FOUR PUBLISHERSESTATEFOUR.COM

2010 by Benjamin Ponder All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America Visit our Web site: www.estatefour.com

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available. ISBN 978-0-615-35182-7

FOR AMY, my beloved

Acknowledgmentshe shortcomings of this book are of my own manufacture, but I cannot say the same of the studys strong suits. The robust support of the following individuals and organizations was instrumental to the development of this work:

T

David Zarefsky, Timothy Breen, Betsy Erkkila, Robert Hariman, Luke and Emily Anderson, John and Dana Kim, Dave and Rachel Hansen, Joe and Kari Lamancusa, Tom and Shana Christian, Dan and Barb Beitz, Tom and Jennifer Noble, David and Nary Houcque, Ken and Tammy Shull, Lee Huebner, Irv Rein, Dilip Gaonkar, Keith Topper, Angela Ray, the late Scott Deatherage, Tom Goodnight, the late Mike Leff, John Kirby, the late Tom Farrell, Tom Frentz and the late Janice Rushing, David Davidson, Andy Wehrman, James Coltrain, David Keenan, Vicki Brantly, Susan Bergman, Eugene Peterson, Paul Stevens, Elton Conrady, Kerim Zagra, David Wei, Andrew Wachtel, Simon Greenwold, Jenny Mann, Guy Ortolano, Rana Ozbal, John Pham, Kwame Onoma, Sean Murphy, Chris Campbell, Alan Brothers, Rhiannon Stephens, Kristen Syrett, Carmen Niekrasz, Paul Cadden-Zimansky, Ben Chen, Yal Katz, Tomasz Strzalecki, Tobin Miller-Shearer, Lee Seymour, Dan Fitzmeier, Chris Lundberg, Brett Ommen, Randy Iden, Leslie Harris, Ebony Utley, Liz Benacka, Karin Lehnardt, Cindy Koenig, Karen Kelly, Rita Lutz, Mary Pat Doyle, Maggie Wildman, Pat Mann, Lesley Perry, James Ettema, Peter Miller, Henry Bienen, the Library Company of Philadelphia (especially Jim Green, Connie King, and Phil Lapsansky), the American Philosophical Society (especially Roy Goodman and J.J. Ahern), the Clements Library at the University of Michigan (especially Don Wilcox and Barbara DeWolfe), the University of Pennsylvania Archives (especially Director Mark F. Lloyd), the Northwestern University Library (especially Special Collections Librarian Scott Krafft, Special Collections Curator Russell Maylone, and Librarian Ronald Sims of the Galter Health Sciences Library), and the Fort Dearborn Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. And, finally, I offer my deepest gratitude to my family: To my parents, Danny and Nell Ponder, and my parents-in-law, Robert and Adele Berry, for their boundless support, love, and understanding. To my children, Ava, Elise, Lincoln, and Whit, who have placed my work and research in perspective time and time again. They bring unspeakable joy to their daddys heart. To my dearest Amy, who has endured much and has walked with me every step of this long journey. I marvel at you, value you above all others, and love you with my whole heart.

Table of ContentsA Chronology of Key Events Abbreviations Preface: From Reconciliation to RevolutionThe Difference of One Year Aims of the Study Theoretical Influences and the Trajectory of Method The Difference of Six Months

xv

xxiii

xxv

Chapter One: Natural RepublicanismPART ONE: TAXATION AND PROTESTStamped Out Distant Dissent

2

PART TWO: FROM LONDON TO LEXINGTONTransatlantic Connection The Evolution of a Revolutionary

5

PART THREE: PAMPHLET CULTUREThe Distinctive Literature of the Revolution The Distinctive Rhetoric of the Revolution

8

PART FOUR: THE PROBLEM WITH MONOREPUBLICANISMRepublicanism in 1776 The Least Worst Option Two Party System American Republicanisms

13

PART FIVE: THE LOCKEAN MOMENTAn Independent Whig An Appeal to Heaven The United States of Nature and War

20

PART SIX: UNTANGLING THE ROOTS OF RADICALISMRadical Whigs Orthodox Radicalism

25

viii

Table of Contents

PART SEVEN: TOWARDS A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY 28Natural Representation Revolution in Style

Chapter Two: Kindling ControversyPART ONE: A CATALYTIC COMPOSITIONA Desperate Shortage Notes on the State of America Present Transactions

37

PART TWO: PAPER AND INKTo the Press Media Res Publica Provincial Printing The Political Role of Print Culture

44

PART THREE: A PROMOTER OF PRINTRobert Bell, Bookseller Manufacture of Opinion A Material Scarcity Liberty of the Press The Reading Publics

50

PART FOUR: THE PUBLISHING SCANDALThe Price of Success Cause Clbre Ink Wrestling A Matter of Shillings and Pence

60

PART FIVE: PROVEDORESSentimental Reason

69

Chapter Three: Reformation and RegicidePART ONE: UNIVERSAL REFORMATIONRoyal Culture A Protestant Revolution Reason and Demystification

79

PART TWO: POPERY OF GOVERNMENTJudging Monarchy The Pope of England

85

AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE

ix

PART THREE: PREACHING INDEPENDENCEScriptural Resemblance Colonial Unison Political Conversion

88

PART FOUR: HERETICAL QUAKERSThe Epistle and Religious Toryism

95

PART FIVE: THE PERSISTENT WILKES & UNANSWERED PRAYERS Junius, Wilkes, and Liberty 99Wilkes Weary Political Supplications Petition and Proclamation

PART SIX: DETHRONING THE SOVEREIGNRoyal Character The Speech of Separation Heredity and the Hessians Signing the Petition of Independence King of America Felling Monarchy

109

Chapter Four: Mechanics of a RevolutionPART ONE: NATURAL PHILOSOPHYRational Mechanics Useful Knowledge Transit of Venus and Scientific Culture

127

PART TWO: A SCIENTIFIC TREATISEPaines First Audience The Franklin Factor Paine and Science Baconian Induction and Newtonian Mechanics

132

PART THREE: LECTURES AND DEMONSTRATIONSSecondary Education Popular Newtonianism in England Machinery, Causation, and Motion The Radical Implications of Popular Science

141

PART FOUR: EXPERIMENTAL PROSODYScientific Language Rhetorical Poetry Solving for Time

156

x

Table of Contents

Chapter Five: Time and the Decision for IndependencePART ONE: THE CRAFTSMANSHIP OF TIMEAn American Newton A Rural Mechanic Causality and Temporality

171

PART TWO: CHRONOSClock Time and the Potts-Pryor Astronomical Clock Dismantling and Reconstructing Time History and Expediency

180

PART THREE: KAIROSSeasonal Time and Father Abrahams Almanac Open Season Popular History

187

PART FOUR: EPOS

197

Epic Time and the Norriton Observation of the Transit of Venus Lenses and Mirrors The Experience of Textual Time

PART FIVE: KRISISCrisis Time and the Rittenhouse Orrery Space and Time Machine Textual Orrery Declaring Crisis

209

PART SIX: THE TIME IS NOWNo Time Like the Present Temporal Virtue

222

Chapter Six: Declaration of IndependentsPART ONE: DODGING BULLETSDivided by the Sword Massachusetts and Common Sense

238

PART TWO: COLONIAL READINGAmerican Literacy A Community of Readers

244

PART THREE: MARKETPLACE OF DISCOURSEEconomies of Print Networked Printers Continental Congress: Gathering and Scattering

251

AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE

xi

PART FOUR: FRONT LINESA Generals Perspective Something Worth Fighting For The End of Britishness

264

Chapter Seven: Common Sense and IndependencePART ONE: TEXT AND MOVEMENTReception and Progress An Uncommon Sensation

281

PART TWO: NEW YORK OR VIRGINIA

New York and Common Sense Virginia and Common Sense New York and the Spirit of 87 Virginia and Independence The Virginia Resolves and the Spirit of 76 Richard Henry Lee and the Gauntlet of Independence

286

PART THREE: AMERICAN CONTROVERSYFrom Text to Discourse Finally, a Pamphlet Challenge The Circulation of Colonial Newspapers Philadelphia Flashpoint Propaganda and Critique Echoes of Common Sense Realizing Independence

304

Chapter Eight: Transatlantic ResistancePART ONE: LOYALIST WHIGS AND PATRIOTIC TORIESThe Gamble of Loyalism Marylands Resistance Redefining Whig and Tory A Rational Choice

326

PART TWO: BRITISH COMMON SENSEA Useful Distraction A Gross Misunderstanding Almons Hiatuses

339

PART THREE: FOG OF LOYALTYReconciliation or Independence The Other Franklin and an Unwelcome Innuendo

356

xii

Table of Contents

Chapter Nine: A Conflict of InterestPART ONE: DIVIDED LOYALTIESIrreconcilable Differences

365 367

PART TWO: SENTIMENTAL DEPENDENCEOut of Edenton Henry Laurens and the Inner Conflict of Separation

PART THREE: MERCANTILE INTERESTInterest and Disinterest Class Consciousness Loyal Merchants

372

PART FOUR: CONSTITUTIONAL OPPOSITIONAn Excess of Moderation

379 385

PART FIVE: CONFLICTED CLERGYMinisters of the Administration Textual Sabotage No Man Can Serve Two Masters

PART SIX: TREATING WITH BARBARIANSWaiting for Commissioners, or: The Hessians are Coming

393

Chapter Ten: A War of WordsPART ONE: DUELLING PENSA Defining Debate A Man of Conflict

401

PART TWO: SPEAKING FOR MONTGOMERYRemembering the General William Smiths Oration Thomas Paines Dialogue

404

PART THREE: COMMISSIONERS AND COMMITTEESLoyal Moderation Cassandras First and Catos Second The Constitutions of the People Cato versus Conventions and Common Sense Cassandras Final Parry and Thrust

410

PART FOUR: THE BATTLEGROUND OF PRINTCato on Alliances and Government The Forester Enters the Fray Identity, Causality, and Sentimen