John Adams: In Favor of Independence

Daniel Webster delivered a speech in Boston on August 2, 1826 as a celebration of the lives of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who had both died on July 4, 1826, 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. The complete speech can be found in his book Daniel Webster for Young Americans: The Greatest Speeches of the Defender of the Constitution. This excerpt from the speech presents a supposed speech of John Adams in favor of the Declaration. I transcribed it in Anniversary Gregg.

Attachment: john-adams-in-favor-of-independence.pdf


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  1. FYI The Page 2 in "John-Adams-in-favor-of-independence" is not the correct page. The page 2 that is there is a copy of page two from "Some-events-leading-to-the-American-revolution".  

  2. I sent off for the book you mentioned — for there were quite a few words that I was unsure of.  Only two I will admit to not getting.  (1) glorious, etc — I should have got this; (2) Sir — it appearing so often something should have "clicked".  I thought it was a "th" rather than an "s" — I did not consider a left S.

    In my copy I noticed a couple of things which in your copy may be different.  But I am being pernickety.

    p1c2l8:   I had "to his own life" rather than just "to his life".
    p2c1l9:   "do we mean to submit to the measures".  My copy had an additional (needless?) phrase just before it.
    p2c1l17:  My copy had "do we intend" rather than "do we mean".
    p2c2l16: "her cunning":  I read 'or' not 'her'.  So it made little sense to me.
    p4c2,last line:  I think you repeated "it will" on the next page.  (But since at several times he repeated short phrases I just thought it was one of those.)
    p5c1l12: I think you wrote "so" rather than "of"

    This was a tricky piece of oratory — but it got me a very interesting book of American history and sentiment.

    1. Most of these differences are because I transcribed not from the original, but from another oratory book, and they edited some parts. But I made the corrections in the last page.

      Incidentally, the "my right hand forget her cunning and my tongue cleave the roof of my mouth" phrase is from Psalm 137:5-6.

      You can't go wrong with Daniel Webster. His oratory is rich in vocabulary, excellent for shorthand practice. Plus that history book is very good.

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