More Historical Masterminding
Meanwhile, the British were not idle. They, too, were doing some planning and “Master-Minding” on their own account, with the advantage of having money to back them and organized soldiery.
The Crown appointed Gage to supplant Hutchinson as the Governor of Massachusetts. One of the new Governor’s first acts was to send a messenger to call on Samuel Adams, for the purpose of endeavoring to stop his opposition—by fear.
We can best understand the spirit of what happened by quoting the conversation between Col. Fenton, (the messenger sent by Gage), and Adams.
What’s In It For You?
Col. Fenton: “I have been authorized by Governor Gage, to assure you, Mr. Adams, that the Governor has been empowered to confer upon you such benefits as would be satisfactory, [endeavor to win Adams by promise of bribes], upon the condition that you engage to cease in your opposition to the measures of the government. It is the Governor’s advice to you, Sir, not to incur the further displeasure of his majesty. Your conduct has been such as makes you liable to penalties of an Mt of Henry VIII, by which persons can be sent to England for trial for treason, or misprision of treason, at the discretion of a governor of a province. But, by changing your political course, you will not only receive great personal advantages, but you will make your peace with the King.”
Samuel Adams had his choice of two decisions. He could end his opposition, and receive personal bribes, or he could continue and run the risk of being hanged!
Clearly, the time had come when Adams was forced to instantly reach a decision which could cost his life. The majority of men would have found it difficult to reach such a decision. The majority would have sent back an evasive reply, but not Adams! He insisted upon Col. Fenton’s word of honor, that the Colonel would deliver to the Governor the answer exactly as Adams would give it to him.
Adams’ answer–“Then you may tell Governor Gage that I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my Country. And, tell Governor Gage it is the advice of Samuel Adams to him, no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.”
Adams’ reply is inspiring as an historical account, but there is more that we should take from it—the definite purpose and confidence to pursue the path or paths that are right for us each as individuals. This applies as much to wealth creation and personal success as it does to anything else worth pursuing in life.
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