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The Clamor of LawyersThe American Revolution and Crisis in the Legal Profession$
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Peter Charles Hoffer and Williamjames Hull Hoffer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501726071

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501726071.001.0001

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“The Alienation of the Affection of the Colonies”

“The Alienation of the Affection of the Colonies”

(p.40) Chapter 2 “The Alienation of the Affection of the Colonies”
The Clamor of Lawyers

Peter Charles Hoffer

Williamjames Hull Hoffer

Cornell University Press

At whose door the onus for reigniting the crisis in 1767 belongs is and will remain an open question for historians. But it cannot be laid at the threshold of the revolutionary lawyers’ offices. Their conduct in the controversy thus far was wholly responsible and measured. Dulany wrote with judicial restraint. Otis, Dickinson, Bland, and Fitch were respectful. Only Hopkins blustered. All were careful not to defame their opponents in the colonies or the home country (not least because such defamation might lead to prosecution for seditious libel). In the main, they acknowledged their contributions to the debate by signing their essays. Reconciliation should have followed, could have followed, had not leaders across the water insisted on renewing Grenville’s legalist program.

Keywords:   Stamp Act, John Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, Richard Bland, Thomas Fitch, Stephen Hopkins, Martin Howard, John Adams, Daniel Dulany

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