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James Otis, Jr., the unknown founding father

Today is the birthday of James Otis, Jr., according to my copy of The Liberty Calendar.

Few people have heard of him.

He’s the man who said, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” (Never mind that he should have just shortened that to, “Taxation is tyranny”; he made a good start.) He argued brilliantly against the writs of assistance that were so contentious in the years before the American Revolution. (We could use him again these days.)

Otis unfortunately went crazy. And he died young — struck by lightning, exactly as he had hoped he would be — while others went on to greater fame.


  1. Rural Mike
    Rural Mike February 5, 2010 8:36 pm

    Dear Ms. Wolfe,
    It is in posts like this that your irreverent side shows most brightly!
    I am sincerely glad you blog here.
    As a high desert person myself, I find your chronicles humorous, enjoyable, and very entertaining.

  2. Claire
    Claire February 8, 2010 12:06 pm

    Dear Rural Mike,

    What, me irreverent? Nevahhhh! Serious as a monk at all times, and utterly devoted to Our Glorious Leaders, and to the hosts of angels that hover over their august heads bearing wreaths of laurels and singing hosannahs. That’s me. 😉

    Thank you and greetings from a fellow desert dweller.

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