John Hancock

'Our people have fire'

'Our people have fire'

As the war between England and its American colonies dragged into its second year and the outrages and injustices from King George III intensified, Maryland became a point of vexation for the independence-minded patriots in other colonies, its leaders described variously as “obstinate” by John Adams of Massachusetts and “namby pamby” by John Henry Lee of Virginia. But if there was an exception to that rule, it was surely Samuel Chase, a rabble-rouser to equal any of those in Boston and Richmond. The Annapolis lawyer and long-time member of the General Assembly had been agitating for defiance against England since the Stamp Act days of the 1760s, and when the crucial moment arrived for...

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