Fwd: Possibly spurious Samuel Adams quotation [RBBernstein]

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Oct 7 15:36:59 UTC 2013

I pass this on to the quote experts from the list named below.  I
trust R. B. Bernstein will not object, and he has included his email
addresses in his message.  (I can forward any responses to the
H-OIEAHC list for their general information.)


>Date:         Mon, 7 Oct 2013 09:06:09 -0400
>Reply-To:     H-NET/OIEAHC Electronic Association in Early American Studies
>               <H-OIEAHC at H-NET.MSU.EDU>
>Sender:       H-NET/OIEAHC Electronic Association in Early American
>Studies <H-OIEAHC at H-NET.MSU.EDU>
>Subject: Possibly spurious Samuel Adams quotation [RBBernstein]
>To:           H-OIEAHC at H-NET.MSU.EDU
>A quotation is making its way through the Internet and through right-wing
>and conservative blogging.  It purports to be from Samuel Adams, but
>without any date or source affixed.  Here it is:
>"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless
>minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men."
>For some reason, this quotation feels phony to me.  I think it might be the
>combination of an adjectival phrase like "keen on" and the phrase "brush
>fires of freedom."  Those sound 20th-century or even 21st-century to me.
>Does anyone with expert knowledge of Samuel Adams have any light to shed on
>this matter?
>Respectfully submitted,
>R. B. Bernstein
>-- R. B. Bernstein * Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law, New
>York Law School * Adjunct Professor of Political Science and
>History, Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies, City College
>of New York, CUNY * Moderator and Member of Editorial Board, H-LAW *
>Member, Board of Directors, American Society for Legal History
>(2011-2014) * Author, THOMAS JEFFERSON (Oxford, 2003; paperback,
>paperback, 2011) * rbbernstein at gmail.com, rbernstein at nyls.edu,
>rbernstein at ccny.cuny.edu

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