7. Cassius
Massachusetts Gazette, 14 September 1787

When the myrmidons of Britain first crossed the Atlantick to invade the rights of freemen, and lay law and liberty prostrate at the feet of a British tyrant, different parties arose in the United States. Some, and a very considerable number, were for tamely submitting to the arbitrary mandates of a venal British parliament. Another party was formed, consisting of characters, who meant to keep still, and not intermeddle with affairs on either side; thereby thinking to secure their persons and property, on whatever side victory was declared. Another, and by far the greatest party, was composed of those who meant to risk their lives and fortunes in support of the rights of human nature; who meant, either to live in the perfect enjoyment of liberty, with the privileges of making their own laws, and choosing their own rulers, or nobly offer up their lives as a sacrifice on the altar of freedom. Their virtuous exertions, under the auspices of an over-ruling power, were crowned with the merited success. That party, who had avowed themselves to be in favour of the cause of Britain, were obliged to fly, in order to avoid the just vengeance threatened against them by an injured people, and to seek safety and protection under the government, whose views and measures they thought fit to adopt. That party, who remained inactive spectators of the cause, had been guilty of nothing, at least openly, by which they could be impeached by the laws of the land; they therefore remained in the quiet enjoyment of their possessions, without receiving any other punishment than the sting of remorse, and the neglect of their countrymen. It might reasonably have been supposed, after what had happened, that they would have demeaned themselves as good subjects of a government which had been secured to them, through the hazardous exertions of others, but without any danger on their part. Common gratitude, at least, demanded thus much of them. But, mortified and humbled to the last degree, they beheld, with envy, the growing honours conferred on those heroes, who had fought the battles of freedom, and on those statesmen who had assisted in the councils of their country, at that important period. Not content to enjoy the blessings of peace under the government of those who had dearly acquired it, they wished to have a hand in the government themselves.

In Massachusetts, a clan of these once ne=afuters have, in some respects, been more successful than their brethren in the other states: many of them being men of large interests, they pitched upon aristocracy as a government which would best suit their inclinations, provided they could gain their point. An opportunity soon offered for them to try their influence—Money will go a great way. They so far effected their plans as to get some of their party into places of high trust. Too precipitate in the pursuit of their darling scheme, their views soon became manifest.—Their conduct, in a short time, involved the state in the utmost confusion, and excited in some parts of it an open rebellion, which was with difficulty and expense at length subdued.—Various were the arts practised to keep in their places those men through whose views the people began clearly to see; but all in vain—the most infamous lies were propagated in different parts of the state, in order to mislead the people concerning the real cause of the commotions which subsisted, but without effect—the publick eye was too penetrating for their designs; nor could all the tempting charms of a BRIBE, induce the people again to put confidence in men whom they had found to be enemies [to?] their peace and happiness: they treated the li[es that we?]re circulated as they deserved; nor were they so far strangers to what was for their own interest as to view the offer of a bribe in any other light but that of contempt. Thus far defeated in their endeavours [to?] effect the introduction of aristocracy, they were obliged to retire from political affairs, and give up their hopes for the present, and leave the event to a future period.

Contrary to their expectations, when those men who had from the first been open and avowed friends to the independence of America, were again called upon to take the guidance of affairs, matters went on well; peace and tranquillity seemed again to be shedding their influence through the state; the generality of the people satisfied with their rulers, from a thorough knowledge of their principles and merit. This was a matter so galling to the aristocratick junto, that they could by no means rest easy in their situation.—They set their herd of dupes and tools to work immediately, to spread sentiments of disloyalty to government abroad among the people, to misrepresent the conduct of the rulers in every respect, and to do all in their power to render them odious; in hopes, perhaps, of stirring up another commotion, the issue of which would be more favourable to them.

Accordingly, a band of sycophants instantly took up their pens in order to defend the conduct of the late a——st——n, and blacken the deeds of the present. Foremost of these stands a Numa, whom I shall in a future publication further notice: for the present I will drop the subject, with informing Numa and his host, that, in my opinion, his and their productions will have no other tendency than to heap infamy on their own heads.