James Otis

Why We Need James Otis

Mark J. Fitzgibbons, The American Thinker

John Adams wrote about James Otis’ fiery argument in court against the Writs of Assistance in 1761: “[T]he child independence was then and there born.” A 1783 eulogy poem written by Thomas Dawes described Otis as “first in patriot fame.”

A Lawsuit Against Arrogant Government Sparked American Independence

In 1761 James Otis litigated against the Writs of Assistance. He argued brilliantly against these instruments of arbitrary power as destructive of liberty and the fundamental principles of law. Otis lost the case, but John Adams would later say, “There and then, the child of Independence was born.”