Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 141
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 141
conduct they succeeded in staving off for the moment further action by the mob, which was much emboldened by the lack of resistance. Soon, however, the populace became once more worked up to the pitch of violence by the taunts and harangues of the radical leaders,—hot-headed men of small capacity and much energy, part patriot and part demagogue. They threatened to assault the fort; and the mayor and aldermen, to prevent civil war, earnestly besought the governor to give them the stamps for safe keeping. The humiliation of such a course was at first too much for the governor; but neither he nor the commander-in-chief, General Gage, possessed the iron temper fitted to grapple with such an emergency. After some delay they yielded, and surrendered the stamps to the municipal authorities, while the people at large celebrated their victory with wild enthusiasm, and felt a natural contempt for the government they had overcome. The tyranny which imposes an unjust law, and then abandons the effort to enforce it for fear of mob-violence is thoroughly despicable. The least respectable form of oppression is that which is constantly miscalculating its own powers, and is never quite able to make up its own mind.
  However, the repeal of the Stamp Act produced such universal satisfaction in America that all outward signs of disloyalty to the Crown



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