Andrew Oliver was the lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 28, 1706; died there, March 3, 1774. . . Oliver graduated from Harvard in 1724. He was chosen as a member of the general court, and afterward of the council. In 1748 he was sent with his brother-in-law, Governor Thomas Hutchinson, as a commissioner to the Albany congress that met to conclude peace with the heads of the Six Nations and arrange a rectification of the frontier. In 1756 he was appointed secretary of the province.
When the British parliament passed the stamp-act he made himself odious to the patriotic party by accepting the office of distributor of stamps. He was re-elected a councilor by a bare majority on August 14, 1765. An effigy of him was hung between figures of Lord Bute and George Grenville, on the large elm called the “liberty tree.” In the evening the multitude, with cries of “Liberty, property, and no stamps!” demolished the structure that was being built for a stamp office. Oliver’s life was in danger, and the next morning he signed a public pledge that he would not act as stamp-officer.
A few months later there was a rumor that he intended to enforce the stamp-act, and on the day of the opening of parliament the Sons of Liberty compelled him to march to the tree and there renew his promise in a speech, and take oath before a justice of the peace, Richard Dana, that he would never, directly or indirectly, take measures for the collection of the stamp duty.
In 1770 he was appointed lieutenant-governor, his letters, with those of Hutchinson and others, recommending the dispatch of troops to this country, and the criminal prosecution of Samuel Adams and other patriots, were shown to Benjamin Franklin (q. v.) in England, as expressions from Americans of weight and station. Party feelings ran so high at the time of his death, that Hutchinson says “A large mob attended upon his interment and hurrahed at the entombing of his body, and that night there was an exhibition at a public window of a coffin, and insignia of infamy.”
I thought about Andrew Oliver when I read this by Glenn Thrush at Polico.com.
September 17, 2009
Categories: Bad Behavior
Pelosi warns right of inciting "violence" — invoking Harvey Milk murder
An uncharacteristically emotional Nancy Pelosi is warning Republicans — and other groups getting whipped up over the health care debate — not to incite unstable supporters who might repeat acts of violence that struck San Francisco in the 1970s.
A top Pelosi aide later confirmed reporters' suggestions that her statement was a reference to the City Hall murder of gay rights activist Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in November 1978 — an earth-shattering experience for Bay Area Democrats like the speaker.
Pelosi stumbled when asked about Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst and its impact on civility in the House, momentarily overcome by emotion.
"I think we all have to take action and responsibility for our words — we are a free country and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we, um, have to carefully balance," said Pelosi, who made no direct mention of Republicans.
A House leadership aide later told me that Democrats have become increasingly concerned by the ratcheting up of rhetoric on both sides — and particularly alarmed by the recent hanging in effigy of Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.) by a tea party activist on the Eastern Shore.
"I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco, this king of rhetoric. ... It created a climate in which violence took place. ... I wish we would all curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements and understand that some of the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statements may assume."
Pelosi, according to her spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, was referring to Supervisor Dan White's murder of Milk and Moscone, the basis for last year's film "Milk."
She added: "You have to take responsibility for any incitement that [the speaker's words] may cause."
The speaker, who served as California state party chairwoman before being elected to the House, was a gay rights advocate who attended Milk's funeral.
Ironically, the most notorious act of violence to afflict the health care debate was the recent scrum between a pro-reform protester and a tea party activist in which the liberal bit off part of the conservative's finger after being punched in the face.
The Pelosi scrap mirrors an earlier fight. In April, the Department of Homeland Security set off a firestorm of protest when it acknowledged it had produced a report titled: "Right-Wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," which warned that right-wing groups could be spurred to violence by the election of the nation's first African-American president.
Republicans — still upset at Pelosi's charge that disruptions by town hall protesters were "un-American" — were quick to take issue.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) is the first House GOPer to take issue with Pelosi's contention that the vehemence of anti-health care reform rhetoric could lead to a wave of violence akin to that which hit San Francisco in the '70s:
“Speaker Pelosi is right that the American people are upset, but it is her own words that continue to fuel voter frustration in America," Sessions said in a statement sent to POLITICO. "No longer content with criticizing concerned citizens for being ‘un-American,’ the Speaker is now likening genuine opposition to assassination. Such insulting rhetoric not only undermines the credibility of her office, but it underscores the desperate attempt by her party to divert attention away from a failing agenda."
Sessions, who raised eyebrows earlier this year by suggesting the House GOP minority needed to adapt the insurgent politics of the Taliban, added: "During one of the most important policy debates of our time, the American people have been completely abandoned by those elected representatives under her control. Voters are justifiably frustrated with Washington, and the Speaker's verbal assault on voters accomplishes nothing other than furthering her reputation for being wildly out of touch with the American people.”
Of course, as we see above, hanging in effigy is a grand old American free speech tradition. Here's a recent example of a leftie hanging Sarah Palin in effigy:
Now this is fair, although neither side will admit it when they themselves are hung in effigy. I wouldn't be surprised if "Waco Jim" Cavanaugh, Jody "The Witch" Keeku or James P. "Little Jimmy" Vann didn't each keep some sort of hanging effigy, or, in the case of Keeku as a rumored practicioner of the dark arts, a voodoo doll, of yours truly. I don't bother with hanging effigies of them, of course. What could surpass my words as weapons? ;-)
But it is, I think, more than hanging effigies that move Nancy Pelosi to becoming "uncharacteristically emotional." Pelosi could care less if people came to her funeral to cheer, as they did with Andrew Oliver.
No, Pelosi is concerned about something near and dear to every heathen politician's heart -- her own life. This is her concern: that Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk were killed before their time (ironically by another Democrat, but I'm sure in Pelosi's mind that fact is conveniently forgotten). As her memory contracts to that one vignette -- standing by their graves, with dirt soon to be shoveled over the coffins containing their dead faces -- I'm sure that even today, Pelosi brushes a few stray particles of the imaginary dirt from her own face with a shudder.
She should not be so revealing about the stuff of her nightmares.
Someday, as the result of the deadly policies she endorses and advances, someone might, with justice on their mind, introduce her to her own personal boogeyman.
And THAT would be a tragedy for all concerned.