Quincy, Josiah, 1744–75, political leader in the American Revolution

Quincy, Josiah kwĭnˈzē [key], 1744–75, political leader in the American Revolution, b. Boston. An outstanding lawyer, he wrote a series of anonymous articles for the Boston Gazette in which he opposed the Stamp Act and other British colonial policies. Nevertheless, Quincy, along with John Adams, defended the British soldiers in the trial after the Boston Massacre. In 1773 he went to South Carolina for his health and on his journey established connections with other colonial leaders. His Observations on the Act of Parliament Commonly Called the Boston Port Bill (1774) was an important political tract. He was sent (1774) as an agent to argue the colonial cause in England and died on the way home. His son, also named Josiah Quincy, wrote a memoir of him (1825, 2d ed. 1874).

See study by R. A. McCaughey (1974).

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