What Does it Mean to be a Patriot? Who is Entitled to use the Term?

in about Warren

“For the New-York Journal.

It appears by the eastern papers, that the public spirited measures, for the encouragement of frugality, industry, and American manufactures, still spread and increase, in all the New-England provinces, notwithstanding the utmost endeavours of some malignant and infamous writers that infest them; among whom, one who stiles himself A True Patriot [of Swanzey], (and may, ironically, be properly termed so) has distinguished himself: These writers, the True Patriot [of Swanzey] in particular, cannot be more odious, and contemptible in the places where he resides, than he is to all the more western colonies in general, that have seen his productions.  His argument, that the parliament’s resolve, that they have a right to tax America, proves that right, is as convincing, as it is, that the name the writer has assumed, proves him A True Patriot.”

Source: Boston Gazette, January 18, 1768, issue 668, p. 3

Commentary: The pseudonymous Loyalist defender of the Townshend Duties, styling himself A True Patriot of Swanzey and writing in the Boston Evening-Post, continues to draw the ire of Sons of Liberty writing in Edes and Gill’s Boston Gazette. The author of this particular piece is unknown.

Just who is entitled to claim being a true patriot? Whig mockery and rebuttals have not yet silenced or castigated the True Patriot of Swanzey to the satisfaction of Boston Gazette writers.

Joseph Warren’s pen is still sheathed in this skirmish of the Whig versus Loyalist newspaper wars. That is about to change.

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