James Otis Writings and Biography

Otis, James; 1725-1783; lawyer, political writer and early leader, firebrand defender of American Rights in opposition to British tyranny; resigned royal office to fight in court the infamous Writs of Assistance Act in 1761; elected to Mass. legislature, 1761 and a political leader of the Colony until 1769; an organizer of Sons of Liberty--ardent supporters of cause of "Liberty"; wrote his famous "The Rights of the British Colonies--Asserted and Proved," 1764---adopted by Mass. legislature as own document; member of Stamp Act Congress; he and Sam. Adams, as members of Mass. legislature, largely instrumental in drafting many "State Papers" in support of American rights against British tyranny; a head injury in 1771 virtually ended his usefulness.