Unfortunately, there is no written record of Samuel Adams’ master’s thesis. Instruction at Harvard College in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries was imparted through a traditional regimen of lecture, recitation, and disputation. Commencement exercises for the Harvard Master's degree included the Quaestiones, a single question chosen by each candidate, to be discussed in the affirmative or negative. In 1743, when Samuel Adams returned to Harvard for his AM degree, he proposed to affirmatively answer the question, "Is it lawful to resist the supreme magistrate, if the commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved?" His was not a public speaking part, however, and the text of his argument was not recorded.
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