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James Otis Jr.
JamesOtisJr by Blackburn.jpg
Portrait by Joseph Blackburn, 1755
Born (1725-02-05)February 5, 1725
Died May 23, 1783(1783-05-23) (aged 58)
Resting place Granary Burying Ground, Boston
Occupation lawyer, political activist, pamphleteer and legislator
Known for

Oration against British writs of assistance February 5, 1761 which catapulted him into the first ranks of Patriot leaders. The executive Courts must pass such acts into disuse." "A man's house is his castle.... this writ [of assistance] would totally annihilate this privilege.

Custom-house officers may enter our houses when they please."
Spouse(s) Ruth Cunningham
Children James, Elizabeth Brown
Mary Lincoln
Parent(s) James Otis Sr.
Mary Allyne
Statue of James Otis Jr in Barnstable
Bronze sculpture of James Otis Jr. in front of the Barnstable County Courthouse

James Otis Jr. (February 5, 1725 – May 23, 1783) was a lawyer in colonial Massachusetts, a member of the Massachusetts provincial assembly, and an early advocate of the Patriot views against British policy that led to the American Revolution. His catchphrase "Taxation without representation is tyranny" became the basic Patriot position.


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