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by William James Sidis
(Written sometime between July 25, 1938 and July 17, 1944, probably during 1938;
unsigned for reasons which become apparent once one reads his words.
Bill Sidis apparently used this text as notes to his,
The Tribes and the States,
as you may verify by examining pp. 208-9 of Amy Wallace's,
The prodigy.)

(Only minor edits: Sidis spelled Paul Revere, 'Rever.'
We retained his British spellings.
We retained his original page and paragraph structure best we could considering
modern proportional fonts and spacings. We removed some paragraphical hyphens.
Our italics and color emphasis. Our notes. Our hyperlinks. Our conjectures.

Special thanks to:
Wendy Chmielewski of Swarthmore College,
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Gray Champion,
(multiple online public domain providers)
Amy Wallace's The Prodigy,
Robert M. Pirsig,
Dan Mahony,
Sarah Sidis-Mandelbaum's grand-nephew,
A. A. Walsh of Salve Regina University, and
Compton's Encyclopedia.


  On April 18, 1689, when New England had been under absolute dictator-  
ship for four years, the dictator, Sir Edmund Andros, marching at the head of his militia, walked around the corner which is now Washington & State Streets in Boston and into the swiftest and most effective revolution in the world's history, and another hour saw Dictator Andros in jail and representative government being rebuilt in Boston. Local legend has it that, just before populace went into action, a Gray Champion suddenly appeared, between the crowd and the tyrant, worked Andros into a rage and the crowd into the spirit of rebellion, and then disappeared. According to the same legend, this Gray Champion has appeared on numerous other occasions that were in one way or another critical for the liberties of New England, similarly appearing long enough to work up the spirit of liberty in the people, and then disappearing.


  Recent versions of this legend have it that on one of the occasions of the  
Gray Champion's reappearance was at the Boston Draft Riots of July 1, 1917, when, at various points in and around Boston Common, large numbers of people demonstrated in protest at the prospect of being conscripted to fight for a government pretending to "save the world for democracy." There it was reported that at Park Square, where the fight began, an elderly man was seen in a third story window, sitting there calmly in spite of the showers of missiles that darkened the air of Park Square, and apparently lending encouragement by his presence to the crowds fighting against the draft; but, when a government gang burst into the suite where he was seen, he had disappeared, no one knows how or where.



  In this particular instance, an actual identification has been made of the man

who played the part of Gray Champion for the time being. He was well acquainted with the legend of the Gray Champion, and admired that character without ever finding out during his whole life that he himself was one of the incarnations of the Gray Champion. As is fitting for an earthly representative of the spirit typified by the Gray Champion, this man had always been fighting for liberty, equality, and justice. He has always been a pioneer in trying out new ideas and joining new movements that would seem likely to effect a change in the structure of society towards these ends.

  It was, the same man who, in 1934, suggested that such ends might best be

attained by some movement built in accordance with American principles and precedents in order to be better able to function in America among American people; and to that end, suggested that be attempted to inaugurate a movement based on America's Declaration of Independence and on the revolutionary traditions represented by that document. The seed of this idea grew slowly, but a group organised on that basis finally got together on January 7, 1936, and is now gradually growing into a new type of movement, a truly American movement based on a new type of society based on liberty. The man who had once unconsciously played the part of New England's spirit of liberty, the Gray Champion, was once more playing that part in a different way. He never was willing to take credit for instituting this new movement, though it was his suggestion that gave it the original start.

  Again in accord with the role of the Gray Champion, when his work in  
starting this new movement had reached a point where the Gray Champion was not needed, where the required start has already been given, he made his final disappearance, leaving this earth on July 25, 1938. New England's Gray Champion, of course, will continue to live as long as the ground is inhabited; but New England's followers of liberty and of individual rights have lost a man who has really done something for their cause in that capacity. It is up to us who are left to carry on the spirit that will keep alive the Gray Champion that is part of New England's soil, to sink the differences to which other groups may bid us, in order that we may all cooperate in working for the spirit of American liberty which is the real significance of the Gray Champion.






  We are now celebrating the 250th anniversary of the time when this country  
overthrew a strong dictatorship in what has been described as the fastest and most effective revolution in the world's history.  
  In the 17th century, New England, particularly Massachusetts, Connecticut,  
and Rhode Island, had been used to a remarkable degree of self-government, without interference from outside. After the Puritan revolt (that introduced into England some of the American ideas of rights) was suppressed in England, the royal restoration attempted a series of punishments of the Puritan colonies in America; this started a series of disputes between New England and Britain on the questions of self government and individual rights. As punitive measures increased, finally an English court decision voided the charter organising Massachusetts' government.  
  At this time James II became king and his experience governing New York  
as his personal estate determined him to try the same with New England. Sir Edmund Andros, who had governed New York for him, and who had blocked representative government there for some time, was called on by King James to govern New England. It took an English fleet to install him in Boston's Province House; then Sir Edmund Andros proceeded methodically to eradicate all traces of popular government. When his dictatorship started, his domains included Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine; this was in 1685, but the domains were much extended before he was through.  
  The New England town meeting, that super-democratic institution, whereby  
local government was (and still is in many parts of New England) conducted by regular meetings of the voters, was ruthlessly suppressed by Andros, though secret town meetings continued to function and hold the people's allegiance. Most of the people of Ipswich were once arrested for holding such a meeting. Lands were confiscated wholesale to pass out to Andros' friends. Andros forbade an attempt to start a newspaper in Boston—it was the first attempt made at periodical printing of the news for the public, but the dictator feared distribution of the news. In many cases, people who avoided expressing political opinions were harassed by Andros, who demanded definite answers, stating "Either you are subjects or you are rebels"—and thereby put some ideas into their heads. A delegation who complained to him about the burden of taxation he imposed, were told: "It is not for His Majesty's interests that you should thrive."  
  In the meantime, secret opposition was growing, and there was even an  
unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Andros. As terror grew, opposition grew; but Andros was allowed to enjoy the pride that leads to a fall, as success depended entirely on the element of surprise.  
  In 1688, Andros' territory was extended to include Rhode Island,  
Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. There was little difficulty taking possession of the latter two provinces. In Providence the charter government tried to delay surrender, but Andros had his militia take possession, and destroy the colonial records, while he himself burned the charter and smashed the seal. In Hartford the charter authorities had already passed records and seal to him over a table, where he wrote "Finis" at the end of the Connecticut records; the charter was on the table, ready to pass over, when suddenly the lights went out, and, before they could be re-lit, the charter was gone; and, though this did not prevent Andros from taking possession, it made the people of Connecticut feel that the symbol of their legal right to self-government was still in operation.  
  Further terrorism was attempted by starting witchcraft prosecutions—a thing  
almost unknown in New England under the Puritan government. This helped to crystallize the opposition, which now kept close watch all over Andros' movements.  
  On the morning April 18, 1689—just 250 years ago today—came the big  
surprise. The dictator was marching at the head of his militia (as he often liked to do) along his usual well-known route, while all sorts of rumors filled the air as to his malicious intentions. As practice he turned a corner, he suddenly found himself face to face with an angry crowd filling the big  


square just beyond (which cannot be seen until the corner is turned). Where  
the crowd came from still remains a mystery, as it was a bigger crowd than Boston of that day could readily have recruited from its inhabitants, and most of the crowd must have come in from outside towns for the purpose. But there it was; and when Andros angrily ordered his troops to get ready to fire, further reserves of the crowd started pouring out of the buildings along the street, thus getting to the soldiers from side and rear, and took the guns away from them; and, as the town jail happened to be at the spot, it was the work of a few minutes for the crowd to grab Sir Edmund Andros and a few of his advisors and put them behind the bars. A volunteer "committee of safety" appeared to take charge and keep the peace in the town, and, the next morning, —April 19—a democratic government was again formed in Massachusetts; Andros was transported, for further safe-keeping, to Castle Island in Boston Harbor. On the afternoon following the uprising, a ship entered the harbor, and brought the news that King James II had been overthrown by a revolution in England—a thing which, incidentally, had been among the rumors circulating during the morning of the revolt.  
  Towns in Massachusetts, one after the other, hastened to declare their  
allegiance at town meetings to the restored Puritan regime. Other parts of New England followed the lead of Massachusetts in restoring their former governments, most of which had been functioning secretly all the time; while in Hartford, to emphasise the continuity of the democratic regime, the Connecticut charter was dramatically pulled out of its hiding place in the hollow of an old oak tree. In New Jersey, the proprietary government of Lord Carteret was restored during May, leaving only New York still loyal to Andros; but on July 6, a New York Dutchman named Leisler led a revolt against the Andros regime, and deposed the local Andros agents there. Boston had taken less than an hour in getting rid of its dictator; less than six weeks were needed to wipe out all traces of the regime from America.  
  This revolution is a memorable one for many reasons, and its anniversary  
deserves celebration. For one thing, it is a good indication of what happens in America when anyone tries to take too much power. It is also of interest to note the surprise tactics used there, a characteristic of American revolts which seems to be essential to their success in this country. We must suppose some sort of secret organisation behind the crowd that appeared in Boston in this instance, but it is remarkable how the dictator, got no wind of what was coming. Had there been any mass demonstrations attempted as a preliminary, the revolt would have been quickly crushed; but the surprise element carried everything through to success.  
  It is also curious to note how the date, April 18 and 19, keep recurring in  
Massachusetts history in connection with liberty; the most prominent other instance of this being in the Middlesex uprising of 1775, when preparations made on this same anniversary, April 18 (symbolised by the legend of Paul Revere's ride "on the eighteenth of April in seventy-five") led to the battles of Lexington and Concord on the 19th, which ushered in the great American Revolution. It is even alleged that the foundation of the Penacook Federation, the first democratic federate government in the world, was on these two days.  
  In any case, the occasion is a memorable one for freedom, and should be  
celebrated in the appropriate spirit of resistance to any encroachment of authority, no matter from what direction it may come.  


Note 1 - Andros connection, i.e., links to Sir Edmund Andros information:

Compton's Encyclopedia
The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School
Instructions to Sir Edmund Andros
Massachusetts Intercharter Period 1686-1692 - See April 18, 1689


Note 2 - Hawthorne connection, i.e., The Gray Champion.


Note 3 - We can juxtapose Sidis' The Modern Gray Champion Sidis' precursory hint at his own Gray Champion's reappearance.with Hawthorne's, The Gray Champion:


"Oh! Lord of Hosts," cried a voice among the crowd, "provide a Champion for thy people!"

This ejaculation was loudly uttered, and served as a herald's cry, to introduce a remarkable personage. The crowd had rolled back, and were now huddled together nearly at the extremity of the street, while the soldiers had advanced no more than a third of its length. The intervening space was empty—a paved solitude, between lofty edifices, which threw almost a twilight shadow over it. Suddenly, there was seen the figure of an ancient man, who seemed to have emerged from among the people, and was walking by himself along the centre of the street, to confront the armed band. He wore the old Puritan dress, a dark cloak and a steeple-crowned hat, in the fashion of at least fifty years before, with a heavy sword upon his thigh, but a staff in his hand, to assist the tremulous gait of age.

When at some distance from the multitude, the old man turned slowly round, displaying a face of antique majesty, rendered doubly venerable by the hoary beard that descended on his breast. He made a gesture at once of encouragement and warning, then turned again, and resumed his way.

"Who is this gray patriarch?" asked the young men of their sires.

"Who is this venerable brother?" asked the old men among themselves.

But none could make reply. The fathers of the people, those of four-score years and upwards, were disturbed, deeming it strange that they should forget one of such evident authority, whom they must have known in their early days, the associate of Winthrop and all the old Councillors, giving laws, and making prayers, and leading them against the savage. The elderly men ought to have remembered him, too, with locks as gray in their youth, as their own were now. And the young! How could he have passed so utterly from their memories—that hoary sire, the relic of long departed times, whose awful benediction had surely been bestowed on their uncovered heads, in childhood?

"Whence did he come? What is his purpose? Who can this old man be?" whispered the wondering crowd.

Meanwhile, the venerable stranger, staff in hand, was pursuing his solitary walk along the centre of the street. As he drew near the advancing soldiers, and as the roll of their drum came full upon his ear, the old man raised himself to a loftier mien, while the decrepitude of age seemed to fall from his shoulders, leaving him in gray, but unbroken dignity. Now, he marched onward with a warrior's step, keeping time to the military music. Thus the aged form advanced on one side, and the whole parade of soldiers and magistrates on the other, till, when scarcely twenty yards remained between, the old man grasped his staff by the middle, and held it before him like a leader's truncheon.

"Stand!" cried he.

The eye, the face, and attitude of command; the solemn, yet warlike peal of that voice, fit either to rule a host in the battle-field or be raised to God in prayer, were irresistible. At the old man's word and outstretched arm, the roll of the drum was hushed at once, and the advancing line stood still. A tremulous enthusiasm seized upon the multitude. That stately form, combining the leader and the saint, so gray, so dimly seen, in such an ancient garb, could only belong to some old champion of the righteous cause, whom the oppressor's drum had summoned from his grave. They raised a shout of awe and exultation, and looked for the deliverance of New-England.


It would appear that Sidis imagines this same patriarch reappearing as the, "elderly a third story window."


Note 4 - We still have this deluded view in America today. What does it mean for us to say we want to, "Save the world for Democracy?" What do we have to assume in order to make a statement like that? Essentially, we have to assume SOM. We have to assume One Global Context fits all. We have to assume people in Democracy have and know absolute answers about what is right for all of our Earth's people. Can we do that? MoQ says, "No!" not without depriving people of their liberties. MoQ says there are many contexts and many truths, not just one. Our Earth's many cultures must globally cooperate and locally defend without any totalitarian, global control organization dictating global law for all. Global cohesion/cooperation with individual autonomy/responsibility is nature's way.


Note 5 - Reader, there is a tad 'O mystery here. Amy Wallace in her, The Prodigy, says on pp. 208-9, "In 1938, he penned a curious document in which he obliquely hinted that he was the actual incarnation of the mysterious Gray Champion,..." What you see on this page is that "curious" document. It only hints at Sidis' self-perception as The Modern Gray Champion.

If you trace a sequence of occurrences of Gray Champion, you see something like this:

  1. A Gray Champion in Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Gray Champion, from his, Twice Told Tales (1837, 1851). This Gray Champion is a resurrected spirit of ancient demeanor and superior stature and mettle.
  2. Gray Champion who appeared at Boston's July 1,1917 Draft Riots. Again, an elderly gentleman appeared and excited a crowd. Sidis tells us he was identified, but he does not tell us who it is. Amy tends to say Sidis thinks it is himself, but Sidis was not elderly then. He was only 19 years old.
  3. Same identified Gray Champion, in 1934, begins laying groundwork for a liberty movement in America. Sidis did this very thing! But surely he was not just one person who was working on a liberty movement in America. We know of others, too.
  4. On January 7, 1936 a movement was started. This corresponds quite well with Sidis' and others' commencement of AIS, American Independence Society.
  5. Sidis strongly hints that he is both himself and The Modern Gray Champion playing a continuing role in AIS and other organizations. If you have read our other work here, you know we have conjectured — based on our own intuitions and Sam Rosenberg's, The Streetcar Named Paradise, that William James Sidis is a quantum-sophist. No Aristotelian objectivist could muster intellect at Sidis' level. Sidis certainly lived and worked in many realms, not just one most of us perceive here in our self-SOM-imprisoned static lives. William James Sidis merged those realms into a palace of intellect beyond mundane and objective measures of wisdom and wit. The Modern Gray Champion's was only one of many rooms in Bill's palatial paradise.
  6. Sidis' Modern Gray Champion finally disappeared on July 25, 1938. We attempted to align this date to others we know, only to fail. In Germany, on July 25, 1938, Nazis revoked rights of Jewish doctors to practice. That however seems like a reason for Sidis' Modern Gray Champion to take on a new cause, not to disappear. Hmmm... If you know of a corresponding event which aligns with The Modern Gray Champion's disappearance, please let us know.

    One more relevant connection here: Mollie Fancher! See A. A. Walsh's (Anthony A. Walsh, Ph.D., Salve Regina University) paper (Mollie Fancher...the Brooklyn Enigma — The Psychological Marvel of the 19th Century) on her, and compare a disappearance of one of her multiple/quantum-sophist personalities, "The Mollie of the period 1866-1875 may be named the 'isolated [Madame] X-personality,'" and its subsequent alternates: Sunbeam, Idol, Rosebud, Ruby, Pearl, and the 'real' Mollie Fancher.


Note 6 - Bill Sidis was a die-hard atheist, however, we see him here as a self-depicted spiritual man. More quantum sophistry?


Note 7 - We need another trip to Swarthmore to verify dates, but Bill Sidis started organizing ~clandestine "Liberty" groups and organizations about this time. See Amy Wallace's, The Prodigy, index.


Note 8 - If you read his correspondence with Julius Eichel carefully, you will see that Bill Sidis (assuming he is talking about himself here) depicts himself more ideally (here) than he actually behaves. He became very upset when Eichel did not acknowledge him as a key player in a "Liberty" meeting. In Sidis' subsequent correspondence with Eichel, just prior to his (Sidis') death, he became visceral when he perceived Eichel, et al., heading in a different direction which Bill did not like.

One may see Bill's tension building as he approaches a transition from his metamorphosis on Earth. His writing degenerates. Another pattern develops in his Eichel correspondence. When he cannot retain a job, Bill Sidis' life-long hatred of money places him in a quasi-welfare state, dependent on others to help him. In his correspondence with Eichel, Bill elicits a tenor of expectancy. He queries his obligation to repay. (He does repay until near his transition.) Finally, he receives some cash from his settled lawsuit, and all discussion of financial matters cease from that point forward.


Note 9 - If you know information about this date, July 25, 1938, please email us: NOFLAMEqtx{at}earthlink{dot}netNOSPAM. Thanks in advance for any assistance you might provide.


Note 10 - In Quantonics, we are doing our part in this regard. We see SOM's objectivism and CR's relativism standing on an identical Aristotelian foundation. Read this quoted from our 16Apr99 letter to The Washington Times:

"Both classical culture [SOM] and post modernism [CR], indeed all Western ISMs, share a common schismatic disease. All are ill! Yes, their common illness spreads, as [Paul Craig] Roberts fears, via academia. It spreads equally well in both warring classical and post modernist schools. Yet each acts like it is well and argues that its opponent has a disease.

"Now we know. We have two major factions fighting a war about a disease both have, each only detecting symptoms, and blaming their opponent. As long as both share one disease, neither will win any culture war. Until we eradicate this disease, we shall continue our lose-lose culture wars."

Their shared foundation emerses combative stances of SOM and CR against one another. Americans as a culture, must evolve away from this wrath-filled oppositional Homerian/Aristotelian foundation. In our opinion, American's must evolve toward a more MoQ-like, quantum philosophy, science, and culture. We can be aware of why we are evolving. We can be aware of what we may choose to become. Our forefathers were. Are we?

We think this is a major part of our Millennium III problem (M3K).


Thanks for reading,


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©Quantonics, Inc., 1999-2006 (Page design, Revisions, and Comments only) Rev. 1Mar2002  PDR — Created 28Oct99  PDR
(3Apr2000 rev - Correct typos.)
(23May2000 rev - Change Rhode Island 'Andros' link to similar Massachusetts link.)
(24Dec2000 rev - Alter title format slightly.)
(15Feb2001 rev - Remove a dead link.)
(19Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-breaker.)
(1Mar2002 rev - Apply Scott's rev's without verifying original.)