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Title: Tea Leaves
       Being a Collection of Letters and Documents relating to
              the shipment of Tea to the American Colonies in the year
              1773, by the East India Tea Company. (With an introduction,
              notes, and biographical notices of the Boston Tea Party)

Author: Various

Commentator: Francis S. Drake

Editor: A.O. Crane

Release Date: January 15, 2008 [EBook #24321]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Christine D. and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was made using scans of
public domain works from the University of Michigan Digital







East India Tea Company








Entered according to Act of Congress, at Washington, DC., 1884, By A.O. Crane, Boston, Mass.

Smith & Porter, Printers, Boston.



The collection of letters and documents which has occasioned the preparation of the present volume, though it has been so long buried in obscurity, appears to have been originally made with a view to publication. It was for many years, and until his decease, in the possession of Mr. Abel Bowen, a well-known engraver and publisher, of Boston, sixty years ago, and was obtained by him from a person who procured it in Halifax, N.S., whither many valuable papers, both public and private, relating to New England, were carried, when in March, 1776, the British and Tories evacuated Boston. It contains interesting information relative to the tea troubles that preceded the American Revolution, much of it new to students of that eventful period.

To the kindness of Mrs. Benjamin Phipps and Mrs. Charles G. Butts, of Chelsea, daughters of Mr. Bowen, the publisher is indebted for permission to make public this valuable contribution to American history.[iv]


When contemplating the publication of "Tea Leaves," we issued a circular, stating our intention, and that, judging from the material then in our possession, the book would contain about two hundred and fifty pages, with six illustrations, three of them portraits.

We are happy to announce on the completion of the work, not only fulfillment of our promises, but much that is additional thereto. Included in its four hundred pages are twenty portraits, taken from family paintings, (one-half never before published,) eight other illustrations, fifty autographs, one hundred and twelve names of members of the Tea Party, (fifty-eight more than have been heretofore publicly known), and ninety-six biographies of the same.

Our circular called for a subscription book. All our paper-covered copies have been subscribed for. The balance of the edition is nicely bound in cloth, with embellished covers. Price, (as before), five dollars.

The publisher will welcome all new matter relating to the Tea question, and will be especially grateful for any hitherto unpublished portraits. Such material is desired for possible publication in a companion work to "Tea Leaves."

All who desire the Portraits and Illustrations separate from this volume, to be used in works on American history, can obtain them from the Publisher.

In conclusion, we thank our friends who have kindly assisted us, and if we have not given all credit by name, the neglect has been unintentional.

A.O. CRANE,               

2169 Washington St.,      

Boston, Mass.



Among the causes which led to the American Revolution, the one most prominent in the popular judgment is the "tax on tea," imposed by Great Britain on her American colonies. The destruction, in Boston harbor, in December, 1773, of the cargoes of tea sent to that port by the East India Company, was undoubtedly the proximate cause of that memorable event, and in view of this fact, the occurrence,—"by far the most momentous in the annals of the town," says the historian Bancroft,—merits a more thorough and particular consideration than it has yet received.

The silence necessarily preserved by the actors in this daring exploit, respecting their connection with it, has rendered this part of the task one of no little difficulty. Their secret was remarkably well kept; and but for the family traditions which survive, we should know very little of the men who composed the famous Boston tea party.

Nevertheless, the attempt to gather up the scattered fragments of personal reminiscence and biography, in order to give a little more completeness to this interesting chapter of our revolutionary history, is here made. The fortunate recovery, by the publisher of this volume, of the letters of the[vi] American consignees to the East India Company, and other papers shedding light upon the transaction, affords material aid in the accomplishment of our purpose.

When King Charles II. had finished that first cup of tea ever brewed in England,—the gift of the newly-created East India Company,—no sibyl was at hand to peer into the monarch's cup and foretell from its dregs, the dire disaster to his realm, hidden among those insignificant particles. Could a vision of those battered tea chests, floating in Boston harbor, with tu doces, in the legible handwriting of history, inscribed upon them, have been disclosed to him, even that careless, pleasure-loving prince would have been sobered by the lesson. It was left for his successor, George III., who failed to read the handwriting on the wall,—visible to all but the willfully blind,—to realize its meaning in the dismemberment of an empire.

A survey of the progress of the revolution up to the beginning of the year 1773, will help us to understand the political situation. Ten years of constant agitation had educated the people of the colonies to a clear perception of their rights, and also to a knowledge that it was the fixed purpose of the home government to deprive them of the one they most valued, namely, that of being taxed with their own consent, through their local assemblies, as had always been the custom, and not at the arbitrary will of the British parliament—a body in which they were not and could not be represented—three thousand miles away. The strange thing about this is, that the people of Great Britain should not have seen in the light of their own past history—what they have[vii] since seen clearly enough—that the Americans were only contending for principles for which their own ancestors had often fought, and which they had more than once succeeded in wresting from the grasp of arbitrary and tyrannical sovereigns.

Their difficulty seems to have been that they looked upon the Americans, not as equals, but as inferiors, as their subjects, and as having no rights that an Englishman was bound to respect. Even the celebrated moralist, Dr. Johnson, could say of the Americans, "They are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for anything we allow them short of hanging." King George III., that obstinate but well-meaning monarch, and his ministers, no doubt honestly believed that the republican tendencies of the colonists endangered British supremacy. Perhaps they were right in this, for it was the kind and degree of supremacy that was really in question. But in entertaining the belief that these tendencies could be eradicated at a blow, they were, as the event proved, grievously mistaken.

Another moving cause for the new policy toward the colonies was the heavy taxation at home,—a result of the late war. Some of this burden they hoped to transfer from their own shoulders to those of their transatlantic brethren.

The stamp act of 1765, repealed in the year following, was in 1767, succeeded by Charles Townshend's revenue acts, imposing duties on paper, painters' colors, glass and tea. The Americans opposed this measure with the only weapon at their command—the policy of non-importation. This policy, while causing much inconvenience to themselves, yet helped them materially in two ways. In the first place it stimulated[viii] home manufactures, and accustomed the people to do without luxuries, and in the second place by distressing British merchants and manufacturers, it brought the united influence of these two powerful bodies to bear upon parliament for a change in its policy.

The people of the colonies everywhere seconded the non-importation movement, entering at once upon a course of rigid self-denial, and their legislatures commended the scheme. An agreement, presented in the Virginia House of Burgesses, by Washington, was signed by every member. For more than a year, this powerful engine of retaliation waged war upon British commerce, in a constitutional way, before ministers would listen to petitions and remonstrances; and it was not until virtual rebellion in the British capital, born of commercial distress, menaced the ministry, that the expostulations of the Americans were noticed, except with sneers. Early in the year 1770, the obnoxious act was repealed, except as regarded tea. This item was retained in order that the right of parliamentary taxation of the colonies might be upheld. The liberal leaders of parliament did their best to prevent this exception, and the subject was fully and ably discussed, but they were overruled.

Besides these acts, which had aroused in the colonies a sentiment of union, and embodied an intelligent public opinion, there were others which had contributed to the same result. Such were the royal instructions by which, among other things, accused persons were to be sent to England, for trial. Still another, was the publication of a collection of letters from Governor Hutchinson, and other prominent colonial officials, revealing their agency in instigating the obnoxious measures. These and other aggravating causes had at[ix] length brought about that, without which, no revolution can succeed,—organization. Committees of correspondence, local and general, had been created, and were now in full operation.

One thing more was essential to the success of the colonists,—union. Instead of pulling different ways, as from a variety of causes they had hitherto done, the different colonies must bring their combined efforts to bear in order to effect the desired result. This was brought about by the destruction of the tea in Boston harbor, and by the Boston port bill, and other coercive measures, its immediate consequence.

The impolitic reservation of the duty on tea produced an association not to drink it, and caused all the merchants, except a few in Boston, to refuse its importation.

Three hundred women of Boston, heads of families, among them many of the highest standing, had, as early as February, 1770, signed an agreement not to drink any tea until the impost clause of the revenue acts was repealed. The daughters of liberty, both north and south, did the same. The young women of Boston followed the example of their mothers, and subscribed to the following pledge:

"We, the daughters of those patriots who have, and do now appear for the public interest, and in that principally regard their posterity, as such do with pleasure engage with them in denying ourselves the drinking of foreign tea, in hopes to frustrate a plan that tends to deprive a whole community of all that is valuable in life."

From this time forth tea was a proscribed beverage throughout the colonies. "Balsamic hyperion," made from the dried leaves of the raspberry plant; thyme, extensively used by the women of Connecticut; and various other substitutes came into general use. The newspapers of the day abound with details of social gatherings, in which foreign tea was totally discarded.[x] They also voiced the public abhorrence for it, or what it represented, by applying to it all the objurgatory and abusive epithets they could muster—and their vocabulary was by no means limited—such as "detestable," "cruel," "villainous," "pernicious," "fatal," "devilish," "fiendish," etc.

Of course there were those who would not deny themselves the use of tea,—drinking it clandestinely in garrets, or preparing it in coffee-pots to deceive the eye, resorting to any subterfuge in order to indulge in the use of their favorite beverage. These people, when found out, did not fail to receive the condemnation of the patriotic men and women, who, from principle, abstained. There was still a considerable consumption of tea in America, as the article could be obtained more cheaply from Holland than from the English East India Company, and on arrival here could easily be smuggled ashore. It was supposed that of the three millions of inhabitants of the colonies, one-third drank tea twice a day, Bohea being the kind preferred; and it was estimated that the annual consumption, in Massachusetts alone, was two thousand four hundred chests, some eight hundred thousand pounds.

Tea continued to arrive in Boston, but as no one would risk its sale, it was stored. The "Boston Gazette," in April, 1770, said: "There is not above one seller of tea in town who has not signed an agreement not to dispose of any tea until the late revenue acts are repealed."

John Hancock offered one of his vessels, free of charge, to re-ship the tea then stored in Boston. His offer was accepted, and a cargo despatched to London. So strict was the watch kept upon the traders, that many of those suspected of illicit dealings in tea, among whom was Hancock himself, found[xi] it convenient to publish cards declaring their innocence. Governor Hutchinson wrote at this time (April, 1770,) to Lord Hillsborough, the English secretary, "That the importers pleaded that they should be utterly ruined by this combination, but the Boston zealots had no bowels, and gave for answer, 'that if a ship was to bring us the plague, nobody would doubt what was necessary to be done with her;' but the present case is much worse than that." Theophilus Lillie, who was selling tea contrary to the agreement, found, one morning, a post planted before his door, upon which was a carved head, with the names of some tea importers on it, and underneath, a hand pointing towards his shop. One of his neighbors, an informer, named Richardson, asked a countryman to break the post down with his cart. A crowd gathered, and boys threw stones and chased Richardson to his house. He fired into them with a shotgun, and killed a German lad of eleven years, named Snider. At his funeral, five hundred children walked in front of the bier; six of his school-fellows held the pall, and a large procession moved from liberty tree to the town-house, and thence to the burying-place. This exciting affair, preceded by a few days only, the memorable "Boston massacre" of March 5, 1770.

The application of the East India Company to the British government for relief from pecuniary embarrassment, occasioned by the great falling off in its American tea trade, afforded the ministry just the opportunity it desired to fasten taxation upon the American colonies. The company asked permission to export tea to British America, free of duty, offering to allow government to retain sixpence per pound, as an exportation tariff, if they would take off the three per[xii] cent. duty, in America. This gave an opportunity for conciliating the colonies in an honorable way, and also to procure double the amount of revenue. But no! under the existing coercive policy, this request was of course inadmissible. At this time the company had in its warehouses upwards of seventeen millions of pounds, in addition to which the importations of the current year were expected to be larger than usual. To such a strait was it reduced, that it could neither pay its dividends nor its debts.

By an act of parliament, passed on May 10, 1773, "with little debate and no opposition," the company, on exportation of its teas to America, was allowed a drawback of the full amount of English duties, binding itself only to pay the threepence duty, on its being landed in the English colonies.

In accordance with this act, the lords-commissioners of the treasury gave the company a license (August 20, 1773,) for the exportation of six hundred thousand pounds, which were to be sent to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston, S.C., the principal American ports. As soon as this became known, applications were made to the directors by a number of merchants in the colonial trade, soliciting a share of what promised to be a very profitable business. The establishment of a branch East India house, in a central part of America, whence the tea could be distributed to other points, was suggested. The plan finally adopted was to bestow the agency on merchants, in good repute, in the colonies, who were friendly to the administration, and who could give satisfactory security, or obtain the guaranty of London houses.

The company and its agents viewed this matter solely in a commercial light. No one supposed that the Americans would oppose the measure on the ground of abstract[xiii] principle. The only doubt was as to whether the company could, merely with the threepenny duty, compete successfully with the smugglers, who brought tea from Holland. It was hoped they might, and that the difference would not compensate for the risk in smuggling. But the Americans at once saw through the scheme, and that its success would be fatal to their liberties.

The new tea act, by again raising the question of general taxation, diverted attention from local issues, and concentrated it upon one which had been already fully discussed, and on which the popular verdict had been definitely made up. Right and justice were clearly on their side. It was not that they were poor and unable to pay, but because they would not submit to wrong. The amount of the tax was paltry, and had never been in question. Their case was not—as in most revolutions—that of a people who rose against real and palpable oppression. It was an abstract principle alone for which they contended. They were prosperous and happy. It was upon a community, at the very height of its prosperity, that this insidious scheme suddenly fell, and it immediately aroused a more general opposition than had been created by the stamp act. "The measure," says the judicious English historian, Massey, "was beneficial to the colonies; but when was a people engaged in a generous struggle for freedom, deviated by an insidious attempt to practice on their selfish interests?"

"The ministry believe," wrote Franklin, "that threepence on a pound of tea, of which one does not perhaps drink ten pounds a year, is sufficient to overcome all the patriotism of an American." The measure gave universal offence, not only as the enforcement of taxation, but as an odious monopoly of[xiv] trade. To the warning of Americans that their adventure would end in loss, and to the scruples of the company, Lord North answered peremptorily, "It is to no purpose making objections, the king will have it so. The king means to try the question with America." How absurd was this assertion of prerogative, and how weak the government, was seen when on the first forcible resistance to his plans, the king was compelled to apply to the petty German states for soldiers. Lord North believed that no difficulty could arise, as America, under the new regulation, would be able to buy tea[1] from the company at a lower price than from any other European nation, and that buyers would always go to the cheapest market.

Before receiving intelligence of the passage of the new act, in the summer of 1773, political agitation in the colonies had in great measure subsided. The ministry had abandoned its design of transporting Americans to England for trial; the people were prosperous; loyal to the king; considered themselves as fellow subjects with Britons, and indignantly repelled the idea of severing their political connection. The king, however, was obstinately bent upon maintaining the supreme authority of parliament to make laws binding on the colonies "in all cases whatsoever." He was unfortunate in having for his chief adviser, Lord North, who sought to please the king even against his own better judgment. He was still more unfortunate in North's colleagues,—Mansfield,[xv] Sandwich, Germaine, Wedderburne and Thurlow,—violent or corrupt men, wholly unfit for the grave responsibilities they had assumed.

Governor Hutchinson[2] asserts that "when the intelligence first came to Boston it caused no alarm. The threepenny duty had been paid the last two years without any stir, and some of the great friends to liberty had been importers of tea. The body of the people were pleased with the prospect of drinking tea at less expense than ever. The only apparent discontent was among the importers of tea, as well those who had been legal importers from England, as others who had illegally imported from Holland, and the complaint was against the East India Company for monopolizing a branch of commerce which had been beneficial to a great number of merchants."

The circular-letter of the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence of October 21, 1773,—by which time the public sentiment against the new regulation had been thoroughly aroused,—said of it: "It is easy to see how aptly this scheme will serve both to destroy the trade of the colonies and increase the revenue. How necessary then it is that each colony should take effectual methods to prevent this measure from having its designed effects."

One of the Boston consignees writing to London, says, under date of 18th October: "But what difficulties may arise from the disaffection of the merchants and importers of tea to this measure of the East India Company, I am not yet able to say. It seems at present to be a matter of much speculation, and if one is to credit the prints, no small opposition will be made thereto.... My friends seem to think it will[xvi] subside; others are of a contrary opinion." Another, under date of October 30th, gives it as his opinion that the uneasiness is fomented, if not originated, by persons concerned in the Holland trade, a trade which, he is informed, is much more practiced in the Southern governments than here.

In a letter dated New York, November 5th, Abraham Lott, one of the New York consignees, says, that if the tea arrives subject to duty, "there will be no such thing as selling it, as the people would rather buy so much poison, as they say it is calculated to enslave them and their posterity, and are therefore determined not to take what they call the nauseous draught." The tenor of these letters and of the American newspapers, must have given the British public an inkling of what was to come.

It was thought by all the colonies that this was the precise point of time when it was absolutely necessary to make a stand, and that all opposition to parliamentary taxation must be for ever given up, if this critical moment was neglected. The only practical way open to defeat the measure seemed to be through popular demonstrations.

The press now became more active than ever in its political discussions. As to the mode of payment of the tea duty, it said: "We know that on a certificate of its being landed here, the tribute is, by agreement, to be paid in London. The landing, therefore, is the point in view, and every nerve will be strained to obtain it." It was asked in New York, "are the Americans such blockheads as to care whether it be a hot red poker, or a red hot poker which they are to swallow, provided Lord North forces them to swallow one of the two?"

"All America is in a flame on account of the tea exportation," wrote a British officer at New York to a friend in London.[xvii] "The New Yorkers, as well as the Bostonians and Philadelphians, it seems, are determined that no tea shall be landed. They have published a paper in numbers called the 'Alarm.' It begins, 'Dear countrymen,' and goes on exhorting them to open their eyes, and then, like sons of liberty, throw off all connection with the tyrant—the mother country.' They have on this occasion raised a company of artillery, and every day almost, are practicing at a target. Their independent companies are out, and exercise every day. The minds of the townspeople are influenced by the example of some of their principals. They swear that they will burn every tea-ship that comes in; but I believe that our six and twelve pounders, with the Royal Welch Fusileers, will prevent anything of that kind."

Philadelphia, the largest town in the colonies, led off in the work of opposing the plans of the home government. In a handbill signed "Scævola," circulated there, with the heading, "By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall," the factors appointed, by the East India Company were characterized as "political bombardiers to demolish the fair structure of liberty;" and it was said that all eyes were fixed on them, and they were urged to refuse to act.

At a large meeting held at the State House on October 18, resolutions were passed declaring that the duty on tea was a tax imposed on the colonists without their consent, and tended to render assemblies useless; that the shipment by the East India Company was an attempt to enforce the tax, and that every one who should be concerned in the unloading, receiving or vending the tea, was an enemy to his country. In accordance with one of the resolutions of the meeting, a committee was appointed to wait on the consignees in that[xviii] city, to request them, from regard to their own characters and the public peace, and good order of the city and Province, immediately to resign their appointment. The Messrs. Wharton gave a satisfactory answer, which was received with shouts of applause. Groans and hisses greeted the refusal of another firm to commit themselves, until the tea arrived. So general and so commanding was the movement, however, that in a few days they also resigned. "Be assured," wrote Thomas Wharton, one of the consignees, "this was as respectable a body of inhabitants as has been together on any occasion, many of the first rank. Their proceedings were conducted with the greatest decency and firmness, and without one dissentient voice."

A few days after the action of Philadelphia, a meeting was held at the city hall, New York, (October 26,) when the tea consignees were denounced, and the attempted monopoly of trade was stigmatized as a "public robbery." The press was active, and handbills were circulated freely among the people. A series of these called the "Alarm," has been already mentioned. "If you touch one grain of the accursed tea you are undone," was the sentiment it conveyed. "America is threatened with worse than Egyptian slavery.... The language of the revenue act is, that you have no property you can call your own, that you are the vassals, the live stock, of Great Britain." Such were the bold utterances of the New Yorkers. Within three weeks the New York agents withdrew from the field. It was thereupon announced that government would take charge of the tea upon its arrival.

The New York Sons of Liberty at once reorganized; owners and occupants of stores were warned against harboring the[xix] tea, and all who bought, sold or handled it, were threatened as enemies to the country. Handbills were issued, notifying the "Mohawks" to hold themselves in readiness for active work. At the very moment when the tea was being destroyed in Boston, handbills were circulating in New York calling a meeting of "all friends to the liberties and trade of America," for one o'clock the next day, at the city hall, "on business of the utmost importance."

John Lamb, one of the most active of the Sons of Liberty of New York, afterwards a colonel of artillery in the Revolutionary army, was the speaker at the meeting, and the large assembly unanimously voted that the tea should not be landed. The governor sent a message to the people by the mayor, engaging upon his honor that the tea should not be sold, but should remain in the barracks until the council advised to the delivery of it, or orders were received from England how to dispose of it, and that it should be delivered in an open manner at noon-day. The mayor having asked if the proposals were satisfactory, there was a general cry of "no! no!" The people were at length quieted with the assurance that the ship should be sent back.

It was at Boston, the ringleader in rebellion, that the issue was to be tried. It was then the most flourishing commercial town on the continent, and contained a population of about sixteen thousand, almost exclusively of English origin. Though there were no sidewalks in the town, and, except when driven aside by carts or carriages, every one walked in the middle of the street, "where the pavement was the smoothest," an English visitor had twenty years before pronounced it to be, "as large and better built than[xx] Bristol, or any other city in England except London." The only land communication between Boston and the surrounding towns at that period, was by way of the narrow neck at its southern extremity. Her inhabitants were industrious, frugal and enterprising, and were equally distinguished for their pertinacity and independence. They were nearly all of the same church, and were strict in the observance of Sunday. Though many had acquired a competence, few were very rich or very poor, and their style of living had little diversity. In her free schools all were taught to read and write. A score of enterprising booksellers, among them Henry Knox, imported into the colony all the standard books on law, politics, history and theology, while a free press and town meetings instructed her citizens in political affairs. Her mechanics, many of whom were ship-builders, were active in all town meetings. Ever jealous of her rights, she had grown up in their habitual exercise, and was early and strenuous in her opposition to the claims of parliamentary supremacy. Even her divines, many of whom were distinguished by their learning and eloquence, gave the sanction of religion to the cause of freedom. For these reasons Boston was the fittest theatre for the decisive settlement of the grave question at issue.

Two men of very different metal were especially prominent in Boston at this time,—Thomas Hutchinson, the royal governor, and Samuel Adams, the man of the people. Both were natives of the town, and graduates of Harvard College. Hutchinson, during a public life of over thirty years, had held the offices of representative, councillor, chief justice and lieutenant-governor. No man was so experienced in the affairs of the colony, no one so familiar with its[xxi] history, usages and laws. As a legislator and as a judge he had manifested ability and impartiality.

Unfortunately for his peace of mind, and for his reputation, he set himself squarely against the popular movement. He advised altering the charters of the New England provinces; the dismemberment of Massachusetts; the establishment of a citadel in Boston; the stationing of a fleet in its harbor; the experiment of martial law; the transportation of "incendiaries" to England, and the prohibition of the New England fisheries, at the same time entreating of his correspondents in England to keep his opinions secret.

For these errors of judgment he paid dearly in the obloquy heaped upon him by his countrymen, and his exile from his native land, in which he earnestly desired that his bones might be laid. The recent publication of his diary and letters shows that he not only acted honestly and conscientiously in opposing the popular current, but that he, at the same time, used his influence to mitigate the severe measures of government. He counselled them against the stamp act; against closing the port of Boston, and against some features of the regulating act, as too harsh and impolitic. It was his sincere wish that his countrymen would admit the supremacy of parliament, and he believed that such a result could be attained without bloodshed. He was courteously received in England,—where his course was very generally approved,—and offered a baronetcy, which, however, he declined on the score of the insufficiency of his estate. His judgment in American affairs, though often sought by the ministry, seems to have been seldom followed. Candor requires that in the light of his letters and diary, in which his real sentiments[xxii] appear, the harsh judgment usually passed upon Hutchinson, should be materially modified.

His opponent, Samuel Adams, the great agitator, possessed precisely those qualities that the times required. His political creed was, that the colonies and England had a common king, but separate and independent legislatures, and as early as the year 1769, he had been a zealous advocate of independence. He was the organizer of the Revolution, through the committees of correspondence, which he initiated, and was one of those who matured the plan of a general congress. A genuine lover of liberty, he believed in the capacity of the Americans for self-government. It was Samuel Adams who, the day after the "massacre" of March 5, 1770, was chosen chairman of the committee, to demand of the governor the immediate removal of the troops from the town of Boston. The stern and inflexible patriot clearly exposed the fallacy of Hutchinson's reply to the demand, and compelled the governor to yield. No flattery could lull his vigilance, no sophistry deceive his penetration. Difficulties did not discourage, nor danger appall him. Though poor, he possessed a lofty and incorruptible spirit, and though grave and austere in manner, was warm in his feelings. His affable and persuasive address, reconciled conflicting interests, and promoted harmonious action. As a speaker he was pure, concise, logical and impressive, and the energy of his diction was not inferior to the depth of his mind. As a political writer he was clear and convincing, and was the author of able state papers. No man had equal influence over the popular mind with Samuel Adams, who has been aptly styled, "the last of the Puritans."

At Boston, where the feeling against receiving the tea[xxiii] was strongest, the consignees were, "by a singular infelicity," either relatives of the hated governor, or in sympathy with the odious administration. Two of them were his sons. Richard Clarke was his nephew. One of Clarke's daughters married Copley, the painter, and became the mother of Lord Lyndhurst, the future lord-chancellor of England. Benjamin Faneuil and Joshua Winslow were respectable merchants. All but Faneuil were connected by marriage. They were well aware of the temper of the people, and of the proceedings in Philadelphia and New York; and would doubtless have yielded to the popular demands, but for Hutchinson. Public sentiment was stimulated against them by representing them as crown officers, whereas they were only factors. They were thus put upon the footing of the obnoxious stamp officers.

The North End Caucus,[3] composed mostly of mechanics, met frequently to consider what should be done, and voted (October 23d,) that they would oppose with their lives and fortunes, the vending of any tea that might be sent to the town for sale by the East India Company. "We were so careful," says Paul Revere, "that our meetings should be kept secret, that every time we met, every person swore upon the Bible not to discover any of our transactions, but[xxiv] to Hancock, Warren or Church, and one or two more leaders."

The Caucus and the Long-Room Club were local organizations, and were all included in the larger and more important one, known as "The Sons of Liberty." This association pervaded nearly all the colonies. It was first known in Boston as the "Union Club," and gained its later name from the phrase employed in the British parliament by Col. Barré, in his famous speech. It was formed in 1765, soon after the passage of the stamp act, and had among its members most of the leading patriots of the day. Their organization was secret, with private pass-words, to protect them from Tory spies. On public occasions, each member wore, suspended from his neck, a medal, on one side of which was the figure of a stalwart arm, grasping in its hand a pole, surmounted with a cap of liberty, and surrounded by the words, "Sons of Liberty." On the reverse was a representation of Liberty Tree. It was under this tree, in the open space known as "Liberty Hall,"—at the junction of Newbury, Orange and Essex Streets,—that their public meetings in Boston were held.

The Sons of Liberty issued warrants for the arrest of suspected persons; arranged in secret caucus the preliminaries of elections, and the programme for public celebrations; and in fact were the mainspring, under the guidance of the popular leaders, of every public demonstration against the government. In Boston they probably numbered about three hundred. The 14th of August,—the anniversary of the repeal of the stamp act,—was celebrated by them for several years, with grand display and festivity.

Under date of January 15, 1766, John Adams says, in his[xxv] diary: "I spent the evening with the Sons of Liberty, at their own apartment, in Hanover Square, near the Tree of Liberty. It is a counting-room, in Chase & Speakman's distillery; a very small room it is. There were present, John Avery, a distiller, of liberal education; John Smith, the brazier; Thomas Crafts,[4] the painter; Benjamin Edes,[5] the printer; Stephen Cleverly, brazier; Thomas Chase, distiller; Joseph Fields, master of a vessel; Henry Bass; George Trott, jeweller; and Henry Welles. I was very cordially and respectfully treated by all present. We had punch, wine, pipes and tobacco, biscuit and cheese, etc. They chose a committee to make preparations for grand rejoicings upon the arrival of the news of a repeal of the stamp act." The counting-room of which Adams speaks, could, from its small size, have been the committee-room of the body only.

Governor Bernard wished to send some of the leading Sons of Liberty to England, for trial, but did not dare do so. New York was the centre of the organization, to which all[xxvi] communications from the other colonies were sent. A correspondent in London kept them informed of the proceedings and designs of the British ministry.

At one o'clock in the morning of the 2d of November, 1773, the consignees were aroused from their slumbers by a violent knocking at their doors, and a summons was left for them to appear at Liberty Tree on the following Wednesday, to resign their commissions; and not to fail at their peril. A handbill was, at the same time, posted about the town, notifying the people of Boston and the vicinity to be present at the same time and place, to witness their resignation.

Signature, Benjamin Church

On the appointed day, a large flag was hung out at Liberty Tree. The public crier announced the meeting, at the top of his voice, and the church bells, were rung for an hour. At noon, five hundred persons assembled. Samuel Adams, John Hancock and William Phillips, representatives of Boston, were present, with William Cooper,—the patriotic town clerk,—and the board of selectmen. The consignees failing to appear, a committee, consisting of William Molineux, William Dennie, Dr. Joseph Warren, Dr. Benjamin Church,[6] Henderson Inches, Edward Proctor, Nathaniel[xxvii] Barber, Gabriel Johonnot,[7] and Ezekiel Cheever, waited on them at Clarke's warehouse, at the foot of King (now State) Street, where they, together with a number of their friends, had assembled. As they passed the town house, still standing at the head of this street, Hutchinson, who saw the procession, says that "the committee were attended by a large body of the people, many of them not of the lowest rank."

Signature, Henderson Inches

Molineux was the spokesman. "From whom are you a committee?" asked Clarke. "From the whole people," was the reply. "Who are the committee?" "I am one," said Molineux, and he named the rest. "What is your request?" "That you give us your word to sell none of the teas in[xxviii] your charge, but return them to London in the same bottoms in which they were shipped. Will you comply?" "I shall have nothing to do with you," was the rough and peremptory reply, in which the other consignees, who were present, concurred. Molineux then read the resolve, passed at Liberty Tree, declaring that those who should refuse to comply with the request of the people, were "enemies to their country," and should be dealt with accordingly.

When the committee reported the result to the crowd outside, the cry was raised, "Out with them! out with them!" Those within attempted to close the doors; but the people unhinged them, and carried them off. Justice Nathaniel Hatch, who, in the king's name, now commanded the peace, was hooted at and struck, when the people were persuaded to desist. The committee returned to Liberty Tree, where they reported to the meeting, which quietly dispersed. Of those composing this gathering, the consignees wrote to the East India Company, as follows: "They consisted chiefly of people of the lowest rank; very few respectable tradesmen, as we are informed, appeared amongst them. The selectmen say they were present to prevent disorder." There can be little doubt that the political assemblies of that day, as do those at the present time, fairly represented the body of the people. The mechanics of Boston, whatever their rank in the social scale, were the active patriots of the revolutionary period.

The Sons of Liberty having failed, and the Tories asserting that the meeting at Liberty Tree was irregular, petitioners for a town meeting declared that the people were alarmed at a report that the tea had been shipped to America, and feared that the tribute would be exacted, and that the liberties, for[xxix] which they had so long contended, would be lost to them and their posterity. A meeting was therefore called by the selectmen for the next day, at ten o'clock in the forenoon.

That night a threatening letter was placed under the door of Mr. Faneuil, one of the consignees, warning them that a much longer delay in complying, would not fail to bring upon them "the just reward of their avarice and insolence."

The town meeting, held on the 5th of November, was fully attended, and was presided over by John Hancock. After due consideration, it adopted the resolves of the Philadelphians of October 18, declaring that freemen have an inherent right to dispose of their property; that the tea tax was a mode of levying contributions on them without their consent; that its purpose tended to render assemblies useless, and to introduce arbitrary government; that a steady opposition to this ministerial plan was a duty which every freeman owed to his country, to himself, and to his posterity; that the East India Company's importation was an open attempt to enforce this plan; and that whoever countenanced the unloading, vending or receiving the tea, was an enemy to his country. A committee, consisting of the moderator, Henderson Inches, Benjamin Austin, and the selectmen of the town, were chosen to wait on the consignees and request them, from a regard to their own characters, and the peace and good of the town and province, immediately to resign their appointment.

At this meeting, a Tory handbill, called the "Tradesmen's Protest," against the proceedings of the merchants on the subject of tea importation, was introduced. After the reading, without comment, the tradesmen present were desired to collect themselves at the south side of the hall, where[xxx] the question was put whether they acknowledged the "Tradesmen's Protest," and the whole, amounting to at least four hundred, voted in the negative. The paper, its printer, and those who circulated it, were denounced as base, false and scandalous. This gave a finishing blow to the "Protest," of which nothing more was heard.

After voting that it was the just expectation of the town that no one of its merchants should, under any pretext whatever, import any tea liable to duty, the meeting adjourned until three o'clock.

Signature, Joseph Warren

At that hour there was again a full assembly. The committee reported that they had communicated the resolves of the town to the Messrs. Clarke and Mr. Faneuil, who informed them that they must consult Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, the other consignees, who were at Milton, and could not give an answer until the following Monday. Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, and Molineux were then desired to acquaint Messrs. Clarke and Faneuil, that the town expected an immediate answer from them. This was very soon received, and pronounced unsatisfactory, by a unanimous vote. John Hancock, John Pitts, Samuel Adams, Samuel Abbott, Joseph Warren, William Powell, and Nathaniel Appleton,[8] were chosen a committee to wait on the[xxxi] Hutchinsons, and request an immediate resignation, and the meeting adjourned until the next day.

On Saturday, Faneuil Hall was again crowded. The committee reported that it could not find Elisha Hutchinson, either at Milton or Boston. Thomas Hutchinson, Jr., informed them, in a letter, that when he and his brother were appointed factors, and the tea arrived, they would be sufficiently informed to answer the request of the inhabitants.

This reply stirred up some of the hot blood in the assembly, and a cry of "to arms! to arms!" was received with applause and clapping of hands. Discretion, as usual, prevailed, and the meeting voted that the replies were "daringly affrontive" to the town, and then dissolved. The governor tried to collect evidence of the inflammatory speeches that had been made, but could find no person willing to give it.

A quiet week followed. The tea-ships were nearing the harbor, and the journals were filled with political essays generally, strong, well put, and elevating in tone. Locke, in the "Boston Gazette," said: "It will be considered by Americans whether the dernier ressort, and only asylum for their liberties, is not an American Commonwealth." It was evident to the leaders on both sides, that a crisis was at hand. Hutchinson foresaw that this "would prove a more difficult affair than any which had preceded it;" and in his letters admits that the mass of the people acted in the conviction that their rights were invaded. Believing the supremacy of parliament was in issue, he determined, though standing almost alone, and in opposition to the advice of his political friends, to make no concession. In a letter written at this period, to Lord Dartmouth, Secretary for the[xxxii] Colonies, he describes, with minuteness, the state of political affairs. He says:

... "At present, the spirits of the people in the town of Boston are in a great ferment. Everything that has been in my power, without the Council, I have done, and continue to do, for the preservation of the peace and good order of the town. If I had the aid, which I think the Council might give, my endeavors would be more effective. They profess to disapprove of the tumultuous, violent proceedings of the people, but they wish to see the professed end of the people in such proceedings attained in the regular way; and, instead of joining with me in proper measures to discourage an opposition to the landing of the teas expected, one and another of the gentlemen, of the greatest influence, intimate that the best thing that can be done to quiet the people, would be the refusal of the gentlemen to whom the teas are consigned, to execute the trust; and they declare they would do it if it was their case, and would advise all their connexions to do it. Nor will they ever countenance a measure which shall tend to carry into execution an act of parliament which lays taxes upon the colonies, for the purpose of a revenue. The same principle prevails with by far the greater part of the merchants who, though in general they declare against mobs and violence, yet they as generally wish the tea may not be imported. The persons to whom the teas are consigned, declare that whilst they can be protected from violence to their persons, they will not give way to the unreasonable demands which have been made of them. I wish the vessels bound to New York may arrive before those designed to this Province. Governor Tryon I know to be well disposed to do his duty, and the people there are less disposed to any violent proceedings, as I have reason to think, than they are here, and an example of peace and good order there may have its influence here."

Samuel Adams, Hancock, Warren, Molineux and Young, the most prominent of the popular leaders, apprehended fully the responsibilities of the hour. They had a great principle to maintain, and the courage to uphold it. They knew that, though the people were with them, the failure to obtain the resignation of the consignees had inspired doubt in other quarters, as to whether Boston would meet the expectations of the patriots of other colonies. To such as questioned whether it was not premature to push matters to extremities, they replied, that if fidelity to the common[xxxiii] cause was likely to bring on a quarrel with Great Britain, this was the best time for it to come. "Our credit," they said, "is at stake; we must venture, and unless we do, we shall be discarded by the Sons of Liberty in the other colonies, whose assistance we may expect, upon emergencies, in case they find us steady, resolute and faithful." With men like these "to the fore," though independence was scarcely dreamed of, revolution was a foregone conclusion.

Thomas Mifflin, an active patriot of Philadelphia, subsequently a general, and governor of Pennsylvania, when in Boston, said to some of these men, "will you engage that the tea shall not be landed? if so, I will answer for Philadelphia." And they pledged their honor that its landing should be prevented.

On November 11, Hutchinson issued the following order:

"Massachusetts Bay. By the Governor.

To Colonel John Hancock, Captain of the Governor's Company of Cadets, &c.

The Cadet company, under your command, having signalized itself heretofore upon a very necessary occasion, and the late tumultuous proceedings in the town of Boston requiring that more than usual caution should be taken at this time for the preservation of the peace, I think it proper that you should forthwith summon each person belonging to the company to be ready, and to appear in arms at such place of parade as you think fit, whensoever there may be a tumultuous assembly of the people, in violation of the laws, in order to their being aiding and assisting to the civil magistrate as occasion may require."

This company, which was immediately under the governor's orders, had been of service during the stamp act riots, and had often been complimented for its discipline. The evident intent of this order, to use military force to suppress public assemblages, and the stationing of companies of British troops in the neighboring towns, augmented the uneasiness already felt. There was now, besides the soldiers at[xxxiv] the castle, a considerable naval force in the harbor, under Admiral John Montagu.

On the morning of November 17, a little party of family friends had assembled at the house of Richard Clarke, Esq., known as the "Cooke House," near the King's Chapel, on School Street, to welcome young Jonathan Clarke, who had just arrived from London. All at once the inmates of the dwelling were startled by a violent beating at the door, accompanied with shouts and the blowing of horns, creating considerable alarm. The ladies were hastily bestowed in places of safety, while the gentlemen secured the avenues of the lower story, as well as they were able. The yard and vicinity were soon filled with people. One of the inmates warned them, from an upper window, to disperse, but getting no other reply than a shower of stones, he discharged a pistol. Then came a shower of missiles, which broke in the lower windows, and damaged some of the furniture. Influential patriots had by this time arrived, and put a stop to the proceedings, and the mob quietly dispersed. The consignees now called on the governor and council for protection.

During the day, an arrival from London brought the news that three ships, having the East India Company's tea on board, had sailed for Boston, and that others had cleared for Philadelphia.

A petition for a town meeting was at once presented to the selectmen, representing that the teas were shortly expected, and that it was apprehended that the consignees might now be sufficiently informed on the terms of its consignment,[xxxv] to be able to give their promised answer to the town. A meeting was therefore appointed for the next day.

John Hancock was the moderator of the last town meeting, in which public sentiment was legally brought to bear upon the consignees. It was held on the 18th. The meeting was quiet and orderly, and its business was speedily transacted.

A committee was appointed to wait on the consignees for a final answer to the request of the town, that they resign their appointment. This was their reply:

"Boston, November 18, 1773.

Sir,—In answer to the message we have this day received from the town, we beg leave to say that we have not yet received any order from the East India Company respecting the expected teas, but we are now further acquainted that our friends in England have entered into general engagements in our behalf, merely of a commercial nature, which puts it out of our power to comply with the request of the town.

We are, sir, your most humble servants,

Richard Clarke & Sons,
Benj. Faneuil, Jr., for self and
    Joshua Winslow, Esq.,
Elisha Hutchinson, for my
    Brother and self."

Immediately on receiving this answer, the meeting, without vote or comment, dissolved. "This sudden dissolution struck more terror into the consignees," says Hutchinson, "than the most minatory resolves;" and but for his efforts, they would have followed the example of those of Philadelphia, who had resigned six weeks before.

Next day (November 19), the consignees, in a petition to the governor and council, asked leave to resign themselves, and the property committed to their care, to his Excellency and their Honors, as guardians and protectors of the people, and that means might be devised for the landing and securing[xxxvi] the teas, until the petitioners could safely dispose of them, or could receive directions from their constituents. Their action was the cause of much comment in the newspapers, and debate in the council. It was urged in opposition to the scheme, that it was no part of the legitimate functions of this body to act as trustees and storekeepers for certain factors of the East India Company.

In a letter to a friend, dated November 24, Hutchinson thus expresses his views of the situation. He says:

"When I saw the inhabitants of the town of Boston, assembled under color of law, and heard of the open declaration that we are now in a state of nature, and that we have a right to take up arms; and when in a town meeting, as I am informed, a call to arms was received with clapping and general applause; when a tumultuous assembly of people can, from time to time, attack the persons and the property of the king's subjects; and when assemblies are tolerated from night to night, in the public town hall; to counsel and determine upon further unlawful measures, and dark proposals and resolutions are made and agreed to there; when the infection is industriously spreading and the neighboring towns not only join their committees with the committee of Boston, but are assembled in town meetings to approve of the doings of the town of Boston; and, above all, when upon repeated summoning of the Council, they put off any advice to me from time to time, and I am obliged to consent to it, because all the voices there, as far as they declare their minds, I have reason to fear, would rather confirm than discourage the people in their irregular proceedings,—under all these circumstances, I think it time to deliberate whether his majesty's service does not call me to retire to the castle, where I may, with safety to my person, more freely give my sense of the criminality of these proceedings than whilst I am in the hands of the people, some of whom, and those most active, don't scruple to declare their designs against me."

And he concludes this doleful story with the question, "What am I in duty bound to do?" His position was certainly a very uncomfortable one.

Frequent conferences with the consignees were held by the selectmen of Boston. "Though we labored night and day in the affair, all our efforts could not produce an agreement[xxxvii] between them and the town." So wrote John Scollay,[9] chairman of the Board of Selectmen, who also informs us, in a letter written December 23, that there was a way by which the consignees might have avoided trouble. "Had they," writes he, "on the terms of first application to them, offered to have stored the tea, subject to the inspection of a committee of gentlemen, till they could write their principals, and until that time (agreed that) no duty should be paid,—which no doubt the customs officers would have consented to,—I am persuaded the town would have closed with them."

The selectmen told the consignees plainly that nothing less than sending the tea back to England would satisfy the people. Some of their Tory friends also urged them to arrange matters in this way, but they would only agree (Nov. 27) that nothing should be done in a clandestine way; that the vessels should come up to the wharves, and that when they received the orders that accompanied the teas, they would hand in proposals to the selectmen, to be laid before the town. They meant only to gain time. They were determined to make the issue with the popular leaders[xxxviii] on this question. They were backed by the governor and the influential Tories, and no doubt believed that they could carry their point.

On Monday, the 22d, the committees of correspondence of Dorchester, Brookline, Roxbury and Cambridge, met the Boston committee at the selectmen's chamber, Faneuil Hall.

They resolved unanimously to use their joint influence to prevent the landing and sale of the teas; prepared a letter to be sent to the other towns, representing that they were reduced to the dilemma, either to sit down in quiet, under this and every burden that might be put upon them, or to rise up in resistance, as became freemen; to impress the absolute necessity of making immediate and effectual opposition to the detestable measure, and soliciting their advice and co-operation. Charlestown was "so zealous in the cause," that its committee was added to the others. This body continued to hold daily conferences, "like a little senate," says Hutchinson.

The "Gazette" of November 22, said: "Americans! defeat this last effort of a most pernicious, expiring faction, and you may sit under your own vines and fig trees, and none shall, hereafter, dare to make you afraid."

On the 26th, the men of Cambridge assembled, and after adopting the Philadelphia resolves, "very unanimously" voted, "That as Boston was struggling for the liberties of their country, they could no longer stand idle spectators, but were ready, on the shortest notice, to join with it, and other towns, in any measure that might be thought proper, to deliver themselves and posterity from slavery."[xxxix]

Signature, Francis Rotch (From the original, in the possession of George H. Allan, Boston.)

1750-1822. Bond, April 3d 1773. £1000.[xl]

On Sunday, the 28th, the ship "Dartmouth," Captain Hall, [xli]owned by the Quaker, Francis Rotch,[10] arrived in Boston harbor, with one hundred and fourteen chests of tea, and anchored below the castle. As the news spread, there was great excitement. Despite the rigid New England observance of the Sabbath, the selectmen immediately met,[xlii] and remained in session until nine o'clock in the evening, in the expectation of receiving the promised proposal of the consignees. These gentlemen were not to be found, and on the next day, bidding a final adieu to Boston, they took up their quarters at the castle.

Signature, F. Rotch

Hutchinson advised the consignees to order the vessels, when they arrived, to anchor below the castle, that if it should appear unsafe to land the tea, they might go to sea again, and when the first ship arrived she anchored there accordingly, but when the master came up to town, Mr. Adams and others, a committee of the town, ordered him at his peril to bring the ship up to land the other goods, but to suffer no tea to be taken out.

The committee of correspondence, who also held a session that day, seeing that time was precious, and that the tea once entered it would be out of the power of the consignees to send it back, obtained the promise of the owner not to enter his ship till Tuesday, and authorized Samuel Adams to summon the committees and townspeople of the vicinity to a mass meeting, in Boston, on the next morning. The invitation read as follows:

"A part of the tea shipped by the East India Company is now arrived in this harbor, and we look upon ourselves bound to give you the earliest intimation of it, and we desire that you favor us with your company at Faneuil Hall, at nine o'clock to-morrow forenoon, there to give us your advice what steps are to be immediately taken, in order effectually to prevent the impending evil, and we request you to urge your friends in the town, to which you belong, to be in readiness to exert themselves in the most resolute manner, to assist this town in its efforts for saving this oppressed country."

The journals of Monday announced that the "Dartmouth" had anchored off Long Wharf, and that other ships with the poisonous herb might soon be here. They also contained[xliii] a call for a public meeting, as announced in the following handbill, already printed and distributed throughout the town:

"Friends! Brethren! Countrymen! That worst of plagues, the detested tea, shipped for this port by the East India Company, is now arrived in this harbor; the hour of destruction or manly opposition to the machinations of tyranny stares you in the face; every friend to his country, to himself, and posterity, is now called upon to meet at Faneuil Hall, at nine o'clock this day, (at which time the bells will ring,) to make a united and successful resistance to this last, worst and most destructive measure of administration.

Boston, November 29, 1773."

Signature, Jon Williams

At nine o'clock the bells were rung, and the people, to the number of at least five thousand, thronged in and around Faneuil Hall. This edifice, then about half as large as now, was entirely inadequate to hold the concourse that had gathered there. Jonathan Williams,[11] a citizen of character and wealth, was chosen moderator. The selectmen were John Scollay, John Hancock, Timothy Newell, Thomas Newhall, Samuel Austin, Oliver Wendell,[12] and John Pitts. The patriotic and efficient town clerk, William Cooper,[13] was also present. Samuel Adams, Dr. Warren,[xliv] Hancock, Dr. Young and Molineux took the lead in the debate. The resolution offered by Adams, "that the tea should not be landed; that it should be sent back in the same bottom to the place whence it came, at all events, and that no duty should be paid on it," was unanimously adopted. On hearing of this vote the consignees withdrew to Castle William. For the better accommodation of the people, the meeting then adjourned to the Old South Meeting House.

The speeches made at the Old South have not been preserved. Some were violent, others were calm, advising the people by all means to abstain from violence, but the men in whom they placed confidence were unanimous upon the question of sending back the tea. Dr. Young held that the only way to get rid of it was to throw it overboard. Here we find the first suggestion of its ultimate fate. Both Whigs and Tories united in the action of the meeting. To give the consignees time to make the expected proposals, the meeting adjourned till three o'clock.

Of this assembly Hutchinson says: "Although it consisted principally of the lower ranks of the people, and even journeymen tradesmen were brought to increase the number, and the rabble were not excluded, yet there were divers gentlemen of good fortune among them." With regard to the speeches he observes: "Nothing can be more inflammatory than those made on this occasion; Adams was never in greater glory." And of the consignees he says: "They apprehended they should be seized, and may be, tarred and feathered and carted,—an American torture,—in order to compel them to a compliance. The friends of old Mr. Clarke, whose constitution being hurt by the repeated attacks[xlv] made upon him, retired into the country, pressed his sons and the other consignees to a full compliance."

A visitor from Rhode Island who attended the meeting, speaking of its regular and sensible conduct, said he should have thought himself rather in the British senate than in the promiscuous assembly of the people of a remote colony.

At the afternoon meeting in the Old South, it was resolved, upon the motion of Samuel Adams, "that the tea in Captain Hall's ship must go back in the same bottom." The owner and the captain were informed that the entry of the tea, or the landing of it, would be at their peril. The ship was ordered to be moored at Griffins' wharf, and a watch of twenty-five men was appointed for the security of vessel and cargo, with Captain Edward Proctor as captain that night. It was also voted that the governor's call on the justices to meet that afternoon, to suppress attempted riots, was a reflection on the people.

Upon Hancock's representation that the consignees desired further time to meet and consult, the meeting consented, "out of great tenderness to them," and adjourned until next day. This meeting also voted that six persons "who are used to horses be in readiness to give an alarm in the country towns, when necessary." They were William Rogers, Jeremiah Belknap, Stephen Hall, Nathaniel Cobbett, and Thomas Gooding, and Benjamin Wood, of Charlestown.

The guard for the tea ships, which consisted of from twenty-four to thirty-four men, was kept up until December 16. It was armed with muskets and bayonets, and proceeded with military regularity,—indeed it was composed in part of the military of the town,—and every half hour during the night regularly passed the word "all's well," like sentinels[xlvi] in a garrison. It was on duty nineteen days and twenty-three hours. If molested by day the bells of the town were to be rung, if at night they were to be tolled. We have the names of those comprising the watch on November 29 and 30. They are:

For November 29. Captain, Edward Proctor.
Henry Bass.Paul Revere.
Foster Condy.Moses Grant.
John Lovell.Joseph Lovering.
John Winthrop.Dr. Elisha Story.
John Greenleaf.Thomas Chase.
Benjamin Alley.Benjamin Edes.
Joshua Pico.Joseph Pierce, Jr.
James Henderson.Captain Riordan.
Josiah Wheeler.John Crane.
Joseph Edwards.John McFadden.
Jonathan Stodder.Thomas Knox, Jr.
Stephen Bruce.Robert Hitchborn.
November 30. Captain, Ezekiel Cheever.[14]
Thomas Urann.Joseph Eayres.
William Dickman.William Sutton.
Samuel Peck.Ebenezer Ayres.
Thomas Bolley.William Elberson.
John Rice.Benjamin Stevens.
Joseph Froude.James Brewer.
Obadiah Curtis.Rufus Bant.
George Ray.William Clap.
Benjamin Ingerson.Nicholas Pierce.
Adam Collson.Thomas Tileston.
Daniel Hewes.Richard Hunnewell.
Signature, Ezekiel Cheever


Major Genl. Joseph Warren Major Genl. Joseph Warren

Slain at the Battle of Bunker Hill June 17 1775[xlviii]

(Copied from the Boston print of 1782, it being from the London print previous to this date.)

"May our land be a land of liberty, the seat of virtue, the asylum of the oppressed, a name, a praise in the whole earth."—Joseph Warren.

March 5, 1772.[xlix]

Hancock and Henry Knox were members of this volunteer guard. Volunteers were, after the first night, requested to leave their names at the printing-office of Edes and Gill; the duty of providing it having devolved upon the committee of correspondence.

Obadiah Curtis, born in Roxbury, Mass., in 1724; died in Newton, Mass., November 11, 1811. He was a wheelwright by trade, and his wife, Martha, kept an English goods store, at the corner of Rawson's Lane, (now Bromfield Street,) and Newbury (now Washington) Street, and accumulated a handsome estate. Becoming obnoxious to the British authorities, Mr. Curtis removed with his family to Providence, remaining there until after the evacuation of Boston. A person who saw him at this time thus describes his appearance: "He was habited according to the fashion of gentlemen of those days,—in a three-cornered hat, a club wig, a long coat of ample dimensions, that appeared to have been made with reference to future growth, breeches with large buckles, and shoes fastened in the same manner."

James Henderson was a painter, in Boston, at the beginning of this century.

Daniel Hewes, a mason by trade, resided on Purchase Street, where he died July 9, 1821; aged 77. He was a brother of George Robert Twelves Hewes.

Robert Hitchborn was a cooper, on Anne Street, in 1789.

Thomas Knox, Jr., a branch pilot, died in Charlestown, Mass., in April, 1817; aged 75. He joined the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew in 1764. In 1789 his residence was on Friend Street.

Joseph Lovering was a tallow chandler. He lived on the corner of Hollis and Tremont Streets, opposite Crane and the Bradlees. Joseph Lovering, Jr., held the light by which Crane and others disguised themselves in Crane's carpenter's shop, on the evening of December 16. Lovering was a prominent member of the Charitable Mechanic Association, was many years a selectman and a fireward under the old town government of Boston, and was also a member of the first Board of Aldermen, under Mayor Phillips. He followed his father's business, and was some years a partner in the firm of J. Lovering & Sons.[l]

Joshua Pico, a cooper, on Sheaffe Street, residing on Clarke Street; died in January, 1807.

Joseph Pierce, Jr., was a merchant, at 58 Cornhill, in 1799.

Nicholas Pierce was a bricklayer, on Back (Salem) Street, in 1800.

John Rice was deputy-collector at Boston, 1789.

Benjamin Stevens was a tailor, at 33 Marlboro' Street, in 1789.

Jonathan Stodder was a member of St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons, in 1779.

Thomas Tileston, born September 21, 1735, was a carpenter on Purchase Street, in 1789. His father, Onesiphorous Tileston, also a housewright and a man of wealth, was captain of the Artillery Company in 1762.

John Winthrop resided in Cambridge Street, and died February 12, 1800; aged 53.

The power and influence of the Boston committee of correspondence, which played so important a part in the tea affair, can best be estimated by a glance at the list of names of its members. They were, Samuel Adams, James Otis, Joseph Warren, William Molineux, Dr. Benjamin Church, William Dennie, William and Joseph Greenleaf, Dr. Thomas Young, William Powell, Nathaniel Appleton, Oliver Wendell, Josiah Quincy, Jr., John Sweetser, Richard Boynton, John Bradford, William Mackay, Nathaniel Barber, Caleb Davis, Alexander Hill, and Robert Pierpont.

After the dissolution of the meeting of November 29, the committee met, and called on the committees from other towns to join them on all necessary occasions. Besides sending accounts of these events to all the towns, they also wrote to the committees of Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and Philadelphia, explaining their course, acting, as they said, "in the faith that harmony and concurrence in action uniformly and firmly maintained, must finally conduct them to the end of their wishes, namely, a full enjoyment of constitutional liberty." They received cheering replies and encouraging assurances from all quarters.

At the meeting next morning, a letter to John Scollay[li] from the consignees, containing their long-delayed proposals, was read. They expressed sorrow that they could not return satisfactory answers to the two messages of the town, as it was utterly out of their power to send the teas back, but said they were willing to store them until they could communicate with their constituents, and receive their further orders respecting them. This letter irritated the meeting, and it declined to take action upon it.

Before taking final leave of these obstinate gentlemen, I make a few citations from the recently published volume of "The Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson." Writing to his son at the castle on November 30, Hutchinson says: "The gentlemen (consignees), except your uncle Clarke, all went to the castle yesterday. I hope they will not comply with such a monstrous demand." Hancock and Adams, he says, were two of the guard of the tea ship.

Thomas Hutchinson, Jr., to his brother Elisha:

"Castle William, December 14, 1773.

... I imagine you are anxious to know what the poor banished commissioners are doing at the castle. Our retreat here was sudden, but our enemies do not say we came too soon. How long we shall be imprisoned 'tis impossible to say.... I hear there is a meeting of the mobility to day, but don't know the result. I hardly think they will attempt sending the tea back, but am more sure it will not go many leagues. The commissioners are all with us, and we are as comfortable as we can be in a very cold place, driven from our families and business, with the months of January and February just at hand.

P.S.—Our situation is rendered more agreeable by the polite reception we met with from Col. Leslie, and the other gentlemen of the army."

And on January 9, 1774, he writes:

"The Bostonians say we shall not return to town without making concessions. I suppose we shall quit the castle sometime this week, as we are all provided with retreats in the country. I have had a disagreeable six weeks of it, but am in hopes the issue will be well."


And again, on January 21, dated Milton:

"I wrote you some time ago I was in hopes our harassment was drawing to a close, and that we should leave the castle last week. Mr. Faneuil and myself coming off caused a supposition that we intended for Boston, which was the cause of Saturday's notification which I sent you.[15] Mr. Faneuil is since returned to the castle, and I am really more confined than if I was there, as I keep pretty close to my home. Mr. Jonathan Clarke sails in a few days for England, of which I am very glad, as it may prevent misapprehension of our conduct on that side of the water.

A proclamation from the governor was brought in to the meeting by Sheriff Greenleaf, which he begged leave of the moderator to read. Objection was made, but at the suggestion of Samuel Adams the meeting consented to hear it. The governor charged that the meeting of the previous day "openly violated, defied and set at naught the good and wholesome laws of the Province, and as great numbers were again assembled for like purposes, I warn," he said, "exhort and require you, and each of you, thus unlawfully assembled, forthwith to disperse, and to surcease all further unlawful proceedings at your peril." The reading was received with general and continued hisses, and a vote that the meeting would not disperse. Mr. Copley, the son-in-law of Mr. Clarke, inquired whether the meeting[liii] would hear the Messrs. Clarke, and whether they would be safe while coming to and returning from the meeting, and whether two hours would be allowed him in which to consult with them. The request of Copley, who was sincerely desirous of effecting a peaceful solution of the difficulty, was granted, and the meeting then adjourned until two o'clock.

The proceedings of this afternoon briefly stated were, the promise of Rotch, the owner, and Hall, the captain of the "Dartmouth," and the owners of the two other vessels expected with teas, that that article should not be landed, but should go back in the same ships, and the apology of Mr. Copley for the time he had taken, he having been obliged to go to the castle, where the consignees decided that it would be inexpedient for them to attend the meeting, but added to their former proposal that the tea should be submitted to the inspection of a committee, and also saying that as they had not been active in introducing the tea, they should do nothing to obstruct the people in returning it.

This was voted unsatisfactory. Resolves were then passed to the effect that all who imported tea were enemies to the country; that its landing and sale should be prevented, and that the tea should be returned to the place whence it came. And the meeting also voted to send these resolves to every seaport in the colonies and to England. The committee of correspondence was charged to make provision for the continuation of the watch, and "the brethren from the country" were thanked for their "countenance and union," and desired to afford their assistance on notice being given, and it was also declared to be "the determination of this body to carry their votes and resolves into execution at the risk of life and property."[liv]

Speaking of this meeting, Hutchinson says: "A more determined spirit was conspicuous in this body than in any of the former assemblies of the people. It was composed of the lowest as well, and probably in as great proportion, as of the superior ranks and orders, and all had an equal voice. No eccentric or irregular motions were suffered to take place. All seemed to have been the plan of a few, it may be of a single person."

And in a private letter, dated December 1, Hutchinson writes:

"While the rabble was together in one place, I was in another, not far distant, with his majesty's council, urging them to join with me in some measure to break up this unlawful assembly, but to no purpose. I hope the consignees will continue firm, and should not have the least doubt of it if it was not for the solicitation of the friends of Mr. Clarke. If they go the lengths they threaten, I shall be obliged to retire to the castle, as I cannot otherwise make any exertions in support of the king's authority."

The committee of correspondence omitted no step that prudence or caution could suggest to carry out the determination of the town. A letter from Philadelphia, just then received, said: "Our tea consignees have all resigned, and you need not fear, the tea will not be landed here nor at New York. All that we fear is that you will shrink at Boston. May God give you virtue enough to save the liberties of your country!"

A second and a third vessel soon arrived, and the selectmen gave peremptory orders, to prevent clandestine landing of the tea, and directed them to be anchored by the side of the "Dartmouth," at Griffin's Wharf. One guard answered for the three vessels. As the time drew near for the landing or return of the tea, the excitement of the community increased. "Where the present disorder will end," wrote[lv] Hutchinson, "I cannot make a probable conjecture; the town is as furious as in the time of the stamp act." "The flame is kindled," so wrote the wife of John Adams, "and like lightning, it catches from soul to soul.... My heart beats at every whistle I hear, and I dare not express half my fears."

Twenty days after her arrival in the port, a vessel was liable to seizure for the non-payment of duties on articles imported in her, nor on landing a portion of her cargo, could she be legally cleared. On official advice from the governor to Colonel Leslie, commander of the castle, and Admiral Montagu, the latter ordered the ships of war, "Active" and "King Fisher," to guard the passages to the sea, and permit no unauthorized vessels to pass. "The patriots," said Hutchinson, "now found themselves in a web of inextricable difficulties." "But where there is a will there is a way," and the patriots had more resources than the governor dreamed of.

Rotch, the owner of the "Dartmouth," was summoned before the committee (December 11), and was asked by Samuel Adams, the chairman, why he had not kept his pledge, to send his vessel and tea back to London. He replied that it was out of his power to do so. He was advised to apply for a clearance and a pass. "The ship must go," said Adams, "the people of Boston and the neighboring towns absolutely require and expect it."

The journals of the day are filled with items concerning the tea question. Little else was now thought of. They contained the resolves of the Massachusetts towns, encouraging Boston to stand firm, and assuring her of their support, and accounts from Philadelphia and New York of the determination[lvi] to nullify the tea act, and of the declination of the consignees in the latter place.

The "Gazette," of December 13, editorially says: "The minds of the public are greatly irritated at the delay of Mr. Rotch, to take the necessary steps towards complying with their peremptory requisition." On this day an important session of the committee of the five towns already named took place at Faneuil Hall. "No business transacted matter of record," is the brief but suggestive entry as to its doings.

Dorchester, in legal town meeting, declared that, "should this country be so unhappy as to see a day of trial for the recovery of its rights by a last and solemn appeal to Him who gave them, they should not be behind the bravest of our patriotic brethren." Marblehead affirmed that the proceedings of the brave citizens of Boston, and of other towns, in opposition to the landing of the tea, were rational, generous and just; that they were highly honored for their noble firmness in support of American liberty, and that the men of the town were ready with their lives to assist their brethren in opposing all measures tending to enslave the country." Under date of December 3, the people of Roxbury voted that they were in duty bound to join with Boston, and other sister towns, to preserve inviolate the liberties handed down by their ancestors. Next day the men of Charlestown declared themselves ready to risk their lives and fortunes. Newburyport, Malden, Lexington, Leicester, Fitchburg, Gloucester, and other towns, also proferred their aid when needed.

The "Gazette," under date of Salem, December 7, has the following: "By what we can learn from private intelligence, as well as the public proceedings of a number of principal[lvii] towns contiguous to the capital, the people, if opposed in their proceedings with respect to the tea, are determined upon hazarding a brush, therefore those who are willing to bear a part in it in preserving the rights of this country, would do well to get suitably prepared." This looked like business.

On the morning of December 14, the following handbill appeared in Boston:

Friends! Brethren! Countrymen! The perfidious act of your reckless enemies to render ineffectual the late resolves of the body of the people, demands your assembling at the Old South Meeting House, precisely at ten o'clock this day, at which time the bells will ring."

The meeting thus called was largely attended. Samuel Phillips Savage,[16] of Weston, was chosen moderator. Bruce, the master of the "Eleanor," promised to ask for a clearance for London, when all his goods were landed, except the tea, but said that, if refused, "he was loth to stand the shot of thirty-two pounders." Rotch, accompanied by Samuel Adams, Benjamin Kent, and eight others, applied to the collector of the port for a clearance, and reported, on his return, that the collector desired to consult with the comptroller, and promised an answer on the following morning. The meeting then adjourned until Thursday.

Signature, Sam Phillips Savage

Next day Rotch, with the Committee, proceeded to the Custom House. Harrison, the Collector, and Comptroller[lviii] Hallowell, were both present. The owner said that he was required and compelled at his peril by the meeting to make the demand for the clearance of his vessel for London, with the tea on board, and one of the committee stated that they were present only as witnesses. The Collector unequivocally and finally refused to grant his ship a clearance until it should be discharged of the teas. The result was reported to the meeting on the following morning.

The eventful Thursday, December 16, 1773, a day ever memorable in the annals of the town, witnessed the largest gathering yet seen at the Old South Meeting House. Nearly seven thousand persons constituted the assembly. Business was laid aside, and notwithstanding the rain, at least two thousand people flocked in from the country for twenty miles around. This time there was no need of handbills—there were none. No effort was required to bring together the multitude that quietly but anxiously awaited the outcome of the meeting. The gravity of the situation was universally felt. Immediate action was necessary, as the twenty days allowed for clearance terminated that night. Then the revenue officials could take possession, and under cover of the naval force land the tea, and opposition to this would have caused bloody work. The patriots would gladly have avoided the issue, but it was forced upon them, and they could not recede with honor.

The committee having reported the failure of its application for a clearance, Rotch was directed to enter a protest at the Custom House, and to apply to the governor for a pass to proceed on this day with his vessel on his voyage for London. He replied that it was impracticable to comply[lix] with this requirement. He was then reminded of his promise, and on being asked if he would now direct the "Dartmouth" to sail, replied that he would not. The meeting, after directing him to use all possible dispatch in making his protest and procuring his pass, adjourned until three o'clock.

At the afternoon meeting, information was given that several towns had agreed not to use tea. A vote was taken to the effect that its use was improper and pernicious, and that it would be well for all the towns to appoint committees of inspection "to prevent this accursed tea" from coming among them. "Shall we abide by our former resolution with respect to the not suffering the tea to be landed?" was now the question. Samuel Adams, Dr. Thomas Young and Josiah Quincy, Jr.,[17] an ardent young patriot devotedly attached to the liberties of his country, were the principal speakers. Only a fragment of the speech of Quincy remains. Counselling moderation, and in a spirit of prophecy, he said:

"It is not, Mr. Moderator, the spirit that vapors within these walls that must stand us in stead. The exertions of this day will call forth the events which will make a very different spirit necessary for our salvation. Whoever supposes that shouts and hosannas will terminate the trials of the day, entertains a childish fancy. We must be grossly ignorant of the importance and value of the prize for which we contend; we must be equally ignorant of the power of those who have combined against us; we must be blind to that malice, inveteracy and insatiable revenge which actuates our enemies, public and private, abroad and in our bosom, to hope that we shall end this controversy without the sharpest, the sharpest conflicts; to flatter ourselves that popular resolves, popular harangues, popular acclamations, and popular vapor will vanquish our foes. Let us consider the issue.[lx] Let us look to the end. Let us weigh and consider before we advance to those measures which must bring on the most trying and terrific struggle this country ever saw."

But the time for weighing and considering the business in hand had passed. Time pressed and decisive action alone remained. "Now that the hand is at the plough," it was said, "there must be no looking back."

At half-past four it was unanimously voted that the tea should not be landed. An effort was now made to dissolve the meeting, but it was continued at the request of some of those present from the country, who wished to hear the result of Rotch's application to the governor.

It was an unusual time of the year to be at a country seat, but Governor Hutchinson was found at his Milton residence by Rotch, who renewed his request for a pass. Questioned by the governor as to the intentions of the people, Rotch replied that they only intended to force the tea back to England, but that there might be some who desired that the vessel might go down the harbor and be brought to by a shot from the castle, that it might be said that the people had done everything in their power to send the tea back. "Catching at this straw, with the instinct of a drowning man," Hutchinson offered Rotch a letter to Admiral Montagu, commending ship and goods to his protection, if Rotch would agree to have his ship haul out into the stream, but he replied that none were willing to assist him in doing this, and that the attempt would subject him to the ill will of the people. Hutchinson then sternly repeated his refusal of a pass,[18] as it would have been "a direct countenancing and encouraging the violation of the acts of trade." Thus closed the last opportunity for concession.[lxi]

Signature, John Rowe


"Who knows how tea will mingle with salt water?"—John Rowe. Old South Church, Boston, Dec. 16, 1773.

It is only fair to say that the performance of what he honestly believed to be his duty was as vital a consideration with Thomas Hutchinson, the royal governor, as opposition to measures which he believed to be hostile to the liberties of his country was to Samuel Adams, the popular leader. We can at this day well afford to mete out this tardy justice to a man whose motives and conduct have been so bitterly and unscrupulously vilified and maligned as have been those of Thomas Hutchinson.

Signature, John Rowe

When Rotch returned and told the result of his application, it was nearly six o'clock. Darkness had set in, and the Old South, dimly lighted with candles, was still filled with an anxious and impatient multitude. "Who knows," said John Rowe,[19] "how tea will mingle with salt water?"[lxiv] The people hurrahed vehemently, and the cry arose, "A mob! a mob!" A call to order restored quiet. Dr. Young then addressed the meeting, saying that Rotch was a good man, who had done all in his power to gratify the people, and charged them to do no hurt to his person or property.

To the final question then put to him, whether he would send his vessel back with the tea in her, under the present circumstances, he replied, that he could not, as he "apprehended that a compliance would prove his ruin." He also admitted that if called upon by the proper persons, he should attempt to land the tea for his own security.

Adams then arose and uttered the fateful words, "This meeting can do nothing more to save the country." This was doubtless the preconcerted signal for action, and it was answered by the men who sounded the war-whoop at the church door. The cry was re-echoed from the gallery, where a voice cried out, "Boston harbor a tea-pot to-night; hurrah for Griffin's wharf!" and the "Mohawks" passed on to cut the Gordian knot with their hatchets.

Silence was again commanded, when the people, after "manifesting a most exemplary patience and caution in the methods they had pursued to preserve the property of the East India Company, and to return it safe and untouched to its owners," perceiving that at every step they had been thwarted by the consignees and their coadjutors, then dissolved the meeting, giving three cheers as they dispersed.

Meanwhile a number of persons, variously estimated at from twenty to eighty, (their number increasing as they[lxv] advanced,) some of them disguised as Indians, and armed with hatchets or axes, hurried to Griffin's (now Liverpool) wharf, boarded the ships, and, warning their crews and the customs officers to keep out of the way, in less than three hours time had broken and emptied into the dock three hundred and forty-two chests of tea, valued at £18,000. The deed was not that of a lawless mob, but the deliberate and well-considered act of intelligent, as well as determined, men. So careful were they not to destroy or injure private property, that they even replaced a padlock they had broken. There was no noise nor confusion. They worked so quietly and systematically that those on shore could distinctly hear the strokes of the hatchets. As soon as the people learned what was going forward, they made their way to the scene of operations, covering the wharves in the vicinity, whence they looked on in silence during the performance. The night was clear, the moon shone brilliantly, no one was harmed, and the town was never more quiet. Next day, the Dorchester shore was lined with tea, carried thither by the wind and tide. The serious spirit in which this deed was regarded by the leaders, is illustrated by the act of one who, after assisting his apprentice to disguise himself, dropped upon his knees and prayed fervently for his safety, and the success of the enterprise.

Among the spectators of the scene were Dr. John Prince, of Salem; John Andrews, and Dr. Hugh Williamson, who afterwards underwent an examination respecting the affair before the British House of Commons.

Where is now the wide Atlantic Avenue, the old footpath under Fort Hill, known as Flounder Lane, and afterwards as Broad Street, wound around the margin of the water.[lxvi] Sea Street was its continuation to Wheeler's Point (the foot of Summer Street). Opposite where Hutchinson (now Pearl) Street entered Flounder Lane, was Griffin's Wharf. The laying out of Broad Street and Atlantic Avenue, and the consequent widening and filling in, have resulted in obliterating Griffin's Wharf, although in Liverpool wharf it has a legitimate successor. The old dock logs were found near the centre of the avenue. The coal office of the Messrs. Chapin now occupies the site rendered memorable by the exploit of the Boston tea party.

The destruction of the tea is said to have been planned in the "Long Room," over Edes & Gills' printing-office, on the easterly corner of Franklin Avenue and Court Street, where the "Daily Advertiser" building recently stood. In their back office some of the party it is said were disguised.

Among the members of the "Long Room Club," as those who usually met here were styled, were Samuel Adams, Hancock, Warren, Otis, Church, Samuel Dexter, Dr. Samuel Cooper, and his brother, William Cooper, Thomas Dawes, Samuel Phillips Savage, Royal Tyler, Paul Revere, Thomas Fleet, John Winthrop, William Molineux, and Thomas Melvill.

A similar claim is also made for the "Green Dragon" tavern, then known as the "Freemasons' Arms," which stood near the northerly corner of Union and Hanover Streets, where the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew held its meetings. The honor belongs equally to both. In both, the consultations of the popular leaders were undoubtedly held and their plans laid. Prominent members of this Lodge, who were also active "Sons of Liberty," and members of the tea[lxvii] party were, Paul Revere, Edward Proctor, Thomas Chase, Adam Collson, Samuel Peck and Thomas Urann. Its later members, also identified with the tea party, were Samuel Gore, Daniel Ingersoll, Henry Purkitt, Amos Lincoln, James Swan, Robert Davis, Abraham Hunt, Eliphalet Newell and Nathaniel Willis. Other prominent Free Masons active in the tea affair were Dr. Warren and John Rowe. The tradition of the Lodge is, that the preliminaries of the affair were arranged here, and that the execution of them was committed mainly to the North End Caucus, with the co-operation of the more daring of the "Sons of Liberty." The committee of safety also met here. The record book of the lodge, under date of November 30, 1773, says:

"Lodge met and adjourned. N.B.—The consignees of the tea took the brethren's time."

And on the eventful 16th of December:

"The Lodge met and closed on account of the few members in attendance. Adjourned until to-morrow evening."

Three different parties, one or two of whom were disguised, had been prepared beforehand for this event, by the leaders. Certain it is that there were several squads in different parts of the town, who disguised themselves at their own or their neighbors' houses, and who then rendezvoused at points previously designated, before going to the wharf. Quite an Indian village was improvised at the junction of Hollis and Tremont Streets. John Crane, Joseph Lovering, and the Bradlees occupied opposite corners of this locality, the house and carpenter shop of Crane adjoining the residence of the famous Dr. Mather Byles. Captain Thomas Bolter and Samuel Fenno, also of the tea party, were near neighbors of Crane, and like him, were carpenters.[lxviii] Joseph Lovering, Jr., related that he held the light for Crane and some of his neighbors, to disguise themselves, in Crane's shop. The four brothers Bradlee, and a brother-in-law, were prepared for the occasion at their house opposite.

Perhaps the best contemporaneous account of the affair is the following, from the "Massachusetts Gazette," of December 23:

"Just before the dissolution of the meeting," says the 'Gazette,' a number of brave and resolute men, dressed in the Indian manner, approached near the door of the assembly, and gave a war-whoop, which rang through the house, and was answered by some in the galleries, but silence was commanded, and a peaceable deportment enjoined until the dissolution. The Indians, as they were then called, repaired to the wharf, where the ships lay that had the tea on board, and were followed by hundreds of people, to see the event of the transactions of those who made so grotesque an appearance. The Indians immediately repaired on board Captain Hall's ship, where they hoisted out the chests of tea, and when on deck stove them and emptied the tea overboard. Having cleared this ship, they proceeded to Captain Bruce's, and then to Captain Coffin's brig. They applied themselves so dexterously to the destruction of this commodity, that in the space of three hours they broke up three hundred and forty-two chests, which was the whole number in these vessels, and discharged their contents into the dock. When the tide rose it floated the broken chests and the tea insomuch that the surface of the water was filled therewith a considerable way from the south part of the town to Dorchester Neck, and lodged on the shores. There was the greatest care taken to prevent the tea from being purloined by the populace; one or two being detected in endeavoring to pocket a small quantity were stripped of their acquisitions and very roughly handled. It is worthy of remark that although a considerable quantity of goods were still remaining on board the vessel, no injury was sustained. Such attention to private property was observed, that a small padlock belonging to the captain of one of the ships being broke, another was procured and sent to him. The town was very quiet during the whole evening and the night following. Those who were from the country went home with a merry heart, and the next day joy appeared in almost every countenance, some on account of the destruction of the tea, others on account of the quietness with which it was effected. One of the Monday's papers says the masters and owners are well pleased that their ships are thus cleared."


Another Boston paper says:

"The people repaired to Griffin's wharf, where the tea vessels lay, proceeded to fix tackles and hoist the tea upon deck, cut the chests to pieces, and throw the tea over the side.... They began upon the two ships first, as they had nothing on board but the tea, then proceeded to the brig, which had hauled to the wharf but the day before, and had but a small part of her cargo out. The captain of the brig begged they would not begin with his vessel, as the tea was covered with goods belonging to different merchants in the town. They told him 'the tea they wanted, and the tea they would have, but if he would go into his cabin quietly, not one article of his goods should be hurt.' They immediately proceeded to remove the goods, and then to dispose of the tea."

From the "Evening Post" of Monday, December 20, 1773:

"Previous to the dissolution, a number of persons, supposed to be the aboriginal natives, from their complexion, approaching the door of the assembly, gave the war-whoop, which was answered by a few in the galleries of the house, where the crowded assembly was convened. Silence was commanded, and prudent and peaceable deportment again enjoined. The savages repaired to the ships which contained the pestilential tea, and had begun their ravages previous to the dissolution of the meeting."

Extract from the log-book of the "Dartmouth:"

"Thursday, December 16. This twenty-four hours rainy weather, terminating this day. Between six and seven o'clock this evening, came down to the wharf a body of about one thousand people, among them were a number dressed and whooping like Indians. They came on board the ship, and after warning myself and the custom-house officers to get out of the way, they undid the hatches and went down the hold, where was eighty whole, and thirty-four half chests, of tea, which they hoisted upon deck, and cut the chests to pieces, and hove the tea all overboard, where it was damaged and lost."

John Andrews, an eye-witness, in a letter to a friend relates particulars not elsewhere mentioned. While drinking tea at his house he heard "prodigious shouts," and went to the Old South Meeting House to ascertain the cause:

"The house was so crowded," he says, "that I could get no further than the porch, when I found the moderator was just declaring the meeting to be dissolved, which caused another general shout out-doors and in, and three cheers. What with that and the consequent noise of breaking up the meeting, you'd thought[lxx] the inhabitants of the infernal regions had broke loose. For my part, I went contentedly home and finished my tea, but was soon informed what was going forward. Not crediting it without ocular demonstration, I went and was satisfied. They mustered, I'm told, upon Fort Hill, to the number of about two hundred, and proceeded, two by two, to Griffin's wharf, where Hall, Bruce and Coffin lay.... The latter arrived at the wharf only the day before, and was freighted with a large quantity of other goods, which they took the greatest care not to injure in the least, and before nine o'clock in the evening every chest on board the three vessels was knocked to pieces and flung over the sides. They say the actors were Indians from Narragansett; whether they were or not, to a transient observer they appeared as such, being clothed in blankets, with their heads muffled, and copper-colored countenances, being each armed with a hatchet or axe, or pair of pistols, nor was their dialect different from what I conceive these geniuses to speak, as their jargon was unintelligible to all but themselves. Not the least insult was offered to any person save one Captain Connor, a letter of horses in this place, not many years since removed from dear Ireland, who had ript up the lining of his coat and waistcoat under the arms, and watching his opportunity, had nearly filled them with tea, but being detected, was handled pretty roughly. They not only stripped him of his clothes, but gave him a coat of mud, with a severe bruising into the bargain, and nothing but their utter aversion to making any disturbance prevented his being tarred and feathered."

Many interesting details are supplied by the reminiscences of the actors themselves, long afterwards. In the "Recollections of a Bostonian," published in the "Centinel," in 1821-22, the writer says he spent the night but one before the destruction of the tea as one of the guard detached from the new grenadier corps, in company with Gen. Knox, then one of its officers, on board one of the tea ships. He heard John Rowe suggest to the meeting in the Old South, "Who knows how tea will mingle with salt water?" a suggestion received with great applause. He further states that when the answer of the governor was reported to the meeting—

"An Indian yell was heard from the street. Mr. Samuel Adams cried out that it was a trick of their enemies to disturb the meeting, and requested the people to keep their places, but the people rushed out and accompanied the[lxxi] Indians to the ships. The number of persons disguised as Indians is variously stated,—none put it lower than sixty, nor higher than eighty. The destruction was effected by them, and some young men who volunteered. One of the latter collected the tea which fell into the shoes of himself and companions, and put it in a phial and sealed it up,—now in his possession.... The hall of council is said to have been in the back room of Edes' printing-office, at the corner of the alley leading to Brattle Street Church, from Court Street."

In 1827, Joshua Wyeth, of Cincinnati, related the following particulars of the affair to Rev. Timothy Flint. Wyeth, then sixteen years old, was a journeyman blacksmith in the employ of Watson and Gridley. He says:

"Our numbers were between twenty-eight and thirty. Of my associates I only remember the names of Frothingham, Mead, Martin and Grant. Many of them were apprentices and journeymen, not a few, as was the case with myself, living with Tory masters. I had but a few hours warning of what was intended to be done. We first talked of firing the ships, but feared the fire would communicate to the town. We then proposed sinking them, but dropped that project through fear that we should alarm the town before we could get through with it. We had observed that very few persons remained on board the ships, and we finally concluded that we could take possession of them, and discharge the tea into the harbor without danger or opposition. One of the ships laid at the wharf, the others a little way out in the stream, with their warps made fast to the wharf. To prevent discovery, we agreed to wear ragged clothes and disfigure ourselves, dressing to resemble Indians as much as possible, smearing our faces with grease and lamp black or soot, and should not have known each other except by our voices. Our most intimate friends among the spectators had not the least knowledge of us. We surely resembled devils from the bottomless pit rather than men. At the appointed time we met in an old building at the head of the wharf, and fell in one after another, as if by accident, so as not to excite suspicion. We placed a sentry at the head of the wharf, another in the middle, and one on the bow of each ship as we took possession. We boarded the ship moored by the wharf, and our leader, in a very stern and resolute manner, ordered the captain and crew to open the hatchways, and hand us the hoisting tackle and ropes, assuring them that no harm was intended them. The captain asked what we intended to do. Our leader told him that we were going to unload the tea, and ordered him and the crew below. They instantly obeyed. Some of our number then jumped into the hold, and passed the chests to the tackle. As they were hauled on deck others knocked them open with axes, and others raised them to the railing and discharged their contents overboard. All who were not needed[lxxii] for discharging this ship went on board the others, warped them to the wharf, when the same ceremonies were repeated. We were merry, in an undertone, at the idea of making so large a cup of tea for the fishes, but were as still as the nature of the case would admit, using no more words than were absolutely necessary. We stirred briskly in the business from the moment we left our dressing-room. I never worked harder in my life. While we were unloading, the people collected in great numbers about the wharf to see what was going on. They crowded around us so as to be much in our way. Our sentries were not armed, and could not stop any who insisted on passing. They were particularly charged to give us notice in case any known Tory came down to the wharf. There was much talk about this business next morning. We pretended to be as zealous to find out the perpetrators as the rest, and were all so close and loyal, that the whole affair remained in Egyptian darkness."

In 1835, a small volume appeared, entitled "Traits of the Tea Party," with a memoir of G.R.T. Hewes. From it we glean the following incidents.

Mr. Hewes thinks that among the speakers at the meeting on the afternoon of December 16, was John Hancock, who said that "the matter must be settled before twelve o'clock that night." Hewes positively affirms that he recognized Hancock, who worked by his side in the destruction of the tea, not only by his ruffles, which were accidentally exposed, and by his figure and gait, but by his voice and features, notwithstanding his paint, and the loosened club of hair behind. In this he was undoubtedly mistaken. Neither Hancock, Adams nor Warren were among the disguised Indians. There were enough who were competent for the business without them.

Just before the meeting dissolved, some one in the galleries (Mr. Pierce thinks it was Adam Collson) cried out with a loud voice, "Boston harbor a tea-pot to-night! Hurrah for Griffin's wharf!" This is probably the disorder checked by the chairman, and which was in response to the[lxxiii] war-whoops outside. Three cheers were given by the meeting as it broke up.

The disguise of the Indians was hastily prepared. Many of them arrayed themselves in a store on Fort Hill. The original number of one of the parties was fifteen or twenty. Many others joined in the act of breaking up the boxes, who disguised themselves as best they could, and some, chiefly extempore volunteers, were not disguised at all. Hewes himself, while the crowd rushed down Milk Street, made his way to a blacksmith's shop, on Boylston's wharf, where he hastily begrimmed his face with a soot-able preparation, thence to the house of an acquaintance near Griffin's, where he got a blanket, which he wrapped around his person.

When he reached the wharf, there were many there, but no crowd. The moon shone brightly. From one hundred to one hundred and fifty were engaged. The whole were divided into three equal divisions, with a captain and boatswain for each. Hewes's whistling talent—a matter of public notoriety—procured him the position of boatswain in the party, under Captain Lendall Pitts, which boarded the brig. Many were fantastically arrayed in old frocks, red woolen caps or gowns, and all manner of like habiliments.

One of Pitts's first official acts was to send a message to the mate, who was in his cabin, for the use of a few lights and the brig's keys, so that as little damage as possible might be done to the vessel. The keys were handed over without a word, and he also provided candles. The three parties finished their separate tasks nearly at the same time, and without unnecessary delay. A number of sailors and others had joined them from time to time, and aided them in hoisting the chests from the hold.[lxxiv]

Collecting on the wharf, which was now covered with spectators, a fresh inspection was instituted, and all the tea men were ordered to take off their shoes and empty them, which was supposed to be done. Pitts, who was a military man, and a prominent Son of Liberty, was appointed commander-in-chief; the company was formed in rank and file by his directions, with the aid of Barber, Proctor, and some others, and "shouldering arms,"—such as they had, tomahawks included,—they marched up the wharf, to what is now the east end of Pearl Street, back into town, and then separated and went quietly home.

All was done in plain sight of the British squadron, which lay less than a quarter of a mile distant. Admiral Montagu witnessed most of the affair from a more convenient point—the house of a Tory, named Coffin, on Atkinson Street, near the head of the wharf. Raising the window as they came along, he said, "Well, boys, you have had a fine, pleasant evening for your Indian caper, haven't you? But mind, you have got to pay the fiddler yet!"

"Oh, never mind!" shouted Pitts, "never mind, squire! Just come out here, if you please, and we'll settle the bill in two minutes." This caused a shout, the fife struck up a lively air, the admiral put the window down in a hurry, and the company marched on.

When Hewes reached home he told his wife the story. "Well, George," said she, "Did you bring me home a lot of it?" The only tea known to have been brought that night from the wharf was in the shoes of Thomas Melvill. A sample gathered on the Dorchester shore by Dr. Thaddeus M. Harris, is now preserved in the cabinet of the Antiquarian Society, at Worcester.[lxxv]



One O'Connor, an Irishman, formerly a fellow apprentice with Hewes, attempted to secrete some of the tea. Hewes noticed a suspicious movement of his hands along the lining of his coat, and informed Pitts. Catching him by the skirts of his coat, he pulled him back as he was trying to escape, and he was quickly relieved of his cargo, as well as the apparel which contained it, and a few kicks were applied to hasten his retreat.

Early on the morning of the 17th, a long windrow of tea, "about as big as you ever saw of hay," was seen extending from the wharves down to the castle. A party of volunteers soon turned out in boats, and stirred it up in the "pot" pretty effectually.

Those who undertook to preserve any of the poisonous herb were sharply looked after by the patriots. A Boston paper of January 3, 1774, says:

"Whereas, it was reported that one Withington, of Dorchester, had taken up and partly disposed of a chest of the East India Company's tea, a number of the Cape or Narragansett Indians went to the house of Captain Ebenezer Withington, and his brother Phillip, last Friday evening, and thoroughly searched their houses, without offering the least offence to any one. Finding no tea, they proceeded to the house of old Mr. Ebenezer Withington, at a place called Sodom, below Dorchester Meeting House, where they found part of a half-chest, which had floated, and was cast up on Dorchester Point. This they seized and brought to Boston Common, where they committed it to the flames."

Benjamin Simpson, a bricklayer's apprentice, says:

"After the meeting in the Old South was over, there was a cry in the gallery of 'every man to his tent.' We repaired to the wharf. I went on board both ships, but saw no person belonging to them. In a few minutes a number of men came on the wharf, (with the Indian pow-wow,) went on board the ships, then lying at the side of the wharf, the water in the dock not more than two feet deep. They began to throw the tea into the water, which went off with the[lxxviii] tide till the tea grounded. We soon found there was tea on board the brig also. A demand being made of it, the captain told us the whole of his cargo was on board; that the tea was directly under the hatches, which he would open if we would not damage anything but the tea, which was agreed to. The hatches were then opened, a man sent down to show us the tea, which we hoisted out, stove the chests and threw tea and all overboard. Those on board the ships did the same. I was on board the ships when the tea was so high by the side of them as to fall in, which was shovelled down more than once. We on board the brig were not disguised. I was then nineteen years old; I am now (1830) seventy-five."

Peter, the son of Benjamin Edes, the printer, in a letter to his grandson, Benjamin C. Edes, written in 1836, says of the tea party:

"I know but little about it, as I was not admitted into their presence, for fear, I suppose, of their being known.... I recollect perfectly well that in the afternoon preceding the evening of the destruction of the tea, a number of gentlemen met in the parlor of my father's house,—how many I cannot say. As I said before, I was not admitted into their presence; my station was in another room, to make punch for them, in the bowl[20] which is now in your possession, and which I filled several times. They remained in the house till dark,—I suppose to disguise themselves like Indians,—when they left the house, and proceeded to the wharves where the vessels lay. Before they reached there they were joined by hundreds. I thought I would take a walk to the wharves as a spectator, where was collected, I may say, as many as two thousand persons. The Indians worked smartly. Some were in the hold immediately after the hatches were broken open, fixing the ropes to the tea-chests, others were breaking open the chests, and others stood ready with hatchets to cut off the bindings of the chests and cast them overboard. I remained till I was tired, and fearing some disturbance might occur, went home, leaving the Indians working like good, industrious fellows. This is all I know about it."

The account given by General Ebenezer Stevens to his son, Horatio Gates Stevens, is as follows:

"I went from the Old South Meeting House just after dark. The party was about seventy or eighty. At the head of the wharf we met the detachment of[lxxix] our company (Paddock's Artillery) on guard, who joined us. I commenced with a party on board the vessel of which Hodgdon[21] was mate, (the 'Dartmouth') and as he knew me, I left that vessel with some of my comrades and went aboard another vessel, which lay at the opposite side of the wharf. Numbers of others took our places on board Hodgdon's vessel. We commenced handing the boxes of tea on deck, and first began breaking them with axes, but found much difficulty, owing to the boxes of tea being covered with canvas,—the mode that the article was then imported in. I think that all the tea was destroyed in about two hours. We were careful to prevent any being taken away. None of the party were painted as Indians, nor, that I know of, disguised, excepting that some of them stopped at a paint shop on the way, and daubed their faces with paint."

Signature, Alexander Hodgdon

Robert Sessions, of South Wilbraham, (now Hampden) Mass., another actor in the scene, says:

"I was living in Boston at the time, in the family of a Mr. Davis, a lumber merchant, as a common laborer. On that eventful evening, when Mr. Davis came in from the town meeting, I asked him what was to be done with the tea. 'They are now throwing it overboard,' he replied. Receiving permission, I went immediately to the spot. Everything was as light as day, by the means of lamps and torches; a pin might be seen lying on the wharf. I went on board where they were at work, and took hold with my own hands. I was not one of those appointed to destroy the tea, and who disguised themselves as Indians, but was a volunteer; the disguised men being largely men of family and position in Boston, while I was a young man, whose home and relations were in Connecticut. The appointed and disguised party proving too small for the quick work necessary, other young men, similarly circumstanced with myself, joined them in their labors. The chests were drawn up by a tackle,—one man bringing them forward, another putting a rope around them, and others hoisting them to the deck and[lxxx] carrying them to the vessel's side. The chests were then opened, the tea emptied over the side, and the chests thrown overboard. Perfect regularity prevailed during the whole transaction. Although there were many people on the wharf, entire silence prevailed,—no clamor, no talking. Nothing was meddled with but the teas on board. After having emptied the whole, the deck was swept clean, and everything put in its proper place. An officer on board was requested to come up from the cabin and see that no damage was done except to the tea. At about the close of the scene, a man was discovered making his way through the crowd with his pockets filled with tea. He was immediately laid hold of, and his coat skirts torn off, with their pockets, and thrown into the dock with the rest of the tea. I was obliged to leave the town at once, as it was of course known that I was concerned in the affair."

William Tudor, then a law student in the office of John Adams, and acquainted with some of the members of the tea party, gives in his "Life of James Otis," the following account of it:

"A band of eighteen or twenty young men (no one of whom was in any disguise), who had been prepared for the event, went by the Meeting House giving a shout. It was echoed by some within; others exclaimed, 'the Mohawks are come!;' the assembly broke up and a part of it followed this body of young men to Griffin's wharf. Three different parties, composed of trust-worthy persons, many of whom were in after life among the most respectable citizens of the town, had been prepared, in conformity to the secret resolves of the political leaders, to act as circumstances should require. They were seventy or eighty in all, and when every attempt to have the tea returned had failed, it was immediately made known to them, and they proceeded at once to throw the obnoxious merchandise into the water. One, if not two of these parties, wore a kind of Indian disguise. Two of these persons, in passing over Fort Hill to the scene of operations, met a British officer who, on observing them, naturally enough drew his sword. As they approached, one of the Indians drew a pistol, and said to the officer, 'The path is wide enough for us all; we have nothing to do with you, and intend you no harm; if you keep your own way peaceably, we shall keep ours."

Henry Purkitt, Samuel Sprague and John Hooten, (all living in 1835,) were apprentices of about the same age. Purkitt and Dolbear were apprentices with Peck, the cooper, in Essex Street. While at their work they heard a loud[lxxxi] whistle, which startled them, and which they followed till it brought them to the wharf. Their part of the play was on the flats, by the side of one of the vessels,—for it was nearly low tide,—and with other boys, by direction of the commander, to break up more thoroughly the fragments of chests and masses of tea thrown over in too great haste. They found their return upon deck much facilitated by the immense pile which had accumulated beneath and around them. The commander acted as an interpreter for those persons,—apparently five or six aboard each vessel,—who especially assumed the Indian guise. These were no doubt among the principal directors of the whole affair. They affected to issue their orders from time to time in an Indian jargon, the interpreter communicating what the chiefs said; attended to the procuring of keys and lights, the raising of the derricks, trampling the tea into the mud, sweeping the decks at the close of the scene, calling up the mate to report whether everything (except, of course, the tea) was left as they found it, etc.

Purkitt and Dolbear went home early. Peck, who was believed to be one of the chiefs, came in rather softly, at one o'clock in the morning. The boys noticed some indications of red paint behind his ears, next day. The only tools they used were staves, which they made before starting.

David Kinnison, the last survivor of the tea party, died at Chicago in 1852, at the great age of one hundred and fifteen. He was one of seventeen inhabitants of Lebanon, Maine, who had associated themselves together as a political club, and, who had determined, at all hazards, to destroy the tea, whether assisted or not. Some of them repairing to Boston,[lxxxii] joined the party, and twenty-four, disguised as Indians, hastened on board the ships, twelve armed with muskets and bayonets, the rest with tomahawks and clubs. They expected to have a fight, not doubting that an effort would be made for their arrest, and agreed at the outset to stand by each other to the last. They also pledged themselves not to reveal the names of the party. Owing to the great age of Kinnison, when this relation was made to Mr. Lossing, it is possibly in some particulars erroneous, and is given only as a piece of original evidence, and simply for what it is worth.

With a British squadron and British troops so near at hand, it seems strange that the party was not interrupted. The probable reason is, that something far more serious was expected on any attempt to land the tea, and that the authorities, the owners of the ships, the consignees of the tea, and all others concerned, were glad to be thus extricated from a serious dilemma. They, however, could not be called upon to interfere, except by the civil authorities, in case of a riot.

Governor Hutchinson says "the tea could have been secured in the town in no other way than by landing marines from the men-of-war, or bringing to town the regiment which was at the castle, to remove the guards from the ships and to take their places." This would have brought on a greater convulsion than there was any danger of in 1770, and it would not have been possible, when two regiments were forced out of the town, for so small a body of troops to have kept possession of the place. He did not suppose such a measure would be approved of in England, nor was he sure of support from any one person in authority. There was not a justice of peace, sheriff, constable or peace officer in the province who would venture to take cognizance of any[lxxxiii] breach of law against the general bent of the people. So many of the actors were universally known that a proclamation, with a reward for discovery, would have been ridiculed. Hutchinson submitted the consideration of the affair to the council, and that body promised to give it attention, but nothing came of it. "Of the thousands concerned in the transaction," wrote General Gage to the historian Chalmers, "or who were spectators of it, only one witness could be procured to give testimony against them, and that one conditionally that the delinquents should be tried in England." So far as is known, only a single person was arrested,—a Mr. Eckley, and he was never brought to trial.

A fourth tea-ship, destined for Boston, was wrecked on Cape Cod. The few chests of tea saved from her cargo were, by the governor's order, placed in the castle. Twenty-eight chests, brought a little later by another vessel from London, on the joint account of Boston merchants, were destroyed by a disguised party, on March 7, 1774. The people of Charlestown destroyed, in the market place, all the tea they could find in the town, paying the owners its value. Other towns did the same.

An account of the transaction, drawn up by the Boston committee, was carried by Paul Revere, to New York and Philadelphia. When the news reached New York, vast numbers of the people collected. They were in high spirits, one and all declaring that the ships with tea on board, designed for that port, should on arrival be sent back, or the tea destroyed. They highly extolled the Bostonians for what the people had done, and immediately forwarded the news to Philadelphia. When Revere, on his return, brought word that Governor Tryon had engaged to send[lxxxiv] the New York tea-ships back, all the bells in Boston were rung next morning.

Extract from a letter to the Sons of Liberty, in New York, dated Boston, December 17, 1773:

"The bearer is chosen by the committee from a number of gentlemen, who volunteered to carry you this intelligence. We are in a perfect jubilee. Not a Tory in the whole community can find the least fault with our proceedings.... The spirit of the people throughout the country is to be described by no terms in my power. Their conduct last night surprised the admiral and English gentlemen, who observed that these were not a mob of disorderly rabble, (as they have been reported,) but men of sense, coolness and intrepidity."

The tea shipped to South Carolina (two hundred and fifty-seven chests) arrived on the second of December. So strenuous was the opposition to its being landed, that the consignees were persuaded to resign. Though the collector, after the twentieth day, seized the dutiable article, as no one would sell it or pay the duty, it perished in the damp cellars where it was stored.

On December 25, news reached Philadelphia that its tea-ship was at Chester. The Delaware pilots had been warned, by printed handbills, not to conduct any tea-ships into the harbor, as they were only sent for the purpose of enslaving and poisoning the Americans. Four miles below the town it came to anchor. On the 27th, news of what had occurred in Boston having arrived, five thousand men collected in town meeting at an hour's notice. At their suggestion, the consignee, who came as passenger, resigned, and the captain agreed to take his ship and cargo back to London the very next day.

The ship "Nancy," Captain Lockyer, destined for New York, having been blown off the coast, refitted at Antigua, and proceeding thence to New York, arrived there April 18,[lxxxv] 1774. Some of the committee went on board and prevented her coming up to the city, but the captain was allowed to procure some necessary stores, and then, by the advice of the consignees, returned to London without breaking bulk. A quantity of tea—private property—was imported from London, and an application from the consignee to have it returned to England was refused by the custom-house officers. A number of "Mohawks" then took charge of the business, and emptied the whole of it into the sea.

A few days later, Captain Chambers, master of the ship "London," trading to New York, who had on a former occasion received the thanks of her citizens for refusing to bring the East India Company's tea, was detected in introducing eighteen boxes of fine tea, curiously concealed between blankets, etc., which he intended to smuggle, but the people having discovered it, immediately threw it into the sea, and the captain, to escape the wrath of the people, took refuge in Captain Lockyer's vessel, and sailed for England.

Opposition to the obnoxious tea duty had by no means subsided, when, in October, 1774, the brigantine "Peggy Stewart" approached Annapolis, Maryland, with a cargo of tea on board. At once there was a great commotion. Terror seized the owners. They applied to Charles Carroll for advice. He told them there was but one way to save their persons and property from swift destruction, and that was to burn their vessel and cargo instantly, and in sight of the people. It was done, and the flames did for Annapolis what the "Mohawks" had done for Boston.

"This," said Hutchinson, referring to the action of Boston,[lxxxvi] "was the boldest stroke that had been struck in America." Writing to Sir Francis Bernard, he spoke of it as "an unfortunate event, and what every body supposed impossible after so many men of property had made part of the meetings, and were in danger of being liable for the value of it. It would have given me a much more painful reflection," he continued, "if I had saved it by any concession to a lawless and highly criminal assembly of men, to whose proceedings the loss must be consequently attributed, and the probability is that it was a part of their plan from the beginning."

"We do console ourselves," wrote John Scollay, chairman of the Selectmen of Boston, and prominent in the affair, "that we have acted constitutionally."

"The most magnificent movement of all," wrote John Adams in his diary. "There is a dignity, a majesty, a solemnity in this last effort of the patriots that I greatly admire. This destruction of the tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, so intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important consequences, and so lasting, that I cannot but consider it as an epoch in history. The question is whether the destruction of the tea was necessary? I apprehend it was absolutely and indispensably so.... To let it be landed would be giving up the principle of taxation by Parliamentary authority, against which the continent has struggled for ten years.... But, it will be said, it might have been left in the care of a committee of the town, or in Castle William. To this many objections may be urged."

The historian Ramsay says: "If the American position was right in relation to taxation, the destruction of the tea was warranted by the great law of self-preservation. For it was not possible for them by any other means within[lxxxvii] the compass of probability to discharge the duty they owed to their country."

"I cannot but express my admiration of the conduct of this people," writes an 'Impartial Observer' in the "Boston Evening Post" of December 20, 1773.... "I shall return home doubly fortified in my resolution to prevent that deprecated calamity, the landing the tea in Rhode Island, and console myself with the happier assurance that my brethren have not less resolution than their neighbors."

"It became," says Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, "a simple question, which should go under, British tea or American liberty? That volunteer band of Liberty Boys performed their work 'better than they knew,' averting contingencies which must have caused immediate bloodshed, and accomplishing results of the greatest importance to the American cause."

Wm. C. Rives, in his Life of James Madison, says: "This memorable occurrence was undoubtedly, in the immediate sequence of the events which it produced, the proximate cause of the American Revolution."

A Tory pamphleteer of the time gives us the Loyalist view of the affair. He says: "Now the crime of the Bostonians was a compound of the grossest injury and insult. It was an act of the highest insolence towards government, such as mildness itself cannot overlook or forgive. The injustice of the deed was also most atrocious, as it was the destruction of property to a vast amount, when it was known that the nation was obliged in honor to protect it."

We subjoin some of the comments of candid British writers respecting the affair. Mr. Massey says: "The question of taxation was virtually settled by this signal[lxxxviii] failure to enforce the law, or rather by the absence of any attempt to protect the property of merchants who had made their ventures by the express authority, if not at the instance of the British government."

While speaking of the destruction of the tea as the "crowning outrage," Lecky says, "It will probably strike the reader that every argument which shewed that the tea duty was not a grievance, was equally powerful to show that it was perfectly useless as a means of obtaining a revenue. It would be difficult indeed to find a more curious instance of legislative incapacity than the whole transaction displayed."

Hear Carlyle:

"Thursday, December 16, 1773. What a contention is going on far over seas at Boston, New England. The case is well known and still memorable to mankind. British parliament, after nine years of the saddest haggling, and baffling to and fro under constitutional stress of weather, and such east winds and west winds of parliamentary eloquence as seldom were, has made up its mind that America shall pay duty on their teas before infusing them, and America, Boston more especially, is tacitly determined that it will not, and that to avoid mistakes the teas shall never be landed at all....

"Rotch's report done, the chairman (an Adams 'American Cato,' subsequently so called,) dissolves the sorrowful seven thousand, with these words, 'The meeting declares it can do nothing more to save the country," we'll naturally go home then and weep. Hark however! almost on the instant, in front of the Old South Meeting House, a terrific war-whoop, and about fifty Mohawk Indians, with whom Adams seems to be acquainted, and speaks without interpreter: Aha!

"And sure enough, before the stroke of seven these fifty painted Mohawks are forward without noise to Griffin's wharf, have put sentries all round them, and in a great silence of the neighborhood, are busy in three gangs upon the dormant tea ships, opening their chests and punctually shaking them out into the sea. Listening from the distance you could hear distinctly the ripping open of the chests and no other sound. About ten p.m. all was finished, ... the Mohawks gone like a dream, and Boston sleeping more silently even than usual."

In England, the news of the destruction of the tea at Boston was received with astonishment, not unmixed with anger. Men of all parties were swept into the hostile[lxxxix] current. Coercive measures were at once brought forward in parliament. In the debates that ensued, a member said, "The town of Boston ought to be knocked about their ears and destroyed." Moderate and judicious men made a gallant stand against the bill shutting up the port of Boston, but the current was irresistible, and the measure, with others of like character, passed by overwhelming votes. Burke, on the question of the repeal of the tea tax, made one of his noblest efforts. Colonel Barré told the House that if they would keep their hands out of the pockets of the Americans they would be obedient subjects. Johnstone, formerly governor of Florida, who had before predicted to the East India Company, that exporting tea on their own account was absurd and would end in loss, now predicted that the Port Bill would, if passed, be productive of a general confederacy to resist the power of Britain, and end in a general revolt. His utterances were prophetic indeed. These measures did unite the colonies, and produced a general revolt ending in American independence.

Accounts vary greatly as to the number and appearance of the tea party. The original body which arrived so opportunely at the door of the "Old South," and which may have included Molineux, Revere, and the more prominent leaders, was probably not numerous. They, however, had passed the word, and trusty coadjutors were not long in following them. Colonel Tudor and Colonel Stevens say they were not disguised, but all other accounts state that they were in the Indian dress, or something resembling it.

The historian, Gordon, places their number at seventeen, "though judged to be many more as they ran across Fort Hill." "Our number was between twenty-eight and thirty,"[xc] says Wyeth, one of the party. Hutchinson says about fifty, and many have since adopted his statement. Tudor, in his "Life of Otis," says seventy or eighty. Colonel Ebenezer Stevens agrees with him. "None put the number lower than sixty, nor higher than eighty," is the recollection of "a Bostonian," fifty years after the event. John Andrews was told that they mustered on Fort Hill to the number of about two hundred. "From one hundred to one hundred and fifty being more or less actively engaged" thought Hewes, one of the actors. "Two or three hundred dressed like Indians," wrote Dr. Cooper to Dr. Franklin.

These varying estimates may be accounted for in this way. Those who report the smaller number either repeated what they were told, or saw only one of the parties on its way to the ships, while the others speak of the entire body after its separate parts had united at the wharf. Some may mean only such of the party as were in Indian dress. If we place the number on board the ships at fifty or sixty, and estimate those at work by the sides of the vessels at sixty or seventy, we shall probably not be far out of the way, the whole number then aggregating from one hundred and ten to one hundred and thirty. The names of more than one hundred of these have been preserved.

Who were these men? "Depend upon it," said John Adams to Hezekiah Niles in 1819, "These were no ordinary Mohawks. The profound secrecy in which they have held their names, and the total abstinence of plunder, are proofs of the character of the men." But two of the recognized leaders of the people were there,—Dr. Young and Thomas Molineux. Most of them were mechanics and apprentices, but they were mechanics of the stamp of[xci] Revere, Howard, Wheeler, Crane and Peck, men who could restrain and keep in due subordination the more fiery and dangerous element, always present in popular demonstrations. That element was not wholly absent on this occasion, for Mackintosh, the leader in the Stamp Act riots, was present with "his chickens," as he called them, and active in destroying the tea. There were also professional men, like Dr. Young and Dr. Story, and merchants, such as Molineux, Proctor, Melvill, Palmer, May, Pitts and Davis, men of high character and standing, so that all classes were fairly represented. As might be expected, those appointed for the work, and who were in Indian dress, were largely men of family and position in Boston.

A writer in the American Magazine of History attempts to discredit the statement that the party were in Indian dress, intimating that it was an afterthought, intended to deceive the authorities, and lead them to the belief that the disguise was too complete to allow of identification for arrest or punishment. Cavils like this are superfluous in view of the abundant testimony to the contrary. The sworn protest of Captain Bruce, of the "Eleanor," one of the tea-ships, given on a subsequent page in this volume, is of itself sufficient evidence upon this point. The number of those who, prepared as they were, on the spur of the moment, really bore any very great resemblance to Indians, was no doubt small. A large number of the actors hastily assumed such disguises as were nearest at hand.

No doubt the principals in this transaction pledged one another to keep their connection with it a profound secret, and they did so, but the young apprentices and volunteers, who, without premeditation, joined the party on its way to[xcii] the wharf, were under no such restraint, and we can only wonder that they made no revelation concerning an event of such importance. It was not until a very late period of their lives that any of them opened their lips publicly about it, and when more than half a century had elapsed since it occurred.

The names of fifty-eight of these men, given below, are taken from Thatcher's "Traits of the Tea Party," published in 1835, while nine or ten of them were yet living, the source whence all later lists have been derived. Possibly this list is identical with that mentioned as having once been in the possession of Peter, the son of Benjamin Edes, the printer. Of this list it is safe to say that, while far from being complete, it is correct as far as it goes. The names that follow the list of 1835, have been gleaned from a great variety of sources, principally family tradition.

"List of the tea party, furnished in 1835, by an aged Bostonian, well acquainted with the subject, of the persons generally supposed, within his knowledge, to have been more or less actively engaged." Those starred were then living:

*George R.T. Hewes.Nathaniel Green.
Joseph Shed.*Benj. Simpson.
John Crane.Joseph Eayres.
Josiah Wheeler.Joseph Lee.
Thomas Urann.William Molineux.
Adam Collson.Paul Revere.
S. Coolidge.John Spurr.
Joseph Payson.Thomas Moore.
James Brewer.Samuel Howard.
Thomas Bolter.Matthew Loring.
Edward Proctor.Thomas Spear.
Samuel Sloper.Daniel Ingoldson.
Thomas Gerrish.Richard Hunnewell.
John Hooton.James Starr.
*Jonathan Hunnewell.Abraham Tower.
Thomas Chase.*William Pierce.
Thomas Melvill.William Russell.
*Henry Purkitt.T. Gammell.
Edward C. Howe.—— McIntosh.
Ebenezer Stevens.Dr. Thomas Young.
Nicholas Campbell.Joshua Wyeth.
John Russell.Edward Dolbear.
Thomas Porter.—— Martin.
William Hendley.Samuel Peck.
Benjamin Rice.Lendall Pitts.
Samuel Gore.*Samuel Sprague.
Nathaniel Frothingham.Benjamin Clarke.
Moses Grant.Richard Hunnewell, Jr.
*Peter Slater.*John Prince.

Additional names of the tea party, derived principally from family tradition:

Nathaniel Barber.William Etheridge.
Samuel Barnard.Samuel Fenno.
Henry Bass.Samuel Foster.
Edward Bates.John Fulton.
Nathaniel Bradlee.Samuel Hammond.
David Bradlee.John Hicks.
Josiah Bradlee.Samuel Hobbs.
Thomas Bradlee.Thomas Hunstable.
Seth Ingersoll Brown.Abraham Hunt.
Stephen Bruce.David Kinnison.
Benjamin Burton.Amos Lincoln.
George Carleton.Thomas Machin.
Gilbert Colesworthy.Archibald Macneil.
John Cochran.John May.
Gershom Collier.—— Mead.
James Foster Condy.Anthony Morse.
Samuel Cooper.Eliphalet Newell.
Thomas Dana, Jr.Joseph Pearse Palmer.
Robert Davis.Jonathan Parker.
Joseph Eaton.John Peters.
—— Eckley.Samuel Pitts.
Henry Prentiss.John Truman.
John Randall.Isaac Williams.
Joseph Roby.David Williams.
Phineas Stearns.Jeremiah Williams.
Robert Sessions.Thomas Williams.
Elisha Story.Nathaniel Willis.
James Swan.




Boston Tea Party.


A prominent merchant and patriot of Boston, was one of the famous "Whig Club" of ante-revolutionary days, in which were James Otis, Dr. Church, Dr. Warren and other leaders of the popular party. In it Civil Rights and the British Constitution were standing topics for discussion. He was one of the committee of correspondence, from its creation in 1772, and afterwards of the committee of safety, and was naval officer of the port of Boston in 1784. He joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1780, and died at his house, in Bear Lane, (Richmond Street,) October 13, 1787; aged 59. Before the Revolution he kept an insurance office in Fish (now North) Street.


A major in the Revolutionary army, was born in Watertown, Mass., June 19, 1737; died August 8, 1782.[xcvi]


A prominent "Son of Liberty," a merchant on Orange Street, residing in Rawson's Lane, (Bromfield Street,) died June 5, 1813; aged 74. He was the first volunteer on the roll of the guard of the tea-ship, November 29, 1773. Drake ("Old Landmarks of Boston,") says Samuel Adams and Major Melvill often passed a convivial evening, and ate a Sunday dinner, at his house.

Signature, Henry Bass


A housewright, residing on Nassau (now Tremont) Street, died in August, 1811; aged 76. Mary, his widow, died May 30, 1813; aged 76.

Signature, Nathaniel Bradlee

"Owe no man anything. Be true to thyself, to thy country, and to thy God."

C.D. Bradlee, Blackstone Square, Boston.


Were brothers, who lived in the house yet standing, on the southerly corner of Hollis and Tremont Streets. Their sister, Sarah, assisted her husband, John Fulton, and her brothers, to disguise themselves, having made preparations for the emergency a day or two beforehand, and afterwards followed them to the wharf, and saw the tea thrown into the dock. Soon returning, she had hot water in readiness[xcvii] for them when they arrived, and assisted in removing the paint from their faces. As the story goes, before they could change their clothes, a British officer looked in to see if the young men were at home, having a suspicion that they were in the tea business. He found them in bed, and to all appearance asleep, they having slipped into bed without removing their "toggery," and feigning sleep. The officer departed satisfied. Mrs. Fulton helped to dress the wounds of the soldiers who were in the battle of Bunker Hill. She died in Medford, Mass., in 1836, and is the authority for the above statement. Of the brothers,—

David, was born November 24, 1742; died March 10, 1811.

Signature, David Bradlee

Thomas, born December 4, 1744; died Oct. —, 1805.

Nathaniel, born February 16, 1746; died May 8, 1813.

Josiah, born March 24, 1754; died October 2, 1798.

The old house, built by Nathaniel, in 1771, is now the residence of his grandson, Nathaniel Bradlee Doggett, to whose son, Samuel Bradlee Doggett, I am indebted for the above facts.


Pump and blockmaker, in Summer Street, died in April, 1805. He took an active part in the early movements of the Revolution; was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," November 30, 1773, and prominent in the destruction of her cargo, and was also one of the young men who removed at noon-day, and while it was under guard, the cannon from the gun-house on West Street,[xcviii] which afterwards found its way to Washington's camp. Some of the tea party met at his house, and were assisted in preparing themselves by his wife and daughter, who blackened their faces with burnt cork. He was a confidential messenger between Governor Hancock and Washington, and was afterwards a prisoner of war, having been taken in a privateer, in 1781. He was an early member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, and was also a member of the Massachusetts Lodge of Freemasons in 1792. His son, Thomas, a member of the City Council of Boston in 1825-26, died June 4, 1859; aged 78.


Was born in Cambridge, Mass., March 13, 1750. He was the son of William Brown, born in 1683. Mr. Brown's trade was that of a house carpenter. In the lower part of his shop, in Charlestown, was stored the ammunition afterwards used in the battle of Bunker Hill. He was in full sympathy with the cause of liberty; was one of the "Mohawks" on the memorable 16th of December, and on that occasion was masked and painted, and bore a club. He used to relate to his daughters, that on returning home from the scene of destruction, he had to fight his way through the excited crowd, with his back to the houses, to avoid discovery. They kept his connection with the affair a profound secret many years, and when it was spoken of in their old age, excused their silence regarding it on the ground that they thought it was a disgrace, like a riot or a mob, and ought not to be told. At Bunker Hill he was[xcix] wounded in the leg, and also received an injury to his eye. He said he should never forget the cry that went up during the battle, of "No ammunition! no ammunition!" Mr. Brown served as an assistant commissary during the siege of Boston, and continued with the army until the war closed. He was paid off in worthless Continental money—there was no other—and it is related that his spunky little wife, indignant at the poor reward of such sacrifices as her husband had made, on receiving it from him, threw it all into the fire. She is described as short, stout and handsome, with long, straight, black hair, that fell almost to her feet.

After the war, Mr. Brown, with impaired health and eyesight, kept a tavern successively in Charlestown, Cambridge, Newton Corner, the Punch Bowl in Roxbury, and finally the Sun tavern, in Wing's Lane, (Elm Street,) Boston. He died in Charlestown, Mass., March 9, 1809, leaving several children by his second wife, Sarah Godding, of Cambridge. Three of his daughters, Cynthia, Harriet and Angeline—lived to be over eighty,—retained their memories and their mental faculties to the last, and preserved many interesting reminiscences of their father's revolutionary career. Mr. Brown was a good singer, and they recall this verse of a song, having reference to the battle of Bunker Hill:

"We marchèd down to Charlestown ferry,
And there we had our battle;
The shot it flew like pepper and salt,
And made the old town rattle."

The name of Seth Ingersoll Brown is recorded on the monument, in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Mass., erected in[c] 1870, to the memory of Captain Peter Slater, and his associates of the Boston tea party. He is buried in the Granary burying-ground.

Of Mr. Brown's descendants, known in public life, may be mentioned Rev. John W. Hanson, D.D., of Chicago, Ill.; Rev. Warren H. Cudworth, D.D., formerly of East Boston; Harriet H. Robinson, who married William S. Robinson, ("Warrington,") journalist, and clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1862 to 1873, and their elder daughter, Harriet R. Shattuck.

"Though none of his descendants will continue to bear his name,—the male branch being extinct in the third generation," writes his grand-daughter, Mrs. H.H. Robinson, "some of them have inherited his spirit of resistance to laws that compel them—his only surviving representatives,—"to submit to taxation without representation." To this lady we are indebted for the materials from which this notice is derived.

Some lines, written in 1773, by Susannah Clarke, "Warrington's" great grandmother's sister, serve to manifest the spirit that pervaded the country when non-tea drinking was held to be a religious duty by American women:

"We'll lay hold of card and wheel,
And join our hands to turn and reel;
We'll turn the tea all in the sea,
And all to keep our liberty.
We'll put on home-spun garbs,
And make tea of our garden herbs;
When we are dry we'll drink small beer,
And FREEDOM shall our spirits cheer."


Was a merchant, doing business at 28 State Street, and was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth." He was the first inspector of beef and pork, appointed by the State of Massachusetts, and was a man of sound judgment and inflexible integrity. He became a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew in 1779, and master in 1782. He died July 26, 1801.


Was born in the old Burton House, Thomaston, Maine, December 9, 1749, and died in Warren, Maine, May 23, 1835. Happening to be in Boston on a visit on the memorable 16th of December, 1773, he went with the crowd to the Old South Meeting House, and at the close of the meeting, heard the cry "Tea party! tea party!" Joining the party that boarded the tea-ships, he labored with all his might in throwing the tea into the water. It being about low tide, the tea rested on the bottom, and when the tide rose it floated, and was lodged by the surf along the shore. He was subsequently an officer in the Revolutionary army; was present at the surrender of Burgoyne, and himself fell into the hands of the enemy, in February, 1781, sharing in the imprisonment of General Peleg Wadsworth, at Castine, and in the daring escape of that officer. After the war, he was eight years a magistrate, and was often a member of the legislature.[cii]


A native of the Island of Malta, died in Warren, R.I., July 23, 1829; aged ninety-seven. He came to this country just previous to the Revolution, during a great part of which he was employed in the marine service, and by many deeds of noble daring, aided the cause of liberty, and evinced his attachment to his adopted country. He had been a resident of Warren fifty-four years.


One of the most active of the "Sons of Liberty," was a distiller, near the famous Liberty Tree, at the junction of Orange, Essex and Newbury Streets. In the office of Chase & Speakman the meetings of the committee of the "Sons" were held, of one of which John Adams has left an account. Chase was one of those who prepared and suspended the effigies of Bute and Oliver from Liberty Tree, on August 14, 1765. He was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, 1773; was a member of the "Anti-Stamp Fire Society," formed soon after the passage of the Stamp Act, in 1765, and joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1769.

Signature, Thomas Chase



Was a cooper, in Ship Street, and in 1807 resided in Prince Street. He became a member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association in 1801; of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1806, and died in 1840.

Signature, Benjamin Clarke


Born in East Boston, in 1750; died in Belfast, Maine, October 30, 1839. The monument there erected to his memory bears the following inscription: "He was one of the memorable tea party at Boston, December 16, 1773." His only surviving son, of the same name, now (1884) resides at Belfast, at the age of eighty-three.


Born in Boston, December 23, 1744, removed to Nantucket, Mass., and died there in 1818.


Of Chesterfield, Mass., died about the year 1825.[civ]


Was a leather dresser, near the "Great Trees," on Essex Street, as we learn by his advertisement soon after the passage of the Stamp Act, in which he says: "Understanding that many worthy tradesmen had agreed to wear nothing but leather for their working habits, 'he offers' to dress all sorts of skins suitable for that purpose." Collson was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth" on the night of November 30, 1773, and was said to be the person who, at the close of the meeting of December 16th, at the Old South, shouted from the gallery, "Boston harbor a tea-pot to-night!" He became a member of St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1763, and at the time of his death, February 16, 1798, aged sixty, resided at 59 Marlboro' (Washington) Street. He was a member of the "Long Room" Club.


A bookseller in Boston before the Revolution, doing business in Union Street, "opposite the cornfields," died in Haverhill, Mass., July 12, 1809.


Was born in Boston, in 1755, and was living in Georgetown, D.C., in 1838. He was commissioned second lieutenant in Crane's artillery regiment, February 1, 1777;[cv] quartermaster 14th May, 1778; lieutenant and adjutant in 1783. He was inspector of pot and pearl ashes in New York city and county, from 1808 to 1830. Adjutant-General Samuel Cooper, of the United States army, afterwards a general in the Confederate army, who died in 1877, was his son.


Colonel of the Massachusetts regiment of artillery in the Continental line of the Revolutionary army, was born in Milton, Mass., 7th December, 1744, and died in Whiting, Maine, 21st August, 1805. His education was scanty. In 1759, when only fifteen years of age, his father, Abijah was drafted as a soldier in the French war. John offered to go in his father's stead, and was laughed at on account of his youth. Nevertheless, the boy went and proved himself a brave lad, saving the life of a lame fellow-soldier, who had fallen when pursued by a party of Indians, at St. John's. He came to Boston in early life, married, and established himself in business as a house carpenter,—his house and shop being in Tremont Street, opposite Hollis. He assisted Major Paddock in setting out the elm trees on the Tremont Street mall, about the year 1765. These trees were old acquaintances of Crane's, having, like him, been transplanted from Milton. Naturally enough, in one of his ardent temperament, he at once identified himself with the active Sons of Liberty. One of the famous tea party, his career came near being permanently ended by the fall of a derrick, used in hoisting out the tea, which, falling upon him,[cvi] knocked him senseless. His comrades, supposing him killed, bore him to a neighboring carpenter's shop, and secreted the body under a pile of shavings. They afterwards took him to his home, where good nursing and a strong constitution, soon brought him round. The late Colonel Joseph Lovering, who lived opposite to Crane, used to relate that he held the light on that memorable evening, while Crane, and other young men, his neighbors, disguised themselves for the occasion. House building and other branches of industry having been paralyzed by the "Boston Port Bill," Crane, with his partner, Ebenezer Stevens, (also one of the tea party,) went to Providence, R.I., where they followed their business with success, until the war broke out. Both had been members of Paddock's artillery company, a corps famous for having furnished a large number of valuable officers to that arm of the service in the Revolutionary army, among whom may be named John Crane, Ebenezer Stevens, William Perkins, Henry Burbeck, John Lillie, and David Bryant. Crane had been commissioned by Governor Wanton, captain-lieutenant of the train of artillery of the colony of Rhode Island, December 12, 1774, (barely one year after the destruction of the tea,) and immediately after receiving the news of the battle of Lexington, he was made captain of the train attached to the Rhode Island "Army of Observation," commanded by General Nathaniel Greene. Crane's command, "all well accoutred, with four excellent field-pieces marched, in the latter part of May, to join the American army near Boston. They made a very military appearance, and are, without exception, as complete a body of men as any in the king's dominions." Stevens was a lieutenant in this company. Possessing a remarkably keen vision, Crane[cvii] was exceedingly skilful as an artillerist, a talent he had frequent opportunities to display during the siege of Boston. Early in the morning of July 8, 1775, Majors Tupper and Crane, with a number of volunteers, attacked the British advance guard at Brown's House, on Boston Neck, (near the corner of Newton Street and Blackstone Square,) routed them, and burned two houses. This was regarded as a brave and well-executed affair, and is noteworthy as being the only hostile encounter that has ever taken place in the old limits of Boston. During the siege he was stationed at the Roxbury line, and was engaged in several skirmishes on the islands in the harbor. Commissioned major of Knox's regiment, January 1, 1776, he accompanied the army to New York, and while cannonading a British frigate which was passing his batteries at Corlaers Hook, was severely wounded by a cannon ball, which carried off a part of his foot, disabling him for several months, and finally causing his death—the wound having closed. He raised in Massachusetts, in 1777, the 3d regiment of Continental artillery, which he commanded till the war ended, when he was brevetted a brigadier-general, (October 10, 1783,) his commission as colonel dating from January 1, 1777. This corps, officered chiefly from those who had been trained under Paddock, Gridley and Knox, was not exceeded in discipline, valor, and usefulness by any in the service. It was principally employed with the main army, and was an essential auxiliary in the most important operations. Portions of it were also with Sullivan in the Rhode Island campaign, with Gates at Saratoga, and in the heroic defence of Red Bank, on the Delaware. After the peace, Crane formed a partnership with Colonel Lemuel Trescott, in the lumber business, in[cviii] Passamaquoddy, Maine, in which they were unsuccessful. The connection was soon dissolved, and Crane finally settled in Whiting, Washington County, Maine, where he had a grant of two hundred acres of land, for his Revolutionary services, from the legislature of Massachusetts. Colonel Crane was five feet eight inches in height, stout and thick set. He possessed great energy, resolution and courage, and at critical moments was perfectly cool. In 1790, he was commissioned judge of the Court of Common Pleas, by Governor Hancock. While at the lines on Boston Neck, Crane aimed a ball at a house near his own, belonging to Rev. Dr. Byles, the Tory, but succeeded only in knocking the ridge pole from his own dwelling. He became a Freemason in 1781, joining an army lodge at West Point, and was also a member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. Colonel Crane, in 1767, married Mehitabel Wheeler, believed to have been a sister of Captain Josiah Wheeler, a member of the tea party. His three daughters married three sons of Colonel John Allan, who, with his Indian allies, rendered valuable service to the patriot cause in protecting throughout the Revolutionary war, the exposed north-eastern frontier. William Allan, who married Alice Crane, was the grandfather of George H. Allan, of Boston, from whom many of the above facts have been derived, and who has made extensive collections relative to the Allan and Crane families.

Signature, John Crane



Merchant, importer of groceries, wines and liquors, did business at No. 1 Cornhill, and resided in Orange Street. He was the son of Joshua and Sarah (Pierpont) Davis, and was born 24th January, 1747. He was a Son of Liberty, and as an officer in Crafts's artillery regiment, took part in the expulsion of the British fleet from Boston harbor, ultimately attaining the rank of major. Member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1786. His brothers, Caleb and Amasa, were also prominent Revolutionary characters,—the latter having been forty years quartermaster-general of Massachusetts. Robert Davis became a member of St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1777, and died in November, 1798. His daughter, Clarissa, widow of William Ely, was living in Hartford in 1873, at the age of eighty-two.


Was a fellow-apprentice, and afterwards a partner with Henry Purkitt, in the business of a cooper, in South Street. His residence was near Dr. Eliot's Meeting House, where he died, in April, 1796.


Was an eccentric and excitable, but patriotic citizen, a hatter by trade. He claimed to have hauled down the first British colors at the outset of the Revolution, and to[cx] have loaded a cannon in State Street to prevent the regulars from landing, in 1774. He was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company; was an ardent democrat, and late in life wore a cocked hat, and styled himself "general."


Was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth" on the night of November 30, 1773. He was a housewright in Essex Street, in 1789.


A barber, was informed against for his participation in the destruction of the tea, and committed to prison. The Sons of Liberty supported him while in confinement, and also provided for his family. He was finally liberated, and the person who informed against him was tarred and feathered, and paraded through the town with labels on his breast and back bearing his name, and the word "informer" in large letters.


Who was a mason, while engaged in throwing the tea overboard, was recognized by his apprentice, Samuel Sprague.


A housewright, was born in Boston, in 1745, and died in 1806. He lived in a large wooden house on Tremont[cxi] Street, near Hollis Street, and was a near neighbor of Crane, Lovering and the Bradlees. He was a man of unusual reticence, but noted for courage and patriotism. From 1773 till his death, he kept a vow never to drink tea. In 1797 he married Mary, the sister of Joseph Hiller, the first collector of the port of Salem, and was the father of Captain John Fenno, a pioneer in the China trade.


Of Roxbury, was a sergeant in Captain Moses Whiting's minute company, at Lexington, and as a captain in Greaton's regiment, served at Ticonderoga, and in other campaigns of the Revolutionary war.


A coachmaker, at No. 5 West Street, died January 22, 1825; aged seventy-nine.

Signature, Nathaniel Frothingham


Was of Scotch descent, his father bearing the same name, having come to Boston about the year 1740. The son was born in Boston, in 1749, and died there in 1827. His trade was that of a carpenter, in which capacity he served[cxii] seven years in the construction department of the Revolutionary army. He was a participant in the Stamp Act riots, and in the destruction of the tea, and in his later years used to describe the latter affair, with great minuteness, in the presence of his family, and on the anniversary of the day would act over again the part he then performed. He married Margaret Urann, by whom he had fifteen children. As the initials J and T were in old times interchangeable, there is no doubt but this is the person mentioned in the list of 1835.

Communicated by Prof. Wm. Gammell, of Brown University, and Rev. Sereno Dwight Gammell, of Wellington, O., grandsons of John Gammell.


Born in Boston, February 6, 1751; died November 16, 1831. Captain John Gore, his father, a lieutenant in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, in 1753, had, by industry, acquired considerable wealth. Being a Tory, he left Boston with the British army in 1776, but afterwards returned. Samuel followed his father's trade, that of a painter, in Court Street, at the corner of Gore's Alley, (Brattle Street,) but, unlike him, was an ardent patriot. He was one of the party of young men who, at noon-day, and under the eyes of the British guard, carried off and secreted the cannon from the gun-house that stood opposite the mall at the corner of West Street. His companions in this daring feat were Nathaniel Balch, James Brewer, Moses Grant, Jeremiah Gridley and —— Whiston. Mr. Gore was one of those who established the glass-works in Essex Street, a speculation[cxiii] by which he unfortunately lost all the accumulations of many years of untiring industry. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, in 1778, and was the first treasurer of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. Governor Christopher Gore was a younger brother. He was a man of superior intelligence, kindness of heart, and courtesy of manner.

Signature, Samuel Gore


Son of Samuel, and father of Deacon Moses Grant, was born in Boston, March 13, 1743; died December 22, 1817. He was an upholsterer, on Union Street, and his son, Moses, was a partner with him until his death. He was an ardent patriot; was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, 1773; was one of those who seized and carried off the cannon from the gun-house, on West Street, and one of the renowned "tea party." Member of the company of cadets, and a deacon of Brattle Street church.

Signature, Moses Grant



Was in 1789 register of deeds, at 42 Cornhill. He was an ardent Son of Liberty, and was present at the public celebration in Dorchester, where three hundred of them gathered, August 14, 1769.

Signature, Nathaniel Greene


One of the tea party, died at Wadsborough, Vt., January 4, 1842; aged ninety-three. In 1774, he began a settlement near Otter Creek, N.Y., but the hostility of the Indians drove him to Vermont, and he fixed his residence at Wadsborough. He was an industrious farmer, and an active patriot.


A Revolutionary pensioner, formerly of Roxbury, died at Waldoborough, Me., in February, 1830; aged eighty-two. He was a mason, on Newbury Street, Boston, in 1796.


Born in Boston, September 5, 1742, died at Richfield, Otsego County, N.Y., November 5, 1840, at the great age of ninety-eight. His education was scanty; farming, fishing, and shoemaking being his chief occupations. Excitable and[cxv] patriotic, he took part in numerous ante-Revolutionary disturbances in Boston, and engaged in the naval, and afterwards in the military, service of his country during the war. His residence was at the Bulls Head, an old house that stood on the north-east corner of Congress and Water Streets. The most detailed account we have of the destruction of the tea in Boston, was given by him, in "Traits of the Tea Party," by B.B. Thatcher, published in New York, in 1835. An oil portrait of Hewes is in the possession of his grandson, Mr. Henry Hewes, of West Medford, Mass.


Born in Cambridge, May 23, 1725, was one of the earliest martyrs to the cause of American liberty, having been killed by the British on their retreat from Lexington, April 19, 1775. John, his son, was a printer, and became in 1773, a partner with Nathaniel Mills, in the publication of the "Post Boy," a Tory sheet.


Born in Lincoln, Mass., in 1750, died at Sturbridge, Mass., in May, 1823. While in the employ of Simeon Pratt, a tanner, of Roxbury, he aided in throwing the tea overboard, and afterwards said that chests of Bohea, weighing three hundred and sixty pounds, were rather heavy to lift. He settled in Sturbridge, as a farmer, also carrying on his trade of tanner and currier. By his wife, Lucy Munroe, of Lexington, he had four children.[cxvi]


An apprentice, while at work on the tea, saw a person who looked like a countryman, coming up with a small boat to the ship's side, evidently intending to secure a cargo for his own use. He, and three or four other "North Enders," as full of spirit as himself, being directed to dislodge the interloper, jumped over and beat the canoe from under him "in the twinkling of an eye." Hooton was an oarmaker, at Hooton's wharf, Fish Street, in 1789. In 1806, he was a wood-wharfinger, on North Street, residing in Prince Street. In 1838, his residence was in Chelsea, Mass.


A Boston shipwright, resided at the "Mansion House," as it was called, which stood on the site of the Mariner's Church, North Square. He died here in January, 1797, at the age of forty-five, and was buried in Copp's Hill. His wife, Anna Lillie, the sister of Major John Lillie, of the Revolutionary army, died in North Andover, in 1804. Two of our well-known fellow citizens, Henry Lillie Pierce and Edward L. Pierce, are grandsons of Major Lillie. Theophilus Lillie, the Tory trader, who was mobbed during the tea excitement, was Major Lillie's uncle. Caroline, the youngest child of Samuel and Anna Lillie Howard, born October 3, 1794, married Rev. Samuel Gilman, D.D., of Charleston, S.C. She is still living, at the age of ninety, and resides at Tiverton, R.I., with a daughter Mrs. Bowen.[cxvii]




Ropemaker, died in September, 1821, aged seventy-nine. E.C. Howe & Son (Joseph) dissolved partnership August 1, 1800. Howe's rope-walk was one of seven, on the west side of Pearl Street, all of which were burnt in July, 1794.


The son of Richard, followed his father's trade, of a mason. He was born in Boston, May 19, 1759; died in April, 1842. He was several times a selectman of Boston, and member of both branches of the legislature; was connected with many benevolent institutions, and was for nine years president of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. He was one of the principal agents in the establishment of the glass-works, in Boston and Chelmsford, and its failure, in 1822, made him a poor man. For many years he had a country residence at Newton, which was the seat of a generous hospitality. The latter part of his life was passed in seclusion, at Roxbury, where, in 1800, he married the widow Theoda Davis. Jonathan, his brother, and Richard, his father, were also in the tea party.


A mason, member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, died in October, 1805. He resided in Essex Street; was an active Son of Liberty, and was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of[cxx] November 30, 1773. His two sons, fourteen and sixteen years of age, were with him at the throwing overboard of the tea.


Was born in 1753. He lived for many years on Brighton Street, and was a Freemason.


Was born in Braintree, Mass., June 2, 1748; died December 5, 1793. He was apprenticed, in 1763, to Edmund Quincy, who kept a wine-store, and was afterwards connected with him in the trade. In 1789, his place of business was in Middle (Hanover) Street, and his residence on Federal Street. He served as lieutenant and adjutant at the siege of Boston; was in the Ticonderoga campaign, remaining some years in the service, which he quitted with the rank of captain. June 24, 1781, he was agent for the privateer "Buccaneer," Captain Hoysted Hacker. For a time he was inspector of the ports of Boston and Charlestown. In 1777, he became a member of St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons. October 15, 1771, he married Mary St. Leger. His orderly books for June and July, 1775, are in the possession of his grandson, —— Urann, Esq.


Housewright, formerly of Boston, died in Keene, N.H., October 17, 1829, aged seventy-nine. He was a member of St. Andrew's Lodge, in 1782.[cxxi]

Signature, David Kinnison



The last of the tea party, born in Old Kingston, near Portsmouth, Maine, November 17, 1736; died in Chicago, February 24, 1852; aged one hundred and fifteen years. Up to the Revolution he was a farmer, at Lebanon, whence, with a few comrades, members of a political club, he went to Boston, with the express purpose of destroying the tea. He was in active service during the war, participating in many battles, and was a prisoner among the Indians at its close. He was a farmer, at Wells, Maine, when the war of 1812 broke out, and was in the battles at Sackett's Harbor and Williamsburg, and in the latter was badly wounded in the hand, by a grape-shot. He afterwards lived at Lyme, and at Sackett's Harbor, N.Y., and in July, 1845, went to Chicago. At Lyme, while felling a tree, he was struck down by a limb, which fractured his skull, broke his collar bone, and two of his ribs. While engaged in discharging a cannon, at a training at Sackett's Harbor, both legs were broken and badly shattered. Up to 1848 he had always made something by his labor, and was the father of twenty-two children. He learned to read when past sixty. A daughter, who survived in 1848, was made acquainted in that year with her father's existence, by the publication of Mr. Lossing's "Field Book of the Revolution." Hastening to him, she smoothed the patriarch's pillow in his passage to the grave.[cxxiv]


Merchant, on Long Wharf, afterwards at 9 Doane Street, was a member of Massachusetts Lodge of Freemasons, in 1773, and died February 6, 1831; aged eighty-six.

Signature, Joseph Lee


Born in Hingham, Mass., March 17, 1753, died at Quincy, Mass., January 15, 1829. He was apprenticed to a Mr. Crafts, at the North End, who, on the evening of December 16, 1773, secretly procured for him an Indian disguise, dressed him in his own chamber,—darkening his face to the required tint,—and then, dropping on his knees, prayed most fervently that he might be protected in the enterprise in which he was engaged. Joining Stark's New Hampshire regiment, he was in the battle of Bunker Hill; was afterwards a captain in Craft's artillery regiment, and was at one time in charge of the castle, in Boston harbor. When Shays' insurrection broke out, he assisted in its suppression. He was a housewright of much skill. The wood-work of the State House was under his charge, and evinces the grace and beauty of his workmanship. He married a daughter of Paul Revere. His grandson, Frederick W. Lincoln, has been mayor of Boston. He joined St. Andrew's[cxxv] Lodge of Freemasons, in 1777. Governor Levi Lincoln, of Massachusetts, and Governor Enoch Lincoln, of Maine, were nephews of Captain Amos Lincoln.

Signature, Amos Lincoln


Was a cordwainer, on Devonshire Street, residing on Brattle Street. He died November 7, 1829; aged seventy-nine.


Was born in Staffordshire, England, 20th March, 1744; was employed by Brindley in canal construction, and in 1772 came to America, and settled in Boston. He was wounded at Bunker Hill, while acting as lieutenant of artillery; 18th January, 1776, was commissioned second lieutenant in Col. Knox's artillery regiment, and was employed from April to June in that year in laying out the fortifications for the defence of the town and harbor of Boston; from July, 1776, to 1781, he was employed in constructing the fortifications which were to render the Hudson impassable to British vessels. In October, 1777, when Forts Montgomery and Clinton were taken by the British, Captain Machin was wounded by a musket-ball, which entered his breast and passed out under his right shoulder. In April, 1779, he accompanied Colonel Van Schaick's expedition against the Onondagas, of which he kept a journal, and in June joined Sullivan's expedition to the Genesee Valley, as engineer. A map of this expedition, executed by him, was in the possession of[cxxvi] his son, Captain Thomas Machin. In the fall of 1781, he aided in laying out the works of the American army, then besieging Yorktown. In 1783, he began a settlement at New Grange, Ulster County, and in the following year erected several mills at the Great Pond, a few miles west of Newburgh. March 12, 1793, he was commissioned a captain, to take rank as such from 21st August, 1780. In January, 1797, he removed to Montgomery County, N.Y., where he practised surveying, and where he died, at his residence in Charleston, a part of the old town of Mohawk, 3d April, 1816; Member of Army Lodge, West Point, 1782.


Died in Scituate, Mass., February 1, 1840; aged ninety.


Was a tradesman of Boston, who acquired great prominence in the local disturbances of the town, prior to the outbreak of the Revolution, but who disappears from her history after that period. He first came into notice as the leader of the South End party, in the celebration of Pope Day, which took place on the 5th of November, in commemoration of the discovery of the gunpowder plot. In 1765, the two factions of the North and South Ends harmonized, and after a friendly meeting in King (now State) Street, marched together to Liberty Tree. The leaders,—Mackintosh of the South, and Swift of the North End,—appeared in military habits, with small canes resting on their left arms, having music in front and flank. All the property used on such[cxxvii] occasions was afterwards burnt on Copp's Hill. Mackintosh was a ringleader in the riot of August 26, 1765, when Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson's house was destroyed, and was arrested in King Street next day, but was immediately released by the sheriff, on the demand of a number of merchants, and other persons of character and property.

From the Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson, we take the following passage:

"The Governor had summoned a council the day after the riot. The sheriff attended, and upon enquiring, it appeared that one Mackintosh, a shoemaker, was among the most active in destroying the Lieutenant-Governor's house and furniture. A warrant was given to the sheriff to apprehend him by name, with divers others. Mackintosh appeared in King Street, and the sheriff took him, but soon discharged him, and returned to the council chamber, where he gave an account of his taking him, and that Mr. Nathaniel Coffin, and several other gentlemen, came to him and told him that it had been agreed that the cadets, and many other persons, should appear in arms the next evening, as a guard and security against a fresh riot, which was feared, and said to have been threatened, but not a man would appear unless Mackintosh was discharged. The Lieutenant-Governor asked, 'And did you discharge him?' 'Yes.' 'Then you have not done your duty.' And this was all the notice taken of the discharge. The true reason of thus distinguishing Mackintosh was that he could discover who employed him, whereas the other persons apprehended were such as had collected together without knowing of any previous plan."

Mackintosh was styled the "First Captain-General of Liberty Tree," and had charge of the illuminations, hanging of effigies, etc. Long afterward, in speaking of the tea party, he said, "It was my chickens that did the job." My informant, Mr. Schuler Merrill, then a boy of ten, remarks that it was a mystery to him, at that time, "how chickens could have anything to do with a tea party!" Mackintosh is described by Merrill as "of slight build, sandy complexion, and nervous temperament." He died in extreme poverty, at North Haverhill, N.H., about the year 1812, at the age of[cxxviii] seventy. His unmarked grave can be pointed out by Mr. Merrill, who still resides in North Haverhill, at the age of eighty-two.

Colonel JOHN MAY,

Born in Boston, November 24, 1748, died July 16, 1812. On the afternoon[cxxix] of December 16, 1773, he went in haste to his home, on North Square, and said to his young wife, "Nabby, let me have a beefsteak as quickly as possible." While he was eating it, a rap was heard on the window, and he rose at once from the unfinished meal and departed. He returned late, tired and uncommunicative. In the morning, there was found in his shoes, and scattered upon the floor, a quantity of tea. The inevitable inference from these circumstances is strengthened by evidence of a very different character. Near the close of Major Melvill's life, he gave, while dining with a few friends, some anecdotes of the tea party, and turning to Henry Knox May, the son of Colonel May, he said, "Harry, there was one John there." The son, who knew the family tradition, was eager to learn more. "Not now, Harry," said the major, "Come and see me, and I will tell you all about it." Mr. May called repeatedly upon him, but could never obtain any further satisfaction respecting the object of his inquiry. Colonel May was a man of great energy and courage, an ardent patriot, and one not likely to be overlooked in the making-up of a company of picked men for such an enterprise. He was at one time colonel of the Boston regiment, and was for many years a selectman, and a firewarden of the town. He made a journey of exploration to the Ohio[cxxx] region, in 1788 and 1789, an account of which has been published. Two sons, Frederick and George Washington May, were skilful physicians, in Washington, D.C. He has numerous grandchildren living, among them Prof. Edward Tuckerman, of Amherst College, and Samuel P. Tuckerman, Mus. Doc., resident in England.

I am indebted for the above facts to my friend, John Joseph May, Esq., of Mayfield, Dorchester.


The relic of the Tea, destroyed in Boston, Dec. 16th 1773. found on the following morning by Thomas Melville, in his shoes; and put into this phial, for preservation. The relic of the Tea, destroyed in Boston, Dec. 16th 1773. found on the following morning by Thomas Melville, in his shoes; and put into this phial, for preservation.
Signature, Thomas Melvill


Was born in Boston, January 16, 1751, and died there September 16, 1832. He was the grandson of Thomas, minister of Scoonie Parish, Fifeshire, a cadet of the Scottish family of the Earls of Leven and Melvill. Allan, his father, left Scotland, and established himself in business in Boston, in 1743. Left an orphan at the age of ten, the care of his education devolved upon his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mary Cargill, a relative of the celebrated surgeon, Dr. Abernethy. Young Melvill was graduated at Princeton College, in 1769, with a view to the ministry, but impaired health led him to make a visit to Scotland, in 1771. Returning to Boston, in 1773, he established himself in business in that town, just at the time when the tea excitement began, and being strongly in sympathy with the "Sons of Liberty," and a member of the Long Room Club, he took an active part in the event of December 16, 1773. Some of the tea taken from his shoes, after his return home, was preserved, and is now in the possession of Mrs. Thomas Melvill, of Galena, Illinois. The picture here given is a fac-simile of the venerable relic itself. In 1773, he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts, from Harvard College. In 1774, Melvill married Priscilla, daughter of John Scollay, a[cxxxii] prominent Boston merchant. He had been selected by General Warren as one of his aids, just before the fall of the latter at Bunker's Hill, and was successively captain and major in Colonel Thomas Crafts's regiment of artillery, raised for the defence of the State. When, soon after the evacuation of the town, in March, 1776, the British fleet was driven from Boston harbor, Captain Melvill discharged the first guns at the hostile ships, from his battery, at Nantasket. He afterwards served in the Rhode Island campaigns of 1777 and 1779. After the war, he was naval officer of the port of Boston, in 1786-89, and through the influence of his friend, Samuel Adams, was, in the latter year, appointed inspector under the United States Government, a post which he held until made naval officer, in 1811. President Jackson removed him from this office in 1829, after which period he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. From 1779 to 1825, he was one of the firewards of Boston, and on retiring from his forty-seven years' service, was made the recipient of a silver pitcher as a testimonial of the appreciation[cxxxiii] of his services, by his associates. Major Melvill's long and honorable connection with the Boston Fire Department began in the good old times, when the firewards carried staves, tipped at the end with a brass flame, and marshalled the bystanders into lines for passing buckets of water to the scene of conflagration. One of the town engines was named "Melvill," in honor of the major, whose death was finally caused by over-fatigue at a fire near his house. He was a Democrat, and a firm friend of Samuel[cxxxiv] Adams, of whom he had a small portrait, by Copley, now at Harvard University. At the time of his death, he was president of the Massachusetts Charitable Society. Major Melvill was a man of sound judgment and strict integrity. He is still remembered by our older citizens as the last to wear, in Boston, a cocked hat and small clothes—the costume of the Revolution. Herman Melville, a grandson, has attained popularity as an author. The front door of Major Melvill's residence, which formerly stood near the easterly corner of Green and Staniford Streets, now does similar duty for the house at the corner of Bartlett and Lambert Streets, Roxbury. The accompanying portrait is from an oil painting in the possession of his grand-daughter, Mrs. Samuel Downer, of Dorchester. The beautiful garden at Downer Landing, Hingham, near which is her summer residence, perpetuates the name of this worthy[cxxxv] and patriotic citizen of Boston. Admitted member Mass. Lodge, 1772.

Signature, Thomas Melvill

This print shows the Major in his Continental hat, the last he wore: now carefully preserved and in possession of Mr. John L.D. Wolfe, Tremont Street, Boston, near Brookline and Boston line, who has kindly allowed us to sketch it for this work.

Signature, Thomas Melvill


A distinguished and patriotic merchant of Boston, died there October 22, 1774; aged fifty-eight. Like Revere and Johonnot, he was of Huguenot ancestry. About the year 1760, he, with William Phillips and others, established the "Manufactory House," on the east side of what is now Hamilton Place. Here the people were taught spinning[cxxxvi] and weaving, free of cost, and soon many were clad in garments of their own manufacture. This building was put to other uses, in 1768. Molineux, from the very beginning of the dispute with the mother country, was an active and influential Whig. He was a member of the "Long Room Club," formed in 1762, and of the Sons of Liberty, in 1765; was one of the Boston committee of correspondence, from its origin, in 1772; one of the committee, and its spokesman, appointed by the Liberty Tree meeting, November 4, to request the consignees of the tea to resign, and took an active part in all the public meetings that followed. Molineux and Dr. Young were the only prominent leaders of the people who were known to have been actively present at the destruction of the tea. Molineux was a member of a committee, of which Samuel Adams was the chairman, to demand the removal of the British troops from Boston. John Adams relates that Molineux was obliged to march by the side of the troops, to protect them from the indignation of the people. With the exception of Samuel Adams, no name is oftener found, in connection with the public acts of the day, than that of William Molineux, and his death, a few months before the war broke out, was a great loss to the patriot cause. While the Boston Port Bill was under discussion in the British Cabinet, Governor Hutchinson was told by Lord Mansfield that the Lords of the Council had their pens ready to sign the warrant for the transportation to England and trial of Adams, Molineux and others, for high treason, but were prevented by the doubts of the Attorney and Solicitor-Generals as to the sufficiency of the evidence to convict them. Molineux resided at the corner of Beacon and Mount Vernon Streets, near John Hancock,[cxxxvii] where in 1760 he built a mansion-house that was considered as "quite splendid" for those days.

Signature, W Molineux


Son of Hugh Moore, wharfinger, on Fish Street, informs his father's "good customers," in the Gazette of November 24, 1773, that he "carries on the business as usual, and solicits their custom." Ben. Russell speaks of seeing Moore and his (Russell's) father blacking each other's faces on the 16th of December, 1773. He died in August, 1813; aged sixty.


"Anthony Morse, my father, afterwards a lieutenant during the Revolutionary war, and Mr. Joseph Roby, now (1819) of Hanover, N.H., were active in the destruction of the tea, December 16, 1773."

—Niles' Acts and Principles of the Revolution, p. 326.


A cooper, on Prince Street, died in Pepperill, Mass., May 11, 1838; aged eighty-eight.


Of Charlestown, repeatedly informed Dr. Joseph Bartlett, author of a historical sketch of that town, that he was one[cxxxviii] of the Indians who destroyed the tea in Boston harbor. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, in 1778.

Signature, Eliphelet Newell


Was the only son of General Joseph Palmer, a prominent actor in the Revolutionary drama in Massachusetts, and Mary, the sister of Judge Richard Cranch, who resided in that part of Braintree called Germantown. Before the war he dealt in West India goods and hardware, at the town dock. Of his share in the tea party his widow says: "One evening, about ten o'clock, hearing the gate and door open, I opened the parlor door, and there stood three stout-looking Indians. I screamed, and should have fainted, but recognized my husband's voice saying, 'Don't be frightened, Betty, it is I. We have only been making a little salt-water tea.' His two companions were Foster Condy and Stephen Bruce. Soon after this, Secretary Flucker called upon my husband, and said to him, 'Joe, you are so obnoxious to the British Government, that you had better leave town.' Accordingly we left town, and went to live in part of my father's house, in Watertown." During the war, Mr. Palmer served in Boston and in Rhode Island, first as brigade major, and next as quartermaster-general. Soon after his father's death, in 1788, he went to Vermont, with Colonel Keith, to examine the facilities for establishing themselves in some branch of the iron business. Shortly[cxxxix] after he reached Windsor he lost his life, having accidentally fallen from a bridge, then erecting over the Connecticut. He left a numerous family. His daughter, Mary, married Royal Tyler, of Vt. Member Massachusetts Lodge, 1773.

Signature, Joseph Pearse Palmer


Was a Roxbury farmer, a "high Son of Liberty," who safely brought through the British lines on the Neck, and secreted in Muddy Pond Woods, the two cannon which, by a clever stratagem, had been taken from the gun-house, on Boston common, at noon-day. Next day, a party of Red Coats were in Roxbury searching for them in every direction, but in vain. These are supposed to be the same pieces now in the chamber at the top of Bunker Hill Monument. Parker took the guns from the stable of the second house west from the court house, on the south side of Court Street. He brought a load of hay, and took home a load of stable manure, the guns being in the bottom of the wagon.


Was a housewright, on Foster's wharf, in 1789, and at 5 Bennet Street, in 1796. He was a descendant of Edward Payson, one of the first settlers of Roxbury, and his wife, Mary, a sister of the Apostle Eliot, and was born in 1743.[cxl]


Was a cooper, and in 1789 did business at Hallowell's ship-yard, near the foot of Milk Street. He was a prominent Son of Liberty, also a leading and influential member of the North End Caucus. He was one of the guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 30, 1773, and on the morning following the destruction of the tea, his apprentices noticed traces of red paint behind his ears. He was thought to have been one of the leaders in the affair. He joined the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew in 1756.

Signature, Samuel Peck


A native of Lisbon, Portugal, died in Philadelphia, April 23, 1832, at the great age of one hundred years, five months and twenty-three days. He was able to attend to his business up to the close of 1831. He came to America soon after the earthquake of 1755, and settled in Boston. He was one of the tea party; was in the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill,—in which latter he lost a finger,—at Princeton, Monmouth and Trenton. He was also at the capture of Burgoyne and of Cornwallis, was again wounded, and after being discharged, in 1783, resided in Philadelphia, where he reared a numerous family.


Born in Boston, December 25, 1744, died October 10, 1840.[cxli] He served his time with John Adams, a barber, in Dock Square, at the sign of the "Great Boot," and opened a shop for himself in Marshall Street, some years before the Revolution. His shop was a sort of exchange for the gossip current at the North End, and was frequented by many celebrated residents of that locality. He boasted of having shaved Franklin, and he stated that Franklin told him that he was born in the house on the corner of Union and Hanover Streets, at the sign of the "Blue Ball." Hewes relates that Pierce was one of those that boarded the ships on December 16, 1773. He continued actively engaged in his business until the year 1835, having followed his profession seventy-six years!


Youngest son of Hon. James Pitts, a merchant and an active patriot of Boston; born in 1747, died December 31, 1787, and being captain of a volunteer company, was buried with military honors. According to Hewes, Pitts commanded the division of the tea party that boarded the brig "Beaver," and after the affair was over, formed the party in military order, with the aid of Major Barber and Colonel Proctor, and marched them back into town. A solemn pledge, for the protection of those engaged in this affair, was entered into by the committee of correspondence,—of whom Lendall's brother, John Pitts, was one,—about a week afterwards, when it was currently supposed that those who had borne a part in that daring performance would[cxlii] be arrested, if discovered, and executed for treason. It was worded as follows:

"The subscribers do engage to exert our utmost influence to support and vindicate each other, and any person or persons who may be likely to suffer for any noble efforts they may have made to save their country, by defeating the operations of the British Parliament, expressly designed to extort a revenue from the Colonies against their consent."

The names of four members of this family are prominently associated with the tea episode at Boston. James Pitts, the father, (H.U., 1731,) an eminent and wealthy merchant, who, as member of the Governor's Council, thwarted the chief-magistrate, Hutchinson, in his efforts to have the tea landed, and who died in Dunstable, Mass., January 25, 1776; aged sixty-four. His sons,—John, born in 1737, (H.U., 1757,) a selectman, and on the committee to urge the consignees to resign; an active member of the committee of correspondence, of the Provincial Congress of 1775; Speaker of the House in 1778, and member of the senate in 1780-84, who died at Tyngsboro', Mass., in 1815; Samuel, born in 1745, an officer in the company of cadets, said also to have been one of the tea party, and Lendall, the leader of the party, noted above, who was clerk of the market in 1775-6, and an officer in Hancock's cadets. The sons all had Huguenot blood in their veins, their mother being a sister of James Bowdoin. All were merchants, and active Sons of Liberty, and prior to the Revolution, were in business together, engaged in extensive commercial transactions. Pitts's wharf was just north of Faneuil Hall Market. Pitts Street perpetuates the name and fame of this noted family; no one of their descendants bearing the name now surviving in Boston. The Pitts mansion, a favorite place of meeting[cxlv] for the Boston patriots, occupied the ground now covered by the Howard Atheneum. The accompanying portrait of Lendall Pitts is taken from a painting owned by his grandson, Lendall Pitts Cazeau, of Roxbury.

For many of the above facts I am indebted to the Pitts "Memorial," by Daniel Goodwin, Jr., of Chicago.

Signature, Lendall Pitts


A merchant, formerly of Boston, died in Alexandria, Va., in June, 1800.


Born in Holliston, Mass., March 27, 1749, died in Medfield, Mass., August 31, 1821; son of Rev. Joshua, forty-five years pastor of the Holliston church. Captain Prentiss served during the Revolutionary war, at Cambridge, at Long Island, and at Trenton. He was an Overseer of the Poor, in Boston, in 1784; a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1786; a sea captain in 1789, and was afterwards a merchant of Boston. He, with his brother Appleton, was one of the first to introduce into New England the art of printing calico,—producing a coarse blue and red article on India cotton. Their place of business was at the corner of Buttolph Street. Captain Prentiss'[cxlvi] residence was in a stone house, near the head of Hanover Street, the former residence of Benjamin Hallowell, Comptroller of Customs, which was ransacked at the time Gov. Hutchinson's House was mobbed. Member Massachusetts Lodge, 1789.

Signature, Henry Prentiss


Was pastor of the First Church, in Salem, from 1779 to his death, June 3, 1836. He was a native of Boston, and was a witness only of the destruction of the tea, as he informed Colonel Russell, of the "Centinel," long afterward. Admitted member Massachusetts Lodge, 11th January, 1780.


A prominent citizen and military officer of Boston, died there in[cxlvii] November, 1811; aged seventy-eight. He was an importer of West India goods, at the sign of the "Schooner," in Fish Street, at the North End, before the war, after which he was in the auction business, at No. 1 Union Street. He was an active patriot, and was placed on the committee to obtain the resignation of the consignees of the tea, and commanded the guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, 1773.[22] In 1756, he joined the Ancient and [cxlviii] Honorable Artillery Company, of which his grandfather, Edward Proctor, had been a member in 1699; was in the service during the Revolutionary war, and was a member of the committees of correspondence and of safety. He became a member of the Masonic fraternity in 1765, when he joined St. Andrew's Lodge; was master in 1774-76, and was junior grand warden of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in 1781. For some years previous to his death, he was one of the Overseers of the Poor, and was a fireward in 1784-89. Hannah, his[cxlix] widow, died October 31, 1832, aged 87.

Signature, Edward Proctor


Born in Boston, March 18, 1755, died March 3, 1846. He was educated at the public schools of Boston; was afterwards apprenticed to Samuel Peck, the cooper, a zealous "Son of Liberty," and member of the tea party, and was himself active on that occasion, in disobedience to his master's orders. His reminiscences of the affair have been related on a previous page. Enlisting as a soldier in the Revolutionary army, he served through the war, and was present at Trenton and Brandywine, and was at one time a sergeant in Pulaski's Cavalry. After the war, he carried on his trade of cooper successfully, in connection with his former fellow-apprentice, Dolbear, in South Street. In 1803, appointed inspector-general of pickled fish, and performed the duty satisfactorily for thirty-five years. Joining a company[cl] of cavalry after the war, he passed through all the grades, and rose to that of colonel. He was many years a member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association; became a member of St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter of Freemasons, in 1798, and was master of St. Andrew's Lodge, in 1804-5. "Uprightness and exactness were prominent traits of his character, and universal love and charity for all mankind were sincerely exhibited in his social intercourse. He had troops of friends, but it is not known that he ever had an enemy." In 1834, a number of Polish refugees arrived here, after the final partition of their native country. A collection for their benefit was proposed. The call was nobly responded to, and among others, Purkitt sent his check, as follows:

"Pay to Count Pulaski, my commander at the battle of Brandywine, his brethren, or bearer, one hundred dollars."

There is in possession of the family a full-length silhouette likeness of Purkitt, and a daguerreotype. The accompanying portrait is from an oil painting, in the possession of Mr. Henry P. Kidder, of Boston.

Signature, Henry Purkitt


Born in Watertown, Mass., October 2, 1750; married Sarah Barnard, 30th December, 1778.[cli]

Signature, Henry Purkitt

Better known as Colonel Purkitt.

"Uprightness and exactness were prominent attributes of his character, and universal love and charity for all mankind were sincerely exhibited in his social intercourse. He had troops of friends, but it is not known that he ever had an enemy."—Biographical Sketches St. Andrew's R.A.C.[cliii]


Born in Boston, January 1, 1735; died at his residence, in Bennet Street, May 10, 1818. He was of Huguenot ancestry, and learned the goldsmith's trade of his father. Articles of silverware, with his engraving, are still extant in Boston. He also engraved on copper, an art in which he was self-instructed, producing a portrait of his friend, the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew; a picture emblematical of the Stamp Act; a caricature of the "Seventeen Rescinders," one of Lord North forcing the tea down the throat of America; a picture of the Massacre in King Street, and another representing the landing of the British troops in Boston, in 1774. There were then but three engravers, besides Revere, in America. In 1775, he engraved the plates, made the press, and printed the bills of the paper money, which was ordered by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. He was sent by this Congress to Philadelphia, to obtain information respecting the manufacture of gunpowder, and on his return was able, simply from having seen the process, to construct a mill, which was soon in successful operation. Revere was an active patriot during the whole of the struggle for Independence. He was one of those who executed, as well as planned, the daring scheme of destroying the tea in Boston harbor, and was one of a club of young men, chiefly mechanics, who watched the movements of the British troops in Boston. He acted an important part in rousing the country around Boston on the morning of the memorable nineteenth of April, 1775, an event worthily commemorated in Longfellow's poem,—"Paul Revere's Ride." Revere had[cliv] served at Fort Edward, near Lake George, as a lieutenant of artillery, in 1756, and after the evacuation of Boston, was commissioned major in Crafts' artillery regiment, raised for the defence of the State, in which he attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and remained in service until the close of the war, after which he resumed his business as a goldsmith. He was in the unfortunate Penobscot expedition, in 1779. At a later period, he erected an air-furnace, in which he cast brass [clv] cannon and church bells. He also erected extensive works at Canton, for rolling copper and casting guns,—a business still carried on there by his successors. In 1795 he assisted in laying the corner stone of the State House, at Boston. At the time of his death he was actively connected with many benevolent and useful institutions, and was the first president of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association; member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew's, in 1761, and grand master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in 1794-96. [clvi]

Signature, Paul Revere


Resided in Prince Street, Boston, in 1807, but was living in Hanover, N.H., in 1817.

Signature, Paul Revere

"Preserve union, and judge in all causes amicably and mildly, preferring peace."—Paul Revere, 1795. [clviii]


Was by trade a mason, and died in Boston, in 1778. His son, the well-known journalist, Colonel Benjamin Russell, [clix] though only a school-boy at the time, remembered seeing, through the window of the wood-house, his father and Mr. Thomas Moore, his neighbor, besmearing each other's faces with lampblack and red ochre.

Signature, John Russell


William, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Hacker Russell, was born in Boston, 24th May, 1748, and died 7th March, 1784, in Cambridge, Mass. He was sometime usher in Master Griffiths' school, on Hanover Street, below the Orange Tree. On returning to his home, on Temple Street, after the tea party, he took off his shoes, and carefully dusted them over the fire, in order that no tea should remain, and saw every particle consumed. He afterwards taught school in Newton. Joining Crafts' artillery regiment, he served as sergeant-major and adjutant in the Rhode Island campaign. He next joined a privateer, as captain's clerk, was captured, and kept in Mill Prison, Plymouth, England, from August, 1779, until January, 1782. Again in a privateer, he was again taken, and this time suffered confinement in the horrible prison-ship "Jersey," at New York. These privations and sufferings occasioned his early death. His son, Colonel John Russell, was a publisher and journalist in Boston. He joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1778.[clx]


Whose interesting account of the tea party appears on page lxxix, was born in Pomfret, Conn., March 15, 1752, and died in Hampden, Mass., in 1836. His grandfather, Nathaniel, was one of the earliest settlers of Pomfret, in 1704. Darius Sessions, Lieutenant-Governor of Rhode Island at the opening of the Revolution, and an active patriot, was his uncle. Robert Sessions served in the Revolutionary army, attaining the rank of lieutenant. In 1778, he married Anna Ruggles, a descendant of the Roxbury family of that name; settled in Pomfret, and in 1781 removed to South Wilbraham, now Hampden, Mass. The high estimation in which he was held by his fellow citizens, is evident from the number of offices of trust and responsibility in which he was placed. He was for many years a justice of the peace; town clerk and treasurer twelve years; representative in the State Legislature for five years, (1814-19,) and was almost always chosen moderator of the town-meeting. His sons, William V. and Sumner Sessions, are yet living, at an advanced age.

The above facts, as well as the narrative on page lxxix, were furnished by my friends, Mr. John A. Lewis, of Boston, and Hon. William Robert Sessions, the well-known agriculturist, of Hampden County, and a member of the Massachusetts Senate of 1884, a grandson of Robert.

Signature, Robert Sessions


Was born in Boston, June 17, 1732, and died there October 18, 1812. He was the son of Joseph, (born October 26,[clxi] 1698,) who was the son of Zachary, (born June 17, 1656,) who was the son of Daniel, the original settler of that name in Braintree, and afterwards at Billerica, Mass. The subject of this notice was a carpenter by trade, and worked upon Faneuil Hall during its rebuilding, or enlargement. He was associated with Samuel Adams, and other patriots, before and during the Revolutionary war, and later on was an ardent Jeffersonian Democrat,—hating the very name of Federalist. His residence was on Milk Street, on the spot now occupied by the Equitable Life Insurance building. At his residence a party of persons dressed, who were concerned in the destruction of the tea, he being one of the number. His friend, Samuel Adams, was often a visitor at his house, and his grandson has the china punch-bowl from which the old patriot drank, when Independence was declared. During the latter part of his life he kept a grocery store, on the spot where he lived so many years, on Milk Street. He was buried in the Granary burial ground, where many other patriotic citizens of Boston are also interred.

Communicated by his grandson, Mr. Joseph G. Shed, of Roxbury.

Signature, Joseph Shed


(Erroneously named Isaac in Thatcher's list of 1835,) whose story of the tea party is told on pages lxxvii-viii, was a bricklayer's apprentice. He served in the Revolutionary[clxii] army; removed to Saco, Maine, about 1790, and died at Biddeford, Maine, March 23, 1849.


Died in Worcester, Mass., October 13, 1831; aged seventy-two. He was apprenticed to a rope-maker, in Boston. His master, apprehensive that something would take place that evening relative to the tea, then in the harbor, shut Peter up in his chamber. He made his escape from the window; went to a blacksmith's shop, where he found a man disguised, who told him to tie a handkerchief round his frock, to black his face with charcoal, and to follow him. The party soon increased to twenty persons. Slater went on board the brig, with five others; two of them brought the tea upon deck, two broke open the chests, and threw them overboard, while he, with one other, stood with poles to push them under water. Not a word was exchanged between the parties from the time they left Griffins' wharf till the cargo was emptied into the harbor, and they returned to the wharf and dispersed. Slater served five years in the Revolutionary army. A monument in Hope Cemetery, New Worcester, erected by his daughter, Mrs. Howe, bears the names of Slater, and many of his companions of the "tea party."

Signature, Samuel Sloper

Was one of the party, of whom we have no further information.[clxiii]


Lived on Orange Street, in 1789. He was one of those whom Peter Mackintosh remembered to have seen run into his master's blacksmith's shop, and blacken their faces with soot.


The father of the poet, Charles Sprague, was born in Hingham, Mass.,—the home of four generations of his ancestors,—December 22, 1753, and died in Boston, June 20, 1844. He was a mason by trade, and was athletic and tall of stature. His share in the tea party he thus related to his son: "That evening, while on my way to visit the young woman I afterwards married, I met some lads hurrying along towards Griffin's wharf, who told me there was something going on there. I joined them, and on reaching the wharf found the 'Indians' busy with the tea chests. Wishing to have my share of the fun, I looked about for the means of disguising myself. Spying a low building, with a stove-pipe by way of chimney, I climbed the roof and obtained a quantity of soot, with which I blackened my face. Joining the party, I recognized among them Mr. Etheridge, my master. We worked together, but neither of us ever afterwards alluded to each other's share in the proceedings." Sprague married Joanna Thayer, of Braintree, a woman of great decision of character. They[clxiv] lived in a two-story wooden house, at No. 38 Orange (now Washington) Street, directly opposite Pine Street.

Signature, Samuel Sprague


Born in Dorchester, Mass., in 1748, died in Providence, R.I., November 1, 1822; after December 16, 1773, he went to Providence; joined the army in 1775; was commissioned a captain in a Rhode Island regiment, in 1776, major in 1777, and served throughout the Revolutionary war.


Born in New London, Conn., died in Jay, Maine, in January, 1831; aged ninety years and six months. He served in the old French war; afterwards settled and married in Boston, and removed thence to Bridgewater. During the Revolutionary war, he was taken prisoner, carried to Halifax, and detained fourteen months. Placed on board a transport for New York, and destined to the horrible Jersey prison-ship; after being two days at sea, the prisoners rose on the ship's company, captured the vessel, and took her into Marblehead.

Signature, Samuel Sprague


A farmer and blacksmith of Watertown, born February 5, 1736, died March 27, 1798. He was a soldier at Lake[clxv] George in 1756, and commanded a company at Dorchester Heights, when the British evacuated Boston. He, with Samuel Barnard and John Randall, all of Watertown, were among the famous Boston tea party. He was offered a colonel's commission in the army, but the care of his young motherless children, and of a family of apprentices and journeymen, prevented his continuing in the public service. He was distinguished for his benevolent and cheerful disposition, and for strong common sense and strict integrity.

Signature, Lendall Pitts


A distinguished artillery officer in the Revolutionary war, son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth Weld Stevens, of Roxbury, was born in Boston, 11th August, 1751, and died at his residence, in Rockaway, now Astoria, N.Y., 22d September, 1823. He joined Paddock's artillery company, which was composed almost entirely of mechanics, many of whom were active members of the organization, which, under the name of Sons of Liberty, did effective service in opposing the machinations of the crown. Under its first lieutenant, Jabez Hatch, (Captain Paddock being a Tory,) this company volunteered as a watch on the "Dartmouth." The Boston Port Bill drove the mechanics out of the town, and Stevens went to Providence, where he became a partner with John Crane, in the business of carpentering. Commissioned first lieutenant of Crane's train of Rhode Island artillery, 8th May, 1775, he accompanied it to Boston, and served through the siege; made captain in Knox's artillery regiment, 1st January, 1776; took part in the expedition to Canada; made major 9th November, 1776; and in the campaign ending in[clxvi] the surrender of Burgoyne; appointed lieutenant-colonel 3d April, 1778, and soon after assigned to Colonel Lamb's regiment, with which he took part in Lafayette's operations in Virginia, and at Yorktown commanded the artillery alternately with Lamb and Carrington. After the war, he was a leading merchant of New York; member of the New York assembly in 1800, an alderman in 1802, and major-general of the State militia during the war of 1812. He was a founder of the Tammany and the New England Societies, and a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. General Stevens's connection with the tea party is related on a previous page.


Born in Boston, December 3, 1743, died in Marblehead, Mass., August 27, 1805. His father, William Story, was Register of the Court of Admiralty. His office, on the north-westerly corner of State and Devonshire Streets, was broken into at the time of the Stamp Act riots, on the supposition that the stamps had been deposited there for distribution, and all the books and papers carried into King (now State) Street, and burned. Elisha Story, fully sympathizing with the patriots of the day, joined the "Sons of Liberty;" was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, and on the evening of December 16, convened, with other disguised Sons of Liberty, in an old distillery, preparatory to their "little operation" in tea. He was a pupil of Master Lovell, and studied medicine with Dr. Sprague. He was surgeon of Colonel Little's Essex regiment, and fought as a volunteer at Lexington,[clxvii] and at Bunker's Hill, until obliged to remove a wounded friend to Winter Hill, where he passed the night in caring for the wounded. He was with Washington at Long Island, White Plains and Trenton. In 1774, he removed from Boston to Malden, and in 1777, settled in Marblehead, where he practiced his profession, with success, until his death. In 1767, he married Ruth, daughter of Major John Ruddock, by whom he had ten children. By his second wife, Mehitabel, daughter of Major John Pedrick, he had eleven children, the eldest of whom was Joseph, afterwards Associate-Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Isaac, the second son, was the father of Judge Isaac, of Somerville, Mass. Dr. Story was a skilful physician, and a man of great benevolence. "It is said that he at one time led a party of men to the Boston common, near where is now the Park Street gate, where there was a sentinel guarding two brass field-pieces. While Story overawed the sentinel, by presenting a pistol at his head, and enjoined silence upon him, the others came from behind and dragged away the guns, one of which was afterwards placed in the Bunker Hill Monument."

Communicated by Hon. Isaac Story, of Somerville.


Merchant, politician, soldier and author before the age of twenty-two; born in Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1754, died in Paris, March 18, 1831. He came to Boston when very young, and in 1772, when a clerk in a counting-house, published "A Dissuasion to Great Britain and the Colonies from the Slave-Trade to Africa." At the time of the tea[clxviii] party, in which he was an actor, his place of business was next to Ellis Gray's, opposite the east end of Faneuil Hall, and he boarded in Hanover Street, where he and other young apprentices disguised themselves. Next morning, at breakfast, the tea in their shoes, and smooches on their faces, led to some mutual chaffing. He was a volunteer at Bunker's Hill; was a captain in Crafts's artillery regiment; afterwards secretary to the Massachusetts Board of War; member of the Legislature in 1778; Adjutant-General of the State, and at the close of the war was major of a cavalry corps. He acquired a fortune in France through government contracts, but afterwards became deeply involved, through the dishonesty of a partner, and was confined in St. Pelagie, a debtors' prison, in Paris, for many years, keeping up all the while an indefatigable litigation in the French courts. At the age of seventy he was, by French law, released. In 1777, he joined the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew. He was a man of large enterprise and benevolence, manly in person, and dignified in manner. He owned a fine estate in Dorchester, latterly the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Sargent.

Signature, James Swan


One of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth;" became a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, in 1760, and was master of the Lodge, in 1771-72. He was a ship-joiner,[clxix] in Batterymarch Street, near Hallowell's ship-yard. In 1784, he was surveyor of boards; and was sealer of woods, in 1787-90. By Mary, his wife, whom he married in 1750, he had thirteen children, nine of whom survived him. His will is dated May 7, 1791.

Signature, Thomas Urann


Was a house-wright, who lived in half a double house, on Orange (now Washington) Street, west side, between Pleasant and Warrenton Streets. The other half was occupied by Sprague, also of the tea party. On the afternoon of December 16, 1773, Mrs. Wheeler became aware that there was something unusual on her husband's mind. It was late when he returned home that evening, but she sat up for him, and as he pulled off his long boots, a quantity of tea fell on the floor, revealing the cause of his absence. Seeing the tea, a female neighbor, who had sat up with Mrs. Wheeler to keep her company, in her husband's absence, exclaimed, "Save it; it will make a nice mess." Taking down her broom, this patriotic woman swept it all into the fire, saying, "Don't touch the cursed stuff." Wheeler commanded a company of minute-men at the opening of the Revolution, most of whom were skilled carpenters and joiners, and by Washington's order, he superintended the erection of the forts, on Dorchester Heights. He was also employed in building the State House, in Boston. He died in Boston, in August, 1817; aged seventy-four. His daughter, Mrs. Carney, was living in 1873, at[clxx] Sheepscot, Maine, at the age of eighty-six. George W. Wheeler, a grandson, many years City Treasurer of Worcester, is now (1884) living in that city. Captain Wheeler was one of the volunteer guard on board the "Dartmouth."


Was a blacksmith, who resided in the old mansion, yet standing, near Hog Bridge, in Roxbury, known as the "John Curtis House." He was the brother of Colonel Joseph, a distinguished citizen, and the father of Major Edward Payson Williams, an officer of the Revolutionary army, who died in the service.


Also of Roxbury, was one of the minute-men in Captain Moses Whiting's company, at Lexington. He, with his brother-in-law, Thomas Dana, Jr., and other Roxbury men, rendezvoused at the house of his father, John Williams, preparatory to the tea party, and returning home, Williams and Dana refused to join in sacking the house of a Tory, regarding it as no part of their enterprise. In 1812, Williams settled in Cazenovia, N.Y., and died in Utica, N.Y., July 31, 1817; aged sixty-three.


Journalist, born in Boston, February 7, 1755, died near Chillicothe, O., April 1, 1831. After serving an apprenticeship in a printing-office, in Boston, he became one of the[clxxi] proprietors and publishers of the "Independent Chronicle," a leading political journal, from 1776 to 1784. He subsequently issued the first newspaper ever published in Ohio, the "Scioto Gazette," and was for several years State printer of Ohio. His son, Nathaniel, also a journalist, was the father of Nathaniel P. Willis, Richard Storrs Willis, and Sarah Payson Willis, ("Fanny Fern,") afterwards Mrs. Parton. Member of St. Andrew's Lodge in 1779.


Whose relation is given on a preceding page, was the son of Ebenezer Wyeth, of Cambridge, and was born there in October, 1758. He served in the Revolutionary army; afterwards removed to the west, and was residing in Cincinnati, in 1827.

Signature, Joshua Wyeth


A physician, was a conspicuous figure in the early Revolutionary movements in Boston. He was the first president of the North End Caucus, at which measures of importance to the town were initiated and discussed, and delivered the first oration commemorative of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1771, at the Manufactory House, on Tremont Street. He was an original member of the Boston committee of correspondence, whose work was so important in uniting the Colonies, and was a talented and vigorous contributor to the papers of the day, and to the Royal American Magazine,[clxxii] on medical, political and religious topics. He was a popular speaker in the public meetings of the day, and to him is attributed the first public suggestion of throwing the tea overboard. He was John Adams's family physician, and an army surgeon, in 1776, and was afterwards a resident of Philadelphia. Several spirited letters from his pen may be found in the "Life and Times of General John Lamb." "Tea," writes Young in the "Evening Post," "is really a slow poison, and has a corrosive effect upon those who handle it. I have left it off since it became a political poison, and have since gained in firmness of constitution. My substitute is camomile flowers."

It is not long, since an eminent Englishman, visiting Boston, asked the committee of the city government, who attended him, to point out the place where the tea was thrown overboard. He was taken to a distant wharf, known by its form as the T, and popularly associated with that event from the similarity of sound. Boston has appropriately marked many of her historical sites; surely the spot rendered forever memorable by the bold deed of the Sons of Liberty, on December 16, 1773, ought not longer to remain unmarked. No stranger, at all familiar with American history, would leave unvisited the scene of an event at once so unique in its character, and so important in its consequences. The precise locality is definitely known, and a tablet, suitably inscribed, or an enduring monument of some kind, should be placed there without further delay.[clxxiii]


In this diagram the old boundaries are designated by dotted lines. The place where the tea-ships lay, at the foot of Griffin's wharf, is coincident with the lower end of the large coal-sheds of Messrs. Chapin & Co., the present owners of the wharf. They have extended and widened the wharf, and have built a three-story brick block at its head. A mural tablet might be set in the front of the central building, at a small expense. The wharf should be rechristened "Tea Party Wharf."



No! never such a draught was poured
Since Hebe served with nectar
The bright Olympians and their Lord,
Her over-kind protector;
Since Father Noah squeezed the grape
And took to such behaving,
As would have shamed our grandsire ape,
Before the days of shaving;
No! ne'er was mingled such a draught,
In palace, hall, or arbor,
As freemen brewed, and tyrants quaffed,
That night in Boston harbor!
It kept King George so long awake,
His brain at last got addled,
It made the nerves of Britain shake
With seven score millions saddled;
Before that bitter cup was drained
Amid the roar of cannon,
The western war-cloud's crimson stained
The Thames, the Clyde, the Shannon;
Full many a six-foot grenadier
The flattened grass had measured,
And many a mother many a year
Her tearful memories treasured.
Fast spread the tempest's darkening pall,
The mighty realms were troubled,
The storm broke loose, but first of all
The Boston tea-pot bubbled!
An evening party,—only that,
No formal invitation,
No gold-laced coat, no stiff cravat,
No feast in contemplation;
No silk-robed dames, no fiddling band,
No flowers, no songs, no dancing!
A tribe of red men,—axe in hand,—
Behold the guests advancing!
How fast the stragglers join the throng,
From stall and work-shop gathered;
The lively barber skips along
And leaves a chin half-lathered;
The smith has flung his hammer down,
The horse-shoe still is glowing,
The truant tapster at the Crown
Has left a beer-cask flowing;
The coopers' boys have dropped the adze,
And trot behind their master;
Up run the tarry ship-yard lads;—
The crowd is hurrying faster.
Out from the mill-pond's purlieus gush,
The streams of white-faced millers,
And down their slippery alleys rush
The lusty young Fort-Hillers.
The rope-walk lends its 'prentice crew,
The Tories seize the omen;
"Ay, boys! you'll soon have work to do
For England's rebel foemen,
'King Hancock,' Adams, and their gang,
That fire the mob with treason,—
When these we shoot, and those we hang,
The town will come to reason."
On—on to where the tea-ships ride!
And now their ranks are forming,—
A rush and up the Dartmouth's side,
The Mohawk band is swarming!
See the fierce natives! what a glimpse
Of paint and fur and feather,
As all at once the full-grown imps
Light on the deck together!
A scarf the pig-tail's secret keeps,
A blanket hides the breeches,—
And out the cursed cargo leaps,
And overboard it pitches!
O woman, at the evening board,
So gracious, sweet and purring,
[clxxv] So happy while the tea is poured,
So blest while spoons are stirring.
What martyr can compare with thee?
The mother, wife, or daughter,—
That night, instead of best Bohea,
Condemned to milk and water!
Ah, little dreams the quiet dame,
Who plies with rack and spindle,
The patient flax, how great a flame
Yon little spark shall kindle!
The lurid morning shall reveal
A fire no king can smother,
When British flint and Boston steel
Have clashed against each other!
Old charters shrivel in its track,
His worship's bench has crumbled,
It climbs and clasps the Union Jack,—
Its blazoned pomp is humbled.
The flags go down on land and sea,
Like corn before the reapers;
So burned the fire that brewed the tea
That Boston served her keepers!
The waves that wrought a country's wreck
Have rolled o'er Whig and Tory;
The Mohawks on the Dartmouth's deck
Shall live in song and story.
The waters in the rebel bay
Have kept the tea-leaf savor;
Our old North-Enders in their spray
Still taste a Hyson flavor.
And Freedom's tea-cup still o'erflows,
With ever-fresh libations,
To cheat of slumber all her foes,
And cheer the wakening nations!"



Rally Mohawks! bring out your axes,
And tell King George we'll pay no taxes
On his foreign tea;
His threats are vain, and vain to think
To force our girls and wives to drink
His vile Bohea!
Then rally boys, and hasten on
To meet our chiefs at the Green Dragon.
Our Warren's there, and bold Revere,
With hands to do, and words to cheer,
For liberty and laws;
Our country's "braves" and firm defenders
Shall ne'er be left by true North-Enders
Fighting Freedom's cause!
Then rally boys, and hasten on
To meet our chiefs at the Green Dragon.
* * *


Just by beauteous Boston lying
On the gently swelling flood;
Without Jack or streamers flying,
Three ill-fated tea-ships rode.
Just as glorious Sol was setting,
On the wharf, a numerous crew—
Sons of Freedom, fear forgetting,
Suddenly appeared in view.
Armed with chisel, axe and hammer,—
Weapons new for warlike deed;
Towards the herbage-freighted vessels,
They approached with dauntless speed.
O'er their heads aloft in mid sky,
Three bright angel forms were seen;
This was Hampden,—that was Sidney,
With fair Liberty between.
Soon they cried, "Your foes you'll banish,
Soon the glory shall be won;
Nor shall setting Phœbus vanish,
Ere the matchless deed be done!"
Quick as thought the ships were boarded,
Hatches burst and chests displayed;
Axe and hammers help afforded,—
What a glorious crash they made!
Quick into the deep descended,
Cursed weed of China's coast;
Thus at once our fears were ended,—
Freemen's rights shall ne'er be lost!


(From Thomas's "Massachusetts Spy.")

Farewell, the tea-board with its equipage
Of cups and saucers, cream-bucket and sugar-tongs,
The pretty tea-chest also lately stored
With Hyson, Congo, and best Double Fine.
Full many a joyous moment have I sat by you
Hearing the girls tattle, the old maids talk scandal,
And the spruce coxcomb laugh—at maybe nothing.
No more shall I dish out the once-loved liquor,
Though now detestable;
Because I'm taught—and I believe it true,
Its use will fasten slavish chains upon my country;
And Liberty's the goddess I would choose
To reign triumphant in America.


And the memorable Suffolk County Resolves of 1774.

The mansion where the famous Suffolk County Resolves were passed, September 9, 1774, is still standing. It is situated in Milton, Mass., a few doors from the Boston and Milton line, on the Quincy road. It is a low, two-story double house, 20 × 40 feet, with the main door in its centre, and a chimney on each end. In its front there is inserted a marble tablet, 14 × 28 inches, with the following inscription:


On the 9th day of Sept., 1774, at a meeting of the delegates of every town and district in the County of Suffolk, the memorable Suffolk Resolves were adopted.

They were reported by Maj.-Gen. Warren, who fell——in their defence in the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.

They were approved by the members of the Continental Congress at Carpenter's Hall, Phila., on the 17th Sept., 1774.

The Resolves to which the immortal patriot here first gave utterance, and the heroic deeds of that eventful day on which he fell, led the way to American Independence.

'Posterity will acknowledge that virtue which preserved them free and happy.'"

In Warren's oration, March 5, 1772, more than two years before these Resolves were passed, the spirit of liberty burned within his heart. Nine months after these Resolves the battle took place, which finally resulted in the birth of American freedom. See portrait, page xlvii.[clxxix]

Signature, Joseph Lovering

Signature of Joseph Lovering taken from a check dated May 3, 1848, one month prior to his death.

N.P. Lovering[clxxxiii]


Respecting Mr. Lovering's connection with the Tea Party, Mr. George W. Allan, of West Canton Street, Boston, now eighty-two years of age, relates that about the year 1835, he frequently conversed with that gentlemen, who told him that on the evening of December 16, 1773, when he was fifteen years of age, he held the light in Crane's carpenter's shop, while he and others, fifteen in number, disguised themselves preparatory to throwing the tea into Boston harbor. He also said that some two hundred persons joined them on their way to the wharf, where the tea-ships lay. Mr. George H. Allan, the son of George W. Allan, received a similar statement from Mr. Lovering, a short time before the latter's death, which occurred June 13, 1848, at the age of eighty-nine years and nine months.

Mr. Lovering appears to have been the youngest person connected with this affair, of whom we have any knowledge. His boyish curiosity led him to accompany the party to the scene of operations at Griffin's wharf, and on the following morning he was closely questioned and severely reprimanded by his parents, for being out after nine o'clock at night, as they were strict in their requirement that he should be in bed at that hour.

His son, Mr. N.P. Lovering, now seventy-seven years of age, resides in Boston, and is treasurer of the Connecticut and Passumpsic River Railroad Company. To this gentleman, and to his grand-daughter, Mrs. C.D. Bradlee, Boston, we are under obligation for the copy of a photograph from Mr. Lovering's oil-painting of his father.[clxxxiv]


Was born in Boston, 1706; died in Philadelphia, in 1790, and was buried in Christ Churchyard. A small marble slab, level with the ground, marks the spot. "No monumental display for me," was his request as expressed in his will.

Some years before his death he wrote his own epitaph. His usefulness to his country during the Revolutionary period will warrant us in giving it place in our "Tea Leaves:"


The body of
Like the cover of an old book,
its contents torn out,
And stript of its lettering and gilding,
Lies here, food for worms.
Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
For it will (as he believed) appear once more
in a new
and a more beautiful edition
corrected and amended
by the Author.

It is believed that Benjamin Franklin was made a Freemason in St. John's Lodge, of Philadelphia, early in the year 1731. In 1734 he printed and published the first Masonic book ever issued in America, being the work known as "Anderson's Constitution of 1723." Copies are now exceedingly rare, and readily sell for fifty dollars each. One is now in the library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in an excellent state of preservation.

Sereno D. Nickerson,
Recording Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Mass.

Signature, Benjamin Franklin


"As a philosopher he ranks high. In his speculations he seldom lost sight of common sense, or yielded up his understanding either to enthusiasm or authority."—Goodrich.



No. 1.


To the Directors of the East India Company.[24]


As the Act allowing a Drawback of the whole of the customs paid on tea, if exported to America, is now passed, in which there is a clause empowering the Lords of the Treasury to grant licences to the India Company, to export tea, duty free, to foreign States, or America, having at the time of granting such licences upwards of ten millions of pounds in their warehouses, and as the present stock of[190] tea is not only near seventeen million, but the quantity expected to arrive this season does also considerably exceed the ordinary demand of twelve months, and the expediency of exporting tea to foreign States having been considered, I presume to lay before this Court the following extracts, &c., from letters relative to the consumption in America, and calculation of advantages attending the exportation of tea by licence, and as an assurance the same are formed upon some experience of this trade (having not only been concerned in a great part of the tea which has been shipped to America since the allowance of the drawback, in 1767; but being now about to repurchase at your ensuing sale no small quantity of Bohea tea for the same account,) I am desirous, at my own hazard, to include in such purchase, an assortment of all other kinds, viz.: Congou, Souchong and Hyson, but more particularly the several species of Singlo, namely, Hyson, Skin, Twankay and First Sort, from a conviction that, by degrees, the consumption of these species, also and particularly Singlo tea, might be introduced into America, at least so far for the benefit of the Company, as in part to relieve them from the disagreeable necessity, they will, without some such vend, be subject to, of forcing that species of tea to market, before it is greatly damaged by age, provided you are of opinion the same may possibly tend to the advantage of the Company; or, should it be the opinion of this Court, an immediate consignment should take place, I am ready to give such assistance towards carrying the same into execution as may be thought most conducive to the interest of the Company, together with such security as the nature of the trust may require. In the prosecution of these consignments, I would propose to obtain[191] a more exact computation of the actual consumption; what quantity might probably find a sale there, and the most probable means of success in such sales, whether by waiting for a demand in the ordinary way, or by public sales there; conducted upon the outlines of those made in England, by fixing a future day of payment, and by a restriction in selling any future quantity for a limited time, but particularly (under my mode) in what manner, and within what time assurances can be given by remittances being made on account of such sales.

I am, gentlemen, your humble servant,

Wm. Palmer.

London, 19th May, 1773.

Extracts from Letters, &c., to Prove the State of the Tea Trade in America.

Extract from a Letter from Boston, dated 29th April, 1771, in Answer to a Consignment made in February, 1771, at 3s. 1d., with the whole drawback of £23 18s. 7½d. pr cent.:

"Were it not for the Holland tea, the vent of English would have answered your expectation here, but the profit is immense upon the Holland tea, which some say cost but 18d., and the 3d. duty here is saved. Many hundred chests have been imported. What is shipped may go off in time, without loss, for there must be buyers of English tea; the transportation of the Dutch by water being attended with much trouble and risk."[192]

Extract from a Letter from Boston, dated 11th July, 1771:

"So much tea has been imported from Holland, that the importers from England have been obliged to sell for little or no profit. The Dutch traders, it is said, had their first teas at 18d. pr lb., the last at 2s.; either is much cheaper than from England, and they save the 3d. duty here. The Company must keep theirs nearer the prices in Holland. The consumption is prodigious."

Extract from a Letter from Boston, 2d Sepr., 1771:

"The consumption of Bohea tea thro' the Continent increases every year. It is difficult for us to say how great it is at present. We imagine there may be consumed in this Province, which is perhaps a seventh part of the Continent, 3000 chests in a year. We are sure nothing can discourage the running of it but the reducing the price as low, or lower, than it was two or three years past in England"

Extract from a Letter from Boston, (Messrs. Hutchinson,) dated 10th Sepr., 1771:

"From a more particular estimate of the consumption we are of opinion, the two towns of Boston and Charlestown consume a chest, or about 340 pounds of tea, one day with another. These two towns are not more than one-eighth, perhaps not more than one-tenth, part of the Province.[193] Suppose they consume but 300 chests in a year, and allow they are but one-eighth, it will make 2400 chests a year for the whole Province. This Province is not one-eighth part of the Colonies, and in the other governments, especially New York, they consume tea in much greater proportion than in this Province. In this proportion, the consumption may be estimated at 19,200 chests per annum, or upwards of six millions of pounds. Yet at New York or Pensylvania they import no teas from England, and at Rhode Island very little. Here we find the Dutch traders continually gaining ground upon us. If teas do not sail with you before the spring shippings, we fear the Dutch will carry away all the trade of the Colonies in this article."

Extract of a Letter from Boston, dated 11th Sepr., 1772:

"We have delayed answering your last enquiries relative to the tea concern, in hopes of being able to form a better judgment, but to no great purpose; the great importation from Holland, principally through New York and Philadelphia, keeps down the price here, and consequently the sale of teas from England. We have set ours so low we shall have no profit from this years adventure, yet there are 50 chests still on hand. You ask our opinion whether the difference between the English and Dutch teas, if it did not exceed the 3d. duty and 9 pr cent., would be sufficient encouragement to the illicit trader? If the difference was not greater we think some of the smugglers would be discouraged, but the greater part would not. Nothing will be effectual short of reducing the price in England equal to the price in Holland. If no other burthen than the 3d. duty in the[194] Colonies, to save that alone would not be sufficient profit, and the New Yorkers, &c., would soon break thro' their solemn engagements not to import from England."

Extract from a Letter from Boston, dated 25th Feb., 1773, in Answer to a calculation sent of the supposed price at which the illicit trader can now import tea into America from Holland:

"In your calculation of the profits on Dutch teas, 12 pr cent. is too much to deduct for the risque of illicit trade. We are confident not one chest in five hundred has been seized in this Province for two or three years past, and the custom house officers seem unwilling to run any risk to make a seisure. At New York, we are told it is carted about at noon day. There is some expence in landing, which we believe the importers would give five pr cent. to be freed from."

Copy of a Letter from Rotterdam, dated 12th June, 1772:

"I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 5th instant, desiring information of the present state and prices of tea at this market, and also what the freight and charges are thereon to North America, to all which I cheerfully give you every elucidation in my power, and with the greatest pleasure, as neither you nor your friends have any thought of engaging in said trade, which, with every[195] other branch of smuggling, must be held in abhorrence by all good men. The present prices of tea are—

DutchBohea's,in wholechests,20 @22
Heysan Skin,6062

The tare on whole chests is 84 lbs., if they weigh less than 400 lbs., and if they weigh 400 lbs. or upwards, then 90 lbs.; for the half chests, under 200 lbs., tare 54 lbs.; if 200 lbs., or upwards, then 60 lbs.; for the quarter chests, under 100 lbs., tare, 23 lbs.; if 100 lbs., or upwards, then 30 lbs. The advantages on the tares are calculated at 7 or 8 pr cent. on the whole chests, at 12 @ 13 pr cent. on the half chests, and at 15 @ 16 per cent. on the quarter chests. The quantity of teas on hand is not considerable, so that we do not apprehend a decline; on the contrary, if any orders of the least importance were to appear, the prices would go higher. There are now about 400 chests shipping for America, from Amsterdam, from[196] which port the teas that go to North America from this country are always shipped, and not from this city; they are sent to Rhode Island, and not to Boston. Of Green teas there are hardly any left, neither fine Souchong nor Congos, but ordinary, in abundance. The freight of a whole chest of Bohea to St. Eustatius, one of the Dutch West India Islands, comes to about 7-1/4s. pr chest. It is reckoned by the foot square, at 6s. the foot to North America. It is generally £4 pr chest, New York currency, but the captain is not answerable in any case of seizure.

Agreeable to your desire, I send you a pro forma invoice of 6 chests Dutch Boheas, so as they come to stand on board if they were shipped here; but as the shipping is at Amsterdam, the charges may be somewhat higher. In regard to what they estimate, the risk that in America for running in the teas I cannot inform you, this you may be better able to learn from some of your New England houses, as our underwriters will not sign against the risk of seizures; but I fancy the risk is not very great, as the trade is carried on for so large parcels.

Pro forma invoice of 6 chests of Dutch Bohea tea:


320Tare of 4 chests, under
at 84 lb. each, 336


390do. of 2 chests above
400 @ 90 lb. each 180


4101754 @ 24s.£210416
420off 1 pr cent.,212
Custom and Passport,£204s
½ weigh money,130
Commission, 2 per cent. on £2131 13s.4212

Estimate of the advantages attending the Tea trade to North America, if carried on from England:

Observe 1st. In the following calculation, no more than half the consumption of the Continent, as estimated by Messrs. Hutchinson, in their letter of the 10th Sepr., 1771, is assumed as the whole, as from the mode in which they were under the necessity of making their estimate, it was liable to error, and 19,200 chests is more than has been hitherto annually imported from China by all foreign companies.

2ndly. That this calculation is formed upon Bohea tea only, the species of tea already consumed there; yet it is probable by degrees other species might be introduced, the vend of which may be more profitable to the Company. 9600 chests of Bohea tea, each containing 340 lbs., makes 3,264,000 lbs., if sold at 2s. 6d. Boston currency, (which is 4d. lower than it appears to have been even at the time it[198] was purchased in Holland, at 15 stivers, or under 18d. pr lb.,

amounts to£408,000
Deduct 25 pr cent. for exchange,102,000
Deduct 6 pr cent. for commission and charges,18,360
Annual net proceeds before the American
duty is deducted,

Application of those Net proceeds to the following purposes:

To the revenue for the duty on 3,264,000, @ 3d.£40,800
To the ship owners, for freight from England to America, if according to the present rate of 15 pr chest,7,200
To the ship owners for freight from China to England, according to Sir Richard Hotham's plan, of £21 pr ton, of 10 hundred weight, or for every 3 chests of tea,67,200
To the purchase at Canton, if at 15 tale pr pecul would amount thus: say 3,264,000 lb., divided by 133-1/3 for each pecul, makes peculs 24,480 @ 15 each, is tales 367,200, which, at 6s. 8d. pr tale, is sterling,122,400
Commission on the purchase in China,6,120
Charges of all sorts, rated at 10s. pr chest,4,600
To the Company for Net profit after all deductions whatsoever upon the most reduced estimate, upwards of 30 pr cent. on the purchase, or}39,320


No. 2.



I take the liberty to enclose for your consideration a memorial, regarding the establishment of a branch from the East India house in one of the principal cities in North America. Should the design meet with your approbation, as I am well acquainted with the teas most saleable in that country, shall be extremely happy in giving you every information in my power, I have the honor to be with due esteem, gentlemen,

Your most obedt. & very humble servant,

Gilb't Barkly.

Lombard Street,

26th May, 1773.

To the Hon'ble the Court of Directors of the East India Company.


The Memorial of Gilbert Barkly, merchant, in Philadelphia, in North America, who resided there upwards of sixteen years, and who is well acquainted with the consumption of that country, particularly in the article of Teas, &c.

Humbly proposes. In order to put a final stop to that destructive trade of smuggling:

That the Company should open a chamber in one of the principal, & central cities, of North America, under the[200] direction of managers, and that an assortment of teas from England should be lodged in warehouses, and sales to commence quarterly upon the same terms & conditions as those in London.

By this means the merchants and grocers from the Southern and Northern Provinces will attend the sales and purchase according to their abilities. The goods thus brought from home to them, and sold cheaper than they can be smuggled from foreigners, the buyers will be bound by interest, and think no more of running that risk, to which may be added that they have them when paid for, immediately, for whereas, when commissioned from abroad, they generally wait six months before the receipt of them.

This country is now become an object of the highest consequence, peopled by about three millions of inhabitants, one third of whom, at a moderate computation, drink tea twice a day, which third part, reckoning to each person one fourth part of an ounce pr day, makes the yearly consumption of 5,703,125 lbs. This quantity, at the medium price of 2s. 6d. pr lb., amounts to £712,890 2s. 6d.

The common people in all countries are the greatest body, few of those in North Briton or Ireland drink tea, this is not the case in America, all the planters are the real proprietors of the lands they possess; by this means they can afford to come at this piece of luxury, which has been greatly introduced among them by the example of the Dutch and German settlers.

The great object to be considered is to bring the goods to market in such a manner as to afford them as cheap as they can be bought of foreigners. Should this be the case the success of the design is beyond a doubt.[201]

The duty of 3d. pr lb. some time ago laid on teas payable in America, gave the colonists great umbrage, and occasioned their smuggling that article into the country from Holland, France, Sweden, Lisbon, &c., St. Eustatia, in the West Indies, &c., which, from the extent of the coast, (experience has taught) cannot be prevented by custom officers, or the king's cruizers, and as the wisdom of Parliament reckons it impolitical to take off this duty, the colonists will persevere in purchasing that article in the usual manner if the above method is not adopted, and the goods brought into their country and sold as cheap as they can have them abroad.

The freight, &c., of teas to America would not much exceed what they might cost to Holland, or any other foreign company, particularly as the ships may load back with masts, and other goods that might nigh pay the whole expence, and should the Company think of exporting their overstock of teas to Holland, or any other foreign country, it is not to be expected that the merchants abroad would buy them but with a view of profit. This, with freight, commission, duty, &c., would far exceed the expence of sales and freight to America.

If this scheme should be approved of, the sooner it is executed the better, as the smugglers in America will soon be laying in their fall and winter stock of teas, unless they are prevented by this design, and as Spanish dollars are the current coin in that country, the Company can be furnished with any quantity they may require towards their payment, should they require it.

The managers may be paid by a commission on the sales, and at the same time bound to obey such orders and[202] directions as they may receive from time to time from the Hon'ble the Court of Directors, and as your memorialist is universally acquainted with the trade, and has respectable connections in that country, he humbly offers himself as a proper person to be one of the managers, and if required, will find security for the trust reposed in him. Your memorialist also presumes to mention John Inglis, Esq., of the city of Philadelphia, as another proper person, being universally esteemed in America, and well known in the city of London, as a man of probity, fortune and respect.

No. 3.


Dear Sir:

The annual consumption of teas in Nova Scotia is about 20 chests Bohea, and 3 or 4 of good Common Green. Should the Company determine on sending any to that Province, I pray your interest in procuring the commission to Watson's & Rashleigh's agent there, John Butler, a man of long standing in the Province and in the Council, and by far the fittest person to be employed, for whom W. & R. will be answerable. At Boston I have two friends equally deserving. You would do the Company service, and me an acceptable kindness, by recommending them, Benjamin Faneuil, Jun., & Joshua Winslow. The consumption at[203] Boston is large, say at least 400 chests Bohea & 50 of Green pr annum. The freight to both these places I should be glad to have if you could procure it without inconvenience to yourself.

Yours faithfully,

Brook Watson.[26]

4 June, 1773.

No. 4.


Received from the Hon'ble Mr. Walpole.[27]

As Philadelphia is the capital of one of the most populous and commercial Provinces in North America, and is situated in the center of the middle British Colonies, it is proposed:

That the East India Company should, by the middle of June at farthest, send to Philadelphia at least five hundred chests of black teas, one hundred half chests of green teas,[204] and seventy five half chests of Congou and Souchon teas.

That they should consign these teas to a house of character and fortune in Philadelphia, and direct the proceeds thereof to be remitted hither in bills of exchange or specie.

That previous, however, to the teas being shipped, factors should be appointed in Philadelphia, and the directors of the East India Company should immediately advise them of their intended consignation, and direct them to engage proper warehouses for the reception thereof.

That the factors should be authorized to sell the teas at public auction, (giving notice of the times of the sale in all the North American newspapers, at least one month before hand,) and in such small lots as will be convenient for the country storekeepers to supply themselves with such sales.

That the factors should grant the purchasers the same allowance of tare, tret, discount, &c., as are customary at the company's sales in this city.

That in case the factor should be of opinion, the sales of the tea would be encreased both in quantity and price, by having occasional auctions in Boston and New York, in the manner proposed at Philadelphia; that they should be at liberty to send from time to time to Boston & New York[205] as many chests as they may think necessary for the consumption & commerce of those places, but that the factors, or one of them, should always attend the sales in Boston and New York.

That the East India Company should be at the charge & expence of the warehouse rent in America, the cartage, and the freight of the teas from Philadelphia to Boston & New York, and that the factors should be allowed for receiving and selling the teas, collecting the payment thereof and remitting the same, a commission of 2½ pr cent. on the amount of the sales.

N.B.—It is submitted whether it would not be proper for the directors of the East India Company to send two persons to Philadelphia, who have been accustomed to pack and repack teas at the India House, to the end that they may be employed for that purpose, and in dividing whole chests of black teas into half chests, for the greater accommodation of the country shopkeepers.

No. 5.

Mr. Palmer's Compliments to Mr. Wheler, encloses the Outlines of a Plan upon which the Exportation of Tea on behalf of the Company to America take place. Mr. P. will attend the Committee whenever he is desired.


Admitting that an exportation of tea to America by licence takes place immediately, in order to prevent the[206] colonists from becoming purchasers at the sales of foreign companies, usually made from September to November, and consequently at least discourage those companies from encreasing their China trade, and also to obtain some information, though imperfect, before the investments for the China ships of the ensuing season are ordered. It is proposed that chests of Bohea tea, chests of each specie of Singlo tea, together with a smaller assortment of Hyson, Souchong, & Congou tea be consigned to such a number of merchants conjointly as may be thought sufficient, (for whom their correspondents in England shall give satisfactory security,) together with such persons as shall be thought proper for that purpose to be sent from thence. That upon the arrival of such tea in Boston public notice shall be given thereof through the Continent, and also that it is the intention of the East India Company, if the sales of this cargo should be found to answer, to repeat such consignments, in order to supply that Continent with teas at least equal in price to what they must pay for the same if obtained in a way of illicit trade. That in order to conduct these sales in the most advantageous manner, the parties to whom the cargoes shall be entrusted shall act as one body; that the concurrence of the majority shall be necessary for any act therein; that each party shall be answerable for himself only, but that no credit shall be given to bills received for paying without the assent of at least three of the persons so appointed; that it shall be the object of the person who may be appointed to go with the cargo to obtain all possible information respecting the actual consumption, mode of sale, species of tea that may be introduced, & opportunity of remittances at Boston, where it is proposed the first consignment[207] shall be made, as it is the only considerable mart, where tea from England is at present received without opposition, and having so done he shall visit such other places on the Continent as may be thought proper, but particularly New York and Philadelphia, in order to obtain the same information at those several places, and learn, from being on the spot, how far the New Yorkers, &c., will hold their solemn engagements, when they find the advantages they will probably reap by receiving tea from England. They having obtained all such necessary information, he shall return to England & report the same, from which time it is presumed there will be full employ for such agent without any additional expence to the Company in preparing such assortments of tea as may from time to time be required for this market, and can be best spared from the necessary demand of Great Britain & Ireland, and also in negotiating the remittances that may from time to time be received on account of this concern.

That such an appointment is absolutely necessary must appear to every one at all acquainted with the nature of the tea trade, not only properly to regulate these investments, but also from time to time to preserve proper assortments of tea for the consumption of Great Britain & Ireland, and indeed in this particular alone could the directors for some years past have had such information, from any person in whose abilities & integrity they could have placed a proper confidence, and who, from the nature of such trusts, must be placed above the temptation to any sinister practices the Company, from the resources of the tea trade alone, would probably never have been involved in their present difficulties.




We are informed that you have come to a resolution to ship tea to America, we therefore beg leave to recommend our friends, Mr. Andrew Lord, and Messrs. Willm. & George Ancrum,[28] of Charles Town, in South Carolina, merchants, for the consignments of such part as you may ship to that place. Both houses are of the first repute, and have been long established there, and also to tender to you our ship the London, Alexander Curling, Master, to carry the same out, who shall be ready to sail whenever you please to account.

We are, your most humble servants,

Greenwood & Higginson.

London, 4 May, 1773.

To the Hon'ble the Court of Directors
  of the United Company of Merchants
  of England, trading to the East Indies.



Being informed you intend to export teas to several different settlements in America, to be sold there under the[209] direction of agents to be appointed. I beg leave to acquaint the Court that I have a house established in New York, under the firm of Pigou & Booth, and I humbly solicit the favor of that house having a share of the consignments.

Philadelphia being also a port to which the Company will most likely send teas, I beg leave to recommend Messrs. James & Drinker, of that city, to be one of your agents there.

Should I be so happy to succeed in my request, I am certain the greatest attention will be paid by those gentlemen to the Company's orders, and that the Company's interest will be made their study in the sales and remittances. I also beg leave to observe that if ships should be wanted for this service, I have vessels now ready for the ports of Philadelphia and New York.

I am, gentlemen,

Your most obed't & very humble serv't,

Fred'k Pigou, Junr.

Mark Lane, 1st June, 1773.

To the Hon'ble the Court of Directors
  of the United East India Company.


London, 1st July, 1773.


I intended to have made a purchase of teas at your present sale to have exported to America, but the candid[210] intimation given by you of an intention to export them to the Colonies on account of the Company, renders it disadvantageous for a single house to engage in that article.

I now beg leave, gentlemen, to make a tender to you of the services of a house in which I am a partner, Richard Clarke and Sons,[29] of Boston, New England, to conduct the sale of such teas as you may send to that part of America, in conjunction with any other houses you may think proper to entrust with this concern; altho' I have not the honor of being personally known to many of you, I flatter myself our house is known to the principal merchants who deal to our Province, and are known to have always fulfilled our engagements with punctuality & honor, and trust I shall procure you ample security for our conducting this business, agreeable to the direction, we may from time to time receive from you.[211]

In soliciting this favor, I beg leave to avail myself further of the circumstance of our having for a long time been concerned in the tea trade, and to greater extent than any house in our Province, with one exception. Of the disappointment I have met with in my intended adventure, by which we are deprived of a very valuable branch of our business, and on my being on the spot to take such instructions from you as may be requisite in disposing of what you may send. And give me leave to add my assurances that the interest of the East India Company will always be attended to by the house of Richard Clarke & Sons, if you think fit to repose this confidence in them.

I am, very respectfully, gentlemen,

Your most obed't & humble servant,

Jonathan Clarke.

To the Hon'ble Directors of the
  East India Company.

Mr. Clarke also enclosed two letters in his favor; one from Messrs. Henry & Thos. Bromfield, the other from Mr. Peter Contencin, merchants.

June 5th, 1773.


The bearer, Mr. Barkly, is the person whom I took the liberty of recommending to you as a person able and qualified to give you information touching the quantity of[212] tea that is now consumed in America, and to serve the Company in that part of the World in case the Directors shall judge it proper to make any establishment there for selling tea on the Company's account, & I am, sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

Grey Cooper.[30]

Received from Henry Crabb Boulton, Esq.

Hon'ble Sirs:

Being informed of your resolution to export a quantity of tea to different parts of America, we take the liberty of recommending our friends, Messrs. Willing, Morris & Co., to be your agents at Philadelphia, for whom we are ready to be answerable.

We are, very respectfully,

Your honors most obedient, humble servants,

Roberts, Baynes & Roberts.

8 June, 1773.

To the Hon'ble the Committee of Warehouses.[213]

London, 9th June, 1773.


I have understood that you propose fixing agents in the different colonies in America, to dispose of certain quantities of tea; if so, I am a native and merchant of Virginia, and think it will be in my power to execute your commands in that quarter, on terms equal, if not superior, to any one in it.

There are some things respecting this business that come within my knowledge; which are too prolix for a letter, but if the Court chuses to notice my petition, I shall be happy and ready to give any intelligence in my power.

I am, gentlemen,

Your very obed't & hum'ble serv't,

Benj. Harrison, Junr.

At Webbs, Arundel Street, Strand.

To the Hon'ble Court, &c.


Being informed that you have it in contemplation to export tea to the different Provinces in North America, for sale on the Company's account, I beg leave to recommend my brother, Mr. Jonathan Browne, merchant, in Philadelphia, as an agent for any business you may have to transact at that place, and I flatter myself his activity [214]& knowledge of the trade of that country, acquired by a residence of upwards of fifteen years, will render him deserving of your notice.

Any security for his conduct I am ready to give, and to any amount you shall think necessary for the discharge of the trust you may be pleased to repose in him.

I am, very respectfully, gent.,

Your most obed't & humble serv't,

George Browne.

London, Tower Hill, 11th June, 1773.

To the Committee of Warehouses.


As many difficulties seem at present to attend the exportation of tea to America in large quantities, on account of the Company, if the expedient is approved by this Court, of sending about 200 chests of Bohea tea, and a small assortment of other species to Boston, by way of experiment, and you should think proper to entrust such cargo to the care of Messrs. Hutchinson, merchants, there, I am ready, as a security, to advance upon the same the sum such tea shall amount to, at the prime cost in China & freight from hence, before the shipping thereof, provided I am permitted[215] to charge interest upon such advance, until remittances for the same are received from America.

I am, gent.,

Your humble serv't,

Wm. Palmer.

Devonshire Square, 24th June, 1773.

To the Hon'ble Court of Directors, &c., &c.


The Committee of Warehouses of the East India Company desire you will meet them at this house, on Thursday next, at twelve o'clock at noon, relative to the exportation of tea to America.

I am, sir,

Your most humble serv't,

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 25th June, 1773.

To Brook Watson,
    Jonathan Clarke,
    Frede'k Pigou, Junr.
    Gilbert Barkly,
    George Browne,
    Roberts, Baynes & Roberts,
    Wm. Kelly,
    Greenwood & Higginson,
    Benjamin Harrison,
    Samuel Wharton,
    Geo. Hayley & John Blackburn, Esqrs.


The enclosed newspapers contain the sentiments of the Americans with regard to the quantity of teas consumed in that country, and the fatal consequences attending buying it from foreigners, by leading them to purchase other articles of East India goods at the same markets which otherwise would not be an object, and which, of course, would be commissioned from the mother-country.

The memorial, which I had the honor to deliver, lately points out an undoubted method for gaining this trade.

The Company being the exporters, pays the American duty of 3d. pr lb., of which they will be amply repaid by the advance on their sales, and as mankind in general are bound by interest, and as the duty of about a shill'g pr lb. is now taken off tea when exported, the Company can afford their teas cheaper than the Americans can smuggle them from foreigners, which puts the success of the design beyond a doubt.

It may be suggested that the Americans have not money to pay for those goods. The Province of Pennsylvania alone ships yearly to the West Indies, Spain, Portugal & France, &c., above 300,000 barrels of flour, large quantities of wheat, Indian corn, iron, pork, beef, lumber, and above 15,000 hhds. of flax seed to Ireland, and the other Provinces are equally industrious. The principal returns are in silver and gold, with bills of exchange, an incredible part of which will center with the Company should the same be executed agreeable to the plan proposed, and smuggling will be effectually abolished without any additional number of officers and cruizers.[217]

Warehouse rent, &c., in America, will come as cheap as it is in England; and by the mode proposed for disposing of the teas, the grocers and merchants will be quickly served without any risk of loss by bad debts. I beg your forgiveness for the freedom I have taken. I have the honor to be, with due respect, gentlemen,

Your most obed't & humble servant,

Gilbert Barkly.

Lombard Street, 29 June, 1773.

To the chairman & deputy chairman of
  the East India Comp'y.

(See Mr. Barkly's letter in the miscellany bundle for the Pennsylvania packet of 17th May, 1773.)


Upon my coming to town, I found a letter from the clerk of the Committee of Warehouses, desiring my attendance at the East India House, relative to the exportation of teas to America.

I should have waited on the Committee of Warehouses at the time desired, if I had been in town, and I will attend them if they wish to see me any day next week, which may be convenient to them. I am, sir,

Your most obedit. humb. serv't,

Samuel Wharton.

Argyle Street, June 30th, 1773

Crabb Boulton, Esqr.



Submitted to the consideration of Henry Crabb Boulton, Esq., Chairman of the East India Company.

The usual exports to America, consisting of callicoes, muslins, and other produce of India, (tea excepted,) have been seldom less than £600,000 pr an., as such the consequence of that trade, and the interest of the merchants concerned therein, ought to be well considered before this measure of sending out teas to America should be adopted, lest it might defeat the one and prejudice the other.

The merchants are much alarmed at this step of the Company, fearing it will prevent, in a great degree, the remittances from their correspondents by so much or near it as the sales of the teas amount to; for it is beyond a doubt, that the people in America, if they admit the teas, (which I much doubt,) will be tempted to purchase them with the very money arising from the sales of muslins, callicoes, Persians, &c., bought of the Company instead of sending it to the merchants in England, and thereby tend to encrease the distress which is already too severely felt, for want of remittances. And I should not be surprized at the merchants forming a resolution similar to that of the dealers, viz., not to purchase anything from a Company who are interfering so essentially with their trade, and striking at the root of their interests. I am of opinion, if a proper application was made to the ministry, aided by a petition from the American merchants, it might produce a relaxation of that[219] disagreeable and fatal duty of 3d. pr lb., and in case of success I could almost promise that in the course of six months there would be exported not less than one million of pounds of tea, and further, that the usual annual export would be upon an average four millions of pounds of teas. This mode would relieve the Company from its present load, and place the correspondence and connection in its usual and natural channel. But admitting that the ministry would not comply with such a request, is it not too hasty a resolution before answers are come from America if they will receive the teas through the channel of the merchants, and particularly when they see the drawback is encreased from 14 to 24 pr cent. ad valorem, and thereby they are enabled to introduce that article cheaper from hence than from Holland.

It is well known to every gentleman conversant in trade, that on account of some disagreeable Acts of Parliament passed here, the people of America formed a resolution, which was too generally adhered to, not to import any goods from hence. This resolution continued for two years. However, the merchants of New York, (who are men of understanding and liberal principles,) foreseeing the fatal consequences that attend England & the Provinces by a continuance of dis-union with the mother-country, summoned a meeting of the principal inhabitants of the town, and then came to a compromise with the people, that in case they would agree to admit all other goods, they promised not to import any teas from England, under very severe penalties, until the Act imposing a duty of 3d. pr lb. was repealed, and the several captains of ships in the trade were enjoined upon pain of forfeiting the good esteem of the inhabitants[220] to comply therewith. The like resolutions were agreed to in Philadelphia & South Carolina.

There is another difficulty which occurs to me in this business, and that is, there is not so much specie in the country as would pay for the quantity said is intended to be exported. The Company should be very cautious who they appointed to receive the produce of the sales, for should the contractor for money have that power, who are the general drawers of bills, it would enable them to make a monopoly of the ready specie, and to make exchange advance 25 pr ct., to the loss of the remitter.

Thus have I stated the principal objections to the measure, and in compliance with my promise, I shall give you my opinion relative to its introduction, & the proper modes of sale, admitting the Company persevere in their resolutions of exporting the teas on their own account.

A ship should be hired by the Company, capable of carrying the quantity they intend to export, and at so much pr month. She should call in the first place at Boston, and there land 300 chests, under the care of one of the Company's own clerks; from thence to New York, and there land 300 chests, in the like manner as at Boston; from thence to Philadelphia, and there land 300 chests, as before, and from thence to Carolina, and there land 100 chests, under the care of the clerk of the Company, all of which may be performed in the course of three months from her sailing from hence, until her arrival at her last destined port, provided the people in the different Provinces don't disturb the voyage upon the arrival of the teas. Public notice should be given in the papers of each Province at least one month preceding the sale, and the following valuation prices[221] affixed for the buyers to bid upon, subject to the allowances, as limited in your own sales: Boston, @ 2s., lawful money, pr lb.; New York, 2s. 9d., currency; Philadelphia, 2s. 3d., currency; Charles Town, South Carolina, 10s. pr lb., currency. These prices are for Boheas. The several clerks of the Company can with ease correspond with each other, as there is a constant and regular communication by post, so that if there should be an over quantity at one place, and a deficiency at another, it may be supplied. The clerks should have directions to pay the proceeds of the sales to some eminent merchant at each Province, who should be a person well acquainted with the article, and one who has great weight with the other merchants and people, both as to esteem, rank and property; this merchant to remit the money by good bills of exchange, which he must guarantee, and a security given here for such a trust.

Great care should be had to regulate the sale by the consumption of each Province, and not to be held at the same time, but to follow each other by the distance of a fortnight, so that in case there should be more buyers at one Province than the quantity will furnish, they may have an opportunity of writing or going to the next sale at another Province.

I fear there may be an opposition made by some of the Provinces upon a surmise that Government is aiding in this plan, and mean to establish principle and right of taxation, for the purpose of a revenue, which at present is very obnoxious, as such great care should be had not to employ either paymaster, collector, or any other gentleman under the immediate service of the Crown, to receive the money.[222]

Garlick Hill, 1st July, 1773.


In compliance with your desire, we have reflected on the business & expence which will attend the sale of and remitting for such teas as the East India Company may ship to North America, and considering that none but gentlemen of known property, integrity and of experience in trade can, with propriety and safety to the Company, be employed therein, we humbly conceive that five pr cent. commission, and one pr cent. for truckage, warehouse rent, brokerage, and other incidental charges, making in the whole six pr cent. on the gross sales, is as little as the business can be transacted for. And we further beg leave to suggest that no person ought to be employed who will not give security to the Company, in London, for faithfully following such instructions, as they may from time to time receive from them, for remitting to the Company all monies which they may receive on account of teas sold, first deducting the above six pr cent., together with such freight and duties as they may have paid on account thereof, and interest thereon, till reimbursed, such remittances to be made in bills of exchange, within two months after receiving the money, which bills, to be drawn upon their security in London, payable sixty days after sight, or in specie, at the Company's risk and expence; if in bills of exchange, the security to be obliged to accept and pay them. Should the Company determine to ship teas on their own account and risk to North America, we presume to recommend to their service,[223] Benjamin Faneuil, Junr., Esqr., & Joshua Winslow, Esqr.,[31] of Boston, jointly, to transact their business, for whom we are ready to give security to the amount of ten thousand pounds for their performance of the before mentioned conditions, and in like manner a security of two thousand pounds for John Butler, Esqr., of Halifax, in Nova Scotia, who we also beg leave to recommend to the Company's service. We are, with great respect, gentlemen,

Your obe't, hume serv'ts,

Watson & Rashleigh.

To the Hon'ble the Committee
  of Warehouse, &c., &c., &c.

Signature, J. Winslow


London, July 2, 1773.


If it should be agreeable to you to consign to the house of Richard Clarke & Sons, of Boston, New England, this summer or fall, I would beg leave to propose to you, that I will find security to the amount of two or three hundred chests, that in eight months after the sale of them in America, the accounts shall be forwarded you, and the money for the net proceedings paid to your order within that time, you allowing our house five pr cent. commission on the sales, and one pr cent. for storage & other charges, the freight and American duty to be chargeable on the teas besides, & we to be free from the risk of fire or any other accident that may occur before the delivery of the tea.

I am, with the greatest respect, gentlemen,

Your most obed't, hum. ser't,

Jonathan Clarke.

To the Hon'ble Directors, &c., &c.

London, July 5, 1773.


The terms which I had the honor to converse with you upon, relative to the sale of teas in America, I take leave to recapitulate as necessary, to understand each other, viz.: You expect that the houses here who recommend their[225] friends abroad, and are in consequence appointed as your factors to dispose of that article, should stipulate that it be sold agreeable to such orders as you may think proper to give for that purpose, and that the factors pay the cartage, warehouse rent, brokerage, and other charges incidental to the sale, and remit the net proceeds in two months from the last, prompt, in good bills of exchange or bullion, for the whole of which service they are to retain a commission of 6 pr cent. on the gross sales, the Company to be at the risk and expence of shipping the tea out, to pay duty and entry abroad, and to be also at the risk and expence of sending bullion home, which terms I do agree to in behalf of those which I shall recommend, whose names are at the foot. And as it seems prudent to guard against accident by death, as well as that the Company be secured against the neglect & misconduct of its servants in this business, I do hereby, for myself and my house, here guarantee the safety of the houses named as above, for the execution of this business, and also that such bills of exchange, as they shall remit on the above account, shall be good.

The agents in this business hope to be indulged with giving their ships in the trade the freight of the tea out, in preference to others.

I am, with the highest respect, sirs,

Your most obed't & most hum. serv't,

William Kelly.

To the Hon'ble the Comtee of Warehouses, &c., &c., [226]&c.

For New York:

Messrs. Abraham Lott & Co.[32]
Messrs. Hugh & Alexr Wallace.

Mr. Lott has been a merchant of reputation there about 18 years, and Public Treasurer of the Province about 7 years. The latter is a house of long standing and of great credit, and is well known to many gentlemen here, particularly Messrs. Bourdieu & Chollet.

For Boston:

John Erving, Junr.[33]
Henry Lloyd.[34]

Both men of fortune and established characters as merchants.

For Philadelphia:

Messrs. Francis Tilghman.
Messrs. Reese Meredith & Son.

Both houses of great credit & established reputation.

P.S.—Mr. Kelly, on consideration, thinks that one month from the last prompt, will be too short a time for limiting the remittances to be made, and therefore has taken the liberty to put down two.


London, 6 July, 1773.


Mr. Kelly will give the Committee my proposals for doing the Company's business in Virginia, and if they require further knowledge of me, Messrs. Harris & Co., and Mr. John Blackburn, will give them it. I am, sir,

Your hum. serv't,

Benj. Harrison.

Mr. Wm. Settle, Clerk,
  to the Committee of Warehouses.

Hon'ble Gentlemen:

Pursuant to your request, I beg leave to lay before you the proposal of my friend, Henry White, Esqr., of New[228] York, for the sale of what teas you may think proper to commit to his charge, and in justice to my friend, I think it my duty to declare that there is no gentleman more capable of transacting this business, seeing from his long experience in that branch, that his consequence as a merchant of fortune he will be capable of advancing the interest of the Company in the sale thereof, as well as silencing any prejudices that may arise from the mode of its introduction, viz.:

That the money arising from the sale of such teas shall be paid into the hands of your treasurer in three months immediately following the receit thereof, first deducting 6 pr cent. in lieu of all charges consequent to their landing, save the duty of 3d. pr lb. and freight, and I hereby engage to join myself with one or two more gentlemen of fortune in a bond for the faithful performance of the above covenant.

I am, with all due respect, hon'ble gentlemen,

Your most obedient, &c., &c., &c., &c.,

John Blackburn.

Scots Yard,
  Tuesday, 6 July, 1773.

N.B.—The firm of Mr. White's house is the Hon'ble Henry White, Esqr., at New York.

To the Hon'ble Directors, &c., &c., &c.


Your letter of the 30th ultimo, addressed to the chairman of the East India Compy, having been read in a[229] Committee of Warehouses, they desire you will please to meet them at this house tomorrow, at twelve of the clock at noon, relative to the exportation of tea to America.

I am, sir,

Your most ob. serv't,

Wm. Settle.

East India House,
  7th July, 1773.

Samuel Wharton, Esqr.

To the Worshipful Committee of Warehouses for the Hon'ble the East India Company.

The Petition of Walter Mansell,[35] of the City of London, Merchant, respectfully sheweth:

That your petitioner, having received certain information of the Hon'ble East India Company's intention to export large quantities of teas to His Majesty's American Colonies, your petitioner therefore humbly begs leave to acquaint this Committee, that he and his partner, Thos. Corbett, now resident there have long carried on considerable business as merchants, in Charles Town, South Carolina, where your petitioner has been resident himself for near 20 yrs and flatters himself that he is well acquainted with the[230] trade of that and the neighbouring Provinces. That your petitioner has at a very considerable expence erected and built large and commodious brick warehouses, for the reception of all kind of merchandize, in Charles Town, and has a ship of his own, of the burthen of two hundred tons, constantly employed in the Carolina trade only; that your petitioner humbly hopes and doubts not, but that this Hon'ble Comtee will upon the strictest enquiry into his character and circumstances, being possessed of houses and lands, in Charles Town, of upwards of £500 sterling pr an., and from his American connections find him not unworthy of their countenance and favor.

Your petitioner therefore humbly presumes to offer his services to this Hon'ble Commtee to transact as their agent any business relative to the exportation to and sale of their teas in South Carolina, or elsewhere in the Colonies of America, as they shall think fitting to commit to his care and management.

Walter Mansell.

Hon'ble Sirs:

We take the liberty of recommending Messrs. Willing, Morris & Co.,[36] of Philadelphia, to be your agents there[231] for any quantity of tea you may please to consign them for sale, and which they will dispose of in the best manner they can for the benefit of the Comy on the following terms:

The tea to be sold at two months prompt, to be paid for on delivery, and the money to be paid at the exchange, which shall be current at that time, into the Company's treasury within three months after it is received from Philadelphia. Willing, Morris & Co. to be allowed 5 pr cent. for commission, and 1 pr cent. for warehouse room and all other charges, except freight & duty.

Messrs. Peter & John Berthon are ready to become joint securities with us for Messrs. Willing, Morris & Co.

We are, very respectfully,

Your honors most obedt humble servants,

Roberts, Baynes & Roberts.

King's Arms Yard, July 8th, 1773.

To the Hon'ble the Comtee &c., &c.

London, 8 July, 1773.

To the Hon'ble Committee of Warehouses.


We beg leave to recommend Messrs. James & Drinker, of Philadelphia, to be one of your agents at the[232] disposal of teas, which you may think proper to send to Philadelphia, undertaking that they shall dispose of such teas in no other manner than as you direct, on condition of your allowing them 5 pr cent. for commission, for selling and making remittance, and 1 pr cent. for truckage, warehouse rent or any charge whatever; should any teas get damaged on board of ships, any expence arising on them to be allowed by the Company. We do also engage, that in two months after the prompt day, remittance in bills or specie, shall be made to the Company, provided the teas are cleared, the specie to be at the risk of the Company, they paying the charges attending it. We further agree, that in case any bills are protested, we will pay the Company the amount of them in two months after they become due. And we are willing to enter into bond for the performance of the agreements, provided the Directors think proper to allow the teas to be sent to any other port, if the Pensilvanians refuse to admit the duty to be paid, or to consume them in that country, in the latter case, our bond to be void.

We are, &c., &c.,

Pigou & Booth.

We beg leave to solicit the}
freight to Pensilvania.


Having been informed that the Directors of the East India Company propose shipping teas to some of the American Colonies, to be there sold by agents on the Company's[233] account, and as I apprehend South Carolina may be fixed upon as one of them, I beg leave to propose Mr. Roger Smith, of South Carolina, for whose solidity I am willing to become responsible.

If the intended plan takes effect, and you do give me the honor to admit of my application, I shall be ready to attend you on the business whenever you may be pleased to give me notice thereof. I have the honor to be, gentlemen,

Your most obdt h'ble servt

John Nutt.

New Broad Street Buildings,
  14th July, 1773.

To the chairman and deputy chairman
  of the Hon'ble East India Company.


We beg leave to tender you the services of Mr. Samuel Chollet, merchant, in Charlestown, South Carolina, and Messrs. Hugh and Alexander Wallace,[37] merchants, in[234] New York, for the sale of such teas as you may think proper to send there, being persons in every respect well qualified to dispose of them to the best advantage.

We are willing to enter into such covenants as may be required for the security of the consignments & the remittances of the sales, on the same terms as are to be granted to other houses on the Continent of America, provided we are allowed a proper consideration for such guarantee.

We have the honor to be, sirs,

Your most obedt hble. servts.

Bourdieu & Chollet.

Lime Street, July 15, 1773.

London, 15th July, 1773.


Hearing that you are going to appoint agents in America for the sale of your teas, permit us to propose our partner, Mr. Daniel Stephenson, of Blandensburgh, Maryland, as one (should you adopt this measure,) and we flatter ourselves, that from his long residence & connexions in Virginia & Maryland, in business, that he will be thought an eligible person, & for his responsibility, we are ready to give the security of our house, should he be appointed on the same terms as the other gentlemen. We apprehend his present situation is well calculated for this measure, being at a proper distance between New York & James River, & near the centre of the Maryland business.

We are, respectfully, gentmn your most odbt servants,

Gale, Fearon & Co.

To the Committee of Warehouses.[235]


Upon considering the exportation of teas by the Company, having no direction or power from our correspondents at Boston or New York, to make terms, we decline offering any recommendation in the present state of the affair, at the same time think our thanks are due to you, for your readiness in attending to any propositions we might make. We are, respectfully,

Your most obt servts

Davison & Newman.

Fenchurch Street, July 15, 1773.

Edwd Wheeler, Esqr deputy chairman.


The Committee of Warehouses of the East India Company desire you will meet them at this house, on Thursday next, at twelve o'clock at noon, relative to the exportation of tea to America. I am, sir,

Your most obdt servt

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 17th July, 1773.

To Brook Watson,
Jonathan Clarke,
Frede'k Pigou, Junr.,
Gilbert Barkley,
George Browne,
Roberts, Baynes & Roberts,
Mr. Berthon,
William Kelly,
Greenwood & Higginson,
Samuel Wharton,
Jno. Blackburn,
Benjn. Harrison,
Walter Mansell,
John Nutt,
Davison & Newman,
Bordieu & Chollett,
Gale, Fearon & Co.


In consequence of my conversation this day, with the gentlemen of the Committee of Warehouses, relative to the rate of exchange from Boston, I beg leave to confirm the offer I made, of abiding by the standard exchange of £133 6s. 8d. currency for £100 sterling, upon an allowance of 2½ pr cent., with the proviso of the intended exportation being made by way of experiment, that is not exceeding 500 chests to Boston, before the success thereof is known.

I am, gentlemen,

Your h'ble serv't,

Wm. Palmer.

Devonshire Square, 22 July, 1773.

To the Hon'ble the Court of Directors, &c.


It is so perfectly contrary to all mercantile usage, to fix a certain rate of exchange for commission business, that we must beg leave to decline making any further proposals for your intended consignments to New York and Carolina, because the revolutions in all exchanges cannot be foreseen. We have known the New York exchange at 168 & 190, at present it is 177½, the par between Philadelphia and New York is, as 160 at the former, to 170-2/3 at the latter.[237]

If you should hereafter adopt the regular and usual mercantile form—of receiving your remittances at the current exchange of the place at the time of remitting, we shall be obliged to you for your consignments to Messrs. Hugh and Alexander Wallace, of New York, and Samuel Chollett, of Charlestown, South Carolina, for whom we will become security for the usual commission of guarantee of 2½ pr cent.

We are, sirs,

Your most obdt h'ble servts

Bourdieu & Chollet.

Lime Street, July 23rd 1773.


The Committee of Warehouses of the East India Company desire you will meet them at this house tomorrow morning, at eleven o'clock, relative to the exportation of tea to America.

I am, sir,

Your most obdt servant,

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 29th July, 1773.

To Walter Mansell,
William Palmer,
Brook Watson,
Jonathan Clarke,
John Blackburn,
Frederick Pigou, Junr.,
William Kelly,
Samuel Wharton,
Gilbert Barkley,
George Browne.


I am directed by the Commtee to acquaint you that the Court of Directors of the E.I.C. have agreed to ship for Boston three hundred chests of tea, and consign to your correspondents an equal proportion thereof, of which please to inform them.

Shall be obliged to you to acquaint me the firm of your correspondents at Boston. I am, sir,

Your most hum. servt

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 4th Augt 1773.

ToJonathan Clarke,}John Blackburn,}
Wm. Palmer,Esqrs. Boston.Wm. Kelly,Esqrs. New York.
Brooke Watson,Fred'k Pigou, Junr.
Geo. Browne,}
Gilbert Barkly,
Fred'k Pigou,Esqrs. Philadelphia.
Sam'l Wharton,


At foot you have the firm of our correspondents at Boston, which we gave into the Comtee of Warehouses for partaking of the India Comy's Tea consignments, and for whom we are ready to give security.

Benjm Faneuil, Junr,}Esqrs of Boston, jointly.
Joshua Winslow, late of Nova Scotia,
Security—Brook Watson, Robt Rashleigh,
Watson & Rashleigh.

London, 4th Augt 1773.
  Mr. Wm. Settle.


Security offered for Mr. Gilbert Barkly,—Wm. Ross, Esqr.—No. 24 Austin Fryars.

Securities offered for Walter Mansell,—Henry Laurens, Fludyer Street, Carolina Merchants; William Barrett, Old Palace Yard.


The firm of the house I have recommended to the Court of Directors for New York, is Pigou & Booth, and at Philadelphia, Messrs. James & Drinker, as agents for the disposal of teas. I am, sir,

Your most hum. sert

Fred'k Pigou, Junr

Mark Lane, 4 Augt

Mr. Wm. Settle.


I was favored with your letter of yesterday, last night after ten o'clock, acquainting me that the Court of Directors of the E.I.C. had agreed to ship for Philadelphia six hundred chests of tea, and consign to my correspondents an equal proportion thereof, you will be pleased to inform the Directors that I gave notice to my brothers, Thomas & Isaac Wharton, (the persons whom I recommended,) by the[240] last night's New York mail, of the resolution of the Court of Directors to ship the above quantity of teas to Philadelphia. I am, sir,

Your most hum. serv't,

Sam'l Wharton.

Argyle Street, Augt 5, 1773.

Mr. Wm. Settle.

Mr. Browne's compliments to Mr. Settle, and begs leave to inform him that the address of the house at Philadelphia, whom he recommends for an agent for the sale of tea, is Jonathan Browne, merchant, at Philadelphia.

Augst 5, 1773.


Last evening I had the pleasure to receive yours of yesterday, mentioning the resolution of the Court of Directors of the Hon'ble East India Company relative to the exportation of tea to New York, and desiring me to acquaint you with the firm of my correspondent there, which is Abraham Lott & Co. I am, sir,

Yours, &c.,

William Kelly.

Crescent, 5th Augt 1773.

Mr. Wm. Settle.[241]


The Bohea tea to be taken out of what was refused by the buyers last sale; but particular care to be taken that none under the degree of middling, or good middling, nor any damaged chests are sent, to be marked & invoiced, not according to the King's numbers, but the Company's, to be reweighed, by thus marking them, each bed will be kept separate, and there will not only be no pretence abroad for finding fault, as from No. to No., will be exactly of the same quantity, having been packed from the said heap or pile at Canton, and since examined in England. But the taste of the Americans will also be better known, that is, whether they prefer a fresh middling tea, provided it is not absolutely faint, or a strong, rough tea. A certain quantity of each of these kinds to be sent to each place, that either may not have the advantage over the other, by having teas of a superior quality, their respective qualities to be remarked in the invoices. A small assortment of about a dozen or twenty small chests of Hyson, Souchong, Congou, and each specie of Singlo tea, viz.: Twankey, Skin and First Sort, to be sent to each place, with proper remarks thereon in the respective invoices, each of these species to be taken out of some bed or break of teas now laid down, or intended so to be, for next September sale, regard being had to their respective qualities, and to be taken out of such beds or breaks, which shall be sufficiently large, not only to supply[242] each Colony with its quantity, but also to leave a considerable part thereof to be sold at the ensuing sale, by which means the Company may hereafter compare the prices to the same parcel of tea sells for, not only at each Colony, but also at their own sales, which can no otherwise be done, as each of these species, going under the same general denomination of Hyson, Souchong, Congo and Singlo, vary almost 100 pr cent. in the price they sell for, according to quality, & not 10 pr cent. in the purchase.

As it would be a great object with the Company to introduce, if possible, the consumption of Singlo tea into America, that being a kind of tea which spoils by age, much more than Bohea, and also that of which they are much more considerably overloaded with, and further, such an introduction would have this advantage also, that the foreign countries could not soon rival us, not being themselves importers of any considerable quantity of this specie of tea. It should be recommended to the agents, to endeavour all they can, at such introduction, which it is conceived may be brought about, at least in some degree, from the experience of the consumption here in England, which will appear to have constantly gained ground proportionally, as its price at the Company's sales has approached nearer to Bohea tea, and in the present situation of this branch of the Company's trade, it might easily be made appear, it would be for their advantage, even to sell it in America, at the quoted price of Bohea, by which means they might be relieved from the disagreeable alternative of selling it here under prime cost, or keeping a greater quantity unsold in their warehouses, until it is spoiled by age.[243]

London, Augt 5th 1773.

St. Paul's Churchyard, No. 55.


I am favored with yours of yesterday's date, and agreeable to your request, I shall immediately communicate the information therein contained, to Richard Clarke, Esqr., & Sons, Merchants, in Boston, New England, which is the house with which I am connected, and who I flatter myself will acquit themselves of the trust the Hon'ble the Court of Directors have been pleased to repose in them.

I would also beg leave to solicit part of the freight of the tea for a vessel which I shall possibly have ready in ten days, provided it will agree with the time you propose to ship them.

I am, sir,

Your most hum. servt

Jonathan Clarke.

Mr. Wm. Settle, 17th Augt

Wm., Capt Joseph Royal

Loring, will be ready in 5 days.


The Committee of Warehouses desire you will inform them whether you have a constant trader to Boston or South Carolina ready to sail, as the East India Comy intend[244] to export teas to both those Colonies, and are desirous of giving you the preference of the freight.

I am, sir,

Your most obedit sert

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 5th Augt 1773.

To George Hayley, Esqr.

Thos. Lane, Esqr.

Alex. Champion, Esqr.


The deputy chairman of the East India Comy desires you would point out to the Comtee of Warehouses what sorts of tea and quantity of each are, in your opinion, proper to be sent to Boston & South Carolina, to make up to the former of those places, an export equal to 300 large chests of Bohea tea, and the latter a quantity equal to 200 large chests Bohea.

Mr. Holbrook says if you can be with him this morning, you will expedite his business very much, as the Comtee have directed him to make ready for shipping immediately.

I am, sir,

Your most hum. servt

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 6th Augt 1773.

Mr. Wm. Settle.[245]


Boston.So. Carolina.New York.Philadelphia.Total.
Bohea,l. chts.2681825685681586
Congo, smldo.2010202070


Total lbs.,598,659

The Hayley, James Scott, is now ready to sail, & I mean to dispatch her 15th Augt. The Dartmouth, James Hall,[38] will be here about 14 days longer. These two are constant traders to Boston.

I have no connection with the Carolina trade, but I understand the London, Curling, belonging to Greenwood [246]& Higginson, is now ready for sailing, and is a constant trader. Mr. Settle will please to inform the Comtee of the above & thereby oblige,

His humble servant,

George Hayley.

East India Ho 10 Augt 1773.

To Grey Cooper, Esqr., or Jno. Robinson, Esqr.


By order of the Court of Directors of the United East India Compy, I transmit you the enclosed petition, with their request that you will be pleased to lay the same before the Right Hon'ble the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.

I am, very respectfully, sir,

Your most obedt & hum. sert

Peter Mitchell, Secy.

To the Right Hon'ble the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury.

The humble Petition of the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies.


That by an Act passed in the last session of Parliament, it is among other things enacted, "That it shall and may be lawful for the Commissioners of his Majesty's treasury, or[247] any three or more of them, or the High Treasurer for the time being, to grant a licence or licences to the said United Company, to take out of their warehouses such quantity or quantities of tea as the said Commissioners of the Treasury, or any three or more of them, or the High Treasurer for the time being, shall think fit, without the same having been exposed to sale in this kingdom, and to export such tea to any of the British colonies or plantations in America, or to foreign parts discharged from the payment of any of the customs or duties whatsoever."

That the said United Comny have agreed to export to the British colonies or plantations in America a quantity of teas, equal in weight to 1700 large chests of Bohea tea, which quantity will not in the whole exceed six hundred thousand pounds weight. And your petitioner having in the affidavit hereunto annexed shewed unto your lordsps that after the taking out of their warehouses the said quantities of teas so intended to be exported, that there will be left remaining in the warehouses of the said United Company a quantity of tea not less than ten millions of pounds weight, as by the said Act is directed.

Your petitioners therefore pray your lordships to grant them a licence to take out of their warehouses the quantities of teas above mentioned, not exceeding in the whole six hundred thousand pounds weight, without the same having been exposed to sale in this kingdom, and to export such tea discharged from the payment of any customs or duties whatsoever.

By order of the Court of Directors of the said Company.

P. Mitchell, Secy.

East India Ho. 19th April, 1773.[248]


After our hearty commendations. Whereas, the united company of merchants of England trading to the East Indies, have, by the annexed petition, humbly prayed us to grant them, in pursuance of an Act passed the last session of Parliament, a licence to take out of their warehouses a quantity of teas, equal in weight to one thousand seven hundred large chests of Bohea tea, which quantity will not in the whole exceed six hundred thousand pounds weight, without the same having been exposed to sale in this kingdom, and to export such tea discharged from the payment of any customs or duties whatsoever, to the British colonies or plantations in America. And it appearing to us by the annexed affidavit, that there will be left remaining in their warehouses a quantity of tea not less than ten millions of pounds weight, as by the said Act is provided and directed. Now we, having taken the said application and the[249] several matters and things therein set forth into our consideration, do think fit to comply with the request of the said petitioners. And in pursuance of the powers given unto us by the said Act, we do hereby authorise, permit and grant licence to the said Company to take out of their warehouses the said quantity of tea, not exceeding in the whole six hundred thousand pounds weight, without the same having been exposed to sale in this kingdom, and to export such teas discharged from the payment of any customs or duties whatsoever, to any of the British colonies or plantations in America. Nevertheless, you are therein to take especial care, that all and every the rules, regulations & restrictions and orders directed by the said recited Act, relating to the[250] exportation of such teas, or any ways concerning the same, be in all and every respect fully obeyed and observed. And for so doing, this shall be as well to you as to the said Company, and to all other officers & persons whatsoever herein concerned, a sufficient warrant.



Given under our hands and seals at the Treasury Chambers, Whitehall, the 20th day of August, one thousand seven hundred and seventy three; in the thirteenth year of the reign of our sovereign lord, George the Third, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, and so forth.

C. Townshend.
C.J. Fox.

To our very loving friends the Commissioners, for managing His Majesty's Revenues of Customs and Excise, now and for the time being, and to all other officers and persons herein concerned.

East India Company, Licence to Export Teas

Hon'ble Sirs:

We have the ship Eleanor, James Bruce, about 250 tons, (a constant trader,) which we intend for Boston, and should be much obliged for the freight of the teas you intend exporting to that place.

We have no ship bound to South Carolina, but are much obliged for the preference given us. We are, sirs,

Your most h'ble serts.

Lane, Son & Fraser.

Nicholas Lane, 6th Augst 1773.

The Hon'ble the Court of Directors, &c., [252]&c.

John Dorrien, Esqr. recommends for Boston, the Beaver, Captn Coffin.


I wrote you under date of the 5th instt that you would be pleased to inform the Committee of Warehouses, whether you had a constant trader ready to sail for Boston or South Carolina, but should have said to Boston only. I am therefore to desire the favor of an answer whether you have a constant trader ready for that colony.

I am, &c., &c.,

Wm. Settle.

East India Ho. Augt 10, 1773.

Alex. Champion, Esqr.


In answer to your esteemed of the 5th and 10th current, am obliged by the favor intended, but at present have only one ship under my care bound to Boston, who will depart in a very few days, but she is not a constant trader. It is not, therefore, in my power to accept of the offer.

I am, sir,

Your most hum. servt.

Alexander Champion.

Bishopgate Street, Augt 10, 1773.

Mr. Wm. Settle.[253]

Hon'ble Sir:

Being informed you have some teas to ship to America, I have now a vessel, British built, burthen about 160 tons, which should be glad to lett to your honors for the above purpose.

I am, with due regard, hon'ble sirs,

Your most obedt servtt,

Thos. Walters.

Carolina Coffee House,
  Birchen Lane, 17th Augt 1773.
  The Elizabeth, John Scott, for any part of America.

To the Hon'ble Directors of
  the East India Company.

Mr. Abraham Dupies, in Gracechurch Street, will become obligated for Richard Clarke & Sons, of Boston.


I have a vessel in this port, which will be ready to return to America in a few days, therefore take the opportunity to acquaint you that I am willing to take on board her 600 chests of tea, either for New York or Philadelphia, at the a customary freight given from hence to those places.

I am, gentln your most hum. servant,

Joseph Cabot.

Threadneedle Street, 24 Augt 1773.
To the Hon'ble Committee of Warehouses.


London, Augt 26, 1773.


We pray you to inform the Comtee of Warehouses for the Hon'ble the East India Company that we have a ship, river built, called the Nancy, commanded by Captain Colville, compleately fitted and ready to receive the tea for New York, which we beg leave to recommend to the Committee. We are, sir,

Your most obedient and humble servants,

John Blackburn.
Pigou & Booth.
Wm. Kelly & Co.

Mr. Wm. Settle.


Please to acquaint the Hon'ble Committee of Warehouses, that we have taken up the Polly, Capt Ayres, for Philadelphia, to carry the Company's tea to that port, which vessel lays at Princes Stairs, Rotherhith, and was built at Ipswich, in the year 1765. She is now ready to take in.

We are, sirs,

Your most h'ble servts.

Pigou & Booth,
For selves & George Browne,
Samuel Wharton & Gilbert Barkley

  Mark Lane, 31st Augt 1773.
Mr. Wm. Settle.


Your remarks to the bond offered you, relative to the 600 chests of tea, which are to be exported to New York, have been laid before the Committee of Warehouses, and they are of opinion that the said bond is according to the agreement made with the several gentlemen for the different Colonies, and the merchants who are concerned for the tea to Boston, have executed their bonds agreeable thereto, and Messrs. Wharton, Pigou & Barkley have agreed also to execute on Thursday morning. Therefore, I am to desire you to inform me whether you will please likewise to execute the said bond.

I am, sir,

Your most h'ble servt

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 31st Augt 1773.

To John Blackburn, Esqr.
  William Kelly, Esqr.


As the several gentlemen mentioned in your polite note of this day have executed the bond, I shall with pleasure follow their example, and on Thursday next I propose waiting on you for that purpose. I am sir,

Your most h'ble servt

John Blackburn.

  Scot's Yard, 31st Augt 1773.
Mr. Wm. Settle.


Last evening I had the pleasure to receive your favor of yesterday, relative to the bond which I am to sign for New York, and the objections made to its draught by Mr. Blackburn, Pigou and myself, which at the time appeared resonable to us, but as others have signed in the form shewn to me, I don't mean to be particular, and therefore shall conform, relying on the honor of the Comtee in all future matters.

Tomorrow I am indispensably obliged to go out of town shall return on Saturday next, wait on you, & execute the bond. I am, sir,

Your most obedit & most hum. servt

Wm. Kelly.

  Crescent, Sep. 1st 1773.
Mr. Wm. Settle.

Freight of 568 whole, & 130 half chests of Tea, shipped on the Polly, Capt Saml Ayres, for Philadelphia:

568 chests congfor freight,8748.6
130 quarter do.do656.9
9405.3 at 1s. 6d. pr foot, Philadelphia currency, is£705 7 10½
Primage on2351/3 at 2s. sterlg pr ton, is £23 10 3


Freight of Tea on the London, to South Carolina:

182chestsmeasure2644.3at 1s. pr foot£132 4 3 5 9
257149 10 0
Primage, 5 pr cent7 10 0
£157 0 0

Freight of Tea shipped on the William, for Boston:

58 chests measure585.11,at 1s. 4d. pr foot,£39 1 3 L.M.
Primage,1 9 6 sterlg.

Freight of 698 chests Tea on the Nancy, for New York:

698 chests measure9264.8,at 2s. 3d. pr foot, is
Currency,£1042 5 4
Sterling, £30 8 2Primage, 5 pr ct.52 2 3
£1094 7 7

Freight of 114 chests Tea on the Eleanor, for Boston:

114 chests measure1383.4,at 1s. 4d.£92 4 5 L.M.
Primage,£3 9 0

Freight of 112 chests Tea on the Beaver, for Boston:

112chests measure1375,at 1s. 4d., is£91 13 10l.m.
34½ tons at 2s. pr ton primage,£3 17 0


Whitehall, Decr 17th 1773.

Lord Dartmouth presents his compliments to Mr. Wheler, and requests the favor to see him at his office, at Whitehall, on Monday morning next, at eleven o'clock, on the subject of some advices Lord Dartmouth has lately received from America, respecting the importation of tea from England.



The Comtee of Warehouses of the E.I. Comy desire you would please to inform them whether you have receivd any advices from Boston relative to the said Comys exportation of tea to that colony, and if you have, to communicate the purport thereof to the Committee. I am, sir,

Your most obe. sert

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 20th Decr 1773.

ToMr. Wm. Palmer,}Boston.
Brook Watson,
Wm. Greenwood,}South Carolina.
Jo. Nutt,
Jno. Blackburn,}New York.
Wm. Kelly,
Fredk Pigou, Junr. New York & Philadelphia.
Geo. Browne,}Philadelphia.
Saml Wharton,




The Commtee of Warehouses desire the favor of an answer under your hand to my letter of yesterday, relative to the exportation of tea to Boston. I am, sir,

Your most obdt servant,

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 21st Decr 1773.

Brook Watson, Esqr. Boston.
Wm. Greenwood, Esqr.}South Carolina.
John Nutt, Esqr.
John Blackburn, Esqr. New York.
Geo. Browne, Esqr. Philadelphia.


With Enclosures Of Advices From The Several Colonies.


From Mr. Palmer.

Mr. Palmer has received no material advices from Boston since the consignment has taken place, but has letters of as late a date from thence as the 3d of Novemr, one of which mentions there was no tea then to be bought.

East India House, 21st Decr 1773[260]

Garlick Hill, 22d Decemr 1773.

To the Hon'ble the Committee of Warehouses, East India House.


In compliance with your request, we send you enclosed extracts from the letters which we have lately received from Boston relative to the Comys teas sent there.

We are, gentm

Your most hum. servts

Watson & Rashleigh.

Extract of a Letter dated Boston, 18th Octor., 1773:

"But what difficulties may arise from the disaffection of the merchants and importers of tea to this measure of the India Company, I am not yet able to say. It seems at present to be a matter of much speculation, and if one is to credit the prints, no small opposition will be made thereto. However, I am in hopes it will be otherwise, and taking it for granted that the tea should arrive, and no obstacle happen to prevent its being landed and disposed of, agreeably to the instructions of the Company, then I am to add that you may be assured I shall strictly conform to the instructions which I may jointly receive respecting it, paying all due regard to the contents of your letter.

"I know not how to write more fully hereon until the tea arrives, and what may possibly be the consequences attending it. My friends seem to think it will subside; others are of a contrary opinion."[261]

Extract of a Letter dated Boston, 30 Octr., 1773:

"I omitted a letter to you in particular when I wrote to your house the 10th inst., because I thought it was probable, both from the contents of your letter then received, as well as from the public reports, that the tea you mention as coming from the India Comy might every day be expected to arrive, as you say 4 Augt they intended shipping 300 chests immediately, but by my letter, this day received by a vessel from London, it is not to be sent.

"I perceive by the prints, that the clamour is still continued against this measure of the India Company, and seems to be pursued with rather more warmth in some of the Southern Colonies than in this. For my own part I am not sufficiently skilled in politicks to see the pernicious consequences which 'tis said must arise therefrom. If they would prevent the Tea Act being enforced, or the payment of the revenue arising therefrom to Government, methinks they should either not import any tea, or rather not consume any, and then the end would be answered at once. But while there is such a vast quantity exported every year by so considerable a number of persons, who all pay the duty thereof on its arrival, I do not see why every importer, nay, every consumer thereof, do not as much contribute to inforce the Tea Act as the India Compy themselves, or the persons to whom they may think proper to consign their tea for sale. Nor can I but be of opinion that the uneasiness is fomented, if not originated, principally by those persons concerned in the Holland trade, and thereby introduce large quantities of tea, which, paying no duty, by that means they can afford to undersell those who do pay it, and this trade, I am informed,[262] is much more practiced in the Southern Governments than this way.

"To what lengths the opposition to this tea's being brought or landed, or disposed of, may be carried, must be left to time to determine."

Extract of a Letter dated Boston, 4 Novr., 1773:

"Thus far I had wrote you with intentions to forward by first[266] conveyance, when I found there was to be a muster of the people, to demand that the persons who are to be employed as agents for disposing of the tea which may come from the India Company, would resign their commissions & swear (under Liberty Tree) to return the tea by the same or first vessels for London, &c. You will be fully acquainted of their unreasonable proceedings. After the time had elapsed which was fixed upon for the gentlemen to appear and resign, on their not complying with the order, they marched down in a body to Mr. Clarke's store, where we were, and not receiving such an answer as they demanded, they began an attack upon the store and those within, breaking down doors, flinging about mud, &c., for about an hour, when they began to disperse, and a number of gentln, friends of those agents coming to their assistance, they left the store and went upon change, but met with no further insult, tho' there is much threatening. As the tea is not arrived, and it is uncertain when it may, I purpose to write you again speedily.

"In the interim, I am, &c."[267]


Letter from Mr. Greenwood.


In answer to your letter of the 20th inst., I beg you would be pleased to inform the Comtee of Warehouses that I have yet received no advices from South Carolina, relative to the Compy's exportation of tea. When I do, they may depend I will take the earliest opportunity to communicate the same to them.

I am, sir,

Your most obet servt

Wm. Greenwood

  Queen Street, 22d Decr., 1773.
Mr. Settle.

From Mr. Nutt.


In compliance with your desire, intimated to me by Mr. Settle, respecting any information received from South Carolina, concerning the teas exported by the East I. Comy to that Colony, I have the honor to acquaint you that the vessel in which they were shipped did not sail from England before the 18th October, and the latest dates from thence are[268] only the 1st Novr., so that we cannot expect for some time to hear of her arrival. I have the honor to be, gentn.,

Your most obedt hum. servt.,

John Nutt.

  Broad Street, 22nd Decemr, 1773.
To the Comtee of Warehouses, &c., &c., &c.


Letter from Mr. Blackburn.


I am honored with your two letters of the 20th & 21st currt, desiring me to inform the Comtee of Warehouses if I have received any advices from New York relative to the Com's exportation of tea to that Colony.

The vessel wherein the tea was shipped was not arrived when the last letters were dispatched from thence, consequently no precise judgment can be formed whether or not it would be permitted to be landed; but I flatter myself from the disposition of the principal gentlen of New York, who are men of moderation, candour and prudence, and as firmly attached to the Government and laws of this Kingdom as any of his Majesty's subjects; that they will, by their example and influence, be able to suppress every riot and disturbance occasioned by the opposers of this measure.[269]

I expect a ship from New York, which was to depart about the 26th Novemr, by which I shall receive some fresh intelligence relative to this business, and if I should be furnished with any advices that regard the interest of the Company, I shall not fail to wait on the Directors immediately. I have the honor to be, sir,

Your most obedt & hum. sert

John Blackburn.

  Scots Yard, 22nd Decr, 1773.
Mr. Wm. Settle.

Extract of a Letter from a merchant in New York, to Wm. Kelly, of London, dated 5th Novr, 1773:

"The introduction of the East India Company's tea is violently opposed here, by a set of men who shamefully live by monopolizing tea in the smuggling way."

Extract of a Letter from Abraham Lott, Esqr., of New York, to Wm. Kelly,[40] of London, dated New York, 5th Novr., 1773, & received with the above mentioned Extract of Mr. Kelly, 22d Decr., 1773:

"Herewith you will receive several papers relating to the importation of the India Comy's tea. If it comes out free of a duty here on importation, things I believe may go[270] quiet enough, tho' you will observe much is said against it even on that supposition. But if it should be subject to a duty here, I am much in doubt whether it will be safe, as almost every body in that case speaks against the admission of it, so that, altho' I am well assured that the Governor will not suffer the laws to be trampled on, yet there will be no such thing as selling it, as the people would rather buy so much poison, than the tea with the duty thereon, calculated (they say) to enslave them and their posterity, and therefore are determined not to take what they call the nauseous draft. A little time will determine how matters will terminate, that is, if the tea comes out. If it does, I hope it may come free of duty, as by that means much trouble and anxiety will be saved by the agents. I do assure you they have all been very uneasy, tho' at the same time determined to do their duty, but in the most prudent & quiet manner. It is now two o'clock, p.m., when I received the paper signed Cassius, in which you will find Mr. L—— R——de handsomely complimented, and yourself severely handled, on a supposition that you should have spoken words to the import, as asserted in the paper. Mr.[271] R——e's name is not mentioned, but there is no doubt but he is the person alluded to, as upon the arrival of the London ships, who refused to bring the tea. It was currently reported that he had wrote his partner nearly in the same words as mentioned in the paper. You are the best judge of the truth of the assertion, but whether true or not, his conduct is ungenerous and mean. If the paper speaks truth, that he was offered part of the consignment of tea, he must be a man of great influence to have so great an offer made him, when so many other people of weight were applying for it and could not obtain it."

From Mr. Fredk Pigou, Junr.


Please to acquaint the Comtee of Warehouses of the Hon'ble the East India Company, that from the advices I have received from Philadelphia, I should be of opinion the tea sent to that place will, if landed, meet with much difficulty in being disposed of.

At New York, I am of opinion it will meet with less opposition, and may possibly be sold in that city. It would have been fortunate if the New York vessel could have arrived as soon or before the Philadelphia ship.

I am, sir, your most hum. servt

Fred'k Pigou, Junr.

  Mark Lane, 21st Decr., 1773.
To Mr. Settle.



Letter from Mr. Geo. Browne.


The advice I have from my brother at Philadelphia, relative to the Comy's consignment of tea, is, that it was very doubtful how it would be received there, the measure being looked upon in an unfavorable view in general. He had only just received an account (from another hand) of his being nominated one of the agents, and refers me to the public prints for an account of the resolutions entered into by the people in opposition to it. I am, sir,

Your most obedit sert

Geo. Browne.

Mr. Settle.

From Mr. Saml Wharton.


I understand that Mr. Walpole, of Lincolns Inn Fields, had received some advices from my brother, respecting the teas sent to Philadelphia. I applied to him for them, and he requested that I would send them to you, with what intelligence I had myself received. I am, sir,

Your very hum. servt

Samuel Wharton.

  Argyle Street, Decemr 23, 1773.
Mr. Settle.


Extract of a Letter from Thomas Wharton,[41] Esqr. of Philadelphia, dated Oct. 5, 1773, to Saml Wharton, in London:

"I have closely attended to the course of your arguments, and think they are of great weight, but you know it is impossible always to form a true judgment from what real motives an opposition springs, as the smugglers and London importers may both declare that this duty is stamping the Americans with the badge of slavery, and notwithstanding the Directors of the East India Company have a just right to send their teas where they think proper, yet the Americans allege they may and ought to refuse to purchase and use it.

"A little time after the ship's arrival we shall know what is to be done, and I expect we shall before that time have a conference with the agents from New York, which I proposed, that our conduct might be uniform, and as much as possible answer the end of our appointment."[274]

Extracts of two Letters from Thos. Warton, Esqr., of Philadelphia, dated Oct. 5 and Oct. 30, 1773, to the Hon'ble Thos. Walpole, of London:

"About a week before the arrival of the September mail, a letter reached this city, informing us that particular persons (tho' not all of them the proper ones) were nominated agents for the East India Directors. This gave the inhabitants a knowledge of the intention of the Directors, and some persons immediately declared, that as the duty was still retained, that, tho' small, yet it as implicitly fixed the power and established the badge of slavery, as if it had been greater. The same sentiments, I am told, are expressed in letters from New York. At present, therefore, it is impossible to say what measures the people will take on this occasion, but I should expect they will not hinder the tea being landed, if they insist on its not being sold, till the duty is taken off by Act of Parliament, or the East India Directors satisfy the Commissioners of the Customs in London. For, notwithstanding, it may justly be urged that the Directors of the East India Compy have a right to export their teas to North America, yet, as it is said, the inhabitants have also a right of judgment respecting the purchase and consumption. I should expect, that if the opposition takes place, it will rest with their adherence to an engagement of this kind.

"I can have no doubt that the India Comy would find their sales lucrative, and that an extension of trade would certainly take place, by comprehending the articles of pepper,[275] spices, and silks in their exports; great quantities of the two first articles have certainly been introduced in the Continent from Holland and thro' the West Indies, and therefore it is that I apprehend the London merchants are mistaken when they say they already ship as much as the Continent can consume, for through them are imported only such quantities of spices, &c., as the merchant here can vend, after the run goods are sold, they being imported cheaper than those from England, are naturally first sold. But if the East India Company should think proper to extend their trade, I cannot doubt it would in a great measure put a stop to the importation from Holland and the Dutch Islands, and large sums would annually pass from America to London for those commodities. But perhaps little more should be said until it is known in what manner our fellow countrymen shall view this scheme of trade."

"Philadelphia, Oct. 30, 1773.

"I shall endeavor to communicate a more full state of the sentiments of my fellow citizens than I could in my last letter. I could then only conjecture what might be the result of their judgments respecting the Hon'ble the Directors of the East I. Comy sending their teas to this Continent. A communication of sentiments, taking place between the New Yorkers & the Philadelphians, soon produced a number of pieces in the public prints and otherwise, most absolutely asserting the rights of the Americans, and denying the power of Parliament respecting the internal taxation of the Colonies, which led into many comparisons, endeavoring to shew that[276] the agency of the tea was equally odious & dangerous as the execution of the Stamp Act would have been. I may say with great truth, that I do not believe one man in a hundred was to be met with who approved of the sending the tea, while the duty was to be paid here. Yet a great number of people acknowledged the right of the East India Directors to export their teas to America, and declared that nothing less than a confirmed belief that the admitting this mode of taxation would render the assemblies of the people mere cyphers, could have induced them to proceed in the manner they have done; for when it was mentioned to them that by refusing to admit the tea to be landed, they did as much deprive the India Company of the natural rights of English merchants, as the subjecting us to the payment of duty possibly could affect us, they replyed that the Act of Parliament hindered the tea from being landed until the duty was first paid or secured, and consequently as the Directors knew this, and the opposition heretofore given by the Americans, they must take what followed.

"You will perceive by the resolution formed and entered into on the 18th, into what a situation the agents were driven, there being no possibility of persuading the people to wait till we knew the real state of facts. The meeting at the State House consisted, (it is said) of 6 or 700, and be assured, they were as respectable a body of inhabitants as has been together on any occasion; many of the first rank. The whole of their proceedings were conducted with the greatest decency and firmness, and without one dissenting voice. After the resolution had passed, they appointed a Comtee of 12 persons, who, on the 18th inst., about 12 o'clock,[277] called on James and Drinker, and then came down to my house, where they conducted themselves with great decency, read the resolution, and informed me they were appointed by their fellow citizens to demand of Thos. & Isaac Wharton, whether we would execute the trust if the duty was to be paid here? We told them it involved us in a difficulty which we could not solve, because we had not received the least intimation from the Directors, and therefore it was impossible to know the exact state the tea was to be shipped in, but that we would, on being acquainted with the situation under which it came, openly communicate the same, and that we would do nothing to injure the property of the India Comy or enslave America. This answer they received with great satisfaction, and in the evening they reported to a unanimous body of citizens the answers they had received, who gave Thos. and Isaac Wharton very evident marks of their approbation for the candid answer they gave.

"Should the tea be sent subject to the payment of the duty, I am satisfied it will not be suffered to be landed, and that it must return to London, (unless the India Directors have in such case directed the captain where to proceed with it,) which intimation may be in time to secure the property by insurance should they incline."

Copies of the above advices were, by order of the Comtee of Warehouses, sent to Lord Dartmouth in the manner directed by their minute of the ——[278]



Boston, New England, 17th Novr., 1773.


After a long detention in the English channel, and a pretty long passage, I arrived here this morning from England, and there being a vessel to sail for London within a few hours, gives me an opportunity of writing you a few lines on the subject of the consignment of tea, made to our house by the Hon'ble East India Company, in which I had your friendly assistance, and of which I shall always retain a grateful sense.

I find that this measure is an unpopular one, and before my arrival some measures have been taken to oblige my friends to make a resignation of the trust, which they have not thought fit to comply with. They have wrote to our friend, Mr. Abraham Dupuis, very particularly, respecting the measures that have been adopted, and to that account I must beg leave to refer you, as I have not time to repeat it by this opportunity, but I shall keep the Company fully advised in future.

I fully see that we shall meet with difficulty in executing this trust, but our utmost endeavors shall be exerted to fulfill the orders we may receive from the Company.

I am, very respectfully sir, your most obliged h'ble servt

Jona Clarke.

Edward Wheler, Esqr.

Received from the Deputy Chairman, 5th Janry, 1774.[279]



Mr. Wheler, chairman of the East India Company, having received a letter from Jonathan Clarke, Esqr., dated Boston, 17th November last, wherein he begs leave to refer him to you for the measures that have been adopted at Boston, relative to the Company's exportation of tea to that Colony, I am directed by the chairman to desire you would be pleased to communicate to him the advices you have received from Messrs. Clarke & Sons, for the information of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, which will be a favor conferred on him. I am, sir,

Your most obdt servt,

Wm. Settle.

  East India House, 5th Jany, 1774.
Abraham Dupuis, Esqr., Gracechurch Street.


Referred to in Mr. Clarke's Letter to the chairman, of the 17th Novr, 1773.

Boston, Novr., 1773.

Mr. Abraham Dupuis.


We now embrace the first leisure we have, to give you an account of the proceedings of some of the inhabitants[280] of this town, relative to the expected importation of teas into this port from the Hon'ble East India Company. As soon as it was known here that the Company had determined on this measure, and that certain gentlemen of this town were fixed upon as factors, there appeared a dissatisfaction in many persons. But at first there did not appear any resentment against the supposed factors, nor was there, as far as we ever heard, any mention made of a design to bring them under any obligations not to execute their trust, but the general voice among the opposers of the Company's plan was, that the teas must not be landed, or, if landed, not sold. About three or four weeks ago, a printed anonymous address to the Company's factors was brought to this place by the post, either from New York or Philadelphia, but whether it was fabricated at either of those places, or this, we cannot determine. The design of it was, to represent a number of gentlemen, who cannot justly be considered in any other light than commercial factors, as Crown officers, and they, in the said paper, are expressly put on the same footing with the late stamp officers, doubtless with a design to render them odious to the people, and much is said in it to dissuade or intimidate them from executing their expected trust. Soon after this, a second anonymous address, but much more inflammatory, appeared here in one of the newspapers from New York. Both these were printed in one or more of the newspapers of this town, and several other pieces were also published here, to rouse the people to an opposition to the Company's design, and their rage against us and the other gentlemen, factors for the Company in this place. As things were then circumstanced in this place, we judged it might tend to undeceive many persons that were misled,[281] to publish some observations on the Company's plan, to answer the objections that were made against it, and to point out some of the beneficial consequences attending the execution of it. Accordingly we, by the assistance of a friend, got printed in Messrs. Fleet's Evening Post, of the 24th October, a piece signed Z[42], in which this affair is canvassed with as much freedom as the temper of the times would bear, and altho' this was penned in haste, and under the restriction of the afore-hinted shackle, we have the satisfaction to find, that in the opinion of the most judicious amongst us here, every objection that has been started against the Company's plan is fully answered, and altho' this publishment[282] does not seem to have had its designed effect as yet, it is to be hoped, when the people's temper is become more cool, that the aforesaid piece, with what has since, and may hereafter be published on this subject, may not entirely fail of the design proposed.

Besides these paper skirmishes, we would inform you that we were told that there were about two or three weeks since, several nightly meetings, held in various parts of the town, of a large number of persons, to consult and conclude on some method to prevent the execution of the Company's plan, but what was fixed at these meetings we could not learn. But we were not lost in this uncertainty long, for in the morning of the 2nd instant, about one o'clock, we were roused out of our sleep by a violent knocking at the door of our house, and on looking out of the window we saw (for the moon shone very bright) two men in the courtyard. One of them said he had brought us a letter from the country. A servant took the letter of him at the door, the contents of which were as follows:

"Boston, 1st Nov., 1773.

Richard Clarke & Son:

The Freemen of this Province understand, from good authority, that there is a quantity of tea consigned to your house by the East India Company, which is destructive to the happiness of every well-wisher to his country. It is therefore expected that you personally appear at Liberty Tree, on Wednesday next, at twelve o'clock at noon day, to make a public resignation of your commission, agreeable to a notification of this day for that purpose.

Fail not upon your peril.



Two letters of the same tenor were sent in the same manner to the other factors. On going abroad we found a number of printed notifications posted up in various parts of the town, of which the following is a copy:

"To the Freemen of this and the other Towns in the Province.


You are desired to meet at Liberty Tree, next Wednesday, at twelve o'clock at noon day, then and there to hear the persons to whom the tea, shipped by the East India Company, is consigned, make a public resignation of their office as consignees, upon oath. And also swear that they will reship any teas that may be consigned to them by the said Company, by the first vessel sailing for London.

Boston, Novr. 1st, 1773.

O.C., Secrey."

In this you may observe a delusory design to create a public belief that the factors had consented to resign their trust on Wednesday, the 3d inst., on which day we were summoned by the above-mentioned letter to appear at Liberty Tree, at 11 o'clock, a.m. All the bells of the meeting-houses for public worship were set a-ringing and continued ringing till twelve; the town cryer went thro' the town summoning the people to assemble at Liberty Tree. By these methods, and some more secret ones made use of by the authors of this design, a number of people, supposed by some to be about 500, and by others more, were collected at the time and place mentioned in the printed notification. They consisted chiefly of people of the lowest rank,[284] very few reputable tradesmen, as we are informed, appeared amongst them. There were indeed two merchants, reputed rich, and the selectmen of the town, but these last say they went to prevent disorder. The gentlemen who are supposed the designed factors for the East India Compy, viz: Mr. Thos. Hutchinson, Mr. Faneuil, Mr. Winslow & Messrs. Clarke, met in the forenoon of the 3rd instant, at the latter's warehouse, the lower end of King Street. Mr. Elisha Hutchinson was not present, owing to a misunderstanding of our intended plan of conduct, but his brother engaged to act in his behalf. You may well judge that none of us ever entertained the least thoughts of obeying the summons sent us to attend at Liberty Tree. After a consultation amongst ourselves and friends, we judged it best to continue together, and to endeavour, with the assistance of a few friends, to oppose the designs of the mob, if they should come to offer us any insult or injury. And on this occasion, we were so happy as to be supported by a number of gentlemen of the first rank. About one o'clock, a large body of people appeared at the head of King Street, and came down to the end, and halted opposite to our warehouse. Nine persons came from them up into our counting-room, viz: Mr. Molineux, Mr. Wm. Dennie, Doctor Warren, Dr. Church, Major Barber, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Gabriel Johonnot, Mr. Proctor, and Mr. Ezekiel Cheever. Mr. Molineux, as speaker of the above Comtee, addressed himself to us, and the other gentlemen present, the supposed factors to the East India Comy, and told us that we had committed an high insult on the people, in refusing to give them that most reasonable satisfaction which had been demanded in the summons or notice which had been sent us, then read a[285] paper proposed by him, to be subscribed by the factors, importing that they solemnly promise that they would not land or pay any duty on any tea that should be sent by the East I. Comy, but that they would send back the tea to England in the same bottom, which extravagant demand being firmly refused, and treated with a proper contempt by all of us, Mr. Molineux then said that since we had refused their most reasonable demands, we must expect to feel, on our first appearance, the utmost weight of the people's resentment, upon which he and the rest of the Comtee left our counting-room and warehouse, and went to and mixed with the multitude that continued before our warehouse. Soon after this, the mob having made one or two reverse motions to some distance, we perceived them hastening their pace towards the store, on which we ordered our servant to shut the outward door; but this he could not effect, although assisted by some other persons, amongst whom was Nathaniel Hatch,[43] Esqr., one of the Justices of the inferior Court for this country, and a Justice of the Peace for the county. This genm made all possible exertions to stem the current of the mob, not only by declaring repeatedly, and with a loud voice, that he was a magistrate, and commanded the people, by virtue of his office, and in his Majesty's name, to desist from all riotous proceedings, and to disperse, but also by assisting in person; but the people not only made him a return of insulting & reproachful words, but prevented his endeavors,[286] by force and blows, to get our doors shut, upon which Mr. Hatch, with some other of our friends, retreated to our counting-room. Soon after this, the outward doors of the store were taken off their hinges by the mob, and carried to some distance; immediately a number of the mob rushed into the warehouse, and endeavored to force into the counting-room, but as this was in another story, and the stair-case leading to it narrow, we, with our friends—about twenty in number—by some vigorous efforts, prevented their accomplishing their design. The mob appeared in a short time to be dispersed, and after a few more faint attacks, they contented themselves with blocking us up in the store for the space of about an hour and a half, at which time, perceiving that much the greatest part of them were drawn off, and those that remained not formidable, we, with our friends, left the warehouse, walked up the length of King Street together, and then went to our respective houses, without any molestation, saving some insulting behavior from a few despicable persons. The night following, a menacing letter was thrust under Mr. Faneuil's door, to be communicated to the other consignees, with a design to intimidate them from executing their trust, and other methods have since been made use of in the public papers and otherwise, for the same purpose. The next day, being the 4th inst., a notification was sent thro' the town, by order of the selectmen, for the inhabitants of the town to meet on this affair the next day, a transcript of which, and the proceedings of the town thereon, at their meetings on the 5th and 6th inst., you have a full account of in the enclosed newspapers, which, being long, we shall only copy the message of the town to us, and our answer, which are as follows: [287]

"Voted, That a Comtee be immediately chosen to wait on those gentlen who, it is reported, are appointed by the East India Comy to receive and sell said tea, and request them, from a regard to their own character, and the good order and peace of the town and province, immediately to resign their appointments. And the following gentm, viz.: the Moderator of the Meeting, Mr. Henderson Inches, Benjn Austin, Esqr., and Mr. John Mason, & the select men of the town, were appointed a comtee accordingly."

These gentm, all except Mr. Mason, came to our house about one o'clock, p.m., but not having an authenticated copy of the Town's vote, we desired to be favored with one, which was accordingly sent us, in a short time, from the moderator, John Hancock, Esqr., to which we returned the following answer, viz.:—

"Boston, Novr 5, 1773.


It is impossible for us to comply with the request of the Town, signified to us this day by their Comtee, as we know not on what terms the tea, if any of it should be sent to our care, will come out, nor what obligations, either of a moral or pecuniary nature, we may be under to fulfil the trust that may be devolved on us. When we are acquainted with these circumstances, we shall be better qualified to give a definite answer to the request of the Town.

We are, sir, your most humble servants,

Richd Clarke & Sons,
Benjn Faneuil, for self & Joshua Winslow, Esqr.

Hon'ble John Hancock, Esqr.,
  Moderator of a Town Meeting
  at Faneuil Hall."

Signature, John Hancock

John Hancock's Reply to Washington's Letter to Congress, Recommending the Bombardment of the Town of Boston.

"It is true, sir, nearly all the property I have in the world is in houses and other real estate in Boston; but if the expulsion of the British army from it and the liberties of our country require their being burnt to ashes, issue the order for the purpose immediately."


This answer, you'll see by the enclosed news paper, was unanimously voted to be not satisfactory to the Town, and the next day, on Mr. Hutchinson's sending into the Town Meeting an answer of the same purport, both his and ours were voted to be daringly affrontive to the Town, but upon what reasons this vote was founded they have not been pleased to declare. You may observe that the Town has resolved that they will, by all means in their power, prevent the sale of the teas exported by the East India Company, and in the preamble to this vote it is asserted that the quantities of teas imported into this place since a certain agreement, which we presume they designed should be understood to commence in the fall of 1770, at which time the non-importation agreement ceased, had been very small in proportion to what had been usual before said agreement, and that by a few persons only. In order to set those facts in a clear light, we obtained from the custom house an account of teas imported into this place from the beginning of the year 1768, at which time the first teas that paid the American duty arrived to this time, and got the same printed in the enclosed news paper, by which it appears that the fact has been grossly misrepresented, especially considering that this year's importation would probably be encreased at the end of the year two or three hundred chests, if the expected exportation on account of the East India Company had not prevented it. Besides the public transactions relative to this affair, before recited, we have repeated accounts of the continual nocturnal meetings of the leaders of the mob, and we are informed that they are determined to make the utmost efforts to prevent the sale of the teas; that their present scheme, or part of it, is to endeavor, by all methods, even[291] the most brutal, to force the consignees to give up their trust, and if they should fail in this, it is by some persons publickly asserted that the tea shall not be landed, or if it should be, that it shall be burnt.[44]

In our present unexpected and difficult situation, we have only to desire you to assure the gentlemen, who may have consigned any part of the Company's teas to our house, whom we cannot at present write to, as we have not been advised who the gentlemen are, that we shall make use of the best advice, and exert our utmost endeavors to carry into execution the Company's design, which, as far as we are acquainted with it, we judge to be beneficial to the Colonies, and to this Town and Province especially, but whether it will finally be in our power to accomplish our design, we are not at present certain. We beg the favor of you, sir, to communicate the foregoing to the gentlemen who may have had the direction of this affair. We are, with the greatest esteem and highest sense of our obligations to them and you, sir,

Your most obedient & most humble servants,

Richard Clarke & Sons.

P.S.—Mr. Faneuil writes to his friend, Mr. Brook Watson, by this opportunity, advising him of the transactions relating to this affair. In case of miscarriage of his letter, we desire you to communicate this letter to Mr. Watson.[292]


Mentioned in Mr. Clarke's Postscript.

Mr. Faneuil, after giving an account of the proceedings of the inhabitants of the 3rd instant, entirely agreeing in substance with Mr. Clarke's relation, goes on—

"By comparing this account with what Mr. Clarke writes his friend, Mr. Dupuis, of London, you will come at the exact state of the affair. The Governor has given my Lord Dartmouth an account of the conduct of his Council. I will only say that next day they voted that the Attorney-General be ordered to prosecute the persons concerned in this riot. The consequence, I suppose, will be, the grand jury will not find a bill against them, and there the affair will end."

On Thursday, a letter, of which the following is a copy, was found in my entry:

"Gentlemen: It is currently reported that you are in the extremest anxiety respecting your standing with the good people of this Town and Province, as commissioners of the sale of the monopolized and dutied tea. We do not wonder in the least that your apprehensions are terrible, when the most enlightened humane & conscientious community on the earth view you in the light of tigers or mad dogs, whom the public safety obliges them to destroy. Long have this people been irreconcilable to the idea of spilling human blood, on almost any occasion whatever; but they have lately seen a penitential thief suffer death for pilfering a few[293] pounds from scattering individuals. You boldly avow a resolution to bear a principal part in the robbery of every inhabitant of this country, in the present and future ages, of every thing dear and interesting to them. Are there no laws in the Book of God and nature that enjoin such miscreants to be cut off from among the people, as troublers of the whole congregation. Yea, verily, there are laws and officers to put them into execution, which you can neither corrupt, intimidate, nor escape, and whose resolution to bring you to condign punishment you can only avoid by a speedy imitation of your brethren in Philadelphia. This people are still averse to precipitate your fate, but in case of much longer delay in complying with their indispensable demands, you will not fail to meet the just rewards of your avarice & insolence. Remember, gentn, this is the last warning you are ever to expect from the insulted, abused, and most indignant vindicators of violated liberty in the Town of Boston.

Thursday evening, 9 o'clock.
  Nov. 4, 1773.

O.C., Secy, pr order.[45]

To Messrs. the Tea Commissioners.
  Directed to B—— F—— Esqr."

On Friday we had a Town Meeting. What was done there, together with our answers and their resolves, you'll[294] see in the enclosed news paper. Just before the meeting broke up, several gentn, on my telling the purport of our answer, advised me to leave the town for that night; but I have not yet slept out of my own house, nor do I propose to do it, till I find it absolutely necessary. I thought it best, however, to conceal myself for two or three hours. But nothing took place more that evening than is usual on the 5th Novr. On Friday, we received an information, which was repeated yesterday, that a number of picked men are determined to break into our house one night this week. I can hardly believe it, but these continued alarms are very disagreeable. I am, gentlemen,

Your most obedt servt,

Benjn Faneuil, Junr.[46]

Signature, Benjamin Faneuil, Jr



Referred to by Messrs. Richard Clarke & Sons, & Benjn Faneuil, Junr., in their above mentioned Letters, from the news papers enclosed.

[From the Massachusetts Gazette of Thursday, Nov. 11, 1773.]

The following notification was issued on Thursday last:

The freeholders and other inhabitants of the Town of Boston, qualified as the law directs, are hereby notified to meet at Faneuil Hall, on Friday, the 5th day of November instant, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, then and there to consider the petition of a number of the inhabitants, setting forth, "that they are justly alarmed at the report that the East India Company, in London, are about shipping a cargo or cargoes of tea into this and the other Colonies, and that they esteem it a political plan of the British administration, whereby they have reason to fear, not only the trade upon which they depend for subsistence, is threatened to be totally destroyed, but what is much more than any thing in life to be dreaded, the tribute laid on the foundation of that article will be fixed and established, and our liberties, for which we have long struggled, will be lost to them and their posterity,[296] and therefore praying that a meeting of the freeholders and other inhabitants, may be immediately called, that so the sense of the matter may be taken, and such steps be pursued as to their safety and well being shall appertain."

By order of the Select men,

William Cooper, Town Clerk.

Boston, Novr 4th, 1773.

On Friday last there was a very full meeting of the freeholders, and other inhabitants of this town, in Faneuil Hall, agreeable to a notification issued by the Select men, when the Hon'ble John Hancock, Esqr., was chosen moderator, and the Town, after due deliberation, came into the following resolutions, viz.:

Whereas, it appears by an Act of the British Parliament, passed in the last session, that the East India Company, in London, are by the said Act allowed to export their teas into America in such quantities as the Lords of the Treasury shall think proper. And some persons, with an evil intent to amuse the people, and others thro' inattention to the true design of the Act have so construed the same as that the tribute of three pence on every pound of tea is to be exacted by the detestable task masters here. Upon the due consideration thereof,—

Resolved, That the sense of this Town cannot be better expressed than in the words of certain judicious resolves, lately entered into by our worthy brethren of Philadelphia. Wherefore,

Resolved, That the disposal of their own property is the inherent right of freemen; that there can be no property in[297] that which another can, of right, take from us without our consent; that the claim of Parliament to tax America is, in other words, to claim a right to levy contributions on us at pleasure.

2d. That the duty imposed by Parliament upon tea landed in America, is a tax upon the Americans, or levying contributions on them without their consent.

3d. That the express purpose for which the tax is levied on the Americans, namely, for the support of government, administration of justice, and the defence of His Majesty's dominions in America, has a direct tendency to render assemblies useless, and to introduce arbitrary government and slavery.

4th. That a virtuous and steady opposition to this ministerial plan of governing America is absolutely necessary to preserve even the shadow of liberty, and it is a duty which every free man in America owes to his country, to himself and to his posterity.

5th. That the resolution lately agreed to by the East India Company, to send out their tea to America, subjected to payment of duties on its being landed here, is an open attempt to enforce the ministerial plan, and a violent attack upon the liberties of America.

6th. That it is the duty of every American to oppose this attempt.

7th. That whoever shall, directly or indirectly, countenance this attempt, or in any wise aid or abet in unloading, receiving or vending the tea sent or to be sent out by the East India Company, while it remains subject to the payment of a duty here, is an enemy to America.

8th. That a committee be immediately chosen to wait on[298] those gentlemen, who, it is reported, are appointed by the East India Company to receive and sell said tea, and request them, from a regard to their own characters, and the peace and good order of this Town and Province, immediately to resign their appointments.

And the following gentlemen, viz., the Moderator, Mr. Henderson Inches, Benjamin Austin, Esqr., and the Select men of the Town, were appointed a committee accordingly.

At the same time, the Town passed the following resolves, viz.:

Whereas, the merchants of this Continent, did enter into an agreement to withhold the importation of teas until the duty laid thereon mould be repealed, which agreement, as we are informed, has been punctually observed by the respectable merchants in the Southern Colonies, while, by reason of the peculiar circumstances attending the trade of this place, some quantities, tho' very small in proportion to what had been usual before said agreement, have been imported by some of the merchants here. And whereas, it now appears probable to this Town, that the British Administration have taken encouragement, even from such small importations, to grant licenses to the East India Company, as aforesaid, therefore,—

Resolved, That it is the determination of this Town, by all means in their power, to prevent the sale of teas exported by the East India Company, and as the merchants here have generally opposed this measure, it is the just expectation of the inhabitants of this town that no one of them will, upon any pretence whatever, import any tea that shall be liable to pay the duty from this time, and until the Act imposing the same shall be repealed.[299]

Signature, Samuel Adams.

Governor Gage, through Col. Fenton, to Samuel Adams, 1773.

"Mr. Adams, you have displeased His Majesty, made yourself liable to be sent to England, and tried for treason. Change your political course, you will receive personal advantages, and also make your peace with the King."

Mr. Adams' Reply: "I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country. Tell Gov. Gage it is the advice of Samuel Adams, to him, no longer to insult the feelings of an already exasperated people."

And then the Town adjourned till three o'clock in the afternoon.


At 3 o'clock, there was again a very full assembly, and the committee reported to the Town that they had waited on Richard Clarke, Esqr. and Son, and Benjamin Faneuil, Esqr., said to be factors of the East India Company, and communicated to them the resolve of the Town, whereby they were requested, immediately, to resign their appointment, and that said gentlemen informed the committee, that as Messrs. Thomas & Elisha Hutchinson, (who are also reported to be factors of the said Company,) were at Milton, and not expected in town 'till Saturday evening, and as they chose to consult them, they could not return an answer to the Town 'till Monday morning.

Then another committee was chosen viz., Mr. Samuel Adams, Mr. Wm. Molineux and Dr. Joseph Warren, to acquaint Messrs. Clarke & Faneuil, that as they were not joint factors for the East India Company with the Hutchinson's, it was supposed they could determine for themselves, and therefore it was the expectation of the Town that they return an immediate answer to the message, and this committee reported to the Town that an answer might be expected in half an hour.

A motion was then made that a committee be appointed to repair to Milton, and acquaint Messrs. Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, with the request of the Town, that they immediately resign their appointment, and John Hancock, Esqr., Mr. John Pitts, Mr. Samuel Adams, Mr. Samuel Abbott, Dr. Joseph Warren, Mr. Wm. Powell, and Mr. Nathl Appleton, were appointed for that purpose.[302]

A letter was brought into the hall, signed by Richard Clarke & Son, & Benjamin Faneuil, for himself & Joshua Winslow, Esqr., and directed to the Moderator, to be communicated to the Town, viz:

"Boston, 5th Novmr., 1773.


It is impossible for us to comply with the request of the Town, signified to us this day by the committee, as we know not what terms the tea, if any part of it should be sent to our care, will come out on, and what obligations, either of a moral or pecuniary nature, we may be under, to fulfil the trust that may be devolved on us. When we are acquainted with these circumstances, we shall be better qualified to give a definitive answer to the request of the Town. We are, sir,

Your most h'ble servts,

Richard Clarke & Son,
Benjamin Faneuil, for self & Joshua Winslow, Esqr.

Hon'ble John Hancock, Esqr.,
  Moderator of a Town Meeting, assembled at Faneuil Hall."

This letter was read, and unanimously voted to be not satisfactory to the Town, and then the meeting adjourned 'till the next day, at eleven o'clock, to receive the report of the committee appointed to wait on the Hutchinsons.

The Town met by adjournment, on Saturday, (the meeting still continuing very full,) and the committee reported, that they had seen Mr. Thomas Hutchinson only, (his brother being neither at Milton or Boston,) and that the Town might expect an answer from him immediately.[303]

The following letter was soon after sent in to the Moderator, signed Thomas Hutchinson, which was read, and unanimously voted to be an unsatisfactory answer, viz.:


I know nothing relative to the teas referred to in the request or vote of the Town, except that one of my friends has signified to me by letter, that part of it, he had reason to believe, would be consigned to me and my brother jointly. Under these circumstances, I can give no other answer to the Town at present, than that if the teas should arrive, and we should be appointed factors, we shall then be sufficiently informed to answer the request of the Town. I am, for my brother and self, sir,

Your h'ble servt,

Thos. Hutchinson, Junr.

Hon'ble John Hancock, Esqr.,
  Moderator of a Town Meeting, now assembled.

It was then voted, that the letter, signed Richard Clarke & Son, Benjamin Faneuil, for self and Joshua Winslow, Esqr., and also the letter signed Thomas Hutchinson, which had been read, were daringly affrontive to the Town, and the meeting was immediately dissolved.


Referred to above, in Mr. Clarke's Letter, from the same.

Mr. Draper:

Please to publish the following account of the importation of teas from Great Britain, from the commencement[304] of the year 1768, to the present time, for the information of such of your readers as desire to be acquainted therewith:

In1768,942by82difft persons.

N.B.—The merchants in London, not having executed the orders for tea this fall, on account of the expected exportation from the East India Company, greatly lessens the quantity of the present year.



Mr. Michell presents his compliments to Mr. Watson, and by order acquaints him, that the Court of Directors of the East India Company have agreed that the Company's teas, which may be rejected at Boston, and other places in America, should be sent to Halifax, in the manner with which Mr. Watson was acquainted by the Committee, with whom he this day conferred, and Mr. Michell is to desire Mr. Watson will, as soon as may be, name to him the other house here, which is to join in that business, and the other gentleman at Halifax, to be concerned in the agency there with Mr. John Butler, that the necessary dispatch may be given to the advices, to go from hence tomorrow, at 10 in the forenoon, to the plantation office, and be there forwarded[305] to America. He is also to request Mr. Watson, will by that time, convey hither such letters as he intends should go under the Company's cover, by the same dispatch to Halifax, relating to this business

East India House,

Friday evening, 7th Jany, 1774.

Joshua Mauger, Esqr., Member of Poole, in £10,000.
Brook Watson,}of London, merchants, and in £10,000.
Robt Rashleigh,

Joint security for the due execution of the commission for the disposal of the Company's teas by John Butler, Esqr., and Thos Cochran, of Halifax.



Referred to in their Letter of the 1st Decr.

To His Excellency William Tryon, Esqr., Captain-General and Governor in Chief in and over the Province of New York, and Territories depending thereon, in America, Chancellor and Vice-Admiral of the same.

The Memorial of Henry White, Abram Lott, & Benjm Booth, of the City of New York, merchants.

Humbly sheweth:

That your memorialists have, by the last packet, received advices of their being appointed agents by the East[306] India Comy. for the sale of certain teas by them shipped and daily expected to arrive in this port.

That your memorialists are informed by letter from the Directors of the said Company, that they have given security in double the value of the tea, that a certificate of its being duly landed shall be returned to the custom house, in London.

That as the said tea, on its importation, will be subject to the American duty, and as there is on that account a general and spirited opposition to its being sold, and being well convinced from the nature of the opposition, that so considerable a property of the Company will not be safe unless Government takes it under protection, your memorialists therefore humbly pray that your Excellency will be pleased to direct such steps to be taken for the preservation of the said tea, as your Excellency in your wisdom shall think most conducive to that end.

Henry White.[47]
Abrm Lott.
Benjm Booth.

New York, 1st Decr., 1773.





Proceedings of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, on the 18th Novr., 1773, referred to by the agents in their letter of the 2d Decr., are missing, supposed to be transmitted to Lord Dartmouth.[48]


Referred to by the Agents in their Letter of the 2d Decemr.

To His Excellency the Governor and the Hon'ble His Majesty's Council.

The Petition of Richd Clarke & Sons, of Benjn Faneuil, & Thos. & Elisha Hutchinson.

That the Hon'ble East India Company, in London, have shipped a considerable quantity of tea for the port of Boston, and as your petitioners are made to understand, will be consigned to their address for sale.

That some of your petitioners have in consequence of this been cruelly insulted in their persons and property; that they have had insulting and incendiary letters left and thrown into their houses in the night; that they have been repeatedly attacked by a large body of men; that one of the houses of your petitioners was assaulted in the night by a[310] tumultuous and riotous assembly of people, and violent attempts made to force the house for the space of two hours, that have greatly damaged the same; that they are threatened in their persons and property, and further with the destruction of the said tea on its arrival into the port; and that the resolves and proceedings of the Town, in their meetings on the 5th and 18th inst., are intended to be expressive of the general sense of the Town, to which we beg leave to refer your Excellency and the Honorable Board.

Your petitioners therefore beg leave to resign themselves, and the property committed to their care, to your Excellency and Honors, as the guardians and protectors of the people, humbly praying that measures may be directed to, for the landing and securing the teas, until your petitioners can be at liberty, openly and safely, to dispose of the same, or until they can receive directions from their constituents.

Signed,Richd Clarke,
Benjn Faneuil, Junr.
Thos & Elisha Hutchinson.

A true copy from the original.

Petition on file. Attest:

Signed, Thos. Flucker, Secy.


At a Council held at the Council Chamber, in Boston, upon Friday, Novr 19, 1773.


His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, Esqr., Governor.[311]

Isaac Royal,[49]}James Bowdoin,}James Pitts,
John Erving,Esqrs.James Russell,Esqrs.
Wm. Brattle,[50]James Otis,Saml Dexter, Esqrs.

His Excellency represented to the Council the tumults and disorders prevailing in the town of Boston, and required their advice upon measures proper for preserving the peace, and for supporting the authority of Government. Whilst the Council were debating on the subject, a petition from Richd Clarke, Benjn Faneuil, and Messrs. Thos. and Elisha Hutchinson, to the Governor and Council was presented, setting forth that the Hon'ble East India Comy, in London, have ship'd a considerable quantity of tea for the port of Boston, which they are made to understand, will be consigned to their address, for sale, and that some of them have, in consequence of this, been cruelly insulted in their persons and[312] property. They therefore beg leave to resign themselves, and the property committed to their care, to the Governor and Council, as the guardians and protectors of the people, and pray that measures may be directed to, for the landing and securing the teas, until they can be at liberty, openly and safely, to dispose of the same, or until they can receive directions from their constituents. After long debate, it was proposed and agreed that his Excellency be desired to appoint a future day for the Council to sit, and he appointed the 23d inst., and the Council adjourned the further consideration to that time accordingly.

November 23d, 1773. Present in Council: His Excellency Thos. Hutchinson, Esqr., Governor.

Isaac Royal,
John Erving,
}Esqrs.James Bowdoin,
James Russell,
James Otis,
}Esqrs.James Pitts,
John Winthrop, Esqrs.

His Excellency directed the Council to proceed in the consideration of the petition of Richd Clarke, Esqr., and others, as entered the 19th inst., for which purpose he had ordered them to sit at this time, and a debate being had thereupon, it was moved to his Excellency that the Council might sit on a further day, there being only a bare quorum present, to which his Excellency agreed; advised that all those members of the Council who live within 40 miles of the town of Boston be summoned then to attend, which was done accordingly, to meet on Saturday, the 27th inst.

Novemr 27th. Present in Council: His Excellency Thos. Hutchinson, Esqr., Governor.[313]



Samuel Danforth,[51]
Isaac Royal,
John Erving,
James Bowdoin.
James Russel,
James Pitts,
Samuel Dexter,
James Humphrey,
Artemas Ward,
John Winthrop, Esqrs.
George Leonard.

His Excellency, after representing to the Council the disorders prevailing in the town of Boston, recommended to them to proceed on the petition of Richd Clarke, and others, relative to those disorders, and required their advice. After a long debate, it was moved to his Excellency that a Comtee of the Council be appointed to prepare the result of the said debate, to be laid before his Excellency, to which he consented, and James Bowdoin, Saml Dexter, and John Winthrop, Esqrs., were appointed accordingly. Mr. Bowdoin made a report, which was considered and debated by the Council, and it was moved to his Excellency that he would adjourn the Council to a future day for further consideration, and he appointed Monday, the 29th for that purpose.

Novemr 29th, 1773. Present in Council: His Excellency Thos. Hutchinson, Esqr., Governor.

Samuel Danforth, Esqr.
Isaac Royal,
John Erving,
James Bowdoin,
James Russell,
James Pitts,
Samuel Dexter, Esqrs.
Geo. Leonard,
Artemas Ward,
John Winthrop,


His Excellency directed that the Council proceed upon the business for which it stands adjourned. After debate upon the report of the Comtee the question whether it should be accepted was put, which passed unanimously in the affirmative as the advice of the Council to his Excellency, in the words following, viz.:

Previous to the consideration of the petition before the Board, they would make a few observations occasioned by the subject of it. The situation of things between Great Britain and the Colonies has been for some years past very unhappy. Parliament, on the one hand, has been taxing the Colonies, and they, on the other hand, have been petitioning and remonstrating against it, apprehending they have constitutionally an exclusive right of taxing themselves, and that without such a right, their condition would be but little better than slavery.

Possessed of these sentiments, every new measure of Parliament tending to establish and confirm a tax on them renews and increases their distress, and it is particularly encreased by the Act lately made, empowering the East India Company to ship their tea to America. This Act, in a commercial view, they think introductive of monopolies, and tending to bring on them the extensive evils thence arising. But their great objection to it is from its being manifestly intended (tho' that intention is not expressed therein,) more effectually to secure the payment of the duty on tea, laid by an Act of Parliament passed in the 7th year of his present Majesty, entitled, "An Act for granting certain duties in the British colonies and plantations in America," which Act in its operation deprives the colonists of the right above mentioned (the exclusive right of taxing themselves), which they hold to[317] be so essential a one that it cannot be taken away or given up, without their being degraded, or degrading themselves below the character of men.

It not only deprives them of that right, but enacts that the monies arising from the duties granted by it may be applied "as his Majesty or his successors shall think proper or necessary for defraying the charges of the administration of justice and the support of the civil government, in all or any of the said colonies or plantations."

This clause of the Act has already operated in some of the colonies, and in this colony in particular, with regard to the support of civil government, and thereby has operated in diminution of its charter rights to the great grief of the good people of it, who have been and still are greatly alarmed by repeated reports, that it is to have a further operation with respect to the defraying the charge of the administration of justice, which would not only be a further diminution of those rights, but tend in all constitutional questions, and in many other cases of importance to bias the judges against the subject. They humbly rely on the justice and goodness of his Majesty for the restitution and preservation of those rights.

This short statement of facts the board thought it necessary to be given to shew the cause of the present great uneasiness which is not confined to this neighbourhood, but is general and extensive. The people think their exclusive right of taxing themselves by their representatives, infringed and violated by the Act above mentioned. That the new Act empowering the East India Company to import their tea into America confirms that violation, and is a new effort, not only more effectually to secure the payment of the tea[318] duty, but lay a foundation for enhancing it, and in a like way, if this should succeed, to lay other taxes on America. That it is in its attendants and consequences ruinous to the liberties and properties of themselves and their posterity; that as their numerous petitions for relief have been rejected, the said New Act demonstrates an indisposition in ministry that Parliament should grant them relief; that this is the source of their distress, a distress that borders upon dispair, and that they know not where to apply for relief.

These being the sentiments of the people, it is become the indispensible duty of this Board to mention them that the occasion of the late demands on Mr. Clarke and others, the agents of the East India Company, and of the consequent disturbances, the authors of which we have advised should be prosecuted, but to give a just idea of the rise of them.

On this occasion, justice impels us to declare that the people of this Town and Province, tho' they have a high sense of liberty derived from the manners, the example and constitution of the mother country, have, 'till the late parliamentary taxation of the Colonies, been as free from disturbances as any people whatever.

This representation the Board thought necessary to be made prior to their taking notice of the petition of the agents above mentioned, to the consideration of which they now proceed.

The petitioners beg leave "to resign themselves, and the property committed to their care, to his Excellency and the Board, as guardians and protectors of the people, praying that measures may be directed to for the landing and securing the tea," [319]&c.

With regard to the personal protection of the petitioners, the Board have not been informed that they have applied for it to any of the justices of the peace, they being vested by law with all the authority necessary for the protection of his Majesty's subjects. In the principal instance of abuse of which they complain, the Board have already advised that the authors of it should be prosecuted according to law, and they do advise the same in the other instances mentioned in their petition.

With regard to the tea committed to the care of the petitioners, the Board have no authority to take either that or any other merchandize out of their care, and should they do it, or give any order or advice concerning it, and a loss ensue, they apprehend they should make themselves responsible for it. With respect to the prayer of the petition, that measures may be directed to "for the landing and securing the tea," the Board would observe on it, that the duty on the tea becomes payable, and must be paid or secured to be paid on its being landed, and should they direct or advise to any measure for landing it, that would of course advise to a measure for procuring the payment of the duty, and therefore by advising to a measure inconsistent with the declared sentiment of both houses in the last winter session of the General Court, which they apprehend to be altogether inexpedient and improper.

The Board, however, on this occasion assure your Excellency that as they have seen, with regret, some late disturbances, and have advised to the prosecuting the authors of them, so they will in all legal methods endeavor to the utmost of their power to prevent them in future.

Whereupon advised that his Excellency renew his orders[320] to his majesty's justices of the peace, sheriffs, and other peace officers, to exert themselves to the utmost for the security of his Majesty's subjects; the preservation of peace and good order, and for preventing all offences against the laws.

His Excellency thereupon demanded of the Council whether they would give him no advise upon the disorders then prevailing in the town of Boston, and it was answered in general that the advise already given was intended for that purpose.

A true copy from the minutes of the Council.


Thos. Flucker, Secy.


Referred to by the Agents there, in their Letter of the 2d December, 1773.

At a meeting of the people of Boston and the neighbouring towns, in Faneuil Hall, in said Boston, on Monday, 29th Novemr, 1773, nine o'clock, a.m., and continued by adjournment to the next day, for the purpose of consulting, advising, and determining upon the most proper and effectual method to prevent the unloading, receiving or vending the detestable tea sent out by the East India Company, part of which being just arrived in this harbour, in order to proceed with[321] due regularity, it was moved that a moderator be chosen, and Jonathan Williams, Esqr., was then chosen moderator of the meeting.

A motion was made, that as the Town of Boston had determined, at a late meeting, legally assembled, that they would, to the utmost of their power, prevent the landing of the tea, the question being put whether this body be absolutely determined that the tea now arrived, in Capt. Hall's ship, shall be returned to the place from whence it came, at all events, and the question being accordingly put, it passed in the affirmative, nem. con.

It appearing that the hall could not contain the people assembled, it was voted that the meeting be immediately adjourned to the Old South meeting-house, leave having been obtained for this purpose.

The people met at the Old South, according to adjournment.

A motion was made, and the question put, viz.: Whether it is the firm resolution of this body, that the tea shall not only be sent back, but that no duty shall be paid thereon, and passed in the affirmative, nem. con.

It was moved, that in order to give time to the consignees to consider and deliberate before they sent in proposals to this body, as they had given reason to expect would have been done at the opening of the meeting, there might be an adjournment to 3 o'clock, p.m., and the meeting was accordingly adjourned for that purpose.

Three o'clock, p.m. Met according to adjournment.

A motion was made whether the tea now arrived in Cap[322]t Hall's ship, shall be sent back in the same bottom. Passed in the affirmative, nem. con.

Mr. Rotch, the owner of the vessel, being present, informed that body that he should enter his protest against their proceedings.

It was then moved and voted, nem. con., that Mr. Rotch be directed not to enter this tea, and that the doing of it will be at his peril.

Also voted, that Capt. Hall, the master of the ship, be informed that, at his peril, he is not to suffer any of the tea brought by him, to be landed.

A motion was made, that in order for the security of Capt. Hall's ship and cargo, a watch may be appointed, and it was voted that a watch be accordingly appointed, to consist of 25 men.

Capt. Edward Proctor was appointed by the body to be capt. of the watch for this night, and the names were given in to the moderator of the townsmen who were volunteers upon the occasion.

It having been observed to the body that Governor Hutchinson had required the justices of the peace in this town to meet and use their endeavours to suppress any routs, or riots, &c., of the people, that might happen, it was moved and the question put, whether it be not the sense of this meeting that the Governor's conduct herein carries a designed reflection upon the people here met, and is solely calculated to serve the views of administration. Passed in the affirmative, nem. con.

The people being informed by Colonel Hancock that Mr. Copley, son-in-law to Mr. Clarke, senr., had acquainted him that the tea consignees did not receive their letters from[323] London 'till last evening, and were so dispersed that they could not have a joint meeting early enough to make their proposals at the time intended, and therefore are desirous of a further space for that purpose.

[It is necessary to note that Mr. Copley, and some others, our friends informing us, that to prevent immediate outrage, it was necessary for us to send something in writing to the Select men, which we then did, absolutely refusing to do what they had before informed us the people expected; but Mr. Copley, on his return to town, fearing the most dreadful consequences, thought best not to deliver our letter to the Select men, he returned to us at night representing this. We then wrote the letter you see printed in this paper.]

The meeting, out of great tenderness to these persons, and from a strong desire to bring this matter to a conclusion, notwithstanding the time they had hitherto expended upon them, to no purpose, were prevailed upon to adjourn to the next morning, 9 o'clock.

Thursday morning, nine o'clock.

Met according to adjournment.

The long-expected proposals were at length brought into this meeting, not directed to the moderator, but to John Scollay, Esqr., one of the Select men. It was, however, voted that the same should be read, and they were, as follows, viz.:

"Monday, Novr 29th, 1773.


We are sorry that we could not return to the Town satisfactory answers to their two late messages to us respecting[324] the teas. We beg leave to acquaint the gentlemen, Select men, that we have since received our orders from the Hon'ble East India Comy.

We still retain a disposition to do all in our power to give satisfaction to the Town; but, as we understood from you and the other gentlemen, Select men, at Messrs. Clarke's interview with you last Saturday, that this can be effected by nothing less than our sending back the teas, we beg leave to say that this is utterly out of our power to do, but we do now declare to you our readiness to store the teas until we shall have an opportunity of writing to our constituents, and shall receive their further orders respecting them, and we do most sincerely wish that the Town, considering the unexpected difficulties devolved upon us, will be satisfied with what we now offer. We are, sir,

Your most humble servants,

Thos. & Elisha Hutchinson.[52]
Benjn Faneuil, Junr., for self and
Joshua Winslow, Esqr.,
Richard Clarke & Sons.

To John Scollay, Esq[325]r."

Mr. Sheriff Greenleaf came into the meeting, and begged leave of the moderator that a letter, he had received from the Governor, requiring him to read a proclamation to the people here assembled, might be read, and it was accordingly read.

Whereupon it was moved, and the question put, whether the sheriff should be permitted to read the proclamation, which passed in the affirmative, nem. con.

The proclamation is as follows, viz.:

"Massachusetts Bay.

By the Governor.

To Jonathan Williams, Esqr., acting as Moderator of an assembly of people, in the Town of Boston, and to the people so assembled:

Whereas, printed notifications were on Monday, the 29th inst., posted in divers places in the town of Boston, and published in the news papers of this day, calling upon the people to assemble together for certain unlawful purposes, in such notifications mentioned; and whereas, great numbers of persons belonging to the town of Boston, and divers others belonging to several other towns in the Province, did[326] assemble in the said town of Boston, on the said day, and did then and there proceed to chuse a moderator, and to consult, debate, and resolve upon ways and means for carrying such unlawful purposes into execution, openly violating, defying and setting at naught the good and wholesome laws of the Province, and the constitution of government under which they live; and whereas, the people thus assembled, did vote or agree to adjourn, or continue their meeting to this the 30th inst., and great numbers of them are again met or assembled together for the like purpose, in the said town of Boston:

In faithfulness to my trust, and as his Majesty's representative within the Province, I am bound to bear testimony against this violation of the laws, and I warn and exhort you and require you, and each of you thus unlawfully assembled forthwith, to disperse and to surcease all further unlawful proceedings at your utmost peril.

Given under my hand, at Milton, in the Province aforesaid, the 30th day of Novr., 1773, and in the fourteenth year of his Majesty's reign.

T. Hutchinson.

By his Excellency's command.

Thos. Flucker, Secy."

And the same being read by the sheriff,[53] there was, immediately after, a loud and very general hiss.

A motion was then made, and the question put whether the assembly would disperse and surcease all further proceedings,[327] according to the Governor's requirement. It passed in the nege, nem. con.

A proposal of Mr. Copley was made, that in case he could prevail with the Messrs. Clarkes to come into this meeting, the question might now be put, whether they should be treated with civility while in the meeting, though they might be of different sentiments with this body, and their persons be safe, until their return to the place from whence they should come. And the question being accordingly put, passed in the affirmative, nem. con.

Another motion of Mr. Copley's was put, whether two hours shall be given him, which also passed in the affirmative.

Adjourned 'till two o'clock, p.m.

Two o'clock, p.m. Met according to adjournment. A motion was made and passed, that Mr. Rotch and Captn Hall be desired to give their attendance. Mr. Rotch appeared, and upon a motion made, the question was put, whether it is the firm resolution of this body, that the tea brought by Captn Hall shall be returned by Mr. Rotch to England, in the bottom in which it came, and whether they accordingly now require the same, which passed in the affirmative, nem. con.

Mr. Rotch then informed the meeting, that he should protest against the whole proceedings, as he had done against the proceedings on yesterday, but that, tho' the returning the tea is an act in him, he yet considers himself as under a necessity to do it, and shall therefore comply with the requirement of this body.

Captain Hall being present, was forbid to aid or assist in unloading the teas at his peril, and ordered, that if he continues[328] master of the vessel, he carry the same back to London, who replied, he should comply with these requirements.

Upon a motion, resolved, that John Rowe, Esqr., owner of part of Capt. Bruce's ship, expected with tea, as also Mr. Timmins, factor for Capt. Coffin's brig, be desired to attend.

Mr. Ezekiel Cheever was appointed captain of the watch for this night, and a sufficient number of volunteers gave in their names for that service.

Voted, that the captain of this watch be desired to make out a list of the watch for the next night, and so each captain of the watch for the following nights, until the vessels leave the harbour.

Upon a motion made, voted, that in case it should happen that the watch should be any ways molested in the night, while on duty, they give the alarm to the inhabitants by the tolling of the bells, and that if any thing happens in the day time, the alarm be by ringing of the bells.

Voted, that six persons be appointed, to be in readiness, to give due notice to the country towns, when they shall be required so to do, upon any important occasion, and six persons were accordingly chosen for that purpose.

John Rowe, Esqr., attended, and was informed that Mr. Rotch had engaged, that his vessel should carry back the tea she brought, in the same bottom, and that it was the expectation of this body that he does the same by the tea, expected in Capt. Bruce, whereupon he replied, that the ship was under the care of the said master, but that he would use his utmost endeavor, that it should go back as required by this body, and that he would give immediate advice of the arrival of said ship.

Voted, that it is the sense of this body, that Capt. Bruce[329] shall, on his arrival, strictly conform to the votes passed respecting Capt. Hall's vessel, as they had all been passed in reference to Capt. Bruce's ship.

Mr. Timmins appeared and informed, that Capt. Coffin's brig, expected with tea, was owned in Nantucket. He gave his word of honor that no tea should be landed while she was under his care, nor touched by any one, until the owner's arrival.

It was then voted, that what Mr. Rowe and Mr. Timmins had offered, was satisfactory to the body.

Mr. Copley[54] returned, and acquainted the body, that as he had been obliged to go to the castle, he hoped that if he had exceeded the time allowed him, they would consider the difficulty of a passage by water at this season, as an apology. He then further acquainted the body, that he had seen all the consignees, and though he had convinced them that they might attend this meeting with safety, and had used his utmost endeavors to prevail on them to give satisfaction to the body, they acquainted him, that believing nothing would be satisfactory short of reshipping the tea, which was out of their power, they thought it best not to appear, but would renew their proposal of storing the tea, and submitting the same to the inspection of a committee, and that they could go no further without incurring their own ruin; but as they had not been active in introducing the tea, they should do nothing to obstruct the people in their procedure with the same.[330]

It was then moved, and the question put whether the return made by Mr. Copley from the consignees be in the least degree satisfactory to this body. It passed in the negative, nem. con.

Whereas, a number of merchants in this Province have inadvertently imported tea from Great Britain, while it is subject to the payment of a duty, imposed upon it by an Act of Parliament, for the purpose of raising a revenue in America, and appropriating the same, without the consent of those who are required to pay it, Resolved, that in thus importing said tea, they have justly incurred the displeasure of our brethren in the other Colonies.

And resolved further, that if any person or persons shall hereafter import tea from Great Britain, shall take the same on board, to be imported to this place, until the said unrighteous Act shall be repealed, he or they shall be deemed by this body an enemy to his country, and we will prevent the landing and sale of the same, and the payment of any duty thereon, and we will effect the return thereof to the place from whence it shall come.

Resolved, that the foregoing vote be printed and sent to England, and all the sea ports in this Province.

Upon a motion made, voted that fair copies be taken of the whole proceedings of this meeting, and transmitted to New York and Philadelphia, and that Mr. Samuel Adams, Hon'ble John Hancock, Esqr., William Phillips, Esqr., John Rowe, Esqr., Jonathan Williams, Esqr., be a committee to transmit the same.

Voted, That it is the determination of this body to carry their votes and resolutions into execution, at the risque of their lives and property.[331]

Voted, That the committee of correspondence for this town be desired to take care, that every other vessel with tea that arrives in this harbour, have a proper watch appointed for her; also,

Voted, That those persons who are desirous of making a part of these nightly watches, be desired to give in their names at Messrs. Edes & Gill's printing office.

Voted, That our brethren in the country be desired to afford their assistance upon the first notice given, especially if such notice be given upon the arrival of Captn Loring, in Mr. Clarke's brigantine.

Voted, That those of this body who belong to the town of Boston, do return their thanks to their brethren who have come from the neighbouring towns, for their countenance and union with this body, in this exigence of our affairs.

Voted, That the thanks of this meeting be given to Jonathan Williams, Esqr., for his good services as moderator.

Voted, That this meeting be dissolved, and it was accordingly dissolved.


Enclosing 3 news papers and an advertisement, in the name of the people, threatening vengeance on those who favored the tea scheme.


The state and condition of the Hon'ble Company's tea in America is as you will find in the enclosed papers.[332] Unless the Tea Act is repealed, no tea can be sold in America. Repeal the Act, and you may dispose of all your teas. The Americans will not be slaves, neither are they to be trapped under the notion of cheap teas. Death is more desirable to them than slavery,—it is impossible to make the Americans swallow the tea. The ministry may amuse the Company, by telling them their tea shall be sold, and the Act preserved, but they are grossly mistaken. None of it is yet landed, neither shall it be.

Your humble servant,

Anglo Americanus.

Boston, New England,
  Decr 13th, 1773.

The papers enclosed contain an account of the proceedings of the town of Boston, on the 29th & 30th November, and of the resolves of some of the neighboring towns. (The papers are in the miscellany bundle.)


Enclosing a Boston news paper of the 16th Decr., 1773.

Boston, New England, 17th Decr., 1773.


Your tea is destroyed, which was brought in three ships, Capts. Bruce, Hall and Coffin, and the brig with tea is cast away. If the tea is got on shore, it will share the same fate. Every possible means has been used to send it home safe again to you, but the tea consignees would not[333] send it; then application was made to the commissioners of the customs to clear out the vessel,—they would not do it, then to the Governor to grant a pass, which he refused, and finally the people were obliged to destroy it, (se defendendo,) or else, by an unlawful unrighteous Act, imposing a duty this tea would have destroyed them. This whole province, of some hundred thousand people, and the other provinces on the continent, are determined neither to use it, or suffer it to be landed, nor pay the duty. Force can never make them, and if the Company can ever expect to sell any tea in America, they must use all their interest to get this Tea Act repealed, otherwise they will never sell one ounce.

There is the utmost detestation of tea; even some of our country towns have collected all the tea they had by them, and burnt it in their public common, as so much chains and slavery. Get the Tea Act repealed, and you'll sell all your tea, otherwise you must keep all. The people will risk life and fortune in this affair,—the very being of America depends on it. I am sorry the Company are led into such a scrape by the ministry, to try the American's bravery, at the expence of their property. The artifice of the ministry is to dispose of your tea, and preserve the vile Tea Act; but they'll miss their aim,—the Americans will not swallow cheap tea, which has a poison in the heart of it. They see the hook thro' the bait. I am a well wisher to the Company, and also to America; but death to an American is more desirable than slavery.

I am, gentlemen, with all due respect,

Your honors most obedient, humble servant,

Anglo Americanus.[334]


As contained in the Boston news paper of the 16th Decr.

Boston, Thursday, Decr 16th, 1773.

It being understood that Mr. Rotch, owner of the ship Dartmouth, rather lingered in his preparations to return her to London, with the East India Company's tea on board, there was, on Monday last P.M., a meeting of the committee of the several neighboring towns in Boston, and Mr. Rotch was sent for and enquired of, whether he continued his resolution to comply with the injunctions of the body on Monday and Tuesday preceding. Mr. Rotch answered that in the interim he had taken the advice of the best counsel, and found that in case he went on of his own motion to send that ship to sea in the condition she was then in, it must inevitably ruin him, and therefore he must beg them to consider what he had said at that meeting to be the effect of compulsion, and unadvised, and in consequence that he was not holden to abide by it, when he was now assured that he must be utterly ruined in case he did. Mr. Rotch was then asked whether he would demand a clearance for his ship in the custom house, and in case of a refusal enter a protest, and then apply in like manner for a pass, and order her out to sea? To all which he answered in the negative. The committee, doubtless informing their constituents of what had passed, a very full meeting of the body was again assembled at the Old South meeting-house, on[335] Tuesday afternoon, and Mr. Rotch being again present, was enquired of as before, and a motion was made and seconded that Mr. Rotch be enjoined forthwith to repair to the collectors and demand a clearance for his ship, and ten gentn were appointed to accompany him, as witnesses of the demand. Mr. Rotch then proceeded with the committee to Mr. Harrison's lodgings, and made the demand. Mr. Harrison observed he could not give an answer 'till he had consulted the comptroller, but would, at office hours next morning, give a decisive answer. On the return of Mr. Rotch and the committee to the body with this report, the meeting was adjourned to Thursday morning, at ten o'clock.


Having met on Thursday morning at ten o'clock, they sent for Mr. Rotch, and asked him if he had been to the collector, and demanded a clearance. He said he had; but the collector said that he could not, consistent with his duty, give him a clearance 'till all the dutiable articles were out of his ship. They then demanded of him whether he had protested against the collector; he said he had not. They ordered him, upon his peril, to give immediate orders to the captain, to get his ship ready for sea to-day, enter a protest immediately against the custom house, and then proceed directly to the Governor, (who was at his seat at Milton, 7 miles off,) and demand a pass for his ship to go by the castle. They then adjourned 'till three o'clock, p.m., to wait Mr. Rotch's return.

Having met according to adjournment, there was the fullest meeting ever known. (It was reckoned that there[336] were 2000 men from the country.) They waited very patiently 'till 5 o'clock.

When they found Mr. Rotch did not return, they began to be very uneasy, called for a dissolution of the meeting, and finally obtained a vote for it. But the more moderate part of the meeting, fearing what would be the consequences, begged that they would reconsider their vote, and wait 'till Mr. Rotch's return, for this reason, that they ought to do everything in their power to send the tea back, according to their resolves.

They obtained a vote to remain together one hour longer. In about three-quarters of an hour Mr. Rotch returned, his answer from the Governor was, that he could not give a pass 'till the ship was cleared by the custom house. The people immediately, as with one voice, called for a dissolution, which having obtained, they repaired to Griffin's wharf, where the tea vessels lay, proceeded to fix tackles and hoist the tea upon deck, cut the chests to pieces, and threw the tea over the side. There were two ships and a brig, Capts. Hall, Bruce and Coffin, each vessel having 114 chests of tea on board. They began upon the two ships first, as they had nothing on board but the tea; then proceeded to the brig, which had hauled to the wharf but the day before, and had but a small part of her cargo out. The captain of the brig begged they would not begin with his vessel, as the tea was covered with goods belonging to different merchants in the town. They told him the tea they wanted, and the tea they would have; but if he would go into his cabin quietly, not one article of his goods should be hurt. They immediately proceeded to remove the goods, and then to dispose of the tea.[337]

Signature, Samuel Phillips Savage

(See page LVII.)[339]

Mr. Pownall[55] presents his compliments to Mr. Wheler, and sends him, by Lord Dartmouth's directions, extract of a letter received yesterday from the Lieutenant-Governor of South Carolina. If the India Company have received any advices, Lord Dartmouth will be obliged to him for a communication thereof.

Whitehall, 29th Jan., 1774.


Dated Charles Town, 24 Decr., 1773, to the Earl of Dartmouth.

On the 2d inst., Capt. Curling arrived here with 257 chests of tea, sent by the East India Company, with the same instructions[340] to agents appointed here as at Boston, New York and Philadelphia. The spirit which had been raised in those towns with great threats of violence to hinder the landing and disposing of the tea there, was communicated to this Province by letters, gazettes, and merchants. Several meetings of the inhabitants of Charles Town were held, to consider of measures to effect the like prohibitions here, but tho' the warmth of some were great, many were cool, and some differed in the reasonableness and utility thereof. The gentlemen who were appointed agents for the East India Comy were prevailed upon by threats and flattery to decline the trust, and in imitation of the northern towns, declarations were made that it should not be landed.

The tea was all this time kept on board the ship, the captain being apprehensive of some violence on his attempting to land it, and there being no persons empowered to take charge of it. When the period of 20 days after his arrival approached, at which time the collector of his Majesty's customs, by his instructions, is required to seize goods liable to pay duty, to secure the payment thereof, tho' the merchants of the town had generally disagreed to this measure of prohibiting the landing the tea, yet some warm, bold spirit, took the dangerous measure of sending anonymous letters to Capt. Curling and some of his friends, and the gentleman who owned the wharf where the ship lay, requiring Curling to carry his ship from the wharf to the middle of the river, threatening great damages on failure.

These letters being communicated to me, I summoned his Majesty's council, that I might do everything in my power to prevent any such dangerous attempts to disturb the public[341] peace, and interrupt the seizure and landing and storing by the collector. I accordingly, by their advice, gave orders to the sheriff to be ready at the call of the collector, (but not to move without,) with all his officers, to support the collector, in landing it, and to seize and to bring to justice any persons who should dare to interrupt him in the execution of his duty. It being known that some measures were taken, tho' the extent thereof was carefully concealed, the collector, on the 22d, seized, landed, and stored the teas in stores under the Exchange, without one person's appearing to oppose him. The tea is to remain in store 'till the collector shall receive further orders relative thereto.

Various were the opinions of men on the subject; some were for drinking no tea that paid duty, and were confident of a supply of such; others were for putting every dutied article on the same footing, as wine, &c.; but others considered wine as a necessary of life. It is my opinion that if the merchants who viewed this measure of importing tea in a commercial rather than in a political light, had shewn their disapprobation of the intended opposition to land it, by action rather than by a refusal to subscribe to a proposed association, and a contempt of the public meetings on this occasion, and the agents of the East India Company had not been so hasty in their declining to accept their trusts, all might have gone on well, according to the plan of the East India Company, and to our benefit in purchasing that article, now become one of the necessaries of life, at a much cheaper rate than at present.[342]


At Charles Town, South Carolina, to his Brother, at London.

Charles Town, 22d Decr., 1773.

Dear Brother:

Capt. Curling arrived here the 2d inst., with 257 chests of tea. There were many meetings of the merchants and planters, but by the result they came to no determination; the gentlemen that the tea was consigned to refuse receiving it. The tea staid on board 20 days. We then gave the captain a permit to land it by sunrise. In the morning I went on board, and called the captain out of his bed, begged he would begin to get the tea out of his vessel. I expected that he would not have been permitted to land it, but we immediately got six chests into the warehouse, and the sailors hard at work hoisting out the rest. We began about 7 o'clock, and had by 12 about half the tea in the warehouse, and the rest before the door. There was not the least disturbance; the gentlemen that came on the wharf behaved with their usual complaisance and good nature to me, and I believe the same to the rest of the officers that were there. I thought it my duty to exert myself on this occasion, which I did with great pleasure, (as I was serving my old masters,) as well as doing my duty as a revenue officer.

I am, &c., &c.,

John Morris.[57]

Corbyn Morris, Esqr.,
  Custom House.



Of the New York Establishment, to the Chairman.

Cox & Mair's Office, 4th Feby.


By the English papers I learn you are fully apprised of the proceedings of the people of Philadelphia and Boston, and the resolves of the New Yorkers. I have, notwithstanding, sent you the latest papers. The ship with the teas bound to Charles Town, is made the property of the customs, having neglected the usual forms of office in that port. This intelligence I had by a ship from Carolina to New York, the 1st Jany., and may be depended on. I left New York the 2d ultimo; the ship bound to that port was not then arrived.

I have the honor to be, sir,

Your very humble servant,

J.J. Ellis,

18th Regt.[344]


Castle William, 7th Decr., 1773.

QUESTIONS PROPOSED BY FRANCIS ROTCH, an Owner, and JAMES HALL, Master of the Ship Dartmouth,

Who has now the Tea on board, consigned to Messrs. Richard Clarke & Sons, Mr. Benjn Faneuil, Messrs. Thos. & Elisha Hutchinson, and Mr. Joshua Winslow, with the Answers of the Consignees, except Mr. Winslow, who was absent. Referred to by the Consignees in their Letter of the 7th Jan., 1774.

Question 1st.

By Capt. Hall and F. Rotch, to the gentlemen, consignees, in writing:

We are now ready to deliver the tea, and beg to know if you, gentlemen, are ready to receive it, and will produce the requisites usual and necessary to the landing or delivering the said tea alongside the ship, either in your own persons or by your agents?


Gentlemen: We understand that there was a large body of people assembled in Boston on the 29th & 30th November, who voted that the tea shipped by the East India Company, and consigned to us, should not be landed; that the duty should not be paid, and that the tea should be returned in the same ship that brought it out. It also appears by the[345] printed proceedings of that assembly, that you consented it should go back in your ship. We also understand that there is continually on board your ship a number of armed men, to prevent it being landed. We therefore judge it out of our power to receive it at present, but when it shall appear to us to be practicable, we will give the necessary orders respecting it.

Question 2d.

As your reply to our first question, gentn., appears to us not to the point, we must and do demand a categorical answer whether you will or will not immediately, either by yourselves or your order, or otherwise, qualify any other person or persons to receive the teas consigned to you now on board our ship, as we are now entirely ready, and will, if in our power, deliver the said teas immediately, if application is made?


Gentlemen: It appears to us that the answer we have made to your first question is a full reply to the second.

Question 3d.

As you, gentlemen, by the tenor of your first and second reply, refuse to give us a direct answer to our questions, whether you will or will not receive the teas mentioned therein, we now demand our bill of lading given by Capt. Hall, in consequence of his receiving those teas on board in London River, and the amount of the freight of the said tea, say ninety-one pounds seven shillings and seven pence lawful money?[346]


Gentlemen: We shall not deliver up Captain Hall's bill of lading, nor pay the freight of the teas until we can receive them.

[Copy.]Francis Rotch.
James Hall.
Thos. & Elisha Hutchinson.
Richard Clarke & Sons.
Benjn Faneuil, Junr.


At Castle William, in New England,

11th Decr., 1773.


Master of the ship Eleanor, burthen about 250 tons, now lying in the harbour of Boston, in New England, with part of her cargo, from London, consisting of one hundred and fourteen chests of tea, consigned to Messrs. Richard Clarke & Sons, Thos. & Elisha Hutchinson, Benjn Faneuil and Joshua Winslow, of said Boston, Merchants.

Question 1st, by Capn Bruce, to the Consignees aforesaid, in behalf of Himself and Owners.

Gentlemen: I am now ready to deliver the tea consigned to you on board my ship, and beg to know if you, gentlemen, are ready and willing to receive it, as I can produce the requisites usual and necessary for landing or delivering the said teas alongside the ship, either by yourselves, your agents or assigns; and as my cargo of lumber is ready for[347] shipping on discharge of the said tea, I demand an immediate and positive answer to my question.


Sir: It appearing by the printed accounts of a number of people assembled, at Boston, on the 29th and 30th Novr., that they voted the teas shipped by the East India Company should not be landed, but that they should be returned to England in the same bottoms in which they came. And it further appearing that John Rowe, Esqr., part owner of the ship of which you are commander, was present at said meeting, and did promise to use his utmost endeavors that the teas brought in your vessel should be sent back, and was also chosen one of a comtee by the said meeting, and as you now tell us that you have received orders from certain persons, called a comtee of safety, not to land any part of said tea, and that a number of armed men have been and still are kept aboard or near your vessel. We reply, that for the reasons mentioned, we think it at present out of our power to receive the teas, but that as soon as it shall appear practicable, we will give the necessary orders for doing it.

2d Question.

As I have no control upon, nor influence with, the people in Boston who may oppose the landing of the teas, I cannot be chargeable with their conduct. My business is with you, gentlemen, and it is to you only I can and do make application for directions how to dispose of the said teas, and you will oblige me and my owners, and I desire you would let me know whether you will or will not receive or dispose of the said tea, either on shore or otherwise?[348]


As we see nothing in your second question essentially different from your first, we must refer you to our answer already given.

3rd Question.

Will you, gentlemen, or either of you, deliver the bills of lading, which I signed for said tea at London, and pay me the freight for bringing it to Boston?


Sir: We will not deliver the bills of lading, nor pay the freight of the teas, until we can receive them.

[Copy.]Jas. Bruce.
Richd Clarke & Sons.
Thos. & Elisha Hutchinson
Witness:Benjn Faneuil, Junr.

Signed, Jno. Munro, Not. Pub.


Capt. James Bruce, of the Eleanor, against the Consignees, for refusing to receive the teas at Boston, in New England, on the 11th day of December, 1773, and in the fourteenth year of His Majesty's reign.

Personally appeared before me, John Monro, Notary Public, by royal authority, duly admitted and sworn. James Bruce, master of the ship Eleanor, burthen about two hundred and fifty tons, then lying at Griffin's wharf, with[349] part of her cargo from London on board, amongst which were eighty whole and thirty-four half chests of tea, consigned to Messrs. Richard Clarke & Sons, Thomas & Elisha Hutchinson, Benjamin Faneuil, and Joshua Winslow, of said Boston, merchants. And the said James Bruce, having requested me, the said Notary Public, to attend him to Castle William, in the harbour of said Boston, we went on the said day, and then and there, the annexed questions and answers were entered. Written questions were put by the said James Bruce, and the respective answers were made in writing (also annexed) by the consignees then present, and in my presence, and in the presence of each other, inter-changeably subscribed and delivered by the said James Bruce and the said Richard Clarke & Sons, Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, and Benjamin Faneuil, and declared by them to be their sentiments and determinations.

Wherefore, the said James Bruce, on behalf of himself, and all others concerned, did, and I, the said Notary Public at his request, and on behalf as aforesaid, do by these presents, solemnly protest against the said consignees, and such of them aforesaid, for all and all manner of damages whatsoever, already suffered, and which may, can or shall be suffered, by their neglecting and refusing to receive, demand and take possession of the tea aforesaid, agreeable to his request, made and written, and annexed to these presents.

Thus done, protested and given under my notarial seal of office, in presence of Robert Garland Cranch and John Dyer.

In testimoniam veritas,

Signed,Signed, Jno. Monro,
  Jas. Bruce, L.S.  Not. Pub., 11th Jany., 1774.



Referred to in their Letter of the 8th of Jany., 1774.

Boston, 6th Jany., 1774.


Annexed you have an account of the freight of 80 whole and 34 half chests of tea, shipped by the Hon'ble East India Company, on our ship Dartmouth, James Hall, master, from London, consigned to you, with the damages we have sustained by the said tea being kept in our ship by your not giving the necessary orders or directions about it, or by your not qualifying yourselves, or otherwise, for receiving the same.

The charge of demurrage of the ship, &c., may possibly at first sight appear extravagant, but when you consider the consequences of a ship regularly established in any trade, (which, in the present case will, I expect, eventually be of near two hundred guineas damage,) by the loss of freight from London in the spring, when you consider this, with the extra loss on a perishable commodity, as hers was of oil, the extra stowage of three-quarters of that cargo, and the difference of advance of the season, I cannot but think you must be reconciled to the propriety of the charges I have made.

I enclose you a copy of Capt. Cooke's and our cooper's requests, to support the charges of demurrage of the sloop Triton, and the wages and expences of those coopers, and[351] beg to know by the bearer (who will wait your answer) whether you will or will not pay the amount of this account, say, £289 19s. 6d. lawful money.

I am, very respectfully,

Your assured friend,

Francis Rotch.

To Richard Clarke & Sons,
  Thos. & Elisha Hutchinson,
  Benjamin Faneuil, Junr., and
  Joshua Winslow.

Owners, Shippers, Consignees, or concerned in 80 whole and 34 half chests of Teas, shipped from London by the Hon'ble East India Company, for Boston, consigned to Richard Clarke & Sons, Thomas & Elisha Hutchinson, Benjn Faneuil, Junr., and Joshua Winslow.

To the Owners of the Dartmouth, James Hall, Dr.



To freight of 80 whole and 34 half chests of tea from London,£91 17 7
To demurrage of the ship from 7 to 20 Decr.,13 days.
Deduct 2 days for gravg the ship, 2 days, 11 at £12,132 0 0
To Capt. James Hall, and his mate's wages, 11 days,3 18 3
To demurrage sloop Triton, from 9 to 20 Decr., 12 days, at 48s.,28 16 0
To the captain's wages, 6 days,12 0
To the mate's and 4 hands' wages and victuals, 12 days each,7 9 8½
To Jas. Smith and 2 journeymen coopers from Dartmouth, their wages and expences from 7th to 20th December, 13 days, at 6s.,11 14 0
To cash paid Samson, S. Blowers,[58] and John Adams, Esqr's advice,7 4 0
To wharfage the ship and sloop, 23 days, at 6s. 8d. per week,1 2 0
To cash paid for Protests, &c., £3 19s. 6d. sterling,5 6 0
£289 19 6½

Boston, 31st December, 1773.

Errors excepted.

In behalf of myself and the owners of the ship.

Francis Rotch.



Mr. Francis Rotch, Pardon Cook, and Wm. Hayden, against Consignees and Tea, at Boston, in New England, on the 10th day of December, in the year of our Lord 1773, and in the fourteenth year of His Majesty's reign.

Personally appeared before me, John Monro, Notary Public by royal authority, duly admitted and sworn, Pardon Cook, master, and Wm. Hayden, mate of the sloop Triton, burthen about seventy-five tons, and Francis Rotch, one of the owners of the said sloop, and they, the said Pardon, Willm. and Francis, being by the people called Quakers, solemnly affirmed, and each of them for himself, doth affirm in manner following, that is to say, the said Pardon and William affirm and say they sailed from Dartmouth, in New England, with the said vessel, on the 28th day of last month, then loaded with spermaceti oil, and bound for said Boston, where they arrived on the 8th inst., and made application to the said Francis to have the said cargo discharged on board the ship Dartmouth, as agreeable to their orders and directions. And the said Francis Rotch affirms that he could not in person, nor by his servants, or any other, unload and reship the said cargo of oil on board the ship aforesaid by reason of her not being cleared of a certain quantity of teas shipped at London, and consigned to Messrs. Richard Clarke & Sons, Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, Benjn Faneuil and Joshua Winslow, of said Boston, merchants, who have all and each of them, except Joshua Winslow, neglected to demand and refused to accept the said teas, by[354] which the said ship is detained in the harbour of said Boston, and unfit to receive the said oil as intended by the said owner, master and mate; wherefore, the said Francis Rotch, and the master aforesaid, did, on behalf of themselves and all others concerned, and I, the said Notary Public, at their request, and on behalf aforesaid, do by these presents solemnly protest against the said consignees, and each of them, and against the said tea, and against all others concerned, for all and all manner of damages already suffered, and to be suffered, on account of the said oils not being shipped as aforesaid, contrary to the intention and strict meaning of the said owner and master, &c.

Thus done, protested, and given under my notarial seal of office, in presence of Robert Garland Cranch and John Dyar.

In testimoniam veritas,

Jno. Monro,

Not. Pub., 11 Jan., 1774.

Francis Rotch.
Pardon Cook.
Wm. Hayden. L.S.


Capt. James Bruce, of the Eleanor, against the Committee at Boston, and others, who Prevented the Landing the Teas.

At Boston, in New England, on the 11th day of Decemr., in the year of Our Lord 1773, and in the 14th year of his Majesty's reign, personally appeared before me, John Monro,[355] Notary Public by royal authority, duly admitted and sworn, James Bruce, master of the ship Eleanor, burthen about 250 tons, and he being sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposed and doth depose and say, that on the 1st day of this instant Decemr., he arrived with the said ship at Boston aforesaid, then loaded with sundry goods or merchandize from London, amongst which were 84 whole and 34 half chests of tea, consigned to Messrs. Richard Clarke & Sons, Thos. and Elisha Hutchinson, Benjamin Faneuil and Joshua Winslow of Boston, merchants, that on the 2d inst., the deponent was ordered to attend at 11 o'clock in the forenoon of the next day, on a committee of the people of the said town, and he having attended accordingly, was then and there commanded by Mr. Samuel Adams and Jonathan Williams, Esqr., in presence of, and assembled with, John Rowe, John Hancock, Wm. Phillips and John Pitts, Esqrs., and a great number of others, in Faneuil Hall, not to land any of the said tea at his peril, but to proceed to Griffin's wharf, in said Boston, and there discharge the rest of his cargo. And that the said deponent was obliged to comply with the said orders, and was and is nightly watched by 25 armed men on board the said ship, appointed, as he supposes and verily believes, to prevent the said teas from being landed.

Wherefore, the said James Bruce, on behalf of himself and all others concerned in the said ship or cargo, did, and I, the said notary public, at his request, and on behalf as aforesaid, do by these presents solemnly protest against the said committee and each of them above mentioned, and against all others voluntarily acting, watching, and proceeding by their directions, and all persons whatsoever opposing and[356] forbidding the landing the tea aforesaid for all, and all manner of damage and damages suffered and to be suffered, by means of the commands, watchings, opposition and prohibition aforesaid. Thus done, protested, and given under my notarial seal, in the presence of Robt. Garland Cranch and John Dyar.

In testimoniam veritas,

Jno. Monro,

Not. Pub., 11 Jan., 1774.

James Bruce.L.S.


Of the Eleanor, against the Destroyers of the Tea.

At Boston, in New England, on the 17th day of December, in the year of our Lord, 1773, and in the 14th year of his Majesty's reign, personally appeared before me, John Monro, Notary Public by royal authority, duly admitted and sworn, James Bruce, master, Jas. Bruce, junr., mate, and John Tinney, boatswain, of the ship Eleanor, burthen about 250 tons, and the said James Bruce, junr., and John Tinney, being sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, severally deposed, and each of them doth depose and say, that on the evening of the 16th inst., they, these deponents, were on board the said ship, then lying at Griffin's wharf, at said Boston, and part of her cargo from London on board, amongst which [357]were 80 whole chests and 34 half chests of tea, consigned to Messrs. Richd. Clarke & Sons, Thos. and Elisha Hutchinson, Benjn Faneuil, and Joshua Winslow, of said Boston, merchants. That about the hours of 6 or 7 o'clock in the same evening, about one thousand unknown people came down the said wharf, and a number of them came on board the said ship, some being dressed like Indians, and they having violently broke open the hatches, hoisted up the said chests of tea upon deck, and then and there stove and threw the said chests with their contents overboard into the water, where the whole was lost and destroyed. Wherefore, the said James Bruce, master of the said ship, on behalf of himself and owners of the said ship, and all others concerned, did, and I, the said notary public, at his request, and on behalf as aforesaid, do by these presents solemnly protest against the said unknown persons or people, and against all others whatsoever and however concerned, for all and all manner of damage or damages already suffered, and which hereafter may, can, or shall be suffered by the violence and proceedings of the said unknown people, and the destruction of the tea as aforesaid.

Thus done, protested, and given under my notarial seal of office, in presence of Robert Garland Cranch and John Dyar.

In testimoniam veritas,


Jno. Monro,
Not. Pub., 11 Jan., 1774.

James Bruce.
James Bruce, Junr.,
John his x mark. Tinney.L.S.


Capt. Hezekiah Coffin,[60] Master Jethro Coffin, mate, and Mr. Wm. Hewkey, mariner, of the brig Beaver, and Mr. Francis Rotch, part owner, James Hall, master, and Alexr. Hodgdon, mate of the Dartmouth, made the like protest, which are among the American papers.


Referred to in their Letter of the 27th Decr., 1773.

New York, Decr 27, 1773.


It is our intention that this letter should meet you below, at the Hook, that you may be apprised of the danger of bringing your ship into this port.

All the tea shipped by the Hon'ble East India Company to Boston has been destroyed on board the vessels that brought it. The ship Polly, Capt. Ayres, arrived lately at Philadelphia with the tea destined for that port, and was compelled to return with it without being suffered to come into the harbour, and there are advices in town that Charles Town has made the same determination with respect to the tea arrived at South Carolina, and you may be assured the inhabitants of this city have adopted the same sentiments, and are fully determined to carry them into execution.[359]

We therefore think it is a duty we owe to the said Company, as we can neither receive the tea or pay the duty, to apprize you of your danger, and to give you our opinion, that for the safety of your cargo, your vessel, and your persons, it will be most prudent for you to return, as soon as you can be supplied with such necessaries as you may have occasion for on the voyage. Certain we are that you would fully concur with us in the propriety of this advice were you as well acquainted with the people's sentiments as we are, which you will learn from the enclosed papers. We shall be glad to hear from you in answer hereto, and to render you any services we can in your critical situation.

We are, your most obdt servts,
Henry White,
Abraham Lott & Co.
Pigou & Booth.

To Capt. Benjn Lockyer, of the ship Nancy.


With their Reply, referred to in their Letter of the 22d. April, 1774.

New York, April 20th, 1774.


Having considered the circumstances mentioned in your letters, which I received on my arrival, I have left the[360] ship and cargo at Sandy Hook, for their safety. Have now waited on you with a tender of the cargo of tea shipped by the Hon'ble East India Company, and consigned to you. I am therefore ready to deliver the said cargo according to the bill of lading.

I am, &c.,

Benjamin Lockyer.

Messrs. White, Lott & Booth.

New York, April 20, 1774.


We have received your letter of this date, tendering to us the cargo of tea shipped on board the Nancy, under your command, by the Hon'ble East India Company, to our address, in reply to which we have only to observe that we some time ago acquainted the Hon'ble Court of Directors how violently opposed the inhabitants in general were to the landing or vending the tea in this Colony, while subject to the American duty, and that any attempts in us, either to effect one or the other would not only be fruitless, but expose so considerable a property to inevitable destruction. Under these circumstances it would be highly imprudent in us to take any steps to receive your cargo, and therefore we cannot take charge of the same, or any part thereof, under our case. We are, sir,

Your most obedt servts,
Henry White.
Abrm Lott & Co.
Pigou & Booth.

Capt. Benjn Lockyer.




On the Measure of the Company's Exporting Tea to that Place.

[Taken from a Philadelphia news paper.]

Monday Decr 27, 1773.

Upon the first advice of this measure a general dissatisfaction was expressed, that at a time when we were struggling with this oppressive Act, and an agreement subsisting not to import tea while subject to the duty, our fellow subjects in England should form a measure so directly tending to enforce the Act, and again embroil us with our parent state. When it was also considered that the proposed mode of disposing of the tea tended to a monopoly, ever odious in a free country, a universal disapprobation shewed itself through the city. A public meeting of the inhabitants was held at the State House, on the 18th October, at which great numbers attended, and the sense of the following resolves (which are entered in page 296, the people of Boston having formed the same resolutions).

In consequence of these resolutions, a committee waited upon the gentlemen in this city who had been appointed consignees of the expected cargo. They represented to them the detestation and abhorrence in which this measure was held by their fellow citizens, the danger and difficulties which must attend the execution of so odious a task, and[362] expressed the united desire of the city that they would renounce the commission, and engage not to intermeddle with the ship or cargo in any shape whatever. Some of the commissioners resigned in a manner that gave general satisfaction, others in such equivocal terms as desired further explanation. However, in a few days the resignation was complete. In this situation things remained for a few days.

In the mean time the general spirit and indignation rose to such a height that it was thought proper to call another general meeting of the principal citizens to consider and resolve upon such further steps as might give weight and secure success to the unanimous opposition now formed. Accordingly a meeting was held for the above purpose, at which a great number of respectable inhabitants attended, and it appeared to be the unanimous opinion that the entry of the ship at the custom house, or the landing any part of her cargo would be attended with great danger and difficulty, and would directly tend to destroy that peace and good order which ought to be preserved. An addition of twelve other gentlemen was then made to the former committee, and the general meeting adjourned 'till the arrival of the tea-ship. Information being given of that, the price of tea was soon advanced, though this was owing to a general scarcity of that article, yet all the possessors of tea, in order to give strength to the opposition, readily agreed to reduce the price and sell what remained in their hands at a reasonable rate.

Nothing now remained but to keep up a proper correspondence and connection with the other Colonies, and to take all prudent and proper precautions on the arrival of the tea-ship.[363]

It is not easy to describe the anxiety and suspense of the city in this interval; sundry reports of her arrival were received, which were premature, but on Saturday evening last an express came up from Chester to inform the town that the tea-ship, commanded by Capt. Ayres, with her detested cargo, was arrived there, having followed another ship up the river so far. The committee met early the next morning, and being apprized of the arrival of Mr. Gilbert Barkley, the other consignee, who came passenger in the ship, they immediately went in a body to request his renunciation of the commission. Mr. Barkley politely attended the committee at the first request, and being made acquainted with the sentiments of the city, and the danger to which the public liberties of America were exposed by this measure, he, after expressing the particular hardship of his situation, also resigned the commission in a manner that affected every one present.

The committee then appointed three of their members to go to Chester, and two others to Gloucester Point, in order to have the earliest opportunity of meeting Capt. Ayres, and representing to him the sense of the public respecting his voyage and cargo. The gentlemen who had set out for Chester receiving intelligence that the vessel had weighed anchor about 12 o'clock, and proceeded to town, returned. About 2 o'clock she appeared in sight of Gloucester Point, where a number of the inhabitants from the town had assembled, with the gentlemen from the committee, and as she passed along she was hailed, and the captain requested not to proceed further, but to come on shore. This the captain complied with, and was handed thro' a lane made by the people to the gentlemen appointed to confer with him.[364] They represented to him the general sentiment, together with the danger and difficulties that would attend his refusal to comply with the wishes of the inhabitants, and finally desired him to proceed with them to town, where he would be more fully informed of the temper and resolution of the people. He was accordingly accompanied to town by a number of persons, where he was soon convinced of the truth and propriety of the representations that had been made to him, and agreed that, upon the desire of the inhabitants being publicly expressed, he would conduct himself accordingly. Some small rudeness being offered to the capt. afterwards in the street by some boys, several gentlemen interposed and suppressed it, before he received the least injury. Upon an hour's notice this morning, a public meeting was called, and the State House not being sufficient to hold the numbers assembled, they adjourned into the square. This meeting is allowed by all to be the most respectable, both in number and rank of those who attended, it that has been known in this city. After a short introduction, the following resolutions were not only agreed to, but the public approbation testified in the warmest manner:

Resolved 1st. That the tea on board the ship Polly, Capt. Ayres, shall not be landed.

2d. That Capt. Ayres shall neither enter nor report his vessel at the Custom House.

3d. That Capt. Ayres shall carry back the tea immediately.

4th. That Capt. Ayres shall immediately send a pilot on board his vessel, with orders to take charge of her, and proceed with her to Reedy Island, next high water.

5th. That he shall be allowed to stay in town 'till to-morrow, to provide necessaries for his voyage.[365]

6th. That he shall then be obliged to leave the town and proceed to his vessel, and make the best of his way out of our river and bay.

7th. That Capt. Heysham, Capt. R. White, Mr. Benjamin Loxley and Mr. A. Donaldson be a committee to see these resolutions carried into execution.

The captain was then asked if he would conform himself to these resolutions. He answered that he would.

The assembly were then informed of the spirit and resolution of New York, Charles Town, South Carolina, and the conduct of the people in Boston, whereupon it was unanimously resolved:

8th. That this assembly highly approve of the conduct and spirit of the people of New York, Charles Town and Boston, and return their hearty thanks to the people at Boston for their resolution in destroying the tea rather than suffer it to be landed.

The whole business was conducted with a decorum and order worthy the importance of the cause. Capt. Ayres being present at this meeting, solemnly and publicly engaged that he would literally comply with the sense of the city, as expressed in the above resolutions.

A proper supply of necessaries and fresh provisions being then procured in about 2 hours, the tea-ship weighed anchor from Gloucester Point, where she lay within sight of the town, and proceeded with her whole cargo on her return to the East India Comy.

The public think the conduct of those gentlemen whose goods are returned on board the tea-ship, ought not to pass unnoticed, as they have upon this occasion generously sacrificed their private interest to the public good.[366]

Thus this important affair, in which there has been so glorious an exertion of public virtue and spirit, has been brought to a public issue, by which the force of law, so obstinately persisted in, to the prejudice of the national commerce, for the sake of the principle on which it is founded, (a right of taxing the Americans without their consent,) has been effectually broken, and the foundation of American liberty more deeply laid than ever.

N.B.—It was computed by two different persons, unknown to each other, that there were 8000 persons assembled, besides many hundreds who were on their way, but did not reach the meeting in time, owing to the shortness of the notice. Capt. Ayres and Mr. Barkley, late one of the consignees, left Arch wharf on board a pilot boat (having been 46 hours in town,) to follow the ship to Reedy Island. They were attended to the wharf by a concourse of people, who wished them a good voyage.



JOHN SPURR (see p. 164).

John Spurr was, after the Revolution, a prominent citizen of Charlton, Mass., and often represented the town in the State Legislature. He married the daughter of Rev. Elijah Dunbar, and left two sons; Elijah Dunbar Spurr, and Samuel Danforth Spurr. The widow of the latter, who is now living, is the mother of the first wife of Senator George F. Hoar.


Melvill's Tea Relic, as seen on page 131.

The publisher, in collecting illustrations for Tea Leaves, found one or more New England Societies claiming possession of some of this tea. Therefore it was necessary to look up the original Melvill stock of Bohea.

We show an illustration of it (full size), copied from a photograph (made by special request,) from a relative living in Illinois (since deceased), from whom we learn it has been handed down to the present generation, and has never been owned out of the family, and is now in possession of Mrs. Thomas Melvill's son, Galena, Illinois, to whom we are indebted for its use on this occasion.




Samuel Adams,21
Annapolis Tea-Ship Burned,85
Biographical Notices of the Tea Party, and List of its Members,92-171
Biographical Sketches;
Ancrum, Wm.208
Appleton, Nathaniel30
Blowers, S.S.352
Brattle, Wm.311
Bruce, Capt.356
Bull, Wm.339
Cheever, Ezekiel46
Church, Dr. Benjamin26
Clarke, R.210
Coffin, Capt.358
Cooper, Sir Grey212
Cooper, William43
Copley, John S.329
Crafts, Thomas25
Curtis, Obadiah49
Danforth, Samuel315
Edes, Benjamin25
Erving, John226
Faneuil, Benj.294
Hall, Capt. James245
Hatch, Nathaniel285
Hewes, Daniel49
Hodgdon, Alex.79
Hutchinson, Thos. & Elisha324
Johonnot, Gabriel27
Kelly, Wm.269
Knox, Thomas, Jr.,49
Lloyd, Henry227
Lott, Abraham226
Lovering, Joseph49
Morris, John342
Pownall, John339
Quincy, Josiah61
Rotch, Francis41
Rowe, John63
Royal, Isaac311
Savage, Samuel Phillips57
Scollay, John37
Tileston, Thomas50
Wallace, Hugh and Alex233
Walpole, Thomas204
Watson, Brook203
Wendell, Oliver43
Wharton, Thomas273
White, Henry306
Williams, Jonathan43
Williams, Thomas230
Winslow, Joshua223
Ballads of the Tea Party,172-176
Boston, Opposition to the Tea Act,19-23, 260-66, 278, 303
Tea-Party,64-82, 89-94, 95-171
Destruction of the Tea,58-94, 336-357
Proceedings of the Town,279-303, 320-36
Proceedings of the Council,309-20
Clarke R. & Sons, Attack on Warehouse of28, 266, 284
Residence mobbed,34
Letter to chairman East India Company,279-91
East India Company,11, 189
Franklin, Benjamin185
Green Dragon Tavern,66
Hutchinson, Thomas20
Lamb, John19
Letters and Documents,189, 370
Letter from Mr. Wm. Palmer, enclosing Extracts of several Letters from Boston, &c., to show the state of the Tea Trade in America, and estimates of the advantages that will attend the Company's carrying on that trade to that place,189
Memorial of Mr. Gilbert Barkley, recommending a Plan for carrying on the Tea Trade to America, and offering himself, and Mr. John Inglis, Merchant, of Philadelphia, as agents,199
Letter from Mr. Brook Watson, to Daniel Wier, Esq., recommending Mr. John Butler, of Nova Scotia, and Messrs. Faneuil and Winslow, of Boston, as agents,202
A Proposal of the Hon. Mr. Walpole's, for sending Tea to Philadelphia,203
Plan of Mr. Palmer, for Exportation of Tea to America,205
Letter from Messrs. Greenwood & Higginson, recommending Messrs. Andrew Lord, and William and George Ancrum, of South Carolina, as Agents, and offering their ship, the "London," Capt. Curling, to carry Tea to that place,208
Letter from Mr. Fred'k Pigou, Jun., Esq., recommending Pigou & Booth, of New York, and James & Drinker, of Philadelphia, as Agents, and offering vessels for those places,208
Letter from Mr. Jonathan Clarke, offering Richard Clarke & Sons, of Boston, as Agents,209
Letter from Grey Cooper, Esq., recommending Mr. Barkley as an Agent,211
Letter from Messrs. Roberts & Co., recommending Messrs. Willing, Morris & Co., of Philadelphia, as Agents,212
Letter from Mr. Benjamin Harrison, offering himself as an Agent for Virginia,213
Letter from Mr. George Browne, recommending Mr. Jonathan Brown, of Philadelphia, as an Agent,214
Letter from Mr. Wm. Palmer, offering to advance the amount of 200 chests of Tea, on terms therein mentioned,215
Letter to several American Merchants to meet the Committee,215
Letter from Mr. Gilbert Barkley, offering some further thoughts upon the Exportation,216
Letter from Samuel Wharton, Esq., offering an Apology for not attending the Committee,217
Some Thoughts upon the Company's sending out Teas to America,218
Letter from Messrs. Watson & Rashleigh, reciting terms on which the Tea Agency may be conducted, and offering Security for their recommendation,222
Letter from Mr. Jonathan Clarke, on the same,224
Letter from Mr. Kelly, on the same, and recommending several persons of the different Colonies, as Agents,225
Letter from Mr. Harrison, that Mr. Kelly will give his Proposals,227
Letter from Mr. John Blackburn, with an offer of Terms,228
Letter to Samuel Wharton, Esq., to meet the Committee,229
Request of Mr. Walter Mansell, for the Agency to South Carolina,229
Letter from Messrs. Roberts & Co., offering Terms and Security for Willing, Morris & Co.,231
Letter from Messrs. Pigou & Booth, offering Terms and Security for Messrs. James & Drinker,231
Letter from Mr. John Nutt, recommending Mr. Roger Smith, of South Carolina, as an Agent,233
Letter from Messrs. Bourdieu & Chollet, recommending several persons as Agents,233
Letter from Messrs. Gale, Fearon & Co., recommending Mr. Daniel Stephenson, of Maryland, as an Agent,234
Letter from Messrs. Davidson & Newman, declining any propositions on the present state of the Tea affair,235
Letter to several American Merchants to meet the Committee,235
Letter from Mr. Palmer, upon the Rate of Exchange from Boston,236
Letter from Messrs. Bourdieu & Chollet, declining to offer any further proposals,236
Letter to sundry American Merchants to meet the Committee,237
Letter to sundry American Merchants, advising the quantities of Tea ordered to be shipped for the several Colonies, and requesting the firm of the houses they have recommended,238
Letter from Messrs. Watson & Rashleigh, advising the firm of their recommendation,238
Securities offered for Mr. Barkley and Mr. Mansell,239
Letter from Mr. Pigou, with the firm of his recommendation,239
Letters from Mr. Wharton, Mr. Browne, and Mr. Kelly,240
Mr. Palmer's Opinion in what mode to ship Tea to America,241
Letter from Mr. Clarke, with the firm of his house, and offering the "William" for freight,243
Letters to Geo. Hayley, Esq., Thos. Lane, Esq., and Alexander Champion, Esq., to know if they have any constant traders to Boston or South Carolina, ready to sail,244
Letter to Mr. Palmer, to point out what sorts of Tea are proper to be sent to Boston and South Carolina,244
Mr. Palmer's Assortment of Teas for America,245
Weight of Tea Exported to America,245
Letters from several Persons concerning Vessels for Carrying the Tea to America,245
Petition to the Lords of the Treasury, for Licence to Export Teas to America,246
Licence from the Lords of the Treasury to Export Teas to America,247
Letters from Sundry Gentlemen relating to Vessels to carry Tea to America,251
Letter from Mr. Settle to Mr. Blackburn and Mr. Kelly, to come and Execute the Bond,255
Letters from Mr. Blackburn and Mr. Kelly, in reply,255
Sundry Freight Bills, for Tea Shipped,256
So far concerns the outset of the Tea.
Note from Lord Dartmouth to the Chairman, to attend at Whitehall, on the subject of some Advices from America, respecting the Teas,258
Letters to American Merchants to communicate what Advices they may have received,258
Letters from American Merchants, in reply,259
Letter from Mr. Jonathan Clarke to Mr. Wheler, advising his arrival at Boston,260
Letter to Abram Dupuis, to communicate advice, referred in Mr. Clarke's Letter,279
Messrs. Clarke & Son's Letter to Mr. Dupuis,279
Mr. Faneuil's Letter to Mr. Watson, mentioned in Messrs. Clarke's,292
Proceedings of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, on the 5th and 6th November, referred to in Messrs. Clarke's and Faneuil's Letters,295
Note from the Secretary to Mr. Brook Watson, advising the Tea is ordered to Halifax, and desiring the names of the Consignees,304
Security offered for Messrs. Butler & Cochran, consignees at Halifax,305
The Agents at New York's Petition to the Governor, referred to in their letter 1st December,305
Petition of the Agents at Boston, and the Proceedings of the Governor and Council thereon,309
Proceedings of the Town of Boston on the 29th and 30th November,320
Letter signed "Anglo Americanus," addressed to Geo. Dudley, Esq., enclosing newspapers,331
Letter signed "Anglo Americanus," addressed to Geo. Dudley, Esq., advising the Tea's being destroyed,332
Note from Mr. Pownall, to communicate Advices, and enclosing Letter from Lieut.-Gov. Bull, of Charles Town; also, Lieut.-Gov. Bull's Letter,339
Letter from Mr. Jo. Morris, to Corbyn Morris, Esq., advising of the Tea's being seized at South Carolina,342
Letter from Capt. Ellis, advising of the Tea's being seized at South Carolina,343
Questions proposed to the Boston Consignees, respecting landing the Teas,344
Protest of Capt. Bruce against said Consignees, for refusing to receive the Teas,346
Letter from Mr. Rotch, to said Consignees, with an account of Charges and a Protest,350
Protests of the several Captains against the Destroyers of the Tea,353
Letters from the Agents at New York, &c., to Capt. Lockyer, and one from him to them,359
Proceedings of the Inhabitants of Philadelphia, on the measure of Exporting Tea to that place,361
Liberty Tree,24
Long Room (Whig) Club,66
New York. Opposition to the Tea Act,16-19, 269-271
Arrival of Tea,84-5
Petition of the Consignees to the Governor,305
Letter from the Agents to Capt. Lockyer,358-60
North-End Caucus,23, 67
Philadelphia lends Opposition to Tea Act,17
Tea sent back,84
Proposed Tea Depot in America,203
Opposition to the Tea Act,272-277
Resolves and Proceedings of October 18,361-65
St. Andrew's Masonic Lodge of Boston,66
Sons of Liberty,18, 24, 26
South Carolina, Proceedings at84-65, 339-43
Spurr, John,164
Tea Act,12
Introduced into New England,14
Consignees,23, 36, 51-53
Guard on Boston tea-ship,45-50
State of Tea Trade in America,191-98
Shipments to America,256-7
Warren, Gen. Joseph,178


Tea Leaves, on cover,
Destruction of the Tea in Boston Harbor,Frontispiece.
Diagram Showing the Route from the Old South Church to Griffin's Wharf,75
Melvill's Tea Relic,131
Edward Proctor's Proclamation,148
Lord North Forcing the Tea down the Throat of America,155
Location of Tea Wharf,173
Plan of Boston, 1775, and the Burning of Charlestown,264


Adams, Samuel299
Bradlee, Nathaniel97
Franklin, Benjamin185
Gage, Gov. Thomas313
Hancock, John288
Hutchinson, Gov. Thomas308
Hewes, George Robert Twelves117
Kennison, David122
Lovering, Thomas182
Melvill, Thomas133
Melvill, Thomas, Hat on180
North, Lord249
Pitts, Lendall142
Purkitt, Henry151
Revere, Paul157
Rotch, Francis40
Rowe, John62
Savage, Samuel Phillips338
Sprague, Samuel164
Warren, Joseph48



Adams, Samuel299
Bradlee, Nathaniel97
Bradlee, David97
Bass, Henry96
Church, Benjamin26
Cheever, Ezekiel46
Chase, Thomas102
Clarke, Benjamin103
Crane, John108
Franklin, Benjamin185
Faneuil, Benjamin, Jr.,294
Frothingham, Nathaniel111
Green, Nathaniel114
Grant, Moses113
Gore, Samuel113
Hodgdon, Alexander79
Hancock, John288
Hutchinson, Thomas308
Inches, Henderson27
Kennison, David122
Lovering, Joseph182
Lincoln, Amos125
Lee, Joseph124
Molineux, William137
Melvill, Thomas135
Newell, Eliphelet138
Purkitt, Henry150
Prentice, Henry146
Pitts, Lendall145
Peck, Samuel140
Palmer, Joseph P.139
Proctor, Edward149
Russell, John159
Revere, Paul154
Rowe, John63
Rotch, Francis41
Swan, James168
Sprague, Samuel164
Sloper, Samuel162
Shed, Joseph161
Sessions, Robert160
Savage, Samuel Phillips57
Urann, Thomas169
Winslow, Joshua223
Williams, Jonathan43
Warren, Joseph30
Wyeth, Joshua171

Plan of the Town of Boston with the Attack on Bunkers-Hill in the Peninsula of Charlestown, the 17th of June 1776. Plan of the Town of Boston with the Attack on Bunkers-Hill in the Peninsula of Charlestown, the 17th of June 1776.


[1] Dr. Holmes, the annalist, says, that tea began to be used in New England in 1720. Small quantities, must, however, have been made many years before, as small copper tea-kettles were in use in Plymouth, in 1702. The first cast-iron tea-kettles were made in Plympton, (now Carver,) Mass., between 1760 and 1765. When ladies went to visiting parties, each one carried her tea-cup, saucer, and spoon. The cups were of the best china, very small, containing about as much as a common wine-glass.

[2] Hist. of Mass., iii. 422.

[3] This body, which originally consisted of sixty-one members, with Dr. Thomas Young for its president, was organized by Dr. Joseph Warren, who, with one other person, drew up its regulations. Its usual place of meeting was at William Campbell's house, near the North Battery, though its sessions were sometimes held at the Green Dragon tavern. Here the committees of public service were formed, and measures of defence, and resolves for the destruction of the tea, discussed. It was here, when the best mode of expelling the regulars from Boston was under consideration, that John Hancock exclaimed, "Burn Boston, and make John Hancock a beggar, if the public good requires it."

[4] Thomas Crafts was, in 1789, a painter and japanner, opposite the site of the great tree (corner of Boylston and Washington Streets). He became a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew in 1762.

[5] Benjamin Edes, journalist, born in Charlestown, Mass., Oct. 14, 1732; died in Boston, December 11, 1803. In 1755, he began, with John Gill, the publication of the "Boston Gazette and Country Journal," a newspaper of deserved popularity, unsurpassed in its patriotic zeal for liberty,—the chosen mouth-piece of the Whigs. To its columns, Otis, the Adamses, Quincy and Warren, were constant contributors. Their printing-office, on the corner of Queen (now Court) Street and Dassett's Alley (now Franklin Avenue), was the place of meeting of a party of the "Mohawks," on the afternoon of December 16, 1773. During the siege of Boston, the "Gazette" was issued at Watertown. It was discontinued September 17, 1798. At the opening of the war, Mr. Edes possessed a handsome property, which was wholly lost by the depreciation of the currency. Edes was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1760, and a prominent "Son of Liberty."

[6] Dr. Benjamin Church, physician, orator and poet, grandson of the famous Indian fighter of the name; born in Newport, R.I., August 24, 1734; was lost at sea in May, 1776. He graduated at Harvard College in 1754; studied medicine in London, and after his return to Boston, became eminent as a surgeon. For several years previous to the Revolution, he was a conspicuous and leading Whig. He was a representative, a member of the Provincial Congress of 1774, and physician-general to the patriot army. Pecuniary embarrassment is supposed to have led to his defection from the cause of his country. In September, 1775, an intercepted letter of his, in characters, to Major Cain, in Boston, was deciphered; and October 3, 1775, he was convicted by a court martial, of which Washington was president, of "holding a criminal correspondence with the enemy." Confined in jail at Norwich, Conn., he was released in May, 1776, on account of failing health; sailed for the West Indies, and was never afterwards heard from.

[7] Gabriel Johonnot, born in Boston, 1748; died in Hamden, Me., October 9, 1820. Zacharie, his father, a Huguenot, was a distiller and merchant. His dwelling-house and store was on Orange Street, and his distillery on Harvard Street, directly opposite. At the bottom of the street was his wharf, wooden distillery, storehouses, etc. The mansion house and store were burned in the great fire, 20th April, 1787. Gabriel was a member of St. John's Lodge, Boston, 1780, and a charter member of Hancock Lodge, Castine, Me., 1794. He was chairman of a committee appointed by the company of Cadets, of Boston, August 15, 1774, to proceed to Salem, and return to Governor Gage, the standard presented to them; and was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 14th Regiment of the Massachusetts line, known as the Marblehead regiment, commanded by Colonel Glover. He removed to Castine, Me., soon after the Revolutionary war; took a prominent part in town affairs, and at one time represented the town of Penobscot in the Massachusetts Legislature.

[8] Nathaniel Appleton, Commissioner of Loans for the State of Massachusetts, a resident of Atkinson (now Congress) Street, son of Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Appleton, of Cambridge; died in June, 1789, aged 66.

[9] The Scollays were an old Scotch family. A John Scollay, the first mention of whom is found here, in 1692 leased the Winnisimmet ferry for one year. John, whose name is conspicuous in the early Revolutionary records of Boston, was a merchant, and was chairman of the Board of Selectmen, from 1774 to 1790. His portrait, by Copley, represents a portly, florid man, with a powdered wig, seated, his hand resting on a ledger. Thomas Melvill married one of Scollay's daughters. Col. William Scollay, apothecary and druggist, son of John, resided at first on or near the spot where the Museum stands, and his garden extended back to Court Square. He was associated with Charles Bulfinch and others, in the improvement of Franklin Place, now Franklin Street, where they erected the first block of buildings in Boston. Col. William was commander of the Independent Company of Cadets.

[10] Francis Rotch, a Quaker merchant, part owner of the "Dartmouth" and the "Beaver," was born in Nantucket, Mass., 30th September, 1750, and died in New Bedford, in May, 1822. Joseph, his father, the founder of a family of eminent merchants, was born in Salisbury, England, in 1704, and died in New Bedford, 24th November, 1784. In early life he settled in Nantucket, and rose from poverty to affluence by his industry, energy and enterprise, gaining, at the same time, universal esteem for his integrity. These characteristics he transmitted to his sons, William, Joseph and Francis,—especially to William, whose commercial transactions were of the most extensive character. All were largely concerned in the whale fisheries of Nantucket, of which they may almost be said to have been the founders. Francis was in England for a short time in 1773, but had returned home before his tea ships arrived. This affair was a very troublesome one for a young man of twenty-three to manage, as there was a tremendous pressure brought to bear upon him by Samuel Adams, and other influential patriots, to return the teas to England. He yielded temporarily to this pressure, promising the meeting of November 30th, that the tea should go back; but, probably after consultation with his counsel, Sampson Salter Blowers and John Adams, decided to withdraw his promise. Rotch pleaded that a compliance would ruin him, and as he could not obtain a pass for his ships, they would either have been sunk by the British batteries, or captured and confiscated under the revenue laws. He succeeded eventually in escaping loss in the affair, as the East India Company paid him the freight due on the cargoes of teas. His ship, the "Bedford," is said to have been the first to display the American flag on the Thames, after the war. The family settled in New Bedford, in 1768. He married his cousin, Nancy Rotch, who, at the time of her death, 24th April, 1867, was nine-two years of age. The accompanying portrait is copied from a silhouette, by Miers, profile painter, 111 Strand, London, apparently about 1795. It is very delicately painted, on a hard plaster surface. The features are well marked, and the lace ruffle at the bosom, and the queue, are exceedingly well done. It is now in the possession of Mr. George H. Allan, who received it from his uncle, A.A. Rotch.

[11] Jonathan Williams, a distinguished merchant and patriot, captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, in 1751; died March 27, 1788. Jonathan, his father, was a member of the Artillery Company in 1711.

[12] Judge Oliver Wendell, son of Hon. Jacob Wendell, was born in Boston 5th March, 1733; died, 15th January, 1818. Harvard College, 1753. His daughter, Sarah, married Rev. Abiel Holmes, the father of the poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes.

[13] William Cooper, son of Rev. William, and brother of Rev. Samuel, of the Brattle Street Church, and forty-nine years town clerk of Boston; died November 28, 1809; aged 89. The brothers were both active patriots of the Revolution.

[14] Ezekiel Cheever, the great grandson of the famous schoolmaster of that name, in the early days of New England, was born in Charlestown, Mass., in May, 1720. He was by trade a sugar-baker (confectioner), and from 1752 to 1755 was a selectman of Charlestown. Removing to Boston he joined the Sons of Liberty, and was active in the ante-revolutionary movements of the town, and prominent in its public meetings. He was appointed commissary of artillery in the army before Boston, May 17, 1775. He died a few years after the conclusion of the war. His brother, David, also a prominent Son of Liberty, was appointed moderator of the Old South meeting of December 14, but declined. Ezekiel was a member of the Committee that waited on the consignees and requested their resignation.

[15] Probably the following handbill is referred to:

"Brethren and Fellow Citizens!

You may depend that those odious miscreants and detestable tools to ministry and government, the Tea Consignees, (those traitors to their country—butchers—who have done and are doing everything to murder and destroy all that shall stand in the way of their private interest,) are determined to come (from the castle) and reside again in the town of Boston! I therefore give you this early notice that you may hold yourselves in readiness on the shortest warning, to give them such a reception as such vile ingrates deserve.

(Signed), Joyce, Junior,

Chairman of the Committee for Tarring and Feathering.

☞ If any person shall be so hardy as to tear this down, he may expect my severest resentment.

J., Jun."

[16] A merchant and a former selectman of Boston, member of the Provincial Congress, President of the Massachusetts Board of War during the Revolution, and from Nov. 2, 1775, till his death, a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Middlesex County. He died at Weston in December, 1797; aged 79.

[17] Quincy visited England in 1774, and died on the passage home, in sight of his native land, April 26, 1775. He was a lawyer, and in conjunction with John Adams, defended the perpetrators of the "Boston Massacre."

[18] Lord Mahon, a candid British historian, thinks this concession unwisely denied.

[19] John Rowe, a prominent merchant and patriotic citizen of Boston, died February 17, 1787; aged 72 years. He was many years a Selectman, Overseer of the Poor, and representative to the General Court, and was chairman of the committee chosen June 16, 1779, to fix the prices of merchandise, and to bring to punishment all offenders against the act against monopoly and forestalling. He was a member of the First Lodge of Freemasons, Boston, in 1740; master of the same Lodge in 1749, and fifth Provincial Grand Master in 1768. When, in 1766, Rowe was proposed for representative, Samuel Adams artfully suggested another, by asking—with his eyes on Mr. Hancock's house—"Is there not another John that may do better?" The hint took, and the wealth and influence of Hancock were secured on the side of liberty. Rowe's mansion,—subsequently that of Judge Prescott, father of the historian,—stood on the spot lately occupied by Dr. Robbins' church, in Bedford Street. A wharf and street once bore the name of this true friend of his country, but the wharf alone retains the title. Since 1856, Rowe Street has been absorbed in Chauncy Street.

[20] This punch bowl is now in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

[21] Alexander Hodgdon, mate of the "Dartmouth," was subsequently (1787-92) Treasurer of the State of Massachusetts. Stevens was at that time courting his sister (they were afterwards married), and was naturally desirous not to compromise himself or his friend.

[22] The proclamation of the "King of the Mohawks," which accompanies this notice, appears to be in Proctor's handwriting. The original is in the possession of Mr. Jeremiah Colburn, of Boston.

[23] See ante pp. xlix., cvi.

[24] The East India Company was a famous joint stock trading corporation, formed in England early in the seventeenth century, to carry on commerce with the East Indies. They established stations in various places, and in 1702, were newly chartered as "The United Company of Merchants Trading to the East Indies." The executive power of the Company was vested in a court of twenty-four directors, each of whom must own £2000 of stock, and held office four years. This Company became a great territorial power, and laid the foundation of the British Empire in India. Its monopoly of the China trade was abolished in 1833, and the Company was then deprived of its original character as a commercial association. The Sepoy Mutiny, in 1857, combined with other causes, induced Parliament to transfer the dominion of India to the Crown. This change was effected in 1858, after strenuous opposition from the Company. Trading companies to the East Indies were also chartered by Holland, France, Denmark, and Sweden; that of Holland being the oldest.

[25] In this sample invoice the amount seems extraordinary. The editor of this volume, however, considers his duty ended when he gives a faithful transcript of the manuscript in his possession, allowing the facts alone to appear.

[26] Sir Brook Watson, a merchant of London, and Lord Mayor in 1796, born in Plymouth, England, February 7, 1735, died October 2, 1807. Early in life he entered the sea service, but, while bathing in the harbor of Havana, in 1749, a shark bit off his right leg, below the knee, and he was obliged to abandon his chosen profession. A painting, by Copley, represents this scene. Watson then became a merchant, and was a commissary to the British troops in Canada, in 1755 and in 1758. Visiting the American colonies just before the Revolution, he professed himself a Whig, but intercepted letters showed his true character to be that of a spy. In 1782, he was commissary-general to his friend, Sir Guy Carleton, in America; held the same office with the Duke of York, in 1793-95, and that of Commissary-General of England, in 1798-1806. He was a member of Parliament from London, in 1784-93; sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1785, and was made a baronet December 5, 1803. As a reward for his services in America, Parliament voted his wife an annuity of £500 for life.

[27] Hon. Thomas Walpole, merchant, banker, and member of Parliament, second son of Horatio, first Lord Walpole, and nephew of the famous statesman, Sir Robert Walpole, died at Chiswick, March 21, 1803. He was born October 25, 1727.

[28] William Ancrum, was a loyalist, of Charleston, S.C., He was banished in 1782, and his property was confiscated.

[29] Richard, son of Francis Clarke, merchant, graduated at Harvard College, in 1729, and died in London, at the residence of his son-in-law, John Singleton Copley, the artist, February 27, 1795. He, with his sons, Richard and Jonathan, constituting the firm of Richard Clarke & Sons, did business in King (now State) Street, and became exceedingly obnoxious to the people, on their refusal to resign their appointment as factors of the East India Company's tea. The residence of the Clarke's, on School Street, (corner of Chapman Place,) was mobbed on the evening of November 17, 1773, but no serious damage was done. (This incident is fully detailed on a previous page.) Jonathan Clarke was in London in the summer of 1773, and received verbal instructions respecting the consignment of tea from the directors of the East India Company. Richard Clarke arrived in London December 24, 1775, after a passage of twenty-one days from Boston. The Clarkes were included in the Act of Proscription, and their estates were confiscated. Richard Clarke was a nephew of Governor Hutchinson. His wife, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Edward Winslow, of Boston. Susan, his daughter, married Copley, the painter, and became the mother of Lord Lyndhurst. Another daughter, Mary, married Judge Samuel Barrett. Copley's portrait of Richard Clarke represents him as a man of commanding presence, with features resembling, in a remarkable degree, those of Washington, in the Stuart portrait.

[30] Grey, afterwards Sir Grey Cooper, studied law at the Temple, London; became an efficient supporter of the Rockingham party, and held the office of Secretary of the Treasury throughout the American troubles, covering the administrations of Chatham, Grafton, and North. He was made a Lord of the Treasury in 1783, a Privy Councillor in 1793, and died at Worlington, Suffolk, July 30, 1801; aged seventy-five. He was an able speaker and parliamentarian.

[31] Joshua Winslow, son of Joshua and Elizabeth Savage Winslow, born in Boston, in 1737, died there in March, 1775, after an illness of only three days. Joshua, his father, (1694-1769,) third in descent from Governor Edward, of Plymouth, was the son of Colonel Edward Winslow, sheriff of Suffolk County. In 1720, he founded a mercantile house in Boston, in which his brother Isaac (the Tory) was a partner, from 1736 to 1757, and in 1760 admitted his son, Joshua, to a share of the business, he himself retiring with an ample fortune, in 1767. This firm carried on an extensive and profitable trade. With the proceeds of consignments from Bristol, England, vessels were built in Boston, and loaded with fish for Leghorn, or some other foreign port, return cargoes being taken for Bristol. They also became considerable shipowners, and had one ship constantly in the London trade. Their place of business was on the corner of King and Broad Streets. Joshua Winslow, who was one of the consignees of the tea, seems to have been present when they were called upon by the Sons of Liberty, at Clarke's warehouse, but does not afterwards appear, except by proxy. He must have absented himself from Boston soon after that occurrence, as he did not go with the other consignees to the castle. He married Hannah, daughter of Commodore Joshua Loring, and left her a widow, with one son and four daughters.

[32] Abraham Lott, of New York, was treasurer of that colony, and died in New York, 1794; aged sixty-eight. In September, 1776, he was ordered by the Whig Convention to settle his accounts as treasurer, and pay over the balance to his successor. In August, 1781, some Whigs went in a whale boat to his residence, robbed him of six hundred pounds, and carried off two slaves. In 1786, the Legislature of New York passed an Act, "more effectually to compel Abraham Lott to account for money received while he was treasurer of the colony, and for which he has not accounted."

[33] Colonel John Erving, Jr., a flour merchant, on Kilby Street, Boston, and a graduate of Harvard College, (1747,) was in 1778, proscribed and banished, and in 1779 his property was confiscated under the Conspiracy Act. His mansion, on the west corner of Milk and Federal Streets, was afterwards the residence of Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Prior to the Revolution Irving was colonel of the Boston regiment. In 1760, he signed the Boston memorial against the acts of the revenue officials, and was thus one of the fifty-eight merchants who were the first men in America to array themselves against the officers of the Crown. But, in 1774, he was an addressor of Hutchinson, and was appointed a mandamus councillor. In 1776, he fled to Halifax, afterwards went to England, and died at Bath, in 1816; aged eighty-nine years. His wife, Maria Catherina, youngest daughter of Governor Shirley, died a few months before him. George Erving, his brother, also a loyalist, died in London, in 1806; aged seventy.

[34] Henry Lloyd, a merchant of Boston, agent of the contractors for supplying the royal army, was an addressor of Gage, in 1775. In 1776, he went to Halifax, and was proscribed and banished in 1778. He died in London, late in 1795, or early in 1796; aged eighty-six. His place of business was at No. 5 Long Wharf.

[35] Mansell was a South Carolina loyalist, whose estate was confiscated, in 1782.

[36] The firm of Willing, Morris & Co., established in 1754, was the most extensive importing house in Philadelphia. They worked actively and zealously for the non-importation articles of agreement, after the Stamp Act and the Tea Act were inflicted on this country. Robert Morris (1733-1806,) was the well-known financier of the Revolution. Thomas Willing, (1741-1821,) from 1754 to 1807, held successively the offices of Secretary to the Congress of Delegates, at Albany; mayor of the city of Philadelphia; Representative in the General Assembly; President of the Provincial Congress; delegate to the Congress of the Confederation; President of the first chartered Bank in America, and President of the first bank of the United States. He was a man whose integrity and patriotism gained him the esteem and praise of his countrymen. From the beginning of the Revolutionary war, Willing & Morris were the agents of Congress for supplying their naval and military stores. To the great credit and well-known patriotism of this house, the country owed its extrication from those trying pecuniary embarrassments, so familiar to the readers of our Revolutionary history.

[37] Hugh and Alexander Wallace, brothers, were merchants, of New York, and partners in business. Hugh was a member of the Council, and second President of the Chamber of Commerce. He was arrested as a loyalist, and confined to the limits of Middletown, Conn., and his estate was confiscated. At the peace he went to England, and died at Waterford, Ireland, in 1788.

Alexander, his brother, also a loyalist, whose property was confiscated, had originally been a member of the committee of correspondence, and undoubtedly sympathized with the Whigs, but like many others, ultimately fell off from the great body of his countrymen, and clung to the royal cause. In August, 1776, he was arrested and confined at Fishkill. At the peace he went to England, with his brother, and died at Waterford, Ireland, in the year 1800.

[38] James Hall, captain of the "Dartmouth," the first tea-ship to arrive in America, was a Boston loyalist, and was consequently proscribed and banished in 1778.

[39] These two letters following each other so closely, plainly manifest the anxiety of the Company, in reference to their shipments of tea to Boston.

[40] William Kelly is, I suppose, the person referred to in the following paragraph in Leake's "Life of John Lamb," pp. 75, 76. "A certain Mr. Kelly, former resident of the city, (New York,) then in London, and canvassing some one of the Ministerial Boroughs for an election to Parliament, ridiculed the apprehensions of those who refused to insure the cargoes of tea from destruction, and declared that if animosities should rise as high as during the time of the Stamp Act, the tea might safely be shipped and securely landed. That then the Colony had an old man to deal with (Colden); but now they would have to contend with a vigorous military governor, (Tryon,) one who had shown his energy in putting down insurrectionary movements in North Carolina. The Committee of Vigilance took note of these offensive declarations, and on November 5, called a meeting at the Coffee House. The people assembled, denounced Kelly, and burnt his effigy, and after the representative was consumed, a gentleman observed that it was matter of regret that the principal could not be dealt with in the same summary and exemplary manner."

[41] Thomas Wharton was a wealthy and influential merchant of Philadelphia, and of the sect called Quakers. In the enterprise of Galloway and Goddard to establish the "Chronicle," a leading newspaper, he was their partner, and the parties supposed that Franklin, who was a correspondent of Wharton's, on his return from England, would join them. In 1777, he was apprehended, and sent prisoner to Virginia, and at a later period was proscribed as an enemy to his country, and lost his estate, under the Confiscation Acts of Pennsylvania. His son, Thomas Wharton, Jr., was a distinguished Whig, and President of Pennsylvania. In the early part of the Revolution, and indeed until the time when blood was shed, father and son acted together, and were members of the same deliberative assemblies and committees.

[42] A portion of this article, which fairly represents the views of the consignees on the vexed tea question, is as follows:

"The objectors say the tea duty will be a means of supporting the Parliament of Great Britain in raising money from us. How it can affect this matter I am utterly at a loss to comprehend. Have not large quantities of tea for some years past been imported into this Province from England, both on account of the dealers in tea there and the merchants here, all which have paid the American duty? How in the name of common sense does it differ, unless it be in favor of America, for a New England merchant to have his tea shipped from Great Britain, on his own account, or receive it on commission from the grocers there, and on its arrival, paying the customary duty, than if it had been shipped by the East India Company, who were the original importers? What consistency is there in making a clamour about this small branch of the revenue, whilst we silently pass over the articles of sugar, molasses and rum, from which more than three-fourths of the American revenue has and always will arise, and when the Act of Parliament imposing duties on these articles stands on the same footing as that respecting tea, and the moneys collected from them are applied to the same purposes? Many of us complain of the Tea Act, not only as it affects our liberties, but as it affects our purses, by draining us annually of a large sum of money. But if it be considered that by this step the East India Company have taken of sending their tea to market themselves at their own cost, and the saving that is thereby made to the merchants here of commissions, freight and charges of importing it, which will be equal to the whole annual tax that has yet been paid, it must silence that complaint." "Z."

[43] Nathaniel Hatch, of Dorchester, graduated at Harvard University, in 1742, and subsequently held the office of Clerk of the Courts. He accompanied the British troops to Halifax, in 1776; was proscribed and banished in 1778, and in 1779 was included in the Conspiracy Act, by which his estate was confiscated. He died in 1780.

[44] The proposition to burn the tea is referred to by Wyeth. See ante p. lxxi.

[45] This letter, with all its extravagance and exaggeration, undoubtedly expresses the popular feeling, the public sentiment of the time. It is easy to see from its style, as well as from the sentiments it contains, that it could have emanated from none of the popular leaders. These, however strongly they felt in relation to ministerial aggression, were, though direct and forcible in their utterances, invariably discreet and temperate in their tone and language.

[46] Benjamin Faneuil, Jr., was the son of Benjamin, a merchant of Boston, (born, 1701; died, 1785. †) and a nephew of Peter Faneuil, to whom Boston is indebted for her "Cradle of Liberty." His place of business was in Butler's Row, and he resided in the Faneuil mansion, on Tremont Street. Before the building of Quincy Market and South Market Street, Butler's Row entered Merchants Row, between Chatham and State Streets. With the other tea consignees, Faneuil fled to the Castle, in Boston harbor, November 30, 1773, and being a loyalist, went to Halifax, when Boston was evacuated, in March, 1776. In the following spring he was in London, and subsequently resided in Bristol, Eng., where he died. His wife was Jane, daughter of Addington Davenport. While in London, in lodgings in the Strand, almost opposite Somerset House, he wrote as follows to a friend: "As soon as the Xmas holidays were over, the tea consignees presented a petition to the Lords of the Treasury, praying a support until the affairs in America were settled. We are told we shall be allowed £150 a year. This is a fine affair, and we can by no means live upon it, but there are such a confounded parcel of us to be provided for, that I am told no more will be allowed....

When we shall be able to return to Boston I cannot say, but hope and believe it will not exceed one year, for sooner or later America will be conquered, that you may depend on."

[47] Henry White was an eminent and wealthy merchant of New York, a member of the Council, and an original member and finally president, of the New York Chamber of Commerce. He acted for a time as commissary, while the royal army occupied that city, and being a pronounced loyalist, his estate was confiscated. After the peace he went to England, and died in London, December 23, 1786. Eve, his widow, died in New York, in 1836, at the great age of ninety-eight. Of his sons, John Chambers White, became a vice-admiral in the British navy, and Frederick Van Cortland, became a general in the army.

[48] See p. xxxv., ante.

[49] Isaac Royal, of Medford, died in England, in October, 1781. He was a representative from Medford to the General Court, and for twenty-two years a member of the Council. In 1774, he was appointed a Councillor under the writ of mandamus, but was never sworn into office. Appointed a brigadier-general in 1761, and the first who bore that title here. He left the country April 16, 1775; was proscribed in 1778, and his estate was confiscated. He bequeathed upwards of two thousand acres of land in Worcester County, Mass., to found the first law professorship of Harvard University, and his bequests for other purposes were numerous and liberal.

[50] William Brattle, F.R.S., lawyer, preacher, physician, soldier and legislator, son of Rev. William, minister, of Cambridge, died in Halifax, N.S., in October, 1776; aged seventy-four. He was graduated at Harvard University, in 1722; was distinguished both for his talents and eccentricities; was a representative from Cambridge, and many years a member of the Council; a member of the Stamp Act Congress in 1765; a major-general of militia, and was a member of every profession, and eminent in all. For many years he pleased both the Government and the people, but finally forfeited the good will of the Whigs, and accompanied the British soldiers to Halifax on the evacuation of Boston, and died there a few months after his arrival.

[51] Samuel Danforth, son of Rev. John, of Dorchester, died in Boston, at the house of his son, Dr. Samuel Danforth, 27th October, 1777; aged about eighty-one. He was graduated at Harvard University, in 1715; taught school; was a Selectman in 1733-39; representative 1734-38; member of the Council 1739-1774, and several years its president; Register of Probate, 1731-45; Judge of Probate, 1745-75; and Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, 1741-75. At the Revolution he passed out of office, but was so quiet in his deportment that, though understood to be a loyalist, he was not disturbed in the possession of his property. He was distinguished for his love of the natural sciences.

[52] Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson, sons of Governor Hutchinson, were merchants and partners in business, and consignees of one-third of the tea shipped to Boston. I have seen no evidence of a pecuniary interest in this shipment on the part of the Governor, as is asserted by the historian Bancroft. Their names were given to the East India Company by a London correspondent, who solicits the consignment for them, without mentioning their connection with the Governor. Thomas, jr., born in Boston, in 1740, was a mandamus Councillor and Judge of Probate, and was proscribed and banished. When the condition of the country became unpleasantly hostile, he left the mansion house at Milton, and took shelter in Boston, but left all the furniture, silver plate, &c., expecting to be able to pass and repass at pleasure. When Boston was evacuated, he and his family, and Peter Oliver and family, embarked for London, in the "Lord Hyde" packet. He settled at Heavitree, near Exeter, in Devonshire, and died there in 1811. His wife was Sarah Oliver.

Elisha, his brother, born in 1745, graduated at Harvard University, in 1762; was proscribed and banished, and died at Blurton Parsonage, Trentham, Staffordshire, England, in November, 1824. His wife, Mary, daughter of Col. George Watson, of Plymouth, Mass., died at Birmingham, England, in 1803. "Neither of my sons," wrote the Governor, in March, 1774, "have dared to appear in Boston since the latter part of November, to the total neglect and ruin of their business."

[53] Stephen Greenleaf, sheriff of Suffolk County, was arrested by the Council of Massachusetts as a loyalist, in April, 1776. He died in Boston, in 1795; aged ninety-one.

[54] John Singleton Copley, a famous painter, son-in-law of Richard Clarke, and father of Lord Lyndhurst, was born in Boston, July 3, 1737, and died in London, September 9, 1813. He was a self-taught artist, and after painting many portraits in Boston, settled in London in 1775, and acquired a high reputation.

[55] John Pownall, many years Clerk of the Reports, Secretary of the Board of Trade (1754-68,) Deputy Secretary of State (1768-76,) and afterwards a Commissioner of the Board of Customs, a Magistrate and High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, died in London, July 17, 1795; aged seventy. His brother, Thomas, Governor of Massachusetts in 1757-60, afterwards, while a member of Parliament, opposed the American policy of the Government.

[56] William Bull, M.D., Lieutenant-Governor of South Carolina, from 1764 to 1776, was the son of William, who held the same office from 1738 to 1743, and who was the son of Stephen, one of the early settlers of South Carolina, and Surveyor-General of the Province. William studied medicine at the University of Leyden, and was the pupil of the celebrated Boerhaave. He settled in practice in his native Province; became a member of the Council in 1751, and in 1763 was Speaker of the Assembly. Faithful to the Crown, he accompanied the British troops to England, on their departure in 1782, and died in London, July 4, 1791; aged eighty-one.

[57] John Morris, Comptroller of Customs at Charleston, S.C., was permitted, in November, 1775, on account of his impaired health, "to pass and repass to his Island," during the pleasure of the Provincial Congress, on condition of parole, to keep away from the King's ships. He went to England, and died there in 1778.

[58] Sampson Salter Blowers, a distinguished lawyer and jurist, a native of Boston, and a graduate of Harvard College, (1763,) was, in 1778, proscribed and banished as a loyalist. In 1770, he was associated with John Adams and Josiah Quincy in behalf of the British soldiers who were on trial for their agency in the Boston Massacre. He settled in Halifax, N.S.; became successively Attorney-General and Speaker of the House; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and a member of the Council, retiring from public life in 1833. Judge Blowers was born March 22, 1742, and died in Halifax, N.S., October 25, 1842, being over one hundred years of age. The fact that he never wore an overcoat in his life, told us on good authority, does not satisfactorily account for his great longevity.

[59] Captain Bruce was a loyalist of Boston, and as such was proscribed and banished. A loyalist of the same name was living at Shelburne, N.S., about the year 1805.—Sabine.

[60] Captain Hezekiah Coffin, of Nantucket, married Abigail Colman, and died in 1779. It is said that he saved from the destruction of his cargo, tea enough to enable him to purchase a set of silver spoons.

Transcriber's Notes

This text is a compilation of letters written by individuals with varying degrees of literacy. Spelling and punctuation have been preserved.

The Cover and Frontispiece Illustrations were harvested from The Internet Archive's scanned images of this work (No. 18)

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