Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. I., Chapter XXI.







Secret Workings of the Spirit of Liberty. – Brief Review. – Alternative of the Colonies. – The Newspaper Press. – Bickerstaff’s Boston Almanac. – Explanation of its Frontispiece. – Revival of the Terms "Whig" and "Tory." – Abuse of Mr. Otis. – Massachusetts Song of Liberty. – Evasion of the Non-importation Agreements. – Tea proscribed. – Spirit of the Women. – Spirit of the Boys. – Fracas at the Door of a Merchant. – Death of a Boy. – Its Effect on the Public Mind. – Pardon of the Murderer. – Riot in Boston. – Attack of the Mob upon the Soldiers. – Discharge of Musketry. – Three of the Citizens killed. – Terrible Excitement in Boston. – Delegation of Patriots before the Governor. – Boldness of the second Committee. – Concessions. – Removal of the Troops. – Defense of the Soldiers by Adams. – Result of the Trial. – New Ministerial Proposition. – Its Effects upon the Colonies. – James Otis. – The Boston Patriots. – Hutchinson made Governor. – His asserted Independence of the Assemblies. – Further Agitation in Boston. – Committees of Correspondence. – Letters of Hutchinson and others. – Petition for their Removal. – Franklin before the Privy Council. – Wedderburne’s Abuse. – Franklin’s Vow. – New Taxation Scheme. – East India Company. – Tea Ships sail for America. – Preparation for their Reception at Boston. – Treatment of the Consignees. – Hand-bills and Placards. – Arrival of Tea Ships. – Proceedings in Boston. – Monster Meeting at the "Old South." – Speech of Josiah Quincy. – Close of Quincy’s Speech. – Breaking up of the Meeting. – Destruction of Tea in the Harbor. – Apathy of Government Officials. – East India Company the only Losers. – Quiet in Boston. – A Smuggler punished. – Names of Members of the "Tea Party." – Age of Mr. Kinnison. – Events of his Life. – Escape from Wounds during the Wars. – Subsequent personal Injuries. – No Knowledge of his Children. – His Person and Circumstances. – Speech at a "Free Soil" Meeting. – G. R. T. Hewes. – Character and Patriotism of Hewes. – His Death. – Excitement in Parliament in Consequence of the Boston Tea Riot. – The Boston Port Bill proposed and adopted. – Debates in Parliament. – Apparent Defection of Conway and Barré. – Burke. – Opposition in Parliament to the Boston Port Bill. – Passage of the Bill. – Goldsmith’s "Retaliation." – Epitaph for Burke. – Other oppressive Acts of Parliament. – Madness of Ministers. – Warnings of the Opposition unheeded. – The "Quebec Act." – Proceedings in Massachusetts on Account of the Port Bill. – Recall of Hutchinson. – Division of Sentiment. – Quebec Act. – Arrival of General Gage in Boston. – Meeting in Faneuil Hall. – Excitement among the People. – Newspaper Devices. – Real Weakness of the British Ministry. – Newspaper Poetry. – The Snake Device.


"There is a spirit working in the world,

Like to a silent, subterranean fire;
Yet, ever and anon, some monarch hurl’d
Aghast and pale attests its fearful ire,
The dungeon’d nations now once more respire
The keen and stirring air of liberty.
The struggling giant wakes, and feels he’s free;
By Delphi’s fountain-cave that ancient choir
Resume their song; the Greek astonish’d hears,
And the old altar of his worship rears.
Sound on, fair sisters! sound your boldest lyres –
Peal your old harmonies as from the spheres.
Unto strange gods too long we’ve bent the knee,
The trembling mind, too long and patiently."

"Grand jurors, and sheriffs, and lawyers we’ll spurn;
As judges, we’ll all take the bench in our turn,
And sit the whole term without pension or fee,
Nor CUSHING nor SEWALL look graver than we.
Our wigs, though they’re rusty, are decent enough;
Our aprons, though black, are of durable stuff;
Array’d in such gear, the laws we’ll explain,
That poor people no more shall have cause to complain."



We have considered, in the preceding chapter, the most important events, during the first nine years of the reign of George III., having any bearing on the Revolution. We have seen the germs of oppression, planted at different times from the era of the Restoration, springing into life and vigor, and bearing the bitter fruit of tyranny; and observed the bold freemen of America pruning its most noxious branches, and trampling in the dust its "apples of Sodom." We have seen the tide of British power swelling high, and menacing, and beheld the firm rock of sound principles fearlessly breasting its billows, and hurling them back toward their source. We have seen a loyal people, warmly attached to the person of their sovereign, and venerating the laws of their fatherland, goaded, by ministerial ignorance and haughty indifference respecting the claims of right when interfering with expediency, to the assumption of manly defiance both of king and Parliament, until hireling butchers, with pike and bayonet, were seated in their midst to "harass the people and eat out their substance." We now behold them pressed to the alternative TO FIGHT OR BE SLAVES.

For several years the newspaper press had been rapidly growing in political importance, and the vehicle of mere general news became the channel of political and social enlightenment. In proportion to the development of its power and the creation of public opinion favorable to its views, was the increase of its boldness, and at the beginning of 1770 the American press was not only united in sentiment, but almost as fearless in the expression of political and religious opinions as the newspapers of the present day. American liberty was its theme, and almost every sheet, whether newspaper, almanac, tract, or hand-bill, issued at this time, was tinctured, if not absolutely pervaded, by the absorbing topic.

I have before me a copy of Bickerstaff’s Boston Almanac for 1770, the title-page of which is here given, with a fac-simile of the engraving that adorns it. The portrait of Otis is supported on one side by Liberty, and on the other by Hercules, or Perseverance. At the feet of the latter, uncoiling, preparatory to striking a blow, is the venomous rattlesnake, an emblem used on some of the colonial flags when the war began. This was significant of the intention of America, under the guidance of the Spirit of Liberty, to persevere, and strike a deadly blow, if necessary. The poetry and maxims of the almanac are replete with political sentiments favorable to freedom; and its pages contain the celebrated "Massachusetts Song of Liberty," which became almost as popular throughout the colonies as did Robert Treat Paine’s "Adams and Liberty" at a later day. 1 It is believed to have been written by Mrs. Mercy Warren.

Party lines began now to be strictly drawn, and the old names of Whig and Tory, used in England toward the close of the seventeenth century, and recently revived, were adopted here, the former being assumed by those who opposed Parliamentary taxation, and the latter applied to those who favored it. 2 In Boston the wound inflicted by Bernard, in the introduction of soldiers, was daily festering. A weekly paper, the "Journal of the Times," fostered the most bitter animosity against the soldiers, by the publication of all sorts of stories concerning them, some true, but many more false and garbled. Daily quarrels between citizens and soldiers occurred upon the Common and in the streets; and the fact that Mr. Otis had been severely beaten with fists and canes, in a coffee-house, by one of the commissioners of customs and his friends, 3 produced the utmost excitement, and it was with great difficulty that open hostility was prevented. Numerous fights with straggling soldiers occurred, and a crisis speedily arrived.

While the non-importation agreements were generally adhered to faithfully, there were a few merchants who, loving mammon more than liberty, violated their obligations. In Boston they coalesced with the military officers, and many of the proscribed articles were imported in the names of the latter, ostensibly for the use of the soldiers. Many goods were brought in and sold under this cover. This fact became known, and a meeting of citizens was held at Faneuil Hall [January 23, 1770.] to consider it. Spirited resolutions were adopted, among which was one agreeing not only "totally to abstain from the use of tea" (the excepted article mentioned in Hillsborough’s letter), and from other of the enumerated articles, but that they would use all proper measures to prevent a violation of the non-importation pledges. From that time TEA was a proscribed article, and the living principle of opposition to British oppression was strongly manifested by the unanimity with which the pleasant beverage was discarded.

Early in February [February 9.] the females of Boston made a public movement on the subject of non-importation, and the mistresses of three hundred families subscribed their names to a league, binding themselves not to drink any tea until the Revenue Act was repealed. Three days afterward [February 12.] the young ladies followed the example of the matrons, and multitudes signed a document in the following terms: "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 which tends to deprive a whole community of all that is valuable in life." All classes were thoroughly imbued with patriotism, and even the children were sturdy asserters of natural rights. 4

Disregarding these expressions of public sentiment, a few merchants in Boston continued to sell the proscribed articles. Among them were Theophilus Lillie and four others, who were particularly bold in their unpopular conduct. To designate his store as one to be shunned, a mob, consisting chiefly of half-grown boys, raised a rude wooden head upon a pole near Lillie’s door, having upon it the names of the other importers. A hand was attached to it, with the dexter finger pointing to Lillie’s establishment. The merchant was greatly irritated. One of his friends, named Richardson, a stout, rough man, tried to persuade a countryman to prostrate the pageant by running his wagon against it. The man was a patriot, and refused, and Richardson attempted to pull it down himself. The mob pelted him with dirt and stones, and drove him into Lillie’s house. Greatly exasperated, Richardson brought out a musket and discharged it, without aim, into the crowd. A lad named Christopher Gore (afterward Governor of the Commonwealth [1809.]) was slightly wounded, and another, Christopher Snyder, son of a poor widow, was killed. The mob seized Richardson and an associate named Wilmot, and carried them to Faneuil Hall, where they were examined and committed for trial. Richardson was found guilty of murder, but Lieutenant-governor Hutchinson refused to sign his death warrant. After two years’ imprisonment, he was pardoned by the king.

The murder of the boy produced a great sensation throughout the country, and in Boston it was made the occasion of a most solemn pageant. His coffin, covered with inscriptions, such as "Innocence itself is not safe," and others of like tenor, was taken to Liberty Tree, where a great concourse assembled, and thence followed the remains to the grave. In that procession between four and five hundred school-boys took the lead. Six of Snyder’s play-fellows supported the coffin; after them came the relatives and friends of the deceased, and nearly fifteen hundred of the inhabitants. The bells of the city were tolled, and those of the churches in the neighboring towns. The newspapers were filled with accounts of the murder and the funeral, and little Christopher Snyder was apotheosized as the first martyr in the cause of American liberty.

A more serious occurrence took place a few days afterward. A soldier, passing the rope-walk of John Grey, got into a quarrel with the workmen, and was severely beaten. He went to the barracks, and, returning with some comrades, they beat the rope-makers, and chased them through the streets. A large number of the people assembled in the afternoon, determined to avenge the workmen, but were stopped by the military. It was Friday, and the act of vengeance was deferred until Monday, so as not to disturb the Sabbath. On the evening of Monday [March 5, 1770.], between six and seven o’clock, about seven hundred men, with clubs and other weapons, assembled in King (now State) Street, shouting, "Let us drive out these rascals! They have no business here – drive them out!" The mob speedily augmented in numbers, and about nine o’clock an attack was made upon some soldiers in Dock Square, the mob shouting, "Town born, turn out! Down with the bloody backs!" at the same time tearing up the market-stalls. The fearful cry of "Fire, fire!" was echoed through the town, and the inhabitants poured into the streets in terror and confusion. The whole city was in commotion, and before midnight the shouts of the multitude, the ringing of the alarum bells as if a great conflagration was raging, and the rattle of musketry, produced a fearful uproar. Two or three leading citizens endeavored to persuade the mob to disperse, and had, in a measure, secured their respectful attention, when a tall man, dressed in a scarlet cloak, and wearing a white wig, suddenly appeared among them, and commenced a violent harangue against the government officers and soldiers. He concluded his inflammatory speech by a loud shout, "To the main guard! to the main guard!" The populace echoed the shout with fearful vehemence, and, separating into three divisions, took different routes toward the quarters of the main guard. As one of these divisions was passing the custom-house, a boy came up, and, pointing to the sentinel on duty there, cried out, "That’s the scoundrel who knocked me down." 5 Instantly a score of voices shouted, "Let us knock him down! Down with the bloody back! kill him! kill him!" The sentinel loaded his musket, the mob in the mean while pelting him with pieces of ice and other missiles, and finally attempting to seize him. He ran up the custom-house steps, but, unable to procure admission, called to the main guard for assistance. Captain Preston, the officer of the day, detailed a picket guard of eight men with unloaded muskets, and sent them to the relief of the sentinel. As they approached, the mob pelted them more furiously than they had the sentinel, and a stout mulatto named Attucks, who was at the head of a party of sailors, shouted, "Let us fall upon the nest! The main guard! the main guard!" The soldiers now loaded their guns. Attucks dared them to fire; and the mob pressed so closely upon them that the foremost were against the points, of their bayonets. The soldiers, perfectly understanding the requirements of discipline, would not fire without orders. Emboldened by what seemed cowardice, or, perhaps, by a knowledge of the law which restrained soldiers from firing upon their fellow-citizens without orders from the civil magistrates, Attucks and the sailors gave three loud cheers, beat the muskets of the soldiers with their clubs, and shouted to the populace behind them, "Come on! don’t be afraid of ‘em – they daren’t fire! knock ’em over! kill ’em!" At that moment Captain Preston came up, and endeavored to appease the excited multitude. Attucks aimed a blow with a club at Preston’s head, which was parried with his arm, and, descending, knocked the musket of one of the soldiers to the ground. The bayonet was seized by the mulatto, and the owner of the musket was thrown down in the struggle. Just then voices in the crowd behind Preston cried, "Why don’t you fire? why don’t you fire?" The word fire fell upon the ears of Montgomery, the soldier struggling with Attucks, and as he rose to his feet he fired, and shot the mulatto dead. Immediately five other soldiers fired at short intervals; three of the populace were instantly killed, five dangerously wounded, and a few slightly hurt. 6

The mob instantly dispersed. It was near midnight; the ground was covered with snow, the air was clear and frosty, and the moon, in its first quarter, gave just sufficient light to reveal the dreadful scene. It was a fearful night for Boston. A cry, "The soldiers are rising! To arms! to arms! Turn out with your guns!" resounded through the streets, and the town drums beat their alarum call. Captain Preston also ordered his drums to beat to arms, and in a short time Colonel Dalrymple, the commander of the troops in the absence of Gage, with Lieutenant-governor Hutchinson, at the head of a regiment, was on the spot. Order was at length restored, and the streets were quiet before dawn. Captain Preston, in the mean time, had been arrested and put in prison, and during the next forenoon the eight soldiers were also committed, under a charge of murder.


Early in the morning [March 6, 1770.] the Sons of Liberty collected in great numbers, and Faneuil Hall was crowded with an excited and indignant assembly. The lieutenant governor also convened his Council. A town meeting was legally warned and held that afternoon, in the Old South Meeting-house, then the largest building in the city, where it was voted "that nothing could be expected to restore peace and prevent carnage but an immediate removal of the troops." Nearly three thousand voices were unanimous in its favor. A committee of fifteen, with Samuel Adams as chairman, was appointed to present the resolution to the acting governor and his Council, and to Colonel Dalrymple. These officers were assured by Royal Tyler, one of the committee, that the people were determined to remove the troops out of town by force, if they would not go voluntarily. "They are not such people," he said, "who formerly pulled down your house, that conduct these measures, but men of estates, men of religion. The people," he continued, "will come in to us from all the neighboring towns; we shall have ten thousand men at our backs, and your troops will probably be destroyed by the people, be it called rebellion or what it may."

Hutchinson and Dalrymple were in a dilemma. They equally feared the popular indignation and the censure of ministers, and each endeavored to make the other responsible for the concessions which they saw must inevitably be made. Hutchinson would not promise the committee that more than one regiment of the troops should be removed; their report to the meeting was, therefore, quite unsatisfactory. In the afternoon another committee was appointed, consisting of seven of the former deputation, 8 who bore the following resolution to the lieutenant governor: "It is the unanimous opinion of this meeting that the reply made to the vote of the inhabitants, presented to his honor this morning, is by no means satisfactory, and that nothing else will satisfy them but a total and immediate removal of all the troops." Samuel Adams again acted as chairman. Hutchinson denied that he had power to grant their request; Adams in a few words proved to him that he had power conferred by the charter. The governor consulted with Dalrymple in a whisper, and then made the offer again to remove one regiment. The patriots were not to be trifled with. Adams, seeming not to represent, but to personify, the universal feeling, stretched forth his arm, as if it had been upheld by the strength of thousands, and, with unhesitating promptness and dignified firmness, replied, "Sir, if the lieutenant governor or Colonel Dalrymple, or both together, have authority to remove one regiment, they have authority to remove two; and nothing short of a total evacuation of the town, by all the regular troops, will satisfy the, public mind or preserve the peace of the province."

The officers, were abashed before this plain committee of a democratic assembly. They knew the danger that impended; the very air was filled with breathings of suppressed indignation. They receded, fortunately, from the arrogance they had hitherto maintained. Their reliance on a standing army faltered before the undaunted, irresistible resolution of free, unarmed citizens. 9 Hutchinson consulted his Council. The concession was agreed upon – the lieutenant governor, Council, and Dalrymple consenting to bear mutually the responsibility of the act – and the people were assured of the immediate removal of the troops. On Monday following [March 12, 1770.] the troops were conducted to Castle William, and Boston became quiet.

The obsequies of the victims murdered on the night of the 5th were performed on the 8th. 10 The hearses met upon the spot in front of the custom-house, where the tragedy occurred, and thence the procession, in platoons six deep, marched to the Middle Burial-ground, wherein the bodies were deposited. As on the occasion of the burial of young Snyder, the bells of Boston and adjacent towns tolled a solemn knell, and again a cry of vengeance burst over the land. The story of the "Boston massacre," as it was called, became a tale of horror, which every where excited the most implacable hatred of British domination; and the justifiable act of the soldiers, in defending their lives against a lawless mob, was exaggerated into an unprovoked assault of armed mercenaries upon a quiet and defenseless people.

Captain Preston and the eight soldiers, after the lapse of several months, were put upon their trial before Judge Lynde for murder. 11 John Adams, an eminent lawyer, one of the leaders in the attempt to procure the removal of the troops, and greatly esteemed by the people for his patriotism, was solicited to undertake their defense. It was a severe ordeal for his independence of spirit, yet he did not hesitate. At the risk of losing the favor and esteem of the people, he appeared as the advocate of the accused, having for his colleague Josiah Quincy, another leading patriot, whose eloquent voice had been often heard at assemblies of the Sons of Liberty. Robert Treat Paine, afterward one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, conducted the prosecution, with great reputation, in the absence of the attorney general. A Boston jury was empanneled, and, after a fair trial, Captain Preston and six of the soldiers were adjudged not guilty. The other two, Montgomery and Killroy, who were known to have fired their muskets, were found guilty of manslaughter only. They were branded in the hand, in open court, and discharged. This trial, when all the circumstances are considered, exhibits one of the most beautiful of the many pictures of justice and mercy that characterized the Revolution, and silenced forever the slander of the British ministry who favored the revival of the Act of Henry VIII., that American jurors might not be trusted.

On the very day of the "Boston massacre" [March 5, 1770.] Lord North asked leave to bring in a bill in the House of Commons, repealing the duties upon glass, &c., mentioned in Hillsborough’s circular, but retaining the three per cent duty upon tea. This duty was small, and was avowedly a "pepper-corn rent," to save the national honor. North’s proposition met with little favor from either party. The friends of America asked for a repeal of the whole act, and the friends of government opposed a partial repeal as utterly fruitless of good. The bill, however, after encountering great opposition in both Houses, and particularly in the House of Lords, was carried, and received the royal assent on the 12th of April.

When the intelligence of this act reached the colonies, it was regarded with very little favor. The same unrighteous principle was practically asserted, and the people felt that very little concession was made. But they were beginning, toward the close of 1770, to be less faithful in observing the non-importation agreements; and in October, at a meeting of the Boston merchants, it was resolved, in consequence of the almost universal violation of these agreements in New York, to import every thing but TEA. The Philadelphia and Charleston merchants followed their example, and that lever of coercion in the hands of the colonists, operating upon Parliament through English merchants, was almost wholly abandoned, much to the chagrin of the leading patriots. These associations, while they had a favorable political effect upon the colonies, were also instrumental in producing social reforms of much value. Many extravagant customs, such as pageantries at funerals, displays of costly finery at balls and parties, and kindred measures, involving great expenditure of time and money, were discontinued; new sources of wealth and comfort to be derived from home industry were developed; and, better than all, lessons of the strictest economy were learned. The infant manufactories of America received a strong impulse from the agreements, and homemade articles, first worn from necessity, became fashionable. The graduating class at Cambridge took their degrees in homespun suits, in 1770.

For two years very little occurred to disturb the tranquillity of Boston. The brutal attack of Robinson had deprived the patriots of the services of James Otis, for insanity clouded his active mind and terminated his public career. 12 But new men, equally patriotic stood ready to take his place. John Adams, then in the vigor of life, and rapidly rising in public estimation, was chosen to fill his place in the House of Representatives. He, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Joseph Warren (a young physician), Josiah Quincy, and Dr. Benjamin Church were the leaders in private meetings, now beginning to be held, in which schemes for public action were planned. These men were exceedingly vigilant, and noticed every infringement of natural or chartered rights on the part of government and its agents. In the House of Representatives they originated almost every measure for the public good, and the people esteemed them as the zealous guardians of their rights and privileges. When Hutchinson removed the General Court to Cambridge [March 31, 1770.], they protested, contending that it could be held, legally, only at Boston; and in all the struggles between the Assembly and the governor, during his administration, these men were foremost in defense of popular rights.

Lieutenant-governor Hutchinson received the appointment of governor in the spring of 1771. About the same time Dr. Franklin was chosen agent for Massachusetts, Dennis de Berdt being dead. When the Assembly convened in May [May 25, 1771.], the subject of taxing the salaries of crown officers, that of removing the General Court back to Boston, and kindred topics, produced considerable excitement in that body. Hutchinson told them that he had been instructed not to give his consent to any act taxing the income of the crown officers, and he positively refused to adjourn the Assembly to Boston. The consequence was, that the Court was prorogued without making any provision for the public expense.

The next year [1772.] Parliament, by special act, made the governors and judges of the colonies quite independent of the colonial Assemblies for their salaries; and Hutchinson informed the Massachusetts Assembly that henceforth his salary would be paid by the crown. The Assembly at once denounced the measure as a violation of the charter, and no better than a standing bribe of six thousand six hundred and sixty-six dollars a year from the crown to the governor. Other colonial Assemblies took umbrage, and made similar denunciations, and again the public mind was agitated.

In the midst of this effervescence a circumstance occurred which augmented intensely the flame of rebellion burning in the hearts of the people. By it Boston was thrown into a violent commotion, and it was with great difficulty that the people were restrained from enacting anew the violence against Hutchinson in 1765. In October a town meeting was held, at which a large committee, composed of the popular leaders, was appointed to draw up a statement of the rights of the colonies, and to communicate and publish the same to the several towns of the province. This paper contained a list of all the grievances which Massachusetts had suffered since the accession of the reigning sovereign, and condemned a plan, said to have been in agitation for a long time, to establish bishops in America. It was the boldest exposition of the grievances and rights of the colonies yet put forth, and, by its suggestion, Committees of Correspondence, such as were soon afterward organized in Virginia, were appointed in the several towns. 13 This paper was republished by Franklin in London, with a preface of his own, and produced a great sensation. At the opening of the next session of the Legislature [January, 1773.] Hutchinson denounced the Boston address as seditious and traitorous, and violent discussions ensued.

Just at this moment, when the public mind was greatly inflamed against Hutchinson, the Assembly received a communication from Dr. Franklin, inclosing several letters written by Hutchinson and others 14 to Thomas Whately, a member of Parliament, then out of office, wherein they vilified the character of several of the popular leaders, advised the immediate adoption of coercive measures, and declared that there "must be an abridgment of what are called English liberties." By what means Franklin obtained possession of these letters is not certainly known, for he was too honorable to divulge the names of parties concerned. 15 They were sent to the Rev. Dr. Cooper, of Boston, and by him handed to Mr. Cushing, the Speaker of the Assembly. After having been shown privately to leading men for several months, they were made public. The town was at once in a violent ferment. A committee was appointed to wait upon the governor, and demand an acknowledgment or denial of the genuineness of the letters. He owned them as his, but declared that they were quite confidential. This qualification was not considered extenuating, and the Assembly adopted a petition to the king for the removal of Governor Hutchinson and Lieutenant-governor Oliver, as public slanderers, and enemies to the colony, and, as such, not to be tolerated.


From an English print.

This petition was sent to Franklin, who was instructed to present it in person, if possible. This request could not be granted. He sent the petition to Lord Dartmouth, then at his country seat, who presented it to the king. After considerable delay, Franklin was informed that his majesty had referred it to his Privy Council. 17 The publication of the letters produced excitement in England, and Franklin, to defend innocent parties, frankly took upon himself the whole responsibility of sending them to America. He was accordingly summoned before the Council, where he appeared without a legal adviser. Finding Wedderburne, the solicitor general, retained as counsel for Hutchinson, Franklin asked and obtained leave to have counsel also. He employed Mr. Dunning, one of the ablest Constitutional lawyers of the day, and toward the close of February the case was brought before the Privy Council. The solicitor general made a bitter attack upon Franklin, accusing him of dishonor in procuring private letters clandestinely, and charging him with duplicity and wily intrigue. The philosophic statesman received this tirade of abuse in silence, and without any apparent emotion, for he was conscious that he had violated no rule of honor or integrity. The accusations and pleadings of Wedderburne had their effect, however. His abuse greatly pleased the peers, and the petition was dismissed as "groundless, scandalous, and vexatious." A few days afterward Franklin received a notice of his dismissal from the responsible and lucrative office of postmaster general for the colonies. This was an act of spite which recoiled fearfully upon ministers. 18

Early in 1773 a new thought upon taxation made its advent into the brain of Lord North. The East India Company, 19 feeling the effects of the colonial smuggling trade, and of the non-Importation agreements, requested the government to take off the duty of three per cent. a pound on their tea, levied in America. Already seventeen millions of pounds had accumulated in their stores in England, and they offered to allow government to retain six pence upon the pound as an exportation tariff, if they would take off the three-pence duty. Here was a fair and honorable opening not only to conciliate the colonies, but to procure, without expense, double the amount of revenue. But the ministry, deluded by false views of national honor, would not take advantage of this excellent opportunity to heal the dissensions and disaffection in the colonies, but stupidly favored the East India Company, and utterly neglected the feelings of the Americans. It was a sacrifice of principle to mammon which produced a damage that no subsequent act could repair.

On the 10th of May [1773.] a bill was passed, allowing the company to export tea to America on their own account, without paying export duty. Ships were immediately laden with the article, and in a few weeks several large vessels, bearing the proscribed plant, were crossing the Atlantic for American ports. Agents or consignees were appointed in the several colonies to receive it, and the ministry fondly imagined that they had at last outwitted the vigilant patriots.

Information of this movement had been received in the colonies, and, before the company’s vessels arrived, preparations were made in the chief cities to prevent the landing of the cargoes. Public meetings were held, and the consignees were called upon to resign. In Boston the consignees were known to the public; they were all friends of Governor Hutchinson. Two were his sons, and one (Richard Clarke 20) was his nephew. They were summoned to attend a meeting of the Sons of Liberty [November 3, 1773.], convened under Liberty Tree, and resign their appointments, 21 but they contemptuously refused to comply. This meeting was announced by the town-crier in the streets, and by the ringing of bells for an hour. About five hundred persons assembled at the tree, from the top of which, fastened to a pole, a large flag was unfurled. Two days afterward a legal town meeting was held, at which John Hancock presided. 22 They adopted as their own the sentiments of eight resolutions passed at a public meeting in Philadelphia a month before, and appointed a committee to wait upon the consignees and request them to resign. These gentlemen equivocated, and the meeting voted their answer "unsatisfactory and daringly affrontive." On the 18th [November, 1773.] another meeting was held, and a committee appointed again to wait upon the consignees. Their answer this time was more explicit. "It is out of our power to comply with the request of the town." In the evening the house of Richard Clarke and his sons, in School Street, was surrounded by a crowd. A pistol was fired among them from the dwelling, and was responded to by the populace breaking the windows.

The meeting, on receiving the reply of the consignees, broke up without uttering a word. This was ominous; the consignees were alarmed, for it was evident that the people had determined to stop talking, and henceforth to act. The governor called a meeting of the Council, and asked advice respecting measures for preserving the peace. A petition was presented by the consignees, asking leave to resign their appointments into the hands of the governor and Council, and praying them to take measures for the safe landing of the teas. The prayer was refused on the part of the Council, and the consignees, for safety, withdrew to the castle.

While the Council was thus declining to interfere, one of the ships (the Dartmouth, Captain Hall) came to anchor near the castle. A meeting of the people of Boston and the neighboring towns was convened at Faneuil Hall, 23 which being too small for the assembly, it adjourned to the Old South Meeting-house. They resolved [November 29, 1773.] "that the tea shall not be landed; that no duty shall be paid; and that it shall be sent back in the same bottom." They also voted "that Mr. Roch, the owner of the vessel, be directed not to enter the tea at his peril; and that Captain Hall be informed, and at his peril, not to suffer any of the tea to be landed." The ship was ordered to be moored at Griffin’s Wharf, 24 and a guard of twenty-five men was appointed to watch her. The meeting received a letter from the consignees, offering to store the teas until they could write to England and receive instructions, but the people were determined that the pernicious weed should not be landed. The offer was rejected with disdain. The sheriff then read a proclamation by the governor, ordering the meeting to disperse; it was received with hisses. A resolution was then passed, ordering the vessels of Captains Coffin and Bruce, then hourly expected with cargoes of tea, to be moored at Griffin’s Wharf; and, after solemnly agreeing to carry their resolves into execution at any risk, and thanking their brethren from the neighboring towns, the meeting was dissolved.

From that time until the 14th [December, 1773.] every movement on the part of the people relating to the tea was in charge of the Boston Committee of Correspondence. The two vessels alluded to arrived, and were moored at Griffin’s Wharf, under charge of the volunteer guard, and public order was well observed. On the 14th another meeting was held in the Old South, 25 when it was resolved to order Mr. Roch to apply immediately for a clearance for his ship, and send her to sea. The governor, in the mean while, had taken measures to prevent her sailing out of the harbor. Under his direction, Admiral Montague fitted out two armed vessels, which he stationed at the entrance of the harbor; and Colonel Leslie, in command of the castle, received Hutchinson’s written orders not to allow any vessel to pass the guns of the fortress outward, without a permission signed by himself.

On the 16th [December, 1773.] several thousand people (the largest meeting ever to that time known in Boston) collected in the Old South and vicinity. Samuel Phillips Savage, of Weston, presided. The youthful Josiah Quincy was the principal speaker, and, with words almost of prophecy, harangued the multitude of eager and excited listeners. "It is not, Mr. Moderator," he said, "the spirit that vapors within these walls that must stand us in stead. The exertions of this day will call forth events which will make a very different spirit necessary for our salvation. Whoever supposes that shouts and hosannas will terminate the trials of this day entertains a childish fancy. He 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 {original text has "againt".} us; we must be blind to that malice, inveteracy, and insatiable revenge which actuate our enemies, public and private, abroad and in our bosoms, 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. 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 terrible struggle this country ever saw." 26

When Mr. Quincy closed his harangue (about three o’clock in the afternoon), the question was put, "Will you abide by your former resolutions with respect to not suffering the tea to be landed?" The vast assembly, as with one voice, gave an affirmative reply. Mr. Roch, in the mean while, had been sent to the governor, who was at his country house at Milton, a few miles from Boston, to request a permit for his vessel to leave the harbor. A demand was also made upon the collector for a clearance, but he refused until the tea should be landed. Roch returned late in the afternoon with information that the governor refused to grant a permit until a clearance should be exhibited. The meeting was greatly excited; and, as twilight was approaching, a call was made for candles. At that moment a person disguised like a Mohawk Indian raised the war-whoop in the gallery of the Old South, which was answered from without. Another voice in the gallery shouted, "Boston Harbor a tea-pot tonight! Hurra for Griffin’s Wharf!" A motion was instantly made to adjourn, and the people, in great confusion, crowded into the streets. Several persons in disguise were seen crossing Fort Hill in the direction of Griffin’s Wharf, and thitherward the populace pressed.

Concert of action marked the operations at the wharf; a general system of proceedings had doubtless been previously arranged. The number of persons disguised as Indians was fifteen or twenty, but about sixty went on board the vessels containing the tea. Before the work was over, it was estimated that one hundred and forty were engaged. A man named Lendall Pitts seems to have been recognized by the party as a sort of commander-in-chief, and under his directions the Dartmouth was first boarded, the hatches were taken up, and her cargo, consisting of one hundred and fourteen chests of tea, was brought on deck, where the boxes were broken open and their contents cast into the water. The other two vessels (the Eleanor, Captain James Bruce, and the Beaver, Captain Hezekiah Coffin) were next boarded, and all the tea they contained was thrown into the harbor. The whole quantity thus destroyed within the space of two hours was three hundred and forty-two chests.

It was an early hour on a clear, moonlight evening when this transaction took place, and the British squadron was not more than a quarter of a mile distant. British troops, too, were near, yet the whole proceeding was uninterrupted. This apparent apathy on the part of government officers can be accounted for only by the fact alluded to by the papers of the time, that something far more serious was expected on the occasion of an attempt to land the tea, and that the owners of the vessels, as well as the public authorities, felt themselves placed under lasting obligations to the rioters for extricating them from a serious dilemma. 27 They certainly would have been worsted in an attempt forcibly to land the tea. In the actual result the vessels and other property were spared from injury; the people of Boston, having carried their resolution into effect, were satisfied; the courage of the civil and military officers was unimpeached, and the "national honor" was not compromised. None but the East India Company, whose property was destroyed, had reason for complaint. As soon as the work of destruction was completed, the active party marched in perfect order into the town, preceded by drum and fife, dispersed to their homes, and Boston, untarnished by actual mob or riot, 28 was never more tranquil than on that bright and frosty December night.

A large proportion of those who were engaged in the destruction of the tea were disguised, either by a sort of Indian costume or by blacking their faces. Many, however, were fearless of consequences, and boldly employed their hands without concealing their faces from the bright light of the moon. The names of fifty-nine of the participators in the act have been preserved, 29 but only one of the men, so far as is known, is still living. This is DAVID KINNISON, of Chicago, Illinois, whose portrait and sign manual are here given. The engraving is from a Daguerreotype from life, taken in August, 1848, when the veteran was one hundred and eleven years and nine months old. He was alive a few weeks since (January, 1850), in his one hundred and fourteenth year. Through the kindness of a friend at Chicago, I procured the Daguerreotype, and the following sketch of his life from his own lips. The signature was written by the patriot upon the manuscript.

DAVID KINNISON was born the 17th of November, 1736, in Old Kingston, near Portsmouth, province of Maine. Soon afterward his parents removed to Brentwood, and thence in a few years to Lebanon (Maine), at which place he followed the business of farming until the commencement of the Revolutionary war. He is descended from a long-lived race. His great-grandfather, who came from England at an early day, and settled in Maine, lived to a very advanced age; his grandfather attained the age of one hundred and twelve years and ten days; his father died at the age of one hundred and three years and nine months; his mother died while he was young.

He has had four wives, neither of whom is now living; he had four children by his first wife and eighteen by his second; none by the last two. He was taught to read after he was sixty years of age, by his granddaughter, and learned to sign his name while a soldier of the Revolution, which is all the writing he has ever accomplished.

He was one of seventeen inhabitants of Lebanon who, some time previous to the "Tea Party," formed a club which held secret meetings to deliberate upon the grievances offered by the mother country. These meetings were held at the tavern of one "Colonel Gooding," in a private room hired for the occasion. The landlord, though a true American, was not enlightened as to the object of their meeting. Similar clubs were formed in Philadelphia, Boston, and the towns around. With these the Lebanon Club kept up a correspondence. They (the Lebanon Club) determined, whether assisted or not, to destroy the tea at all hazards. They repaired to Boston, where they were joined by others; and twenty-four, disguised as Indians, hastened on board, twelve armed with muskets and bayonets, the rest with tomahawks and clubs, having first agreed, whatever might be the result, to stand by each other to the last, and that the first man who faltered should be knocked on the head and thrown over with the tea. They expected to have a fight, and did not doubt that an effort would be made for their arrest. "But" (in the language of the old man) "we cared no more for our lives than three straws, and determined to throw the tea overboard. We were all captains, and every one commanded himself." They pledged themselves in no event, while it should be dangerous to do so, to reveal the names of the party – a pledge which was faithfully observed until the war of the Revolution was brought to a successful issue.

Mr. Kinnison was in active service during the whole war, only returning home once from the time of the destruction of the tea until peace had been declared. He participated in the affair at Lexington, and, with his father and two brothers, was at the battle of Bunker Hill, all four escaping unhurt. He was within a few feet of Warren when that officer fell. He was also engaged in the siege of Boston; the battles of Long Island, White Plains, and Fort Montgomery; skirmishes on Staten Island, the battles of Stillwater, Red Bank, and Germantown; and, lastly, in a skirmish at Saratoga Springs, in which his company (scouts) were surrounded and captured by about three hundred Mohawk Indians. He remained a prisoner with them one year and seven months, about the end of which time peace was declared. After the war he settled at Danville, Vermont, and engaged in his old occupation of farming. He resided there eight years, and then removed to Wells, in the state of Maine, where he remained until the commencement of the last war with Great Britain. He was in service during the whole of that war, and was in the battles of Sackett’s Harbor and Williamsburg. In the latter conflict he was badly wounded in the hand by a grape-shot, the only injury which he received in all his engagements.

Since the war he has lived at Lyme and at Sackett’s Harbor, New York. At Lyme, while engaged in felling a tree, he was struck down by a limb, which fractured his skull and broke his collar-bone and two of his ribs. While attending a "training" at Sackett’s Harbor, one of the cannon, having been loaded (as he says) "with rotten wood," was discharged. The contents struck the end of a rail close by him with such force as to carry it around, breaking and badly shattering both his legs midway between his ankles and knees. He was confined a long time by this wound, and, when able again to walk, both legs had contracted permanent "fever sores." His right hip has been drawn out of joint by rheumatism. A large sear upon his forehead bears conclusive testimony of its having come in contact with the heels of a horse. In his own language, he "has been completely bunged up and stove in."

When last he heard of his children there were but seven of the twenty-two living. These were scattered abroad, from Canada to the Rocky Mountains. He has entirely lost all traces of them, and knows not that any are still living.

Nearly five years ago he went to Chicago with the family of William Mack, with whom he is now living. He is reduced to extreme poverty, and depends solely upon his pension of ninety-six dollars per annum for subsistence, most of which he pays for his board. Occasionally he is assisted by private donations. Up to 1848 he has always made something by labor. "The last season," says my informant, "he told me he gathered one hundred bushels of corn, dug potatoes, made hay, and harvested oats. But now he finds himself too infirm to labor, though he thinks he could walk twenty miles in a day by ‘starting early.’ "

He has evidently been a very muscular man. Although not large, his frame is one of great power. He boasts of "the strength of former years." Nine years ago, he says, he lifted a barrel of rum into a wagon with ease. His height is about five feet ten inches, with an expansive chest and broad shoulders. He walks somewhat bent, but with as much vigor as many almost half a century younger. His eye is usually somewhat dim, but, when excited by the recollection of his past eventful life, it twinkles and rolls in its socket with remarkable activity. His memory of recent events is not retentive, while the stirring scenes through which he passed in his youth appear to be mapped out upon his mind in unfading colors. He is fond of martial music. The drum and fife of the recruiting service, he says, "daily put new life into him." "In fact," he says, "it’s the sweetest music in the world. There’s some sense in the drum, and fife, and bugle, but these pianos and other such trash I can’t stand at all."

Many years ago he was troubled with partial deafness; his sight also failed him somewhat, and he was compelled to use glasses. Of late years both hearing and sight have returned to him as perfectly as he ever possessed them. He is playful and cheerful in his disposition. "I have seen him," says my informant, "for hours upon the side-walk with the little children, entering with uncommon zest into their childish pastimes. He relishes a joke, and often indulges in ‘cracking one himself.’ "

At a public meeting, in the summer of 1848, of those opposed to the extension of slavery, Mr. Kinnison took the stand and addressed the audience with marked effect. He declared that he fought for the "freedom of all," that freedom ought to be given to the "black boys," and closed by exhorting his audience to do all in their power to ABOLISH SLAVERY.

The portrait of another member of the "Boston Tea Party," GEORGE ROBERT TWELVE HEWES, is preserved. I have copied it, by permission, from the "Traits of the Tea Party, and Memoir of Hewes." He was born in Boston, on the 5th of September, 1742. His early opportunities for acquiring education were very small. To Mrs. Tinkum, wife of the town-crier, he was indebted for his knowledge of reading and writing. Farming, fishing, and shoe-making seem to have been the chief employment of his earlier years. In 1758 he attempted to enlist in the army to serve against the French, but did not "pass muster;" he was equally unsuccessful in attempts to join the navy, and then resumed shoemaking. In the various disturbances in Boston from the time of the passage of the Stamp Act, Hewes, who was both excitable and patriotic, was generally concerned. He was among the foremost in the destruction of the tea at Boston. When the Americans invested the city, and many patriots were shut up under the vigilant eyes of the British officers, Hewes was among them. He managed to escape, and entered the naval service of the colonies as a privateer, in which he was somewhat successful. Afterward he joined the army, and was stationed for a time at West Point, under General M‘Dougal. He was never in any land battle, except with the Cow Boys and Skinners, as they were called, of the neutral ground of West Chester. After the Revolution he returned to Boston, and again engaged in business upon the sea. He, like Kinnison, was one of the thousands of that time utterly unknown to the world, except within the small love-circle of family relationship and neighborly regard; and even this present slight embalming of their memory would not have occurred, had not the contingency of great longevity distinguished them from other men. Although personally unknown, their deeds are felt in the political blessings we enjoy. When the Bunker Hill Monument was completed and was dedicated, on the 17th of June, 1843, Mr. Hewes, then one hundred and one years old, was there, and honored by all. Returning to the residence of his son, at Richfield, in Otsego county, New York, some sixty miles west of the Hudson, he soon went down into the grave, when more than a century old, "a shock of corn fully ripe."

The events of the 16th of December [1773.] produced a deep sensation throughout the British realm. They struck a sympathetic chord in every colony, and even Canada, Halifax, and the West Indies had no serious voice of censure for the Bostonians. But the ministerial party here and the public in England were amazed at the audacity of the American people; and the friends of the colonists in Parliament were, for a moment, silent, for they had no excuse to make in behalf of their transatlantic friends for destroying private property. But with the intelligence of the event went an intimation that the town of Boston was ready to pay the East India Company for the tea, and so the question rested at once upon its original basis – the right of Great Britain to tax the colonies. Ministers were bitterly indignant, and the House of Lords was like a "seething caldron of impotent rage." The alleged honesty of the Americans was entirely overlooked, and ministers and their friends saw nothing but open rebellion in the Massachusetts colony. Strange as it may appear, the king did not send a message to Parliament on the subject until the 7th of March [1774.], several weeks after the disturbances at Boston were known to government. Then he detailed the proceedings, and his message was accompanied by a variety of papers, consisting of letters from Hutchinson, Admiral Montague, and the consignees of the tea; the dispatches of several colonial governors (for menaces of similar violent measures had been uttered in other colonies); and some of the most exciting manifestoes, hand-bills, and pamphlets put forth by the Americans. The king, in his message, called upon Parliament to devise means immediately to suppress these tumultuous proceedings in the colonies.

On the receipt of the message and the accompanying papers in the House of Commons, an address of thanks to the king, and of assurances that he should be sustained in his efforts to preserve order in America, was proposed. This proposition, with the message and papers, produced great excitement, and the House became, according to Burke, "as hot as Faneuil Hall or the Old South Meeting-house at Boston." The debate that ensued was excessively stormy. Ministers and their supporters charged open rebellion upon the colonies, while the opposition denounced, in the strongest language which common courtesy could tolerate, the foolish, unjust, and wicked course of the government. They reviewed the past; but ministers, tacitly acknowledging past errors, objected to retrospection, and earnestly pleaded for strict attention to the momentous present. They asked whether the colonies were or were not longer to be considered dependent upon Great Britain, and, if so, how far and in what manner. If it was decided not to give them up to independence, then ministers were ready to act efficiently. This question they wished settled as preliminary to further action. The appeal struck upon a tender chord, and awakened national sympathies; the address was adopted by an overwhelming majority, without a division.

Feeling his position strengthened by this vote, Lord North brought forth the first of his vigorous schemes for subjugating the colonies and punishing the town of Boston. On the 14th of March [1774.] he offered a bill which provided for the removal of customs, courts of justice, and government officers of every kind from Boston to Salem; and that "the landing, discharging, and shipping of wares and merchandise at Boston, or within the harbor thereof," should be discontinued. It provided, also, that when the Bostonians should fully submit, the king should have the power to open the port. 30 This was the famous Boston Port Bill, an act which crushed the trade of the city, and brought the greatest distress upon its inhabitants. Lord North justified the harsh measure, by asserting that Boston was the center of rebellious commotion in America, "the ringleader in every riot, and set always the example which others followed." He thought that to inflict a signal penalty upon that city would strike at the root of the evil, and he referred to precedents where whole communities had been punished for the crimes of some of their members. The most violent language was used, by some of the supporters of the ministers, against the Americans. "They are never actuated by decency or reason; they always choose tarring and feathering as an argument," said Mr. Herbert. Mr. Van, another ministerial supporter, denounced the people of Boston as utterly unworthy of civilized forbearance. "They ought to have their town knocked about their ears and destroyed!" he exclaimed, and concluded his tirade of abuse by quoting the factious cry of old Roman orators, "Delenda est Carthago." 31 Mr. Rose Fuller proposed the imposition of a fine; and even Barré and Conway, the undaunted friends of America, approved of the measure as lenient. and affecting only a single town. They voted for the bill, and for this apparent disaffection the people of Boston removed their portraits from Faneuil Hall.


From an English print.

But Burke, who at that time began his series of splendid orations in favor of American liberty, denounced the whole scheme as essentially unjust, by confounding and punishing the innocent with the guilty. "It is wished, then," he said, "to condemn the accused without a hearing, to punish indiscriminately the innocent with the guilty! You will thus irrevocably alienate the hearts of the colonies from the mother country. Before the adoption of so violent a measure, the principal merchants of the kingdom should at least be consulted. The bill is unjust, since it bears only upon the city of Boston, while it is notorious that all America is in flames; that the cities of Philadelphia, of New York, and all the maritime towns of the continent, have exhibited the same disobedience. You are contending for a matter which the Bostonians will not give up quietly. They can not, by such means, be made to bow to the authority of ministers; on the contrary, you will find their obstinacy confirmed and their fury exasperated. The acts of resistance in their city have not been confined to the populace alone, but men of the first rank and opulent fortune in the place have openly countenanced them. One city in proscription and the rest in rebellion can never be a remedial measure for general disturbances. Have you considered whether you have troops and ships sufficient to reduce the people of the whole American continent to your devotion? It was the duty of your governor, and not of men without arms, to suppress the tumults. If this officer has not demanded the proper assistance from the military commanders, why punish the innocent for the fault and the negligence of the officers of the crown? The resistance is general in all parts of America; you must, therefore, let it govern itself by its own internal policy, or make it subservient to all your laws, by an exertion of all the forces of the kingdom. These partial counsels are well suited to irritate, not subjugate." Pownall, Johnstone (late Governor of Florida), Dodsworth, Fox, and others followed Burke on the same side, but argument was of no avail. Without a division, the bill passed by an almost unanimous vote, and on the 31st of March [1774.] it became a law by the royal assent.

Another bill soon followed [March 28.], "for better regulating the government of Massachusetts Bay." It was tantamount to an abrogation of the charter of that colony. It gave to the crown the appointment of counselors and judges of the Supreme Court, and the nomination of all other officers, military, executive, and judicial, was given to the governors, independently of any approval by the Council. The sheriffs were empowered to select jurors, a duty before performed by the select-men of the towns. All town meetings, except for elections, were prohibited. This bill, so manifestly hostile to the freedom of British subjects, elicited a warm debate, and Burke and Barré opposed it with all their might. "What can the Americans believe," said Burke, "but that England wishes to despoil them of all liberty, of all franchise, and, by the destruction of their charters, to reduce them to a state of the most abject slavery? . . . . . . As the Americans are no less ardently attached to liberty than the English themselves, can it ever be hoped that they will submit to such exorbitant usurpation, to such portentous resolutions?" Pownall warned ministers to pause. He alluded to that powerful engine, the Committees of Correspondence, then unceasingly working in the colonies, and assured ministers that their harsh measure would drive the people to the calling of a general Congress, and perhaps a resort to arms. All opposition was fruitless, and the bill passed the House by the overwhelming majority of two hundred and thirty-nine against sixty-four. Lord Shelburne and others vehemently denounced it in the Upper House, and eleven peers signed a protest in seven long articles.

North had begun to work the lever of oppression so forcibly that it seemed not easy for him to desist. A third bill was introduced [April 21, 1774.], intended to protect the servants of royalty in America against the verdicts of colonial juries. It provided for the trial in England of all persons charged in the colonies with murders committed in support of government. It was suggested by a retrospect of the "Boston massacre," and was a most unjust and insulting comment upon the verdict in favor of Captain Preston and his soldiers. It was more – it guarantied comparative safety to those who might shoot a rebel in the name of the king. This measure was bitterly denounced by the opposition leaders. "This," said Colonel Barré, "is, indeed, the most extraordinary resolution ever heard in the Parliament of England. It offers new encouragement to military insolence, already so insupportable. . . . . . . By this law Americans are deprived of a right which belongs to every human creature – that of demanding justice before a tribunal of impartial judges. Even Captain Preston, who, in their own city of Boston, had shed the blood of citizens, found among them a fair trial and equitable judges." Alderman Sawbridge was more bold and recriminating in his denunciations of the measure. He called it "ridiculous and cruel;" asserted that it was meant to enslave the Americans, and expressed an ardent hope that they would not admit the execution of any of these destructive bills, but nobly refuse them all. "If they do not," he said, "they are the most abject slaves upon earth, and nothing the ministers can do is base enough for them." Again remonstrance was vain, and the bill passed the House by a majority of one hundred and twenty-seven to forty-four; in the Lords, by forty-nine to twelve. Eight peers entered a strong protest against it. It became a law by royal assent on the 20th of May.

A fourth bill, for quartering troops in America, was also brought in, and took the course of others. Rose Fuller, who generally supported ministers, attempted to break the severity of the several enactments, and produce a reconciliation with the colonies, by proposing a repeal of the act imposing the duty on tea. His proposition was negatived by a large majority. On the annunciation of the result, Mr. Fuller uttered these remarkable words: "I will now take my leave of the whole plan; you will commence your ruin from this day! I am sorry to say that not only the House has fallen into this error, but the people approve of the measure. The people, I am sorry to say, are misled. But a short time will prove the evil tendency of this bill. If ever there was a nation rushing headlong to ruin, it is this."

Evidently anticipating rebellion in America, and distrustful of the loyalty of the newly-acquired colony of Quebec, or Canada, a fifth act was brought forward by ministers, making great concessions to the Roman Catholic population of that province. This law, known as the Quebec Act, has already been noticed in detail on pages 156-7. 33 Let us now turn our eyes back to the colonies, and observe the spirit of the people of Boston on hearing of the plans maturing for their enslavement and ruin.

Intelligence of the passage of the Boston Port Bill reached Massachusetts in May [May 13.]. Already the Assembly had taken high, but correct ground on the subject of the salaries of crown officers in the colonies. In January [1774.] that body resolved that it was incumbent upon the judges to determine at once whether they would receive their salaries direct from the crown, or depend therefor upon the votes of the Assembly. Chief-justice Oliver was questioned upon this point, and replied that he should hereafter look to the crown for the emoluments of office. The Assembly then resolved, by a majority of sixty-nine to nine, "That Peter Oliver hath, by his conduct, proved himself an enemy to the Constitution of the province, and is become greatly obnoxious to the good people of it; that he ought to be removed from the office of chief justice; and that a remonstrance and petition to the governor and Council, for his immediate removal, be prepared." They also resolved to impeach the chief justice. The governor not only refused to remove him, but declared the acts of the Assembly unconstitutional. 34

Fortunately for Hutchinson’s personal safety, but much to his chagrin, his recall accompanied the Port Bill, and General Gage was appointed his successor. Thus far, in all matters relative to the agitations in the colonies, Gage had behaved so discreetly that he enjoyed a considerable share of public confidence and esteem, and in proportion as the people of Boston detested Hutchinson they were disposed to respect the new governor. Hutchinson, deprived of the shield of delegated power, so much feared the resentment of the Boston populace, that he retired to his country house at Milton, where he remained in seclusion until a favorable opportunity offered for him to leave the province [June 1, 1774.]. It is an erroneous belief that the people were unanimous in opposition to government and in support of republican views. For a while, when the issue came, the parties were very nearly balanced in Boston; and during the whole time of its occupancy by the British troops, until the evacuation in 1776, a large portion of the inhabitants were loyal. Before Hutchinson departed, one hundred arid twenty merchants of Boston, and many lawyers, magistrates, and principal gentlemen of that town, and Salem, and Marblehead, signed an address to him, in which they expressed entire approbation of his public conduct, and affectionate wishes for his prosperity. These "addressors" were afterward obliged to recant. Some who would not left the province, and were the earliest of the refugee Loyalists.

General Gage, doubtful what reception he should meet at Boston, proceeded with great caution. Four additional regiments were ordered to the rebellious town, but he went thither from New York unattended by any military except his staff. On the day when he entered the harbor the town was greatly excited, news of the Port Bill having just arrived [May 13, 1774.]. He landed at Long Wharf, and was received with much respect by the immense crowd of people that met him. He was entertained by the magistrates and others at a public dinner, and on that evening Hutchinson was burned in effigy on the Common, in front of John Hancock’s mansion.


The next day a numerously attended town meeting, at which Samuel Adams presided, was held in Faneuil Hall to consider the Port Bill. The people were, indeed, at their "wits’ end." The decree had gone forth to blight the town; a governor, commissioned to execute the ministerial will, was present, and soldiers were on their way to support his authority. The meeting voted "That it is the opinion of the town that, if the other colonies come into a joint resolution to stop all importation from, and exportation to, Great Britain, and every part of the East Indies, till the act be repealed, the same will prove the salvation of North America and her liberties; and that the impolicy, injustice, inhumanity, and cruelty of the act exceed all our powers of expression; we, therefore, leave it to the just censure of others, and appeal to God and the world." Paul Revere, an artist and mechanic of Boston, and one of the most active patriots, was sent to New York and Philadelphia to invoke sympathy and co-operation. A vast number of copies of the act, printed with heavy black lines around it, and some of them having the sepulchral device of skull and cross-bones rudely engraved as a head-piece, were scattered over the country, and cried in cities and villages as the "Barbarous, cruel, bloody, and inhuman murder!" 36 The whole country was inflamed, and every where the most lively sympathy for the people of Boston was awakened. Orators at public gatherings, ministers in the pulpits, and the newspaper press throughout the land, denounced the oppression laid upon Boston as a type of what was in store for the whole country. Some of the newspapers placed at their head the significant device used during the Stamp Act excitement, a serpent cut in ten pieces, with the inscription "Join or die! or "Unite or die!" 37 The cause of Boston became the cause of all the colonies, and never were the British ministry really weaker in their government relations to America than when Lord North was forging, as he vainly thought, the fetters of majestic law to bind the colonies indissolubly to the throne. In honorable concession alone lay his real strength, but of these precious locks the Delilah of haughty ambition had shorn him, and when he attempted to put forth his power, he found himself "like other men," weak indeed!



1 We give on the following page a copy of the Massachusetts Song of Liberty, with the music, as printed in the Boston Almanac.



"Come swallow your bumpers, ye Tories, and roar,
That the Sons of fair Freedom are hamper’d once more;
But know that no Cut-throats our spirits can tame,
Nor a host of Oppressors shall smother the flame.

"In Freedom we’re born, and, like Sons of the brave,
Will never surrender,
But swear to defend her,
And scorn to survive, if unable to save.

"Our grandsires, bless’d heroes, we’ll give them a tear,
Nor sully their honors by stooping to fear;
Through deaths and through dangers their Trophies they won,
We dare be their Rivals, nor will be outdone.
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

"Let tyrants and minions presume to despise,
Encroach on our RIGHTS, and make FREEDOM their prize;
The fruits of their rapine they never shall keep,
Though vengeance may nod yet how short is her sleep.
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

"The tree which proud Haman for Mordecai rear’d
Stands recorded, that virtue endanger’d is spared;
That rogues, whom no bounds and no laws can restrain,
Must be stripp’d of their honors and humbled again.
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

"Our wives and our babes, still protected, shall know
Those who dare to be free shall forever be so;
On these arms and these hearts they may safely rely
For in freedom we’ll live, or like Heroes we’ll die.
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

"Ye insolent Tyrants! who wish to enthrall;
Ye Minions, ye Placemen, Pimps, Pensioners, all;
How short is your triumph, how feeble your trust,
Your honor must wither and nod to the dust.
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

When oppress’d and approach’d, our KING we implore,
Still firmly persuaded our RIGHTS he’ll restore;
When our hearts beat to arms to defend a just right,
Our monarch rules there, and forbids us to fight.
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

"Not the glitter of arms nor the dread of a fray
Could make us submit to their chains for a day;
Withheld by affection, on Britons we call,
Prevent the fierce conflict which threatens your fall.
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

"All ages shall speak with amaze and applause
Of the prudence we show in support of our cause:
Assured of our safety, a BRUNSWICK still reigns,
Whose free loyal subjects are strangers to chains.
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

"Then join hand in hand, brave AMERICANS all,
To be free is to live, to be slaves is to fall;
Has the land such a dastard as scorns not a LORD,
Who dreads not a fetter much more than a sword?
"In Freedom we’re born, &c.

2 See note, page 71.

3 Robinson, one of the commissioners, had made such representations of Mr. Otis in Britain as provoked him to make a publication in the Boston Gazette on the subject. For some expression used in that article Robinson attempted to pull Otis’s nose at a coffee-house. An affray ensued, in which Mr. Otis was so severely beaten that he was obliged to leave the city and retire to his country residence. From the injuries then received he never thoroughly recovered. Heavy damages (£2000) were awarded him against Robinson for the assault, but Otis generously forgave his assailant, and refused to take the money.

4 While the king’s troops were in Boston, an incident occurred that evinced the bold spirit of even the little boys. In the winter they were in the habit of building little hills of snow, and sliding down them to the pond on the Common, for amusement. The English soldiers, to provoke them, would often beat down these hills. On one occasion, having rebuilt their hills, and finding, on their return from school, that they were again demolished, several of the boys determined to wait upon the captain and complain of his soldiers. The officer made light of it, and the soldiers became more troublesome than ever. At last a meeting of the larger boys was held, and a deputation was sent to General Gage, the commander-in-chief. He asked why so many children had called upon him. "We come, sir," said the tallest boy, "to demand satisfaction." "What!" said the general, "have your fathers been teaching you rebellion, and sent you to exhibit it here?" "Nobody sent us, sir," replied the boy, while his eyes flashed and cheek reddened at the imputation of rebellion; "we have never injured or insulted your troops, but they have trodden down our snow-hills and broken the ice on our skating-grounds. We complained, and they called us young rebels, and told us to help ourselves if we could. We told the captain of this, and he laughed at us. Yesterday our works were destroyed the third time, and we will bear it no longer." The nobler feelings of the general’s heart were awakened, and, after gazing upon them in silent admiration for a moment, he turned to an officer by his side, and said, "The very children here draw in a love of liberty with the air they breathe. You may go, my brave boys, and be assured, if my troops trouble you again, they shall be punished." - Lossing’s "1776," p. 90.

5 This boy was an apprentice to a barber named Piemont, at whose shop some of the British officers were in the habit of shaving. One of them had come there some months previous to dress by the quarter, whose bill Piemont promised to allow to the boy who shaved him, if he behaved well. The quarter had expired, but the money could not be got, although frequently asked for. The last application was made on that evening, and, as the boy alleged, the officer knocked him down in reply to the "dun." The sentry he pointed out as the man that abused him. - See "Traits of the Tea Party."

6 Crispus Attucks, Samuel Gray, and James Caldwell were killed on the spot; Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr received mortal wounds, of which the former died the next morning, and Carr on Wednesday of the next week.

7 This venerable and venerated edifice, that stood through all the storms of the Revolution, and yet remains, stands on the corner of Washington and Milk Streets. It is of brick, and was erected in 1729-30, upon the site of an edifice built by the Pedo-baptists in 1669. The ancient church was of cedar, two stories high, with a steeple, gallery, and pews. The "Old South" was the famous gathering-place of the people during the excitements of 1773. The British troops occupied it as a circus for the drill of cavalry in 1775, after removing all the wood-work within, except the eastern gallery and the pulpit and soundingboard. The British officers felt no compunctions in thus desecrating a Presbyterian chapel. It was repaired in 1782, and remains a fine model of our early church architecture. This view is from Washington Street.

8 The committee consisted of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, William Molineux, William Phillips, Joseph Warren, Joshua Henshaw, and Samuel Pemberton.

9 Snow’s History of Boston.

10 Attucks and Caldwell had no relatives, and were friendless. Their bodies were borne from Faneuil Hall. Maverick, only seventeen years of age, was borne from the house of his mother, in Union Street, and Gray from that of his brother, in Royal Exchange Lane.

11 Captain Preston’s trial commenced on the 24th of October, and lasted until the 30th. The trial of the soldiers commenced on the 27th of November, and ended on the 5th of December. So searching was the examination of witnesses by Mr. Quincy, that Mr. Adams was obliged to ask him to desist, for he was eliciting from them facts that were not only irrelevant to the case in hand, but dishonorable to the town.

12 James Otis, Jr., was the son of Colonel James Otis, of Barnstable, Massachusetts, where he was born February 5th, 1725. He graduated at Harvard College in 1743. He studied law with Mr. Gridley, then the first lawyer in the province, and commenced the practice of his profession at Plymouth at the age of twenty-one years. In 1761 he distinguished himself by his plea in opposition to the Writs of Assistance. His antagonist on that occasion was his law tutor, Mr. Gridley. Of his speech at that time John Adams said, "James Otis was a flame of fire. . . . . . . American independence was then and there born. Every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take up arms against Writs of Assistance." Otis was elected to the Legislature in 1762, and was a member of the Stamp Act Congress held at New York in 1765. That year he wrote his celebrated pamphlet in defense of colonial rights. He held the office of judge advocate, but in 1767 resigned, and renounced all offices under government, because of encroachments upon the rights of the people. Brutally beaten by a commissioner of customs in the autumn of 1769, he was obliged to retire to his country residence. The injuries he received left their effects upon his mind, and from that time his reason was shattered. The great man, though in ruins, lived nearly thirteen years, when, on the 23d of May, 1782, while standing in the door of Mr. Osgood’s house in Andover, he was killed by lightning. He had often expressed a desire to be thus deprived of life when it should please God to call him. In a commemorative ode, written at the time by the Hon. Thomas Dawes, the following lines occur:

"Yes, when the glorious work which he begun
Shall stand the most complete beneath the sun –
When peace shall come to crown the grand design,
His eyes shall live to see the work divine –
The heavens shall then his generous spirit claim,
In storms as loud as his immortal fame.
Hark! the deep thunders echo round the skies!
On wings of flame the eternal errand flies;
One chosen, charitable bolt is sped,
And Otis mingles with the glorious dead."

Mr. Otis was a scholar as well as a statesman. He was complete master of classical literature, * and no American at that time possessed more extensive knowledge. He may be justly ranked among the founders of our republic, for he was truly the master of ceremonies in laying the corner-stone. He lived to see the work nearly completed, and beheld the wing of peace spread over the land.

* The following anecdote is related of Mr. Otis as illustrative of his ready use of Latin even during moments of mental aberration. Men and boys, heartless and thoughtless, would sometimes make themselves merry at his expense when he was seen in the streets afflicted with lunacy. On one occasion he was passing a crockery store, when a young man, who had a knowledge of Latin, sprinkled some water upon him from a sprinkling-pot with which he was wetting the floor of the second story, at the same time saying, Pluit tantum, nescio quantum, Scis ne tu? "It rains so much, I know not how much. Do you know?" Otis immediately picked up a missile, and, hurling it through the window of the crockery store, it smashing every thing in its way, exclaimed, Fregi tôt, nescio quot, Scis ne tu? "I have broken so many, I know not how many. Do you know?".

13 Dr. Gordon says (i., 207) that the system of Committees of Correspondence originated with James Warren, who suggested them to Samuel Adams while the latter was passing an evening with the former at Plymouth. Adams, pleased with the suggestion, communicated it to the leading patriots at the next secret caucus, and that powerful engine in the Revolution was speedily put in motion.

JAMES WARREN was an active patriot. He was descended from one of the first settlers at Plymouth, and was greatly esteemed for his personal worth. He was chosen a member of the General Court of Massachusetts in 1760, and, though not a brilliant orator, was a deep and original thinker. He was for many years Speaker of the House of Representatives. At the close of the war he retired from public duties, and died at Plymouth, November 27th, 1808, aged eighty-two years. He was the husband of Mercy Warren, the historian.

14 The names of the several writers were Andrew Oliver, Charles Paxton, Thomas Moffatt, Robert Auchmuty, Nathaniel Rogers, and George Rome. Mr. Whately was dead when the letters were given to Franklin.

15 The late Dr. Hosack, of New York, in his memoir of Dr. Hugh Williamson, published in 1823, asserts that the papers were put into Franklin’s hands by that gentleman, without any suggestion on his part. Williamson obtained them by stratagem from the office of Mr. Whately, brother of the late Thomas Whately, then dead. Mr. Whately suspected that Lord Temple, Pitt’s brother-in-law, who had asked permission to examine the papers of Secretary Whately, was the man who abstracted them, and placed them in Franklin’s hands. Whately charged the act upon Temple, and a duel was the result, in which the former was wounded. Of this affair Franklin knew nothing until it was over. In justice to others, he took the responsibility upon himself, as mentioned in the text.

16 Lord Dartmouth succeeded the Earl of Hillsborough in the office of Secretary of State for the colonies, and as head of the Board of Trade, in 1772. Dartmouth was considered rather friendly to the colonies, and he and Franklin had ever been on terms of amity.

17 The Privy Council consists of the cabinet and thirty-five peers.

18 On returning to his lodgings that night, Franklin took off the suit of clothes he had worn, and declared that he would never wear it again until he should sign the degradation of England and the independence of America. He kept his word, and more than ten years afterward, when, on the 3d of September, 1783, he signed a definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain, on the basis of absolute independence for America, he wore the same suit of clothes for the first time after his vow was uttered.

19 The East India Company, still in existence, is a joint-stock company, originally established to carry on a trade by sea, between England and the countries lying eastward of the Cape of Good Hope. It was constituted by royal charter in 1600, and enjoyed the monopoly of the trade in those remote regions until 1688, when another corporation was chartered. The two united in 1702, and the monopoly thus granted to them was continued, by successive acts of Parliament, until 1804. It then received some important modifications, and the charter was renewed for twenty years. In 1833 an act was passed extending the charter, but abolishing the monopoly of the China trade, which the company had enjoyed nearly two hundred and fifty years. This company planted the British empire in India. It first established armed factories, and for many years competed with the French for the trade and political influence in the surrounding districts. Under the pretense of securing honest trade, they subdued small territories, until Lord Clive, the governor general of the company in India, by several victories, established British power there, and obtained a sway over some of the fairest portions of the Mogul empire. At the present time the British Indian empire comprises the whole of Hindostan, from the Himalaya Mountains to Cape Comorin, with a population of more than one hundred and twenty millions! At the time under consideration the East India Company was at the height of its success, commercial and political.

20 John Singleton Copley, the eminent painter, and father of Lord Lyndhurst, married a daughter of Richard Clarke. Both Copley and his father-in-law became early refugee Loyalists, and fled to England, where the latter was pall-bearer at Governor Hutchinson’s funeral in 1780.

21 The following is a copy of the hand-bill that advertised the meeting:


"To the Freemen of this and the neighboring Towns.

"GENTLEMEN – YOU are desired to meet at the Liberty Tree this day at twelve o’clock at noon, 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 offices 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 to London.

O. C., Sec’y.

"Boston, November 3, 1773.

"Þ Show me the man that dare take this down!"


The following hand-bill was also circulated about the same time:


"The true Sons of Liberty and supporters of the non-importation agreement are determined to resent any or the least insult or menace offered to any one or more of the several committees appointed by the body at Faneuil Hall, and chastise any one or more of them as they deserve; and will also support the printers in any thing the committee shall desire them to print.

"Þ As a warning to any one that shall affront as aforesaid, upon sure information given, one of these advertisements will be posted up at the door of the dwelling-house of the offender."


These placards, and others given in connection with the tea excitement, I copied from originals preserved by the Massachusetts Historical Society, in tome marked Proclamations.

22 On the 12th the captain general of the province issued an order for the Governor’s Cadets (Bostonians) to stand ready to be called out for the purpose of aiding the civil magistrates in keeping the peace. John Hancock was colonel of this regiment.

23 The following is a copy of the hand-bill announcing the meeting. The Dartmouth arrived on Sunday, and this placard was posted all over Boston early on Monday morning:


"Friends! Brethren! Countrymen! – That worst of plagues, the detested TEA shipped for this port by the East India Company, is now arrived in the 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 to 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 united and successful resistance to this last, worst, and most destructive measure of administration.

"Boston, November 29, 1773."


24 This was a little south of Fort Hill, near the present Liverpool Dock.

25 The notice for the meeting was as follows:


"Friends! Brethren! Countrymen! – The perfidious arts of your restless enemies to render ineffectual the resolutions of the body of the people, demand your assembling at the Old South Meeting-house precisely at two o’clock this day, at which time the bells will ring."


26 Josiah Quincy was born in Boston, February 23d, 1744. As a student he was remarkably persevering, and with unblemished reputation he graduated at Harvard in 1763. He pursued legal studies under the celebrated Oxenbridge Thacher, of Boston. The circumstances of the times turned his thoughts to political topics. and he took sides with Otis, Adams, and others, against the aggressive policy of Britain. As early as 1768 he used this bold language: "Did the blood of the ancient Britons swell our veins, did the spirit of our forefathers inhabit our breasts, should we hesitate a moment in preferring death to a miserable existence in bondage?" In 1770 he declared, "I wish to see my countrymen break off – off forever! all social intercourse with those whose commerce contaminates, whose luxuries poison, whose avarice is insatiable, and whose unnatural oppressions are not to be borne." Mr. Quincy was associated with John Adams in the defense of the perpetrators of the "Boston massacre" in 1770, and did not by that defense alienate the good opinion of the people. In February, 1771, he was obliged to go to the south on account of a pulmonary complaint. At Charleston he formed an acquaintance with Pinckney, Rutledge, and other patriots, and, returning by land, conferred with other leading Whigs in the several colonies. Continued ill health, and a desire to make himself acquainted with English statesmen, induced him to make a voyage to England in 1774, where he had personal interviews with most of the leading men. He asserts that, while there, Colonel Barré, who had traveled in America, assured him that such was the ignorance of the English people, two thirds of them thought the Americans were all negroes! Becoming fully acquainted with the feelings and intentions of the king and his ministers, and hopeless of reconciliation, Mr. Quincy determined to return and arouse his countrymen to action. He embarked for Boston, with declining health, in March, and died when the vessel was in sight of land, April 26th, 1775, aged thirty-one years.

27 A "Bostonian," in his "Traits of the Tea Party," on the authority of G. R. T. Hewes, one of the survivors, says that Admiral Montague was at the house of a Tory named Coffin during the transaction, and that, when the party marched from the wharf, he raised the window and said, "Well, boys, you’ve 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, the leader; "never mind, squire! just come out here, if you please, and we’ll settle the bill in two minutes." The populace raised a shout, the fifer struck up a lively air, and the admiral shut the window in a hurry.

28 Some, whose acquisitiveness overmatched their patriotism, were pretty severely handled during the destruction of the cargoes. One Charles O’Connor was detected filling his pockets and "the lining of his doublet" with tea while assisting to throw the broken chests overboard. He was completely stripped of his clothes and kicked ashore. A man was found at South Boston a few days afterward, with part of a chest of tea, which he had carried away from the harbor. He had sold some. They made him give up the money, and then, taking the remainder of the chest, they made a bonfire of it on the common, in front of Mr. Hancock’s house. Some of the tea is preserved at Harvard College.

29 The following is a list of those known to have been engaged in destroying the tea:

George R. T. Hewes, * Joseph Shed, John Crane, Josiah Wheeler, Thomas Uranu, Adam Colson, Thomas Chase, S. Cooledge, Joseph Payson, James Brewer, Thomas Bolter, Edward Proctor, Samuel Sloper, Thomas Gerrish, Nathaniel Green, Thomas Mellville, Henry Purkett, * Edward C. How, Ebenezer Stevens, Nicholas Campbell, John Russell, Thomas Porter, William Hurdley, Benjamin Rice, Samuel Gore, Nathaniel Frothingham, Moses Grant, Peter Slater. * James Starr, Abraham Tower, Isaac Simpson, * Joseph Eayres, Joseph Lee, William Molineux, Paul Revere, John Spurr, Thomas Moore, S. Howard, Mathew Loring, Thomas Spear, Daniel Ingollson, Jonathan Hunnewell, * John Hooten, * Richard Hunnewell, William Pierce, * William Russell, T. Gammell, Mr. M‘Intosh, * Dr. Young, Mr. Wyeth, Edward Dolbier, Mr. Martin, Samuel Peck, Lendall Pitts, Samuel Sprague, * Benjamin Clarke, John Prince, * Richard Hunnewell, Jr., David Kinnison. * Many of these were merely lads at the time.

* These were living in 1836. All are now in the grave except Mr. Kinnison.

30 The celebrated Charles James Fox, son of Lord Holland, made his first speech in Parliament on this bill. It was a strange beginning of his brilliant career. He objected to the power vested in the British crown to reopen the port of Boston. Neither party supported his suggestion.

31 "Carthage must be destroyed." This phrase was often used by Roman orators to excite the people to the utter destruction of Carthage, then the rival of the great city. During the revolutionary mania among the French this sentiment was often quoted as a threat against England.

32 Edmund Burke, one of England’s greatest statesmen, was born in Carlow, in Ireland, January 1st, 1730. He was educated at Dublin, and took his bachelor’s degree in 1749. In 1753, having been unsuccessful in his application for the logic professorship at Glasgow, he went to London and entered at the Middle Temple. He early employed his pen in literature and his eloquence in politics. His first literary production of note was an essay on the Vindication of Natural Society, in imitation of Bolingbroke’s style. In 1757 he published his essay on the Sublime and Beautiful. In 1758 he and Dodswell commenced the Annual Register, which acquired great celebrity. He accompanied Gerard (or Single Speech) Hamilton to Ireland in 1761, and, by the interposition of that gentleman, obtained a pension of fifteen hundred dollars on the Irish Establishment. On his return he was introduced to the Marquis of Rockingham, who made him his secretary, and procured his election to a seat in the House of Commons. There he eloquently and efficiently pleaded the cause of the Americans. On the downfall of North’s administration he became pay-master general, and obtained a seat in the Council. His great speeches against Warren Hastings, when on trial before the House of Commons, were such as the British Legislature had never before heard. He retired from Parliament in 1794, on a pension of six thousand dollars. During his political career he wrote much, and his compositions rank among the purest of the British classics. He died on the 8th of July, 1797, in, the seventieth year of his age.

Goldsmith, in his Retaliation, * wrote the following epitaph for Burke. It was written in 1776, when Burke was in the midst of his career.

"Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much;
Who, born for the universe, narrow’d his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.
Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat
To persuade Tommy Townshend
to lend him a vote;
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
And thought of convincing while they thought of dining.
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit:
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit;
For a patriot too cool; for a drudge, disobedient;
And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient.
In short, ’twas his fate, unemploy’d or in place, sir,
To eat mutton cold and cut blocks with a razor."

* The history of this poem is a "curiosity of literature." Goldsmith had peculiarities which attracted attention, and it was proposed, at a club of literary men, of which he was a member, to write characters of him in the shape of epitaphs. Dean Barnard, Cumberland, Garrick, and others complied. Garrick wrote the following couplet:

"Here lies poor Goldsmith, for shortness call’d Noll;
Who wrote like Apollo, and talk’d like poor poll."

Goldsmith felt called upon for retaliation, and at the next meeting produced the poem from which the following is an extract. It contained epitaphs for several of the club, and he paid off his friend Garrick with compound interest These lines occur in Garrick’s epitaph:

"Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow’d what came
And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame,
Till his relish grew callous, almost to disease;
Who pepper’d the highest was surest to please."

But he generously added,

"But let us be candid, and speak out our mind –
If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind."

Afterward Lord Sidney.

33 A fact not noticed in the former consideration of the Quebec Act is worthy of record, as showing the actual despotic tendency of Parliamentary enactments at that time. By a provision of the act in question, the total revenue of the province of Canada was consigned, in the first instance, to a warrant from the Lord of the Treasury, for the purpose of pensioning judges during pleasure, and the support of a civil list, totally unlimited. This first Lord of the Treasury, or prime minister, was thus in actual possession of the whole revenue of the province, and unrestrained in its expenditure, except by general instructions to use it "to defray the expenses of the administration of justice, and to support civil government in the colonies." Similar despotic ingredients were profusely sprinkled throughout the whole batch of measures brought forward by Lord North to rule the Americans. The superficial observer is apt to consider the zeal of the Americans against Parliamentary measures highly intemperate and sometimes censurable, for apparently trifling causes aroused the most violent action. But the colonists clearly perceived the huge monster of despotism artfully covered under a fair guise, and what seemed but an insect, magnified by the microscope of prejudice, they knew to be the germ of a monster reality. The three per cent. duty on tea, considered alone, was but a grain of sand as an obstacle to friendly feelings, but the principle that slept there was a towering Alp.

34 Peter Oliver, brother of Andrew Oliver, the stamp-master already noticed, was born in 1713, and graduated at Harvard in 1730. He was appointed judge of the Superior Court in 1756, and became chief justice when his brother-in-law, Hutchinson, was appointed governor. He was impeached by the Massachusetts Assembly in 1774. Judge Oliver soon afterward went to England. He died at Birmingham in October, 1791, aged nearly seventy-nine years.

35 This is a substantial stone building, situated upon Beacon Street, fronting the Common. It was erected by Thomas Hancock, an uncle of Governor Hancock, in 1737. The present proprietor is a nephew of the governor.

36 The engraving is a fac-simile, one fourth the size of the original, of a device upon one of these papers. Over the skull is a rude resemblance of a crown, and beneath the bones that of the Cap of Liberty, denoting that all was death and destruction between the crown and liberty. This device is supposed to be the work of Paul Revere, who engraved the pictures of the naval investment of Boston in 1765, and the Boston Massacre in 1770. Revere was a very ingenious man, an active patriot, and, as grand master of the Masonic fraternity in Massachusetts, had extensive influence. He was a co-worker with Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, and other compatriots in setting the ball of the Revolution in motion.

37 The cut upon the next page is a fac-simile of one of those illustrations. I copied it from the Pennsylvania Journal, 1774, where it appeared for nearly a year, or until the colonies were fairly united by a Continental Congress. The loyal papers loudly condemned the use of the device. A writer in Rivington’s Royal Gazette, 38 who called it a "scandalous and saucy reflection," was answered as follows by a correspondent of the Journal:

"To the Author of the Lines in Mr.
Rivington’s Paper, on the Snake depicted
in some of the American Newspapers.

"That New England’s abused, and by sons of sedition,
Is granted without either prayer or petition;
And that ’tis ‘a scandalous, saucy reflection,
That merits the soundest, severest correction,’
Is readily granted. ‘How came it to pass?’
Because she is pester’d by snakes in the grass,
Who, by lying and cringing, and such like pretensions,
Get places once honor’d disgraced with pensions.
And you, Mr. Pensioner, instead of repentance
(If I don’t mistake you), have wrote your own sentence;
For by such snakes as this New England’s abused,
And the head of the serpents, ‘you know, must be bruised,"


38 Rivington was the "king’s printer" in New York city. His office was at the southeast corner of Pearl and Wall Streets. He had the entire confidence of the British authorities, and held the "rebels" in great contempt. He was a caustic writer, and his remarks were often remembered with bitterness for years. The following anecdote is illustrative of this fact:

Among those who cherished very hostile feelings toward Rivington was that dare-devil, General Ethan Allen, of Vermont, who swore he would "lick Rivington the very first opportunity he had." Rivington himself, aware of his intentions, gave a most humorous description of his interview with Allen, showing, at the same time, his exceeding cleverness and tact, which may even at this day be profitable to his editorial brethren. Rivington was a fine, portly-looking man, dressed in the extreme of fashion – curled and powdered hair, claret-colored coat, scarlet waistcoat trimmed with gold lace, buckskin breeches, and top boots – and kept the very best society.

The clerk below stairs saw Allen coming at a distance. "I was sitting," said Rivington, "after a good dinner, alone, with my bottle of Madeira before me, when I heard an unusual noise in the street, and a huzza from the boys. I was in the second story, and, stepping to the window, saw a tall figure in tarnished regimentals, with a large cocked hat and an enormous long sword, followed by a crowd of boys, who occasionally cheered him with huzzas, of which he seemed insensible. He came up to my door and stopped. I could see no more. My heart told me it was Ethan Allen. I shut down my window, and retired behind my table and bottle. I was certain the hour of reckoning had come. There was no retreat. Mr. Staples, my clerk, came in paler than ever, and clasping his hands, said, ‘Master, he is come!’ ‘I know it.’ ‘He entered the store, and asked "if James Rivington lived there." I answered, "Yes, sir," "Is he at home I" "I will go and see, sir," I said; and now, master. what is to be done? There he is in the store, and the boys peeping at him from the street.’ I had made up my mind. I looked at the bottle of Madeira – possibly took a glass. ‘Show him up,’ said I; ‘and if such Madeira can not mollify him, he must be harder than adamant.’ There was a fearful moment of suspense. I heard him on the stairs, his long sword clanking at every step. in he stalked. ‘Is your name James Rivington?’ ‘It is, sir, and no man could be more happy than I am to see Colonel Ethan Allen,’ ‘Sir, I have come –’ ‘Not another word, my dear colonel, until you have taken a seat and a glass of old Madeira.’ ‘But, sir, I don’t think it proper –’ ‘Not another word, colonel. Taste this wine; I have had it in glass for ten years. Old wine, you know, unless it is originally sound, never improves by age.’ He took the glass, swallowed the wine, smacked his lips, and shook his head approvingly. ‘Sir, I come –’ ‘Not another word until you have taken another glass, and then, my dear colonel. we will talk of old affairs, and I have some droll events to detail.’ In short, we finished two bottles of Madeira, and parted as good friends as if we never had cause to be otherwise."



Transcription and html prepared by Bill Carr, last updated 06/03/2001.

Please provide me with any feedback you may have concerning errors in the transcription or any supplementary information concerning the contents. wcarr1@nycap.rr.com

Copyright Notice: Copyright 2001. All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may be linked to but may not be reproduced on another site without the specific permission of their creator. Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which it is presented, the notes and comments, etc., are. It is, however, quite permissible to print or save the files to a personal computer for personal use ONLY.