A mason, member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, died in October, 1805. He resided in Essex Street; was an active Son of Liberty, and was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 30, 1773. His two sons, fourteen and sixteen years of age, were with him at the throwing overboard of the tea.
Was born in 1753. He lived for many years on Brighton Street, and was a Freemason.
COLONEL ABRAHAM HUNT,
Was born in Braintree, Mass., June 2, 1748; died December 5, 1793. He was apprenticed, in 1763, to Edmund Quincy, who kept a wine-store, and was afterwards connected with him in the trade. In 1789, his place of business was in Middle (Hanover) Street, and his residence on Federal Street. He served as lieutenant and adjutant at the siege of Boston; was in the Ticonderoga campaign, remaining some years in the service, which he quitted with the rank of captain. June 24, 1781, he was agent for the privateer "Buccaneer," Captain Hoysted Hacker. For a time he was inspector of the ports of Boston and Charlestown. In 1777, he became a member of St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons. October 15, 1771, he married Mary St. Leger. His orderly books for June and July, 1775, are in the possession of his grandson, —— Urann, Esq.
Housewright, formerly of Boston, died in Keene, N.H., October 17, 1829, aged seventy-nine. He was a member of St. Andrew's Lodge, in 1782.
The last of the tea party, born in Old Kingston, near Portsmouth, Maine, November 17, 1736; died in Chicago, February 24, 1852; aged one hundred and fifteen years. Up to the Revolution he was a farmer, at Lebanon, whence, with a few comrades, members of a political club, he went to Boston, with the express purpose of destroying the tea. He was in active service during the war, participating in many battles, and was a prisoner among the Indians at its close. He was a farmer, at Wells, Maine, when the war of 1812 broke out, and was in the battles at Sackett's Harbor and Williamsburg, and in the latter was badly wounded in the hand, by a grape-shot. He afterwards lived at Lyme, and at Sackett's Harbor, N.Y., and in July, 1845, went to Chicago. At Lyme, while felling a tree, he was struck down by a limb, which fractured his skull, broke his collar bone, and two of his ribs. While engaged in discharging a cannon, at a training at Sackett's Harbor, both legs were broken and badly shattered. Up to 1848 he had always made something by his labor, and was the father of twenty-two children. He learned to read when past sixty. A daughter, who survived in 1848, was made acquainted in that year with her father's existence, by the publication of Mr. Lossing's "Field Book of the Revolution." Hastening to him, she smoothed the patriarch's pillow in his passage to the grave.
Merchant, on Long Wharf, afterwards at 9 Doane Street, was a member of Massachusetts Lodge of Freemasons, in 1773, and died February 6, 1831; aged eighty-six.
Born in Hingham, Mass., March 17, 1753, died at Quincy, Mass., January 15, 1829. He was apprenticed to a Mr. Crafts, at the North End, who, on the evening of December 16, 1773, secretly procured for him an Indian disguise, dressed him in his own chamber,—darkening his face to the required tint,—and then, dropping on his knees, prayed most fervently that he might be protected in the enterprise in which he was engaged. Joining Stark's New Hampshire regiment, he was in the battle of Bunker Hill; was afterwards a captain in Craft's artillery regiment, and was at one time in charge of the castle, in Boston harbor. When Shays' insurrection broke out, he assisted in its suppression. He was a housewright of much skill. The wood-work of the State House was under his charge, and evinces the grace and beauty of his workmanship. He married a daughter of Paul Revere. His grandson, Frederick W. Lincoln, has been mayor of Boston. He joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons, in 1777. Governor Levi Lincoln, of Massachusetts, and Governor Enoch Lincoln, of Maine, were nephews of Captain Amos Lincoln.
Was a cordwainer, on Devonshire Street, residing on Brattle Street. He died November 7, 1829; aged seventy-nine.
Was born in Staffordshire, England, 20th March, 1744; was employed by Brindley in canal construction, and in 1772 came to America, and settled in Boston. He was wounded at Bunker Hill, while acting as lieutenant of artillery; 18th January, 1776, was commissioned second lieutenant in Col. Knox's artillery regiment, and was employed from April to June in that year in laying out the fortifications for the defence of the town and harbor of Boston; from July, 1776, to 1781, he was employed in constructing the fortifications which were to render the Hudson impassable to British vessels. In October, 1777, when Forts Montgomery and Clinton were taken by the British, Captain Machin was wounded by a musket-ball, which entered his breast and passed out under his right shoulder. In April, 1779, he accompanied Colonel Van Schaick's expedition against the Onondagas, of which he kept a journal, and in June joined Sullivan's expedition to the Genesee Valley, as engineer. A map of this expedition, executed by him, was in the possession of his son, Captain Thomas Machin. In the fall of 1781, he aided in laying out the works of the American army, then besieging Yorktown. In 1783, he began a settlement at New Grange, Ulster County, and in the following year erected several mills at the Great Pond, a few miles west of Newburgh. March 12, 1793, he was commissioned a captain, to take rank as such from 21st August, 1780. In January, 1797, he removed to Montgomery County, N.Y., where he practised surveying, and where he died, at his residence in Charleston, a part of the old town of Mohawk, 3d April, 1816; Member of Army Lodge, West Point, 1782.
Died in Scituate, Mass., February 1, 1840; aged ninety.
Was a tradesman of Boston, who acquired great prominence in the local disturbances of the town, prior to the outbreak of the Revolution, but who disappears from her history after that period. He first came into notice as the leader of the South End party, in the celebration of Pope Day, which took place on the 5th of November, in commemoration of the discovery of the gunpowder plot. In 1765, the two factions of the North and South Ends harmonized, and after a friendly meeting in King (now State) Street, marched together to Liberty Tree. The leaders,—Mackintosh of the South, and Swift of the North End,—appeared in military habits, with small canes resting on their left arms, having music in front and flank. All the property used on such occasions was afterwards burnt on Copp's Hill. Mackintosh was a ringleader in the riot of August 26, 1765, when Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson's house was destroyed, and was arrested in King Street next day, but was immediately released by the sheriff, on the demand of a number of merchants, and other persons of character and property.
From the Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson, we take the following passage:
"The Governor had summoned a council the day after the riot. The sheriff attended, and upon enquiring, it appeared that one Mackintosh, a shoemaker, was among the most active in destroying the Lieutenant-Governor's house and furniture. A warrant was given to the sheriff to apprehend him by name, with divers others. Mackintosh appeared in King Street, and the sheriff took him, but soon discharged him, and returned to the council chamber, where he gave an account of his taking him, and that Mr. Nathaniel Coffin, and several other gentlemen, came to him and told him that it had been agreed that the cadets, and many other persons, should appear in arms the next evening, as a guard and security against a fresh riot, which was feared, and said to have been threatened, but not a man would appear unless Mackintosh was discharged. The Lieutenant-Governor asked, 'And did you discharge him?' 'Yes.' 'Then you have not done your duty.' And this was all the notice taken of the discharge. The true reason of thus distinguishing Mackintosh was that he could discover who employed him, whereas the other persons apprehended were such as had collected together without knowing of any previous plan."
Mackintosh was styled the "First Captain-General of Liberty Tree," and had charge of the illuminations, hanging of effigies, etc. Long afterward, in speaking of the tea party, he said, "It was my chickens that did the job." My informant, Mr. Schuler Merrill, then a boy of ten, remarks that it was a mystery to him, at that time, "how chickens could have anything to do with a tea party!" Mackintosh is described by Merrill as "of slight build, sandy complexion, and nervous temperament." He died in extreme poverty, at North Haverhill, N.H., about the year 1812, at the age of seventy. His unmarked grave can be pointed out by Mr. Merrill, who still resides in North Haverhill, at the age of eighty-two.
COLONEL JOHN MAY,
Born in Boston, November 24, 1748, died July 16, 1812. On the afternoon of December 16, 1773, he went in haste to his home, on North Square, and said to his young wife, "Nabby, let me have a beefsteak as quickly as possible." While he was eating it, a rap was heard on the window, and he rose at once from the unfinished meal and departed. He returned late, tired and uncommunicative. In the morning, there was found in his shoes, and scattered upon the floor, a quantity of tea. The inevitable inference from these circumstances is strengthened by evidence of a very different character. Near the close of Major Melvill's life, he gave, while dining with a few friends, some anecdotes of the tea party, and turning to Henry Knox May, the son of Colonel May, he said, "Harry, there was one John there." The son, who knew the family tradition, was eager to learn more. "Not now, Harry," said the major, "Come and see me, and I will tell you all about it." Mr. May called repeatedly upon him, but could never obtain any further satisfaction respecting the object of his inquiry. Colonel May was a man of great energy and courage, an ardent patriot, and one not likely to be overlooked in the making-up of a company of picked men for such an enterprise. He was at one time colonel of the Boston regiment, and was for many years a selectman, and a firewarden of the town. He made a journey of exploration to the Ohio region, in 1788 and 1789, an account of which has been published. Two sons, Frederick and George Washington May, were skilful physicians, in Washington, D.C. He has numerous grandchildren living, among them Prof. Edward Tuckerman, of Amherst College, and Samuel P. Tuckerman, Mus. Doc., resident in England.
I am indebted for the above facts to my friend, John Joseph May, Esq., of Mayfield, Dorchester.
MAJOR THOMAS MELVILL
Was born in Boston, January 16, 1751, and died there September 16, 1832. He was the grandson of Thomas, minister of Scoonie Parish, Fifeshire, a cadet of the Scottish family of the Earls of Leven and Melvill. Allan, his father, left Scotland, and established himself in business in Boston, in 1743. Left an orphan at the age of ten, the care of his education devolved upon his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mary Cargill, a relative of the celebrated surgeon, Dr. Abernethy. Young Melvill was graduated at Princeton College, in 1769, with a view to the ministry, but impaired health led him to make a visit to Scotland, in 1771. Returning to Boston, in 1773, he established himself in business in that town, just at the time when the tea excitement began, and being strongly in sympathy with the "Sons of Liberty," and a member of the Long Room Club, he took an active part in the event of December 16, 1773. Some of the tea taken from his shoes, after his return home, was preserved, and is now in the possession of Mrs. Thomas Melvill, of Galena, Illinois. The picture here given is a fac-simile of the venerable relic itself. In 1773, he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts, from Harvard College. In 1774, Melvill married Priscilla, daughter of John Scollay, a prominent Boston merchant. He had been selected by General Warren as one of his aids, just before the fall of the latter at Bunker's Hill, and was successively captain and major in Colonel Thomas Crafts's regiment of artillery, raised for the defence of the State. When, soon after the evacuation of the town, in March, 1776, the British fleet was driven from Boston harbor, Captain Melvill discharged the first guns at the hostile ships, from his battery, at Nantasket. He afterwards served in the Rhode Island campaigns of 1777 and 1779. After the war, he was naval officer of the port of Boston, in 1786-89, and through the influence of his friend, Samuel Adams, was, in the latter year, appointed inspector under the United States Government, a post which he held until made naval officer, in 1811. President Jackson removed him from this office in 1829, after which period he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. From 1779 to 1825, he was one of the firewards of Boston, and on retiring from his forty-seven years' service, was made the recipient of a silver pitcher as a testimonial of the appreciation of his services, by his associates. Major Melvill's long and honorable connection with the Boston Fire Department began in the good old times, when the firewards carried staves, tipped at the end with a brass flame, and marshalled the bystanders into lines for passing buckets of water to the scene of conflagration. One of the town engines was named "Melvill," in honor of the major, whose death was finally caused by over-fatigue at a fire near his house. He was a Democrat, and a firm friend of Samuel Adams, of whom he had a small portrait, by Copley, now at Harvard University. At the time of his death, he was president of the Massachusetts Charitable Society. Major Melvill was a man of sound judgment and strict integrity. He is still remembered by our older citizens as the last to wear, in Boston, a cocked hat and small clothes—the costume of the Revolution. Herman Melville, a grandson, has attained popularity as an author. The front door of Major Melvill's residence, which formerly stood near the easterly corner of Green and Staniford Streets, now does similar duty for the house at the corner of Bartlett and Lambert Streets, Roxbury. The accompanying portrait is from an oil painting in the possession of his grand-daughter, Mrs. Samuel Downer, of Dorchester. The beautiful garden at Downer Landing, Hingham, near which is her summer residence, perpetuates the name of this worthy and patriotic citizen of Boston. Admitted member Mass. Lodge, 1772.
A distinguished and patriotic merchant of Boston, died there October 22, 1774; aged fifty-eight. Like Revere and Johonnot, he was of Huguenot ancestry. About the year 1760, he, with William Phillips and others, established the "Manufactory House," on the east side of what is now Hamilton Place. Here the people were taught spinning and weaving, free of cost, and soon many were clad in garments of their own manufacture. This building was put to other uses, in 1768. Molineux, from the very beginning of the dispute with the mother country, was an active and influential Whig. He was a member of the "Long Room Club," formed in 1762, and of the Sons of Liberty, in 1765; was one of the Boston committee of correspondence, from its origin, in 1772; one of the committee, and its spokesman, appointed by the Liberty Tree meeting, November 4, to request the consignees of the tea to resign, and took an active part in all the public meetings that followed. Molineux and Dr. Young were the only prominent leaders of the people who were known to have been actively present at the destruction of the tea. Molineux was a member of a committee, of which Samuel Adams was the chairman, to demand the removal of the British troops from Boston. John Adams relates that Molineux was obliged to march by the side of the troops, to protect them from the indignation of the people. With the exception of Samuel Adams, no name is oftener found, in connection with the public acts of the day, than that of William Molineux, and his death, a few months before the war broke out, was a great loss to the patriot cause. While the Boston Port Bill was under discussion in the British Cabinet, Governor Hutchinson was told by Lord Mansfield that the Lords of the Council had their pens ready to sign the warrant for the transportation to England and trial of Adams, Molineux and others, for high treason, but were prevented by the doubts of the Attorney and Solicitor-Generals as to the sufficiency of the evidence to convict them. Molineux resided at the corner of Beacon and Mount Vernon Streets, near John Hancock, where in 1760 he built a mansion-house that was considered as "quite splendid" for those days.
Son of Hugh Moore, wharfinger, on Fish Street, informs his father's "good customers," in the Gazette of November 24, 1773, that he "carries on the business as usual, and solicits their custom." Ben. Russell speaks of seeing Moore and his (Russell's) father blacking each other's faces on the 16th of December, 1773. He died in August, 1813; aged sixty.
"Anthony Morse, my father, afterwards a lieutenant during the Revolutionary war, and Mr. Joseph Roby, now (1819) of Hanover, N.H., were active in the destruction of the tea, December 16, 1773."
—Niles' Acts and Principles of the Revolution, p. 326.
A cooper, on Prince Street, died in Pepperill, Mass., May 11, 1838; aged eighty-eight.
Of Charlestown, repeatedly informed Dr. Joseph Bartlett, author of a historical sketch of that town, that he was one of the Indians who destroyed the tea in Boston harbor. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, in 1778.
JOSEPH PEARSE PALMER
Was the only son of General Joseph Palmer, a prominent actor in the Revolutionary drama in Massachusetts, and Mary, the sister of Judge Richard Cranch, who resided in that part of Braintree called Germantown. Before the war he dealt in West India goods and hardware, at the town dock. Of his share in the tea party his widow says: "One evening, about ten o'clock, hearing the gate and door open, I opened the parlor door, and there stood three stout-looking Indians. I screamed, and should have fainted, but recognized my husband's voice saying, 'Don't be frightened, Betty, it is I. We have only been making a little salt-water tea.' His two companions were Foster Condy and Stephen Bruce. Soon after this, Secretary Flucker called upon my husband, and said to him, 'Joe, you are so obnoxious to the British Government, that you had better leave town.' Accordingly we left town, and went to live in part of my father's house, in Watertown." During the war, Mr. Palmer served in Boston and in Rhode Island, first as brigade major, and next as quartermaster-general. Soon after his father's death, in 1788, he went to Vermont, with Colonel Keith, to examine the facilities for establishing themselves in some branch of the iron business. Shortly after he reached Windsor he lost his life, having accidentally fallen from a bridge, then erecting over the Connecticut. He left a numerous family. His daughter, Mary, married Royal Tyler, of Vt. Member Massachusetts Lodge, 1773.
Was a Roxbury farmer, a "high Son of Liberty," who safely brought through the British lines on the Neck, and secreted in Muddy Pond Woods, the two cannon which, by a clever stratagem, had been taken from the gun-house, on Boston common, at noon-day. Next day, a party of Red Coats were in Roxbury searching for them in every direction, but in vain. These are supposed to be the same pieces now in the chamber at the top of Bunker Hill Monument. Parker took the guns from the stable of the second house west from the court house, on the south side of Court Street. He brought a load of hay, and took home a load of stable manure, the guns being in the bottom of the wagon.
Was a housewright, on Foster's wharf, in 1789, and at 5 Bennet Street, in 1796. He was a descendant of Edward Payson, one of the first settlers of Roxbury, and his wife, Mary, a sister of the Apostle Eliot, and was born in 1743.
Was a cooper, and in 1789 did business at Hallowell's ship-yard, near the foot of Milk Street. He was a prominent Son of Liberty, also a leading and influential member of the North End Caucus. He was one of the guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 30, 1773, and on the morning following the destruction of the tea, his apprentices noticed traces of red paint behind his ears. He was thought to have been one of the leaders in the affair. He joined the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew in 1756.
A native of Lisbon, Portugal, died in Philadelphia, April 23, 1832, at the great age of one hundred years, five months and twenty-three days. He was able to attend to his business up to the close of 1831. He came to America soon after the earthquake of 1755, and settled in Boston. He was one of the tea party; was in the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill,—in which latter he lost a finger,—at Princeton, Monmouth and Trenton. He was also at the capture of Burgoyne and of Cornwallis, was again wounded, and after being discharged, in 1783, resided in Philadelphia, where he reared a numerous family.
Born in Boston, December 25, 1744, died October 10, 1840. He served his time with John Adams, a barber, in Dock Square, at the sign of the "Great Boot," and opened a shop for himself in Marshall Street, some years before the Revolution. His shop was a sort of exchange for the gossip current at the North End, and was frequented by many celebrated residents of that locality. He boasted of having shaved Franklin, and he stated that Franklin told him that he was born in the house on the corner of Union and Hanover Streets, at the sign of the "Blue Ball." Hewes relates that Pierce was one of those that boarded the ships on December 16, 1773. He continued actively engaged in his business until the year 1835, having followed his profession seventy-six years!
Youngest son of Hon. James Pitts, a merchant and an active patriot of Boston; born in 1747, died December 31, 1787, and being captain of a volunteer company, was buried with military honors. According to Hewes, Pitts commanded the division of the tea party that boarded the brig "Beaver," and after the affair was over, formed the party in military order, with the aid of Major Barber and Colonel Proctor, and marched them back into town. A solemn pledge, for the protection of those engaged in this affair, was entered into by the committee of correspondence,—of whom Lendall's brother, John Pitts, was one,—about a week afterwards, when it was currently supposed that those who had borne a part in that daring performance would be arrested, if discovered, and executed for treason. It was worded as follows:
"The subscribers do engage to exert our utmost influence to support and vindicate each other, and any person or persons who may be likely to suffer for any noble efforts they may have made to save their country, by defeating the operations of the British Parliament, expressly designed to extort a revenue from the Colonies against their consent."
The names of four members of this family are prominently associated with the tea episode at Boston. James Pitts, the father, (H.U., 1731,) an eminent and wealthy merchant, who, as member of the Governor's Council, thwarted the chief-magistrate, Hutchinson, in his efforts to have the tea landed, and who died in Dunstable, Mass., January 25, 1776; aged sixty-four. His sons,—JOHN, born in 1737, (H.U., 1757,) a selectman, and on the committee to urge the consignees to resign; an active member of the committee of correspondence, of the Provincial Congress of 1775; Speaker of the House in 1778, and member of the senate in 1780-84, who died at Tyngsboro', Mass., in 1815; SAMUEL, born in 1745, an officer in the company of cadets, said also to have been one of the tea party, and LENDALL, the leader of the party, noted above, who was clerk of the market in 1775-6, and an officer in Hancock's cadets. The sons all had Huguenot blood in their veins, their mother being a sister of James Bowdoin. All were merchants, and active Sons of Liberty, and prior to the Revolution, were in business together, engaged in extensive commercial transactions. Pitts's wharf was just north of Faneuil Hall Market. Pitts Street perpetuates the name and fame of this noted family; no one of their descendants bearing the name now surviving in Boston. The Pitts mansion, a favorite place of meeting for the Boston patriots, occupied the ground now covered by the Howard Atheneum. The accompanying portrait of Lendall Pitts is taken from a painting owned by his grandson, Lendall Pitts Cazeau, of Roxbury.
For many of the above facts I am indebted to the Pitts "Memorial," by Daniel Goodwin, Jr., of Chicago.
A merchant, formerly of Boston, died in Alexandria, Va., in June, 1800.
CAPTAIN HENRY PRENTISS,
Born in Holliston, Mass., March 27, 1749, died in Medfield, Mass., August 31, 1821; son of Rev. Joshua, forty-five years pastor of the Holliston church. Captain Prentiss served during the Revolutionary war, at Cambridge, at Long Island, and at Trenton. He was an Overseer of the Poor, in Boston, in 1784; a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1786; a sea captain in 1789, and was afterwards a merchant of Boston. He, with his brother Appleton, was one of the first to introduce into New England the art of printing calico,—producing a coarse blue and red article on India cotton. Their place of business was at the corner of Buttolph Street. Captain Prentiss' residence was in a stone house, near the head of Hanover Street, the former residence of Benjamin Hallowell, Comptroller of Customs, which was ransacked at the time Gov. Hutchinson's House was mobbed. Member Massachusetts Lodge, 1789.
DR. JOHN PRINCE
Was pastor of the First Church, in Salem, from 1779 to his death, June 3, 1836. He was a native of Boston, and was a witness only of the destruction of the tea, as he informed Colonel Russell, of the "Centinel," long afterward. Admitted member Massachusetts Lodge, 11th January, 1780.
COLONEL EDWARD PROCTOR,
A prominent citizen and military officer of Boston, died there in November, 1811; aged seventy-eight. He was an importer of West India goods, at the sign of the "Schooner," in Fish Street, at the North End, before the war, after which he was in the auction business, at No. 1 Union Street. He was an active patriot, and was placed on the committee to obtain the resignation of the consignees of the tea, and commanded the guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, 1773. In 1756, he joined the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, of which his grandfather, Edward Proctor, had been a member in 1699; was in the service during the Revolutionary war, and was a member of the committees of correspondence and of safety. He became a member of the Masonic fraternity in 1765, when he joined St. Andrew's Lodge; was master in 1774-76, and was junior grand warden of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in 1781. For some years previous to his death, he was one of the Overseers of the Poor, and was a fireward in 1784-89. Hannah, his widow, died October 31, 1832, aged 87.
COLONEL HENRY PURKITT,
Born in Boston, March 18, 1755, died March 3, 1846. He was educated at the public schools of Boston; was afterwards apprenticed to Samuel Peck, the cooper, a zealous "Son of Liberty," and member of the tea party, and was himself active on that occasion, in disobedience to his master's orders. His reminiscences of the affair have been related on a previous page. Enlisting as a soldier in the Revolutionary army, he served through the war, and was present at Trenton and Brandywine, and was at one time a sergeant in Pulaski's Cavalry. After the war, he carried on his trade of cooper successfully, in connection with his former fellow-apprentice, Dolbear, in South Street. In 1803, appointed inspector-general of pickled fish, and performed the duty satisfactorily for thirty-five years. Joining a company of cavalry after the war, he passed through all the grades, and rose to that of colonel. He was many years a member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association; became a member of St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter of Freemasons, in 1798, and was master of St. Andrew's Lodge, in 1804-5. "Uprightness and exactness were prominent traits of his character, and universal love and charity for all mankind were sincerely exhibited in his social intercourse. He had troops of friends, but it is not known that he ever had an enemy." In 1834, a number of Polish refugees arrived here, after the final partition of their native country. A collection for their benefit was proposed. The call was nobly responded to, and among others, Purkitt sent his check, as follows:
"Pay to Count Pulaski, my commander at the battle of Brandywine, his brethren, or bearer, one hundred dollars."
There is in possession of the family a full-length silhouette likeness of Purkitt, and a daguerreotype. The accompanying portrait is from an oil painting, in the possession of Mr. Henry P. Kidder, of Boston.
Born in Watertown, Mass., October 2, 1750; married Sarah Barnard, 30th December, 1778.
Born in Boston, January 1, 1735; died at his residence, in Bennet Street, May 10, 1818. He was of Huguenot ancestry, and learned the goldsmith's trade of his father. Articles of silverware, with his engraving, are still extant in Boston. He also engraved on copper, an art in which he was self-instructed, producing a portrait of his friend, the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew; a picture emblematical of the Stamp Act; a caricature of the "Seventeen Rescinders," one of Lord North forcing the tea down the throat of America; a picture of the Massacre in King Street, and another representing the landing of the British troops in Boston, in 1774. There were then but three engravers, besides Revere, in America. In 1775, he engraved the plates, made the press, and printed the bills of the paper money, which was ordered by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. He was sent by this Congress to Philadelphia, to obtain information respecting the manufacture of gunpowder, and on his return was able, simply from having seen the process, to construct a mill, which was soon in successful operation. Revere was an active patriot during the whole of the struggle for Independence. He was one of those who executed, as well as planned, the daring scheme of destroying the tea in Boston harbor, and was one of a club of young men, chiefly mechanics, who watched the movements of the British troops in Boston. He acted an important part in rousing the country around Boston on the morning of the memorable nineteenth of April, 1775, an event worthily commemorated in Longfellow's poem,—"Paul Revere's Ride." Revere had served at Fort Edward, near Lake George, as a lieutenant of artillery, in 1756, and after the evacuation of Boston, was commissioned major in Crafts' artillery regiment, raised for the defence of the State, in which he attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and remained in service until the close of the war, after which he resumed his business as a goldsmith. He was in the unfortunate Penobscot expedition, in 1779. At a later period, he erected an air-furnace, in which he cast brass cannon and church bells. He also erected extensive works at Canton, for rolling copper and casting guns,—a business still carried on there by his successors. In 1795 he assisted in laying the corner stone of the State House, at Boston. At the time of his death he was actively connected with many benevolent and useful institutions, and was the first president of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association; member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew's, in 1761, and grand master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in 1794-96.
Resided in Prince Street, Boston, in 1807, but was living in Hanover, N.H., in 1817.
Was by trade a mason, and died in Boston, in 1778. His son, the well-known journalist, Colonel Benjamin Russell, though only a school-boy at the time, remembered seeing, through the window of the wood-house, his father and Mr. Thomas Moore, his neighbor, besmearing each other's faces with lampblack and red ochre.
William, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Hacker Russell, was born in Boston, 24th May, 1748, and died 7th March, 1784, in Cambridge, Mass. He was sometime usher in Master Griffiths' school, on Hanover Street, below the Orange Tree. On returning to his home, on Temple Street, after the tea party, he took off his shoes, and carefully dusted them over the fire, in order that no tea should remain, and saw every particle consumed. He afterwards taught school in Newton. Joining Crafts' artillery regiment, he served as sergeant-major and adjutant in the Rhode Island campaign. He next joined a privateer, as captain's clerk, was captured, and kept in Mill Prison, Plymouth, England, from August, 1779, until January, 1782. Again in a privateer, he was again taken, and this time suffered confinement in the horrible prison-ship "Jersey," at New York. These privations and sufferings occasioned his early death. His son, Colonel John Russell, was a publisher and journalist in Boston. He joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1778.
Whose interesting account of the tea party appears on page LXXIX, was born in Pomfret, Conn., March 15, 1752, and died in Hampden, Mass., in 1836. His grandfather, Nathaniel, was one of the earliest settlers of Pomfret, in 1704. Darius Sessions, Lieutenant-Governor of Rhode Island at the opening of the Revolution, and an active patriot, was his uncle. Robert Sessions served in the Revolutionary army, attaining the rank of lieutenant. In 1778, he married Anna Ruggles, a descendant of the Roxbury family of that name; settled in Pomfret, and in 1781 removed to South Wilbraham, now Hampden, Mass. The high estimation in which he was held by his fellow citizens, is evident from the number of offices of trust and responsibility in which he was placed. He was for many years a justice of the peace; town clerk and treasurer twelve years; representative in the State Legislature for five years, (1814-19,) and was almost always chosen moderator of the town-meeting. His sons, William V. and Sumner Sessions, are yet living, at an advanced age.
The above facts, as well as the narrative on page LXXIX, were furnished by my friends, Mr. John A. Lewis, of Boston, and Hon. William Robert Sessions, the well-known agriculturist, of Hampden County, and a member of the Massachusetts Senate of 1884, a grandson of Robert.
Was born in Boston, June 17, 1732, and died there October 18, 1812. He was the son of Joseph, (born October 26, 1698,) who was the son of Zachary, (born June 17, 1656,) who was the son of Daniel, the original settler of that name in Braintree, and afterwards at Billerica, Mass. The subject of this notice was a carpenter by trade, and worked upon Faneuil Hall during its rebuilding, or enlargement. He was associated with Samuel Adams, and other patriots, before and during the Revolutionary war, and later on was an ardent Jeffersonian Democrat,—hating the very name of Federalist. His residence was on Milk Street, on the spot now occupied by the Equitable Life Insurance building. At his residence a party of persons dressed, who were concerned in the destruction of the tea, he being one of the number. His friend, Samuel Adams, was often a visitor at his house, and his grandson has the china punch-bowl from which the old patriot drank, when Independence was declared. During the latter part of his life he kept a grocery store, on the spot where he lived so many years, on Milk Street. He was buried in the Granary burial ground, where many other patriotic citizens of Boston are also interred.
Communicated by his grandson, Mr. Joseph G. Shed, of Roxbury.
(Erroneously named Isaac in Thatcher's list of 1835,) whose story of the tea party is told on pages LXXVII-VIII, was a bricklayer's apprentice. He served in the Revolutionary army; removed to Saco, Maine, about 1790, and died at Biddeford, Maine, March 23, 1849.
CAPTAIN PETER SLATER
Died in Worcester, Mass., October 13, 1831; aged seventy-two. He was apprenticed to a rope-maker, in Boston. His master, apprehensive that something would take place that evening relative to the tea, then in the harbor, shut Peter up in his chamber. He made his escape from the window; went to a blacksmith's shop, where he found a man disguised, who told him to tie a handkerchief round his frock, to black his face with charcoal, and to follow him. The party soon increased to twenty persons. Slater went on board the brig, with five others; two of them brought the tea upon deck, two broke open the chests, and threw them overboard, while he, with one other, stood with poles to push them under water. Not a word was exchanged between the parties from the time they left Griffins' wharf till the cargo was emptied into the harbor, and they returned to the wharf and dispersed. Slater served five years in the Revolutionary army. A monument in Hope Cemetery, New Worcester, erected by his daughter, Mrs. Howe, bears the names of Slater, and many of his companions of the "tea party."
Was one of the party, of whom we have no further information.
Lived on Orange Street, in 1789. He was one of those whom Peter Mackintosh remembered to have seen run into his master's blacksmith's shop, and blacken their faces with soot.
The father of the poet, Charles Sprague, was born in Hingham, Mass.,—the home of four generations of his ancestors,—December 22, 1753, and died in Boston, June 20, 1844. He was a mason by trade, and was athletic and tall of stature. His share in the tea party he thus related to his son: "That evening, while on my way to visit the young woman I afterwards married, I met some lads hurrying along towards Griffin's wharf, who told me there was something going on there. I joined them, and on reaching the wharf found the 'Indians' busy with the tea chests. Wishing to have my share of the fun, I looked about for the means of disguising myself. Spying a low building, with a stove-pipe by way of chimney, I climbed the roof and obtained a quantity of soot, with which I blackened my face. Joining the party, I recognized among them Mr. Etheridge, my master. We worked together, but neither of us ever afterwards alluded to each other's share in the proceedings." Sprague married Joanna Thayer, of Braintree, a woman of great decision of character. They lived in a two-story wooden house, at No. 38 Orange (now Washington) Street, directly opposite Pine Street.
COLONEL JOHN SPURR,
Born in Dorchester, Mass., in 1748, died in Providence, R.I., November 1, 1822; after December 16, 1773, he went to Providence; joined the army in 1775; was commissioned a captain in a Rhode Island regiment, in 1776, major in 1777, and served throughout the Revolutionary war.
Born in New London, Conn., died in Jay, Maine, in January, 1831; aged ninety years and six months. He served in the old French war; afterwards settled and married in Boston, and removed thence to Bridgewater. During the Revolutionary war, he was taken prisoner, carried to Halifax, and detained fourteen months. Placed on board a transport for New York, and destined to the horrible Jersey prison-ship; after being two days at sea, the prisoners rose on the ship's company, captured the vessel, and took her into Marblehead.
CAPTAIN PHINEAS STEARNS,
A farmer and blacksmith of Watertown, born February 5, 1736, died March 27, 1798. He was a soldier at Lake George in 1756, and commanded a company at Dorchester Heights, when the British evacuated Boston. He, with Samuel Barnard and John Randall, all of Watertown, were among the famous Boston tea party. He was offered a colonel's commission in the army, but the care of his young motherless children, and of a family of apprentices and journeymen, prevented his continuing in the public service. He was distinguished for his benevolent and cheerful disposition, and for strong common sense and strict integrity.
GENERAL EBENEZER STEVENS,
A distinguished artillery officer in the Revolutionary war, son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth Weld Stevens, of Roxbury, was born in Boston, 11th August, 1751, and died at his residence, in Rockaway, now Astoria, N.Y., 22d September, 1823. He joined Paddock's artillery company, which was composed almost entirely of mechanics, many of whom were active members of the organization, which, under the name of Sons of Liberty, did effective service in opposing the machinations of the crown. Under its first lieutenant, Jabez Hatch, (Captain Paddock being a Tory,) this company volunteered as a watch on the "Dartmouth." The Boston Port Bill drove the mechanics out of the town, and Stevens went to Providence, where he became a partner with John Crane, in the business of carpentering. Commissioned first lieutenant of Crane's train of Rhode Island artillery, 8th May, 1775, he accompanied it to Boston, and served through the siege; made captain in Knox's artillery regiment, 1st January, 1776; took part in the expedition to Canada; made major 9th November, 1776; and in the campaign ending in the surrender of Burgoyne; appointed lieutenant-colonel 3d April, 1778, and soon after assigned to Colonel Lamb's regiment, with which he took part in Lafayette's operations in Virginia, and at Yorktown commanded the artillery alternately with Lamb and Carrington. After the war, he was a leading merchant of New York; member of the New York assembly in 1800, an alderman in 1802, and major-general of the State militia during the war of 1812. He was a founder of the Tammany and the New England Societies, and a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. General Stevens's connection with the tea party is related on a previous page.
DR. ELISHA STORY,
Born in Boston, December 3, 1743, died in Marblehead, Mass., August 27, 1805. His father, William Story, was Register of the Court of Admiralty. His office, on the north-westerly corner of State and Devonshire Streets, was broken into at the time of the Stamp Act riots, on the supposition that the stamps had been deposited there for distribution, and all the books and papers carried into King (now State) Street, and burned. Elisha Story, fully sympathizing with the patriots of the day, joined the "Sons of Liberty;" was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, and on the evening of December 16, convened, with other disguised Sons of Liberty, in an old distillery, preparatory to their "little operation" in tea. He was a pupil of Master Lovell, and studied medicine with Dr. Sprague. He was surgeon of Colonel Little's Essex regiment, and fought as a volunteer at Lexington, and at Bunker's Hill, until obliged to remove a wounded friend to Winter Hill, where he passed the night in caring for the wounded. He was with Washington at Long Island, White Plains and Trenton. In 1774, he removed from Boston to Malden, and in 1777, settled in Marblehead, where he practiced his profession, with success, until his death. In 1767, he married Ruth, daughter of Major John Ruddock, by whom he had ten children. By his second wife, Mehitabel, daughter of Major John Pedrick, he had eleven children, the eldest of whom was Joseph, afterwards Associate-Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Isaac, the second son, was the father of Judge Isaac, of Somerville, Mass. Dr. Story was a skilful physician, and a man of great benevolence. "It is said that he at one time led a party of men to the Boston common, near where is now the Park Street gate, where there was a sentinel guarding two brass field-pieces. While Story overawed the sentinel, by presenting a pistol at his head, and enjoined silence upon him, the others came from behind and dragged away the guns, one of which was afterwards placed in the Bunker Hill Monument."
Communicated by Hon. Isaac Story, of Somerville.
COLONEL JAMES SWAN,
Merchant, politician, soldier and author before the age of twenty-two; born in Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1754, died in Paris, March 18, 1831. He came to Boston when very young, and in 1772, when a clerk in a counting-house, published "A Dissuasion to Great Britain and the Colonies from the Slave-Trade to Africa." At the time of the tea party, in which he was an actor, his place of business was next to Ellis Gray's, opposite the east end of Faneuil Hall, and he boarded in Hanover Street, where he and other young apprentices disguised themselves. Next morning, at breakfast, the tea in their shoes, and smooches on their faces, led to some mutual chaffing. He was a volunteer at Bunker's Hill; was a captain in Crafts's artillery regiment; afterwards secretary to the Massachusetts Board of War; member of the Legislature in 1778; Adjutant-General of the State, and at the close of the war was major of a cavalry corps. He acquired a fortune in France through government contracts, but afterwards became deeply involved, through the dishonesty of a partner, and was confined in St. Pelagie, a debtors' prison, in Paris, for many years, keeping up all the while an indefatigable litigation in the French courts. At the age of seventy he was, by French law, released. In 1777, he joined the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew. He was a man of large enterprise and benevolence, manly in person, and dignified in manner. He owned a fine estate in Dorchester, latterly the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Sargent.
One of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth;" became a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, in 1760, and was master of the Lodge, in 1771-72. He was a ship-joiner, in Batterymarch Street, near Hallowell's ship-yard. In 1784, he was surveyor of boards; and was sealer of woods, in 1787-90. By Mary, his wife, whom he married in 1750, he had thirteen children, nine of whom survived him. His will is dated May 7, 1791.
CAPTAIN JOSIAH WHEELER
Was a house-wright, who lived in half a double house, on Orange (now Washington) Street, west side, between Pleasant and Warrenton Streets. The other half was occupied by Sprague, also of the tea party. On the afternoon of December 16, 1773, Mrs. Wheeler became aware that there was something unusual on her husband's mind. It was late when he returned home that evening, but she sat up for him, and as he pulled off his long boots, a quantity of tea fell on the floor, revealing the cause of his absence. Seeing the tea, a female neighbor, who had sat up with Mrs. Wheeler to keep her company, in her husband's absence, exclaimed, "Save it; it will make a nice mess." Taking down her broom, this patriotic woman swept it all into the fire, saying, "Don't touch the cursed stuff." Wheeler commanded a company of minute-men at the opening of the Revolution, most of whom were skilled carpenters and joiners, and by Washington's order, he superintended the erection of the forts, on Dorchester Heights. He was also employed in building the State House, in Boston. He died in Boston, in August, 1817; aged seventy-four. His daughter, Mrs. Carney, was living in 1873, at Sheepscot, Maine, at the age of eighty-six. George W. Wheeler, a grandson, many years City Treasurer of Worcester, is now (1884) living in that city. Captain Wheeler was one of the volunteer guard on board the "Dartmouth."
Was a blacksmith, who resided in the old mansion, yet standing, near Hog Bridge, in Roxbury, known as the "John Curtis House." He was the brother of Colonel Joseph, a distinguished citizen, and the father of Major Edward Payson Williams, an officer of the Revolutionary army, who died in the service.
Also of Roxbury, was one of the minute-men in Captain Moses Whiting's company, at Lexington. He, with his brother-in-law, Thomas Dana, Jr., and other Roxbury men, rendezvoused at the house of his father, John Williams, preparatory to the tea party, and returning home, Williams and Dana refused to join in sacking the house of a Tory, regarding it as no part of their enterprise. In 1812, Williams settled in Cazenovia, N.Y., and died in Utica, N.Y., July 31, 1817; aged sixty-three.
Journalist, born in Boston, February 7, 1755, died near Chillicothe, O., April 1, 1831. After serving an apprenticeship in a printing-office, in Boston, he became one of the proprietors and publishers of the "Independent Chronicle," a leading political journal, from 1776 to 1784. He subsequently issued the first newspaper ever published in Ohio, the "Scioto Gazette," and was for several years State printer of Ohio. His son, Nathaniel, also a journalist, was the father of Nathaniel P. Willis, Richard Storrs Willis, and Sarah Payson Willis, ("Fanny Fern,") afterwards Mrs. Parton. Member of St. Andrew's Lodge in 1779.
Whose relation is given on a preceding page, was the son of Ebenezer Wyeth, of Cambridge, and was born there in October, 1758. He served in the Revolutionary army; afterwards removed to the west, and was residing in Cincinnati, in 1827.
DR. THOMAS YOUNG,
A physician, was a conspicuous figure in the early Revolutionary movements in Boston. He was the first president of the North End Caucus, at which measures of importance to the town were initiated and discussed, and delivered the first oration commemorative of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1771, at the Manufactory House, on Tremont Street. He was an original member of the Boston committee of correspondence, whose work was so important in uniting the Colonies, and was a talented and vigorous contributor to the papers of the day, and to the Royal American Magazine, on medical, political and religious topics. He was a popular speaker in the public meetings of the day, and to him is attributed the first public suggestion of throwing the tea overboard. He was John Adams's family physician, and an army surgeon, in 1776, and was afterwards a resident of Philadelphia. Several spirited letters from his pen may be found in the "Life and Times of General John Lamb." "Tea," writes Young in the "Evening Post," "is really a slow poison, and has a corrosive effect upon those who handle it. I have left it off since it became a political poison, and have since gained in firmness of constitution. My substitute is camomile flowers."
* * * * *
It is not long, since an eminent Englishman, visiting Boston, asked the committee of the city government, who attended him, to point out the place where the tea was thrown overboard. He was taken to a distant wharf, known by its form as the T, and popularly associated with that event from the similarity of sound. Boston has appropriately marked many of her historical sites; surely the spot rendered forever memorable by the bold deed of the Sons of Liberty, on December 16, 1773, ought not longer to remain unmarked. No stranger, at all familiar with American history, would leave unvisited the scene of an event at once so unique in its character, and so important in its consequences. The precise locality is definitely known, and a tablet, suitably inscribed, or an enduring monument of some kind, should be placed there without further delay.
In this diagram the old boundaries are designated by dotted lines. The place where the tea-ships lay, at the foot of Griffin's wharf, is coincident with the lower end of the large coal-sheds of Messrs. Chapin & Co., the present owners of the wharf. They have extended and widened the wharf, and have built a three-story brick block at its head. A mural tablet might be set in the front of the central building, at a small expense. The wharf should be rechristened "Tea Party Wharf."
A BALLAD OF THE BOSTON TEA PARTY.
BY DR. OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
No! never such a draught was poured Since Hebe served with nectar The bright Olympians and their Lord, Her over-kind protector; Since Father Noah squeezed the grape And took to such behaving, As would have shamed our grandsire ape, Before the days of shaving; No! ne'er was mingled such a draught, In palace, hall, or arbor, As freemen brewed, and tyrants quaffed, That night in Boston harbor! It kept King George so long awake, His brain at last got addled, It made the nerves of Britain shake With seven score millions saddled; Before that bitter cup was drained Amid the roar of cannon, The western war-cloud's crimson stained The Thames, the Clyde, the Shannon; Full many a six-foot grenadier The flattened grass had measured, And many a mother many a year Her tearful memories treasured. Fast spread the tempest's darkening pall, The mighty realms were troubled, The storm broke loose, but first of all The Boston tea-pot bubbled!
An evening party,—only that, No formal invitation, No gold-laced coat, no stiff cravat, No feast in contemplation; No silk-robed dames, no fiddling band, No flowers, no songs, no dancing!
A tribe of red men,—axe in hand,— Behold the guests advancing! How fast the stragglers join the throng, From stall and work-shop gathered; The lively barber skips along And leaves a chin half-lathered; The smith has flung his hammer down, The horse-shoe still is glowing, The truant tapster at the Crown Has left a beer-cask flowing; The coopers' boys have dropped the adze, And trot behind their master; Up run the tarry ship-yard lads;— The crowd is hurrying faster. Out from the mill-pond's purlieus gush, The streams of white-faced millers, And down their slippery alleys rush The lusty young Fort-Hillers. The rope-walk lends its 'prentice crew, The Tories seize the omen; "Ay, boys! you'll soon have work to do For England's rebel foemen, 'King Hancock,' Adams, and their gang, That fire the mob with treason,— When these we shoot, and those we hang, The town will come to reason." On—on to where the tea-ships ride! And now their ranks are forming,— A rush and up the Dartmouth's side, The Mohawk band is swarming! See the fierce natives! what a glimpse Of paint and fur and feather, As all at once the full-grown imps Light on the deck together! A scarf the pig-tail's secret keeps, A blanket hides the breeches,— And out the cursed cargo leaps, And overboard it pitches!
O woman, at the evening board, So gracious, sweet and purring, So happy while the tea is poured, So blest while spoons are stirring. What martyr can compare with thee? The mother, wife, or daughter,— That night, instead of best Bohea, Condemned to milk and water!
Ah, little dreams the quiet dame, Who plies with rack and spindle, The patient flax, how great a flame Yon little spark shall kindle! The lurid morning shall reveal A fire no king can smother, When British flint and Boston steel Have clashed against each other! Old charters shrivel in its track, His worship's bench has crumbled, It climbs and clasps the Union Jack,— Its blazoned pomp is humbled. The flags go down on land and sea, Like corn before the reapers; So burned the fire that brewed the tea That Boston served her keepers!
The waves that wrought a country's wreck Have rolled o'er Whig and Tory; The Mohawks on the Dartmouth's deck Shall live in song and story. The waters in the rebel bay Have kept the tea-leaf savor; Our old North-Enders in their spray Still taste a Hyson flavor. And Freedom's tea-cup still o'erflows, With ever-fresh libations, To cheat of slumber all her foes, And cheer the wakening nations!"
FRAGMENT OF A RALLYING SONG OF THE TEA PARTY AT THE GREEN DRAGON.
Rally Mohawks! bring out your axes, And tell King George we'll pay no taxes On his foreign tea; His threats are vain, and vain to think To force our girls and wives to drink His vile Bohea! Then rally boys, and hasten on To meet our chiefs at the Green Dragon.
Our Warren's there, and bold Revere, With hands to do, and words to cheer, For liberty and laws; Our country's "braves" and firm defenders Shall ne'er be left by true North-Enders Fighting Freedom's cause! Then rally boys, and hasten on To meet our chiefs at the Green Dragon.
* * *
* * * * *
A TEA PARTY BALLAD.
Just by beauteous Boston lying On the gently swelling flood; Without Jack or streamers flying, Three ill-fated tea-ships rode.
Just as glorious Sol was setting, On the wharf, a numerous crew— Sons of Freedom, fear forgetting, Suddenly appeared in view.
Armed with chisel, axe and hammer,— Weapons new for warlike deed; Towards the herbage-freighted vessels, They approached with dauntless speed.
O'er their heads aloft in mid sky, Three bright angel forms were seen; This was Hampden,—that was Sidney, With fair Liberty between.
Soon they cried, "Your foes you'll banish, Soon the glory shall be won; Nor shall setting Phoebus vanish, Ere the matchless deed be done!"
Quick as thought the ships were boarded, Hatches burst and chests displayed; Axe and hammers help afforded,— What a glorious crash they made!
Quick into the deep descended, Cursed weed of China's coast; Thus at once our fears were ended,— Freemen's rights shall ne'er be lost!
A FAREWELL TO TEA.
(From Thomas's "Massachusetts Spy.")
Farewell, the tea-board with its equipage Of cups and saucers, cream-bucket and sugar-tongs, The pretty tea-chest also lately stored With Hyson, Congo, and best Double Fine. Full many a joyous moment have I sat by you Hearing the girls tattle, the old maids talk scandal, And the spruce coxcomb laugh—at maybe nothing. No more shall I dish out the once-loved liquor, Though now detestable; Because I'm taught—and I believe it true, Its use will fasten slavish chains upon my country; And Liberty's the goddess I would choose To reign triumphant in America.
GEN. JOSEPH WARREN
And the memorable Suffolk County Resolves of 1774.
The mansion where the famous Suffolk County Resolves were passed, September 9, 1774, is still standing. It is situated in Milton, Mass., a few doors from the Boston and Milton line, on the Quincy road. It is a low, two-story double house, 20 x 40 feet, with the main door in its centre, and a chimney on each end. In its front there is inserted a marble tablet, 14 x 28 inches, with the following inscription:
"IN THIS MANSION,
On the 9th day of Sept., 1774, at a meeting of the delegates of every town and district in the County of Suffolk, the memorable Suffolk Resolves were adopted.
They were reported by Maj.-Gen. Warren, who fell——in their defence in the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.
They were approved by the members of the Continental Congress at Carpenter's Hall, Phil^a., on the 17^th Sept., 1774.
The Resolves to which the immortal patriot here first gave utterance, and the heroic deeds of that eventful day on which he fell, led the way to American Independence.
'Posterity will acknowledge that virtue which preserved them free and happy.'"
In Warren's oration, March 5, 1772, more than two years before these Resolves were passed, the spirit of liberty burned within his heart. Nine months after these Resolves the battle took place, which finally resulted in the birth of American freedom. See portrait, page XLVII.
Respecting Mr. Lovering's connection with the Tea Party, Mr. George W. Allan, of West Canton Street, Boston, now eighty-two years of age, relates that about the year 1835, he frequently conversed with that gentlemen, who told him that on the evening of December 16, 1773, when he was fifteen years of age, he held the light in Crane's carpenter's shop, while he and others, fifteen in number, disguised themselves preparatory to throwing the tea into Boston harbor. He also said that some two hundred persons joined them on their way to the wharf, where the tea-ships lay. Mr. George H. Allan, the son of George W. Allan, received a similar statement from Mr. Lovering, a short time before the latter's death, which occurred June 13, 1848, at the age of eighty-nine years and nine months.
Mr. Lovering appears to have been the youngest person connected with this affair, of whom we have any knowledge. His boyish curiosity led him to accompany the party to the scene of operations at Griffin's wharf, and on the following morning he was closely questioned and severely reprimanded by his parents, for being out after nine o'clock at night, as they were strict in their requirement that he should be in bed at that hour.
His son, Mr. N.P. Lovering, now seventy-seven years of age, resides in Boston, and is treasurer of the Connecticut and Passumpsic River Railroad Company. To this gentleman, and to his grand-daughter, Mrs. C.D. Bradlee, Boston, we are under obligation for the copy of a photograph from Mr. Lovering's oil-painting of his father.
Was born in Boston, 1706; died in Philadelphia, in 1790, and was buried in Christ Churchyard. A small marble slab, level with the ground, marks the spot. "No monumental display for me," was his request as expressed in his will.
Some years before his death he wrote his own epitaph. His usefulness to his country during the Revolutionary period will warrant us in giving it place in our "Tea Leaves:"
The body of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, PRINTER, Like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, And stript of its lettering and gilding, Lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost, For it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and a more beautiful edition corrected and amended by the Author.
It is believed that Benjamin Franklin was made a Freemason in St. John's Lodge, of Philadelphia, early in the year 1731. In 1734 he printed and published the first Masonic book ever issued in America, being the work known as "Anderson's Constitution of 1723." Copies are now exceedingly rare, and readily sell for fifty dollars each. One is now in the library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in an excellent state of preservation.
SERENO D. NICKERSON, Recording Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Mass.
"As a philosopher he ranks high. In his speculations he seldom lost sight of common sense, or yielded up his understanding either to enthusiasm or authority."—GOODRICH.
LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS.
LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS.
LETTER FROM MR. WILLIAM PALMER.
To the Directors of the East India Company.
As the Act allowing a Drawback of the whole of the customs paid on tea, if exported to America, is now passed, in which there is a clause empowering the Lords of the Treasury to grant licences to the India Company, to export tea, duty free, to foreign States, or America, having at the time of granting such licences upwards of ten millions of pounds in their warehouses, and as the present stock of tea is not only near seventeen million, but the quantity expected to arrive this season does also considerably exceed the ordinary demand of twelve months, and the expediency of exporting tea to foreign States having been considered, I presume to lay before this Court the following extracts, &c., from letters relative to the consumption in America, and calculation of advantages attending the exportation of tea by licence, and as an assurance the same are formed upon some experience of this trade (having not only been concerned in a great part of the tea which has been shipped to America since the allowance of the drawback, in 1767; but being now about to repurchase at your ensuing sale no small quantity of Bohea tea for the same account,) I am desirous, at my own hazard, to include in such purchase, an assortment of all other kinds, viz.: Congou, Souchong and Hyson, but more particularly the several species of Singlo, namely, Hyson, Skin, Twankay and First Sort, from a conviction that, by degrees, the consumption of these species, also and particularly Singlo tea, might be introduced into America, at least so far for the benefit of the Company, as in part to relieve them from the disagreeable necessity, they will, without some such vend, be subject to, of forcing that species of tea to market, before it is greatly damaged by age, provided you are of opinion the same may possibly tend to the advantage of the Company; or, should it be the opinion of this Court, an immediate consignment should take place, I am ready to give such assistance towards carrying the same into execution as may be thought most conducive to the interest of the Company, together with such security as the nature of the trust may require. In the prosecution of these consignments, I would propose to obtain a more exact computation of the actual consumption; what quantity might probably find a sale there, and the most probable means of success in such sales, whether by waiting for a demand in the ordinary way, or by public sales there; conducted upon the outlines of those made in England, by fixing a future day of payment, and by a restriction in selling any future quantity for a limited time, but particularly (under my mode) in what manner, and within what time assurances can be given by remittances being made on account of such sales.
I am, gentlemen, your humble servant,
London, 19th May, 1773.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS, &C., TO PROVE THE STATE OF THE TEA TRADE IN AMERICA.
Extract from a Letter from Boston, dated 29th April, 1771, in Answer to a Consignment made in February, 1771, at 3s. 1d., with the whole drawback of L23 18s. 7-1/2d. pr cent.:
"Were it not for the Holland tea, the vent of English would have answered your expectation here, but the profit is immense upon the Holland tea, which some say cost but 18d., and the 3d. duty here is saved. Many hundred chests have been imported. What is shipped may go off in time, without loss, for there must be buyers of English tea; the transportation of the Dutch by water being attended with much trouble and risk."
Extract from a Letter from Boston, dated 11th July, 1771:
"So much tea has been imported from Holland, that the importers from England have been obliged to sell for little or no profit. The Dutch traders, it is said, had their first teas at 18d. pr lb., the last at 2s.; either is much cheaper than from England, and they save the 3d. duty here. The Company must keep theirs nearer the prices in Holland. The consumption is prodigious."
Extract from a Letter from Boston, 2d Sepr., 1771:
"The consumption of Bohea tea thro' the Continent increases every year. It is difficult for us to say how great it is at present. We imagine there may be consumed in this Province, which is perhaps a seventh part of the Continent, 3000 chests in a year. We are sure nothing can discourage the running of it but the reducing the price as low, or lower, than it was two or three years past in England"
Extract from a Letter from Boston, (Messrs. Hutchinson,) dated 10th Sepr., 1771:
"From a more particular estimate of the consumption we are of opinion, the two towns of Boston and Charlestown consume a chest, or about 340 pounds of tea, one day with another. These two towns are not more than one-eighth, perhaps not more than one-tenth, part of the Province. Suppose they consume but 300 chests in a year, and allow they are but one-eighth, it will make 2400 chests a year for the whole Province. This Province is not one-eighth part of the Colonies, and in the other governments, especially New York, they consume tea in much greater proportion than in this Province. In this proportion, the consumption may be estimated at 19,200 chests per annum, or upwards of six millions of pounds. Yet at New York or Pensylvania they import no teas from England, and at Rhode Island very little. Here we find the Dutch traders continually gaining ground upon us. If teas do not sail with you before the spring shippings, we fear the Dutch will carry away all the trade of the Colonies in this article."
Extract of a Letter from Boston, dated 11th Sepr., 1772:
"We have delayed answering your last enquiries relative to the tea concern, in hopes of being able to form a better judgment, but to no great purpose; the great importation from Holland, principally through New York and Philadelphia, keeps down the price here, and consequently the sale of teas from England. We have set ours so low we shall have no profit from this years adventure, yet there are 50 chests still on hand. You ask our opinion whether the difference between the English and Dutch teas, if it did not exceed the 3d. duty and 9 pr cent., would be sufficient encouragement to the illicit trader? If the difference was not greater we think some of the smugglers would be discouraged, but the greater part would not. Nothing will be effectual short of reducing the price in England equal to the price in Holland. If no other burthen than the 3d. duty in the Colonies, to save that alone would not be sufficient profit, and the New Yorkers, &c., would soon break thro' their solemn engagements not to import from England."
Extract from a Letter from Boston, dated 25th Feb., 1773, in Answer to a calculation sent of the supposed price at which the illicit trader can now import tea into America from Holland:
"In your calculation of the profits on Dutch teas, 12 pr cent. is too much to deduct for the risque of illicit trade. We are confident not one chest in five hundred has been seized in this Province for two or three years past, and the custom house officers seem unwilling to run any risk to make a seisure. At New York, we are told it is carted about at noon day. There is some expence in landing, which we believe the importers would give five pr cent. to be freed from."
Copy of a Letter from Rotterdam, dated 12th June, 1772:
"I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 5th instant, desiring information of the present state and prices of tea at this market, and also what the freight and charges are thereon to North America, to all which I cheerfully give you every elucidation in my power, and with the greatest pleasure, as neither you nor your friends have any thought of engaging in said trade, which, with every other branch of smuggling, must be held in abhorrence by all good men. The present prices of tea are—
d. d. Dutch Bohea's, in whole chests, 20 @ 22 " " half " 22 24 " " quarter " 24 25 Swedish, whole " 21 22 Danish, " " 21 22-1/2 Congo, 28 45 Souchon, 36 65 Peco, 32 55 Imperial, 49 50 Green, 48 50 Tonkay, 52 53 Heysan Skin, 60 62 Heysan, 90 95
The tare on whole chests is 84 lbs., if they weigh less than 400 lbs., and if they weigh 400 lbs. or upwards, then 90 lbs.; for the half chests, under 200 lbs., tare 54 lbs.; if 200 lbs., or upwards, then 60 lbs.; for the quarter chests, under 100 lbs., tare, 23 lbs.; if 100 lbs., or upwards, then 30 lbs. The advantages on the tares are calculated at 7 or 8 pr cent. on the whole chests, at 12 @ 13 pr cent. on the half chests, and at 15 @ 16 per cent. on the quarter chests. The quantity of teas on hand is not considerable, so that we do not apprehend a decline; on the contrary, if any orders of the least importance were to appear, the prices would go higher. There are now about 400 chests shipping for America, from Amsterdam, from which port the teas that go to North America from this country are always shipped, and not from this city; they are sent to Rhode Island, and not to Boston. Of Green teas there are hardly any left, neither fine Souchong nor Congos, but ordinary, in abundance. The freight of a whole chest of Bohea to St. Eustatius, one of the Dutch West India Islands, comes to about 7-1/4s. pr chest. It is reckoned by the foot square, at 6s. the foot to North America. It is generally L4 pr chest, New York currency, but the captain is not answerable in any case of seizure.
Agreeable to your desire, I send you a pro forma invoice of 6 chests Dutch Boheas, so as they come to stand on board if they were shipped here; but as the shipping is at Amsterdam, the charges may be somewhat higher. In regard to what they estimate, the risk that in America for running in the teas I cannot inform you, this you may be better able to learn from some of your New England houses, as our underwriters will not sign against the risk of seizures; but I fancy the risk is not very great, as the trade is carried on for so large parcels.
Pro forma invoice of 6 chests of Dutch Bohea tea:
lbs. 320 Tare of 4 chests, under 400 ——— 360 at 84 lb. each, 336} 2270 370 } 390 do. of 2 chests above } 516 410 400 @ 90 lb. each 180} —— 1754 @ 24s. L2104 16 420 off 1 pr cent., 21 2 ———— L2083 14
Custom and Passport, L20 4s Sleding, 1 7 1/2 weigh money, 13 0 Brokerage, 10 8 Shipping, 3 0 Commission, 2 per cent. on L2131 13s. 42 12 ———— 90 11 ———— L2174 5
Estimate of the advantages attending the Tea trade to North America, if carried on from England:
Observe 1st. In the following calculation, no more than half the consumption of the Continent, as estimated by Messrs. Hutchinson, in their letter of the 10th Sepr., 1771, is assumed as the whole, as from the mode in which they were under the necessity of making their estimate, it was liable to error, and 19,200 chests is more than has been hitherto annually imported from China by all foreign companies.
2ndly. That this calculation is formed upon Bohea tea only, the species of tea already consumed there; yet it is probable by degrees other species might be introduced, the vend of which may be more profitable to the Company. 9600 chests of Bohea tea, each containing 340 lbs., makes 3,264,000 lbs., if sold at 2s. 6d. Boston currency, (which is 4d. lower than it appears to have been even at the time it was purchased in Holland, at 15 stivers, or under 18d. pr lb., amounts to
L408,000 Deduct 25 pr cent. for exchange, 102,000 Sterling, L306,000 Deduct 6 pr cent. for commission and charges, 18,360 Annual net proceeds before the American } L287,640 duty is deducted, }
Application of those Net proceeds to the following purposes:
To the revenue for the duty on 3,264,000, @ 3d. L40,800
To the ship owners, for freight from England to America, if according to the present rate of 15 pr chest, 7,200
To the ship owners for freight from China to England, according to Sir Richard Hotham's plan, of L21 pr ton, of 10 hundred weight, or for every 3 chests of tea, 67,200
To the purchase at Canton, if at 15 tale pr pecul would amount thus: say 3,264,000 lb., divided by 133-1/3 for each pecul, makes peculs 24,480 @ 15 each, is tales 367,200, which, at 6s. 8d. pr tale, is sterling, 122,400
Commission on the purchase in China, 6,120
Charges of all sorts, rated at 10s. pr chest, 4,600 ——— 248,320
To the Company for Net profit after all deductions} whatsoever upon the most reduced } 39,320 estimate, upwards of 30 pr cent. on the purchase, } or ——— L287,640
LETTER FROM MR. GILBERT BARKLY.
I take the liberty to enclose for your consideration a memorial, regarding the establishment of a branch from the East India house in one of the principal cities in North America. Should the design meet with your approbation, as I am well acquainted with the teas most saleable in that country, shall be extremely happy in giving you every information in my power, I have the honor to be with due esteem, gentlemen,
Your most obedt. & very humble servant,
GILB'T BARKLY. Lombard Street, 26th May, 1773.
TO THE HON'BLE THE COURT OF DIRECTORS OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY.
The Memorial of Gilbert Barkly, merchant, in Philadelphia, in North America, who resided there upwards of sixteen years, and who is well acquainted with the consumption of that country, particularly in the article of Teas, &c.
Humbly proposes. In order to put a final stop to that destructive trade of smuggling:
That the Company should open a chamber in one of the principal, & central cities, of North America, under the direction of managers, and that an assortment of teas from England should be lodged in warehouses, and sales to commence quarterly upon the same terms & conditions as those in London.
By this means the merchants and grocers from the Southern and Northern Provinces will attend the sales and purchase according to their abilities. The goods thus brought from home to them, and sold cheaper than they can be smuggled from foreigners, the buyers will be bound by interest, and think no more of running that risk, to which may be added that they have them when paid for, immediately, for whereas, when commissioned from abroad, they generally wait six months before the receipt of them.
This country is now become an object of the highest consequence, peopled by about three millions of inhabitants, one third of whom, at a moderate computation, drink tea twice a day, which third part, reckoning to each person one fourth part of an ounce pr day, makes the yearly consumption of 5,703,125 lbs. This quantity, at the medium price of 2s. 6d. pr lb., amounts to L712,890 2s. 6d.
The common people in all countries are the greatest body, few of those in North Briton or Ireland drink tea, this is not the case in America, all the planters are the real proprietors of the lands they possess; by this means they can afford to come at this piece of luxury, which has been greatly introduced among them by the example of the Dutch and German settlers.
The great object to be considered is to bring the goods to market in such a manner as to afford them as cheap as they can be bought of foreigners. Should this be the case the success of the design is beyond a doubt.
The duty of 3d. pr lb. some time ago laid on teas payable in America, gave the colonists great umbrage, and occasioned their smuggling that article into the country from Holland, France, Sweden, Lisbon, &c., St. Eustatia, in the West Indies, &c., which, from the extent of the coast, (experience has taught) cannot be prevented by custom officers, or the king's cruizers, and as the wisdom of Parliament reckons it impolitical to take off this duty, the colonists will persevere in purchasing that article in the usual manner if the above method is not adopted, and the goods brought into their country and sold as cheap as they can have them abroad.
The freight, &c., of teas to America would not much exceed what they might cost to Holland, or any other foreign company, particularly as the ships may load back with masts, and other goods that might nigh pay the whole expence, and should the Company think of exporting their overstock of teas to Holland, or any other foreign country, it is not to be expected that the merchants abroad would buy them but with a view of profit. This, with freight, commission, duty, &c., would far exceed the expence of sales and freight to America.
If this scheme should be approved of, the sooner it is executed the better, as the smugglers in America will soon be laying in their fall and winter stock of teas, unless they are prevented by this design, and as Spanish dollars are the current coin in that country, the Company can be furnished with any quantity they may require towards their payment, should they require it.
The managers may be paid by a commission on the sales, and at the same time bound to obey such orders and directions as they may receive from time to time from the Hon'ble the Court of Directors, and as your memorialist is universally acquainted with the trade, and has respectable connections in that country, he humbly offers himself as a proper person to be one of the managers, and if required, will find security for the trust reposed in him. Your memorialist also presumes to mention John Inglis, Esq., of the city of Philadelphia, as another proper person, being universally esteemed in America, and well known in the city of London, as a man of probity, fortune and respect.
LETTER FROM MR. BROOK WATSON, TO DANIEL WIER, ESQ.
The annual consumption of teas in Nova Scotia is about 20 chests Bohea, and 3 or 4 of good Common Green. Should the Company determine on sending any to that Province, I pray your interest in procuring the commission to Watson's & Rashleigh's agent there, John Butler, a man of long standing in the Province and in the Council, and by far the fittest person to be employed, for whom W. & R. will be answerable. At Boston I have two friends equally deserving. You would do the Company service, and me an acceptable kindness, by recommending them, Benjamin Faneuil, Jun., & Joshua Winslow. The consumption at Boston is large, say at least 400 chests Bohea & 50 of Green pr annum. The freight to both these places I should be glad to have if you could procure it without inconvenience to yourself.
Yours faithfully, BROOK WATSON. 4 June, 1773.
A PROPOSAL FOR SENDING TEA TO PHILADELPHIA.
Received from the Hon'ble Mr. Walpole.
As Philadelphia is the capital of one of the most populous and commercial Provinces in North America, and is situated in the center of the middle British Colonies, it is proposed:
That the East India Company should, by the middle of June at farthest, send to Philadelphia at least five hundred chests of black teas, one hundred half chests of green teas, and seventy five half chests of Congou and Souchon teas.
That they should consign these teas to a house of character and fortune in Philadelphia, and direct the proceeds thereof to be remitted hither in bills of exchange or specie.
That previous, however, to the teas being shipped, factors should be appointed in Philadelphia, and the directors of the East India Company should immediately advise them of their intended consignation, and direct them to engage proper warehouses for the reception thereof.
That the factors should be authorized to sell the teas at public auction, (giving notice of the times of the sale in all the North American newspapers, at least one month before hand,) and in such small lots as will be convenient for the country storekeepers to supply themselves with such sales.
That the factors should grant the purchasers the same allowance of tare, tret, discount, &c., as are customary at the company's sales in this city.
That in case the factor should be of opinion, the sales of the tea would be encreased both in quantity and price, by having occasional auctions in Boston and New York, in the manner proposed at Philadelphia; that they should be at liberty to send from time to time to Boston & New York as many chests as they may think necessary for the consumption & commerce of those places, but that the factors, or one of them, should always attend the sales in Boston and New York.
That the East India Company should be at the charge & expence of the warehouse rent in America, the cartage, and the freight of the teas from Philadelphia to Boston & New York, and that the factors should be allowed for receiving and selling the teas, collecting the payment thereof and remitting the same, a commission of 2-1/2 pr cent. on the amount of the sales.