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to a gentleman of your influence and disposition. I have therefore ventured on your candor, and have spoke the ser timents of a heart much agitated for the welfare of thi: and our mother country; and if my mite will serve th: good old cause, I give it cheerfully. As I am no adept a letter writing, and for some other reasons, I choose to har my name concealed. In any other way, you may make whe: use of this letter you please.

I am, with great regard for you, Sir, and for all this friends of our happy Constitution, Your must humble servant,




BEFORE his Majesty's most Honorable Privy Counci February 19th, 1774.-Dr. Williamson, of Philadelphia being examined concerning the public transactions at Boton, in November and December last, respecting the te that was sent there by the East India Company, and de stroyed in the harbor, said:

That on the 17th or 18th of November, 1773, he arrive in Boston from Rhode Island, with the purpose of procee. ing in the first vessel for London. Being told that the inhabitants were assembled in town meeting, he went to th public hall, for the purpose of gratifying his curiosity

, br observing whether it was a rude collection of the lower class of people, or an orderly assembly of respectati citizens. He had been told, that the expected tea was to occasion of the meeting, and that there had already bec one or two meetings on the same subject. In a fer minutes after he entered the hall, some gentlemen, T. were said to be selectmen, came in with a letter from t: tea consignees. The letter was read by the clerk, imported that the consignees could not then resign. It wa voted not satisfactory. Mr. Hancock was moderator of te

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meeting. Two or three persons spoke a few minutes concerning the tea, or the contents of the letter, but he was too far off to hear them distinctly. The meeting was then dissolved.

He apprehends no vote but the above was passed at this meeting, but believes the selectmen agreed to

afford the tea consignees an interview, whenever the tea ht

ship might arrive, though he does not recollect how he received this intelligence. This, they said, was intended to give the consignees an opportunity of resigning, so as to escape the public odium.

On the 29th of November, there was a meeting of the people—not a regular town meeting. He apprehends this meeting had its origin in a report that the selectmen had not prevailed, or were not likely to prevail, on the consignees, to resign. The people began to meet in the public hall, but soon adjourned to a large church, or meetinghouse, at some distance. He was present while some of the votes were passed on that day. Mr. Jonathan Wil

liams acted as moderator. He remembers, in particular, it adi

was voted, That the tea should be sent back, at all events, to the place from whence it came, or words to this amount;

also, That it should pay no duty; and That it should return tel in the bottom in which it came. It was also voted, That the tea

should not be entered ; and Mr. Rotch and Capt. Hall were enjoined, under severe penalties, not to enter it. The speakers were very numerous on the subject of the above votes, but he cannot possibly recollect who they all were, for he only learned the names of most of them while they were speaking. The discourse of some tended in a very

different the

direction from that of others; for while some advised to

moderation, and by all means to the abstaining from TE violence, a few talked in a style that was violent and



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But the men who appeared to be the leaders, and to have the confidence and esteem of the people, were unanimous in determining, at the least they seemed to determine, that the tea should go back to London, and that they would prevent any measures by which it might be in danger. From observing the countenance, and attending to the discourse of this body of people, he was then fully persuaded, that the tea would not be destroyed; that it would be sent

back; that no attempt would be made with any prospect of success to detain it. A watch of twenty-five men was appointed to take care of the ship by night, lest the tea should be taken out of her, or rather, (for this was given a the reason,) lest some enemy of the town should burn the ship, in order to lay the blame to the inhabitants. H: does not remember who proposed the watch, nor who was the captain of it, but believes it was proposed that they should not be armed. He thinks there was also a meeting of the people on the 30th, at which he was informed they entered into sundry resolutions. He was also informed, for he was not present to see it, that the sheriff on that day, by order of the Governor, charged the people to disperse. H: believes a watch was kept over the tea ships every nigh: from their arrival, until that night on which the tea wa destroyed.

There was another meeting of the body of the people of Boston, and the neighboring Towns, on Tuesday or Wed nesday, the 14th or 15th of December, as he was informed He heard the bells ringing, and saw people going to the meeting. By the report he then received, from sundry people who attended, he believes that the account of the proceedings, which was published in the newspaper of Edes & Gill, was just. He believes there was also ar adjourned meeting of the body on the 16th or 17th of December. In the evening of that day, above an hour after dark, he was informed that a number of people were employed in destroying the tea. He immediately went that he might obtain full satisfaction as to this fact, and from a small eminence about fifty yards from the nearest ship, he could observe that there were people on board. who, he apprehends, were disguised. He could hear them cut open the tea chests, when they had brought them upon the deck. The rioters made very little noise. On the next day the ships were said to be quite clear.


That Mr. Hancock was moderator of the said town meet ing at Faneuil Hall, on the 17th or 18th of November, and as such, put the question. That the letter which was read

at the meeting, said to have been written by the tea consignees, and which was voted not satisfactory, was the same, according to the best of his memory, with a letter which he now saw published in a paper, called the “ Massachusetts, &c. No. —.” Also that Jonathan Williams, as moderator of the said meeting, on the 29th of November, put the several questions, which were voted while he was present.




This Letter is printed from the original, which was read to the Society by Hon. Charles H. Warren.

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Boston, May 14, 1774. MY DEAR SIR,

This Town has received the copy of an Act of the British Parliament, wherein it appears that we have been tried and condemned, and are to be punished, by the shutting up of the harbor and other marks of revenge, , until we shall disgrace ourselves by servilely yielding up, : in effect, the just and righteous claims of America. If the Parliament had a right to pass such an edict, does it not discover the want of every moral principle to proceed to the destruction of a community, without even the accusation of any crime committed by such community? And for any thing that appears, this is in fact the case. There is no crime alleged in the Act, as committed by the Town of je Boston. Outrages have been committed within the Town, it and therefore the community, as such, are to be destroyed, 1 without duly inquiring whether it deserved any punishment at all. Has there not often been the same kind of reason why the Port of London should be shut up, to the starving of hundreds of thousands, when their own mobs have surrounded the King's palace ? But such are the councils of a nation, once famed and revered for the character of humane, just and brave.

The people receive this cruel edict with abhorrence and indignation. They consider themselves as suffering the stroke ministerial—I may more precisely say, Hutchinsonian vengeance, in the common cause of America. I hope they will sustain the blow with a becoming fortitude,

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