Massachusetts Historical Society
America's oldest historical society, founded 1791.

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"Boston, January 3, 1774. The Express that went from hence ..."

Boston, January 3, 1774. The Express that went from hence ...

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New York Celebrates Boston's Indians
On Friday, 17 December, a messenger is dispatched from Boston. He informs New York's patriots that Bostonians have not shrunk from their resolve; they have blocked the landing of the tea. Although the news account does not give the messenger's name, we know from a 1798 letter he wrote to Jeremy Belknap, corresponding secretary of the Massachusetts Historical Society, that he is Paul Revere, employed by the Boston selectmen. His news is subsequently carried to Philadelphia, where it is enthusiastically received. Just a few days later, Philadelphia patriots gather to resist landing the tea carried by the Polly. Its captain, his return financed by Philadelphia's erstwhile tea consignees, sets sail for England on 28 December.

To examine all four pages of this newspaper, please see the online display of The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal, 3 January 1774.

Questions to Consider

1. Why is a messenger sent to New York? How do you think he travels?

2. What news does the messenger bring from New York? How does that city respond to Boston's news?

Further Exploration

3. Trace Revere's probable route on a contemporary map of the northern colonies. Imagine that you are Revere, taking this trip in the winter months of 1773. Write a short essay that describes your trip. What do you see as you travel? Where will you stop to eat and sleep? What thoughts and emotions do you carry with you?