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James Freeman notebook entries, 14 August 1765 - 1 November 1765

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Wmstown W. Hoosuck / in Bersh. [Williamstown West Hoosuck in Berkshire]
count. [County] ed erected into a town
maple sugar made at Bernardstowne

Augt 14. The effigies of the distribu-
tor of stamps, pendant, behind whom
hung a boot newly soled with a Gren-
ville sole, out of wc. proceeded the
Devil was exhibited on the great tree
in main street. The spectacle con-
tinued ye whole day wh .out the
least opposition. About evening
a no. of reputable persons assem-
bled, cut down the effigies, placed
it on a [wagon?] , and covering it
with a sheet, they proceeded in
a regular solemn manner,
amidst the acclamations of
the populace thro the town, till
they arrived at ye Court House,
where after a short pause, they
pass'd, & proceeding down King's
Street, soon reached a certain

edifice then building for ye reception
of stamps wc they quickly levelled
with ye ground it stood on & wh the
wooden remains therefrom march'd
to Fort Hill, where kindling a
fire the [they] burnt the effigies. The
gentlemanwho was to have been the distribu-
tor of the stamps * [note at end of page] had his house
[?] near the hill, & by that means
it received from the populace
some small insults, such as
breaking the windows of his kitchen
which would have ended there,
had not some indiscretions been commit-
ted by his friends within, wc so en-
raged the people, that they were
not to be restrained from entering
the house; the damages however
was not great

Augt 15th. Gov'r issues a procla-
mation for apprehending the rioters above.

[bottom of page includes the following note] *The next day he resigned the employment


Augt 28th. Gov'r issues another
proclamation, in wc. he says, That
on 26th of Augt towards evening a
great no.of persons assembled them-
selves in Boston armed wh clubs &
staves, and first attacked Wm. Story's
house, broke his windows, damaged
& destroyed great part of the furni-
ture, & burnt & scattered the books
& files of the court of admiralty.
After wh they proceeded to Benjan.
Hallowell's house/ comptroller of
the customs/ broke down the fence
before it, broke his windows, enter'd
his house, damaged & destroyed
the furniture, drank his liquors,
took away his wearing apparel,
broke open his desk & trunks, &
took all his papers and about £ 30
in money. The same night
they attacked Gov'r Hutchinson's
house, entered it, broke down
& destroyed the wainscot & partiti-
ons, broke & destroyed every window

with all the furniture, destroyed
or carried off the wearing apparels
jewels, books, & papers of every
kind, took away or destroyed all
the liquors, & carried off about
£900 sterling in money, & all the
plate, and cut down the cupola
on the top of the house & un-
covered great part of the roof.

The same people continued as-
sembled the whole night, com-
mitting outrages, threatening the
custom house, & several dwelling
houses. Three hundred pounds offered
for the discovery of the leaders, and
£100 for assistants

Augt 27th. Town of Boston at a full meeting vote their
detestation of the riot of last night.
In consequence of the above resolve
the cadet company, several compa-
nies of the militia, and the artillery
company have kept night watch
to prevent such proceedings in


Augt 28th Town of Charelestown
vote their detestation of the riot in

Liberty tree consecrated about
this time. A copper plate with
the following words stamped thereon,
Liberty tree consecrated about
this time. A copper plate with
the following words stamped thereon,
"The Tree of Liberty" Augt. 14h 1765 fixed on
the tree. This afterwards gave
rise to Liberty Polls

Sep'r 16. Mr Messervey distributor
of Stamps for prov. Of N. Hampsh.
resigned his employment in
Boston. This occasioned great
joy among the people. The
morn'g ushered in wh. ringing
of bells. Train of artillery march'd
down King street, fired several
rounds &c.
Towards evening a
guard of men armed belonging
to the militia were posted
near Liberty tree to present

disorders from the concourse
of people. Bonfires in Charles-
town & Cambridge.

Sepr 23. We can assure the
publick that a No. of merchants
in this town have written to
Engl. for goods to be sent upon
condition only that the stamp-
acts be repealed.

Nov'r 1st. being the day the stamp
act was to take place, the morn'g
was ushered in by the tolling of
bells, & the vessels in the harbour
displaying their colours half-
mast high in token of mourn-
ing. Liberty tree adorned with
the effigies of George Grenville &
John H slc. The figures contin-
ued suspended whout molestation
till 3 o'clock in afternoon,
when they were cut down

amid the acclamations of
several thousand people of all
ranks, & being placed in a
cart were with great solem-
nity & order followed by the
multitude, formed into regu-
lar ranks to the Court House,
were the assembly was then
sitting: from thence proceeding
to the N. End of the town, & then
returning up middle street
they passed back thro' the T. [town?]
to the gallows, where the effigies
were again hung up, & after
continuing some time were
cut down, when the populace,
in token of their detestation of
the men they were designed
to represent, tore ym in pieces
& flung their limbs with de-
testation into the air. This being
done, 3 cheers were given &
every man retired quietly
to his own home, & the eve-
ning was more remarka-
ble for peace & quietness than

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