A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Back to The Boston Tea Party

Boston, December 1, 1773. At a meeting of the people ...

Page Viewing Options NOTE

  • 1
Jump:
overview | small | large | transcription HELP

BOSTON, December 1, 1773.

At a meeting of the PEOPLE of
Boston, and the neighbouring Towns,
at
Faneuil-Hall, in said Boston, on
Monday the 29th of November 1773,
Nine o'Clock, A.M. and continued
by Adjournment to the next Day;
for the Purpose of consulting, advising
and determining upon the most proper
and effectual Method to prevent the
unloading, receiving or vending the
detestable
TEA sent out by the East-
India Company, Part of which being
just arrived in this Harbour:

IN Order to proceed with Due Regu-
larity, it was moved that a Mode-
rator be chosen, and

JONATHAN WILLIAMS, Esq;
Was then chosen Moderator of the Meeting.

A MOTION was made that as the
Town of Boston had determined
at a late Meeting legally assembled,
that they would to the utmost of
their Power prevent the landing of
the Tea, the Question be put, Whether
this Body are absolutely determined that the Tea
now arrived in Capt. Hall shall be returned to the
Place from whence it came at all Events. And the
Question being accordingly put, it passed in the
Affirmative. Nem. Con.

It appearing that the Hall could not contain
the People assembled, it was Voted, that the Meet-
ing be immediately Adjourned to the Old South
Meeting-House, Leave having been obtained for
this Purpose.

The People met at the Old South according to
Adjournment.

A Motion was made, and the Question put, viz.
Whether it is the firm Resolution of this Bo-
dy that the Tea shall not only be sent back, but
that no Duty shall be paid thereon; & pass'd in the
Affirmative. Nem. Con.

It was moved, that in order to give Time to the
Consignees to consider and deliberate, before they
sent in their Proposals to this Body, as they had
given Reason to expect would have been done at
the opening of the Meeting, there might be an Ad-
journment to Three o'Clock, P.M and the Meet-
ing was accordingly for that Purpose adjourned.

THREE o'Clock, P.M. met according to
Adjournment.

A Motion was made, Whether the Tea now
arrived in Captain Hall's Ship shall be sent back
in the same Bottom - Pass'd in the Affirmative,
Nem. Con.

Mr. Rotch the Owner of the Vessel being pre-
sent informed the Body that he should enter his
Protest against their Proceedings.

It was then moved and voted, nem. con.That
Mr. Rotch be directed not to enter this Tea; and
that the Doing of it would be at his Peril.

Also Voted, That Captain Hall the Master of
the Ship, be informed that at his Peril he is not
to suffer any of the Tea brought by him, to be
landed.

A Motion was made, That in Order for the
Security of Captain Hall's Ship and Cargo, a
Watch may be appointed -- and it was Voted
that a Watch be accordingly appointed to consist
of 25 Men.

Capt. Edward Proctor was appointed by the Body
to be the Capt. of the Watch for this Night, and
the Names were given in to the Moderator, of the
Townsmen who were Volunteers on the Occasion.

It having been observed to the Body, that Go-
vernor Hutchinson had required the Justices of
the Peace in this Town to meet and use their En-
deavours to suppress any Routs or Riots, &c. of
the People that might happen. -- It was Moved and
the Question put -- Whether it be not the Sense of
this Meeting, that the Governor's Conduct herein
carries a design'd Reflection upon the People here
met; and is solely calculated to serve the Views
of Administration -- Passed in the Affirmative, nem.
con.

The People being informed by Col. Hancock,
that Mr. Copley, Son-In-Law to Mr. Clarke, Sen.
had acquainted him that the Tea Consignees did
not receive their Letters from London till last
Evening, and were so dispersed, that they could
not have a joint Meeting early enough to make
their Proposals at the Time intended; and there-
fore were desirous of a further Space for that
Purpose.

The Meeting out of great Tenderness to these
Persons, and from a strong Desire to bring this
Matter to a Conclusion, notwithstanding the Time
they had hitherto expended upon them to no Pur-
pose, were prevailed upon to adjourn to the next
Morning Nine o'Clock.

TUESDAY Morning Nine o'Clock,
Met according to Adjournment.

THE long expected Proposals were at length
brought into the Meeting, not directed to the Mo-
derator, but to John Scollay, Esq; one of the
Selectmen -- It was however voted that the same
should be read, and they are as follow, viz.

Monday, Nov. 29th, 1773.
SIR,
WE are sorry that we could not return to the
Town satisfactory Answers to their two late
Messages to us respecting the Teas; we beg Leave
to acquaint the Gentlemen Selectmen that we have
since received our Orders from the Honorable East-
India Company.

We still retain a Disposition to do all in our Power
to give Satisfaction to the Town, but as we under-
stood from you and the other Gentlemen Selectmen
at Mess. Clarkes Interview with you last Saturday,
that this can be effected by nothing less than our send-
ing back the Teas, we beg Leave to say, that this is
utterly out of our Power to do, but we do now declare
to you our Readiness to Store the Teas until we shall
have Opportunity of writing to our Constituents and
shall receive their further Orders respecting them;
and we do most sincerely wish that the Town consi-
dering the unexpected Difficulties devolved upon us
will be satisfied with what we now offer.

We are, SIR,
Your most humble Servants,
Tho. & Elisha Hutchinson,
Benja. Faneuil, jun. for Self and
Joshua Winslow, Esq;
Rich'd Clarke & Sons.
John Scollay, Esq;

Mr. Sheriff Greenleaf came into the Meeting,
and being begg'd Leave of the Moderator that a Letter
he had received from the Governor, requiring him
to read a Proclamation to the People here assem-
bled might be read; and it was accordingly read.

Whereupon it was moved, and the Question put,
Whether the Sheriff should be permitted to read
the Proclamation -- which passed in the Affirma-
tive. nem. con.

The Proclamation is as follows, viz.

Massachusetts-Bay. By the Governor.

To JONATHAN WILLIAMS, Esq; acting
as Moderator of an Assembly of People
in the Town of Boston, and to the
People so assembled:

WHEREAS printed Notifications were
on Monday the 29th Instant posted in
divers Places in the Town of Boston
and published in the News-Papers of that
Day calling upon the People to assemble toge-
ther for certain unlawful Purposes in such
Notifications mentioned: And whereas great
Numbers of People belonging to the Town of
Boston, and divers others belonging to seve-
ral other Towns in the Province, did assemble
in the said Town of Boston, on the said Day,
and did then and there proceed to chuse a
Moderator, and to consult, debate and resolve
upon Ways and Means for carrying such un-
lawful Purposes into Execution; openly vio-
lating, defying and setting at nought the
good and wholsome Laws of the Province and
the Constitution of Government under which
they live: And whereas the People thus
assembled did vote or agree to adjourn or con-
tinue their Meeting to this the 30th Instant,
and great Numbers of them are again met or
assembled together for the like Purposes in the
said Town of Boston,

IN Faithfulness to my Trust and as His
Majesty's Representative within the Province
I am bound to bear Testimony against this
Violation of the Laws and I warn exhort and
require you and each of you thus unlawfully
assembled forthwith to disperse and to sur-

cease all further unlawful Proceedings at
your utmost Peril.

Given under my Hand at Milton in the
Province aforesaid the 30th Day of
November 1773 and in the fourteenth
Year of His Majesty's Reign.

By His Excellency's Command,
T. Hutchinson.
THO'S FLUCKER, Secr'y.

And the same being read by the Sheriff, there
was immediately after, a loud and very general
Hiss.

A Motion was made, and the Question put,
Whether the Assembly would disperse and surcease
all further Proceedings, according to the Gover-
nor's Requirement -- It pass'd in the Negative,
nem. con.

A Proposal of Mr. Copley was made, that in
Case he could prevail with the Mess. Clarkes to
come into this Meeting, the Question might now be
put, Whether they should be treated with Civi-
lity while in the Meeting, though they might be
of different Sentiments with this Body; and their
Persons be safe until their Return to the Place
from whence they should come -- And the Ques-
stion being accordingly put, passed in the Affirma-
tive, Nem. Con.

Another Motion of Mr. Copley's was put,
Whether two Hours shall be given him, which
also passed in the Affirmative.

Adjourn'd to Two o'Clock, P.M.

TWO o'Clock P.M. met according to Ad-
journment.

A Motion was made and passed, that Mr. Rotch
and Capt. Hall be desired to give their Attendance.

Mr. Rotch appeared, and upon a Motion made
the Question was put, Whether it is the firm
Resolution of this Body, that the Tea brought by
Capt. Hall shall be returned by Mr. Rotch to
England in the Bottom in which it came; and
whether they accordingly now require the same,
which passed in the Affirmative, Nem. Con.

Mr. Rotch then informed the Meeting that he
should protest against the whole Proceedings as
he had done against the Proceedings on Yesterday,
but that tho' the returning the Tea is an invo-
luntary Act in him, he yet considers himself as
under a Necessity to do it, and shall therefore com-
ply with the Requirement of this Body.

Capt. Hall being present was forbid to aid or
assist in unloading the Tea at his Peril, and ordered
that if he continues Master of the Vessel, he carry
the same back to London; who reply'd he should
comply with these Requirements.

Upon a Motion, Resolved, That John Rowe, Esq;
Owner of Part of Capt. Bruce's Ship expected
with Tea, as also Mr. Timmins, Factor for Capt.
Coffin's Brig, be desired to attend.

Mr. Ezekiel Cheever was appointed Captain
of the Watch for this Night, and a sufficient
Number of Volunteers gave in their Names for
that Service.

VOTED, That the Captain of this Watch be
desired to make out a List of the Watch for the
next Night, and so each Captain of the Watch for
the following Nights until the Vessels leave the
Harbour.

Upon a Motion made, Voted, that in the Case it
should happen that the Watch should be any Ways
molested in the Night, while on Duty, they
give the Alarm to the Inhabitants by the tolling
of the Bells -- and that if any Thing happens in
the Day Time, the Alarm be by ringing of the
Bells.

VOTED, That six Persons be appointed to be
in Readiness to give due Notice to the Country
Towns when they shall be required so to do, upon
any important Occasion. And six Persons were
accordingly chosen for that Purpose.

John Rowe, Esq; attended, and was informed
that Mr. Rotch had engaged that his Vessel should
carry back the Tea she bro't in the same Bottom, &
that it was the Expectation of this Body that he does
the same by the Tea expected in Capt. Bruce; where-
upon he reply'd that the Ship was under the Care
of the said Master, but that he would use his
utmost Endeavour, that it should go back as re-
quired by this Body, and that he would give im-
mediate Advice of the Arrival of said Ship.

VOTED, That it is the Sense of this Body that
Capt. Bruce shall on his Arrival strictly conform
to the Votes passed respecting Capt. Hall's Vessel,
as tho' they had been all passed in Referrence to
Capt. Bruce's Ship.

Mr. Timmins appeared and informed that Capt.
Coffin's Brig expected with Tea was owned in
Nantucket, he gave his Word of Honor
that no Tea should be landed while she was
under his Care, nor touched by any one untill the
Owner's Arrival.

It was then Voted, That what Mr. Rowe and
Mr. Timmins had offered was satisfactory to the
Body.

Mr. Copley returned and acquainted the Body,
that as he had been obliged to go to the Castle, he
hoped that if he had exceeded the Time allowed
him they would consider the Difficulty of a Pas-
sage by Water at this Season as his Apology: He
then further acquainted the Body, that he had
seen all the Consignees, and tho' he had convinced
them that they might attend this Meeting with
safety, and had used his utmost Endeavours to
prevail upon them to give Satisfaction to the Body;
they acquainted him, that believing nothing would
be satisfactory short of re-shipping the Tea, which
was out of their Power, they thought it best not
to appear, but would renew their Proposal of stor-
ing the Tea, and submitting the same to the In-
spection of a Committee, and that they could go
no further, without incurring their own Ruin; but
as they had not been active in introducing the
Tea, they should do nothing to obstruct the Peo-
ple in their Procedure with the same.

It was then moved, and the Question put, Whe-
ther the return made by Mr. Copley from the
Consignees, be in the least Degree satisfactory to
this Body, & passed in the Negative. Nem. Con.

Whereas a Number of Merchants in this Province
have inadvertently imported Tea from Great Bri-
tain, while it is subject to the Payment of a Duty
imposed upon it by an Act of the British Parliament
for the Purpose of raising a Revenue in America,
and appropriating the same without the Consent of
those who are required to pay it:

RESOLVED, That in thus importing said Tea,
they have justly incurr'd the Displeasure of our
Brethren in the other Colonies.

And Resolved further, That if any Person or
Persons shall hereafter import Tea from Great-
Britain, or if any Master or Masters of any Vessel
or Vessels in Great-Britain shall take the same on
Board to be imported to this Place, until the said
unrighteous Act shall be repeal'd, he or they shall
be deem'd by this Body, an Enemy to his Country;
and we will prevent the Landing and Sale of the
same, and the Payment of any Duty thereon.
And we will effect the Return thereof to the Place
from whence it shall come.

RESOLVED, That the foregoing Vote be
printed and sent to England, and all the Sea-
Ports in this Province.

Upon a Motion made, Voted, That fair Copies
be taken of the whole Proceedings of this Meet-
ing and transmitted to New-York & Philadelphia,
And that Mr. SAMUEL ADAMS
Hon. JOHN HANCOCK, Esq;
WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Esq;
JOHN ROWE, Esq;
JONATHAN WILLIAMS, Esq;
Be a Committee to transmit the same.

Voted, That it is the Determination of this
Body, to carry their Votes and Resolutions into
Execution, at the Risque of their Lives and Pro-
perty.

Voted, That the Committee of Correspondence
for this Town, be desired to take Care that every
other Vessel with Tea that arrives in this Harbour,
have a proper Watch appointed for her -- Also
Voted, That those Persons who are desirous of
making a Part of these Nightly Watches, be de-
sired to give in their Names at Messieurs Edes and
Gill's Printing-Office.

Voted, That our Brethren in the Country be
desired to afford their Assistance upon the first
Notice given; especially if such Notice be given
upon the Arrival of Captain Loring, in Messieurs
Clarkes' Brigantine.

Voted, That those of this Body who belong to
the Town of Boston do return their Thanks to their
Brethren who have come from the neighbouring
Towns, for their Countenance and Union with this
Body in this Exigence of our Affairs.

VOTED, That the Thanks of this Meeting be
given to JONATHAN WILLIAMS, Esq; for his
good services as Moderator.

VOTED, That this Meeting be Dissolved --
And it was accordingly Dissolved.

Printed by EDES and GILL, 1773.