[This dateline relates to the date of the publication of the hand
The following Hand Bill was a few days ago distri-
buted in this City.
A Ship loaded with TEA is now on her way to
this port, being sent out by the Ministry for
the purpose of enslaving and poisoning all Ame-
ricans; and, as she cannot be brought to anchor
before this city, without your assistance, we beg to
have a few words with you.
You know that you live in full enjoyment of true
old English Liberty; and that it is your right and
interest to live so for ever. --
You know that you
are represented in government by some of your coun-
trymen, who are called your Assembly Men; who
are well acquainted with your circumstances, and of
course, know how taxes, for the support of your own
government, may be laid most to your ease and con-
venience, and who are, by virtue of your appoint-
ment, the only men, on the face of the earth, pos-
sessed of right and power to tax you.
You no doubt have heard, that the Parliament of
Great-Britain, a set of men you
have never seen,
men, you know nothing of, who know as little about
you, have lately pretended to be your Assembly men;
and to convince you they are so, that they have taken
upon them the business of taxing you, in their own
way and manner; and for that purpose have pre-
vailed on the India Company to send to
large quantities of tea, which they have charged
with a duty; and which they now endeavour to
make you buy; and so to pay the tax, which, without
your consent, they have laid upon you.
Now it is clear, that if the Americans buy any of
this tea, they must pay the parliament's duty, and
acknowledge their right to tax us as often and as
high, as they think proper, than which nothing can
be more disgraceful and injurious to a free people.
All the world agree, that trade flourishes most in
a free country. This might be proved by many
instances; but that of
Quebec, a place we have all
heard of, will be sufficient for our purpose.
So long as
Canada remained in the hands of the
French, who are all slaves, little else than Furs and
Peltry were exported -- The land, which is very good,
was uncultivated, and no such thing as grain of any
kind was exported. But since the English have had
possession of it, affairs have taken a different turn;
and it is most certain, that in the last year they have
exported four hundred thousand bushels of wheat,
which must employ, at least, forty sail of vessels, and
greatly benefit this country.
You live by navigation; and the more that flou-
rishes, the better for you and your families: But
navigation can never flourish when unjust and op-
pressive regulations of trade are allowed to take
place; which will be the case if the tea ship finds
her way here, and lands her cargo.
The merchants of
Philadelphia have therefore
determined to prevent, if possible, the landing of
the tea; and expect that you will lend your as-
sistance for that purpose.
You have much in your power, and we trust you
will behave on this occasion as becomes the free, ho-
nest and hardy class to which you belong.
We need not point out to you the steps you
ought to take if the tea ship falls in our Way. You
cannot be at a loss how to prevent, or, if that can-
not be done, how to give the merchants of this city
timely notice of her arrival.
But this may depend on, that whatever pilot
brings her into this river, such pilot will be marked
for his treason, and will never after meet with the
least encouragement in his business. Like Cain, he
will be hung out as a spectacle to all nations, and
be for ever recorded as the damned traiterous
who brought up the tea ship.
This, however, cannot be the case with you, you
have proved scourges to evil doers, to infamous in-
formers and tide waiters; and we may venture to
predict, that you will give us a faithful and satis-
factory account of the tea ship, if you should meet
with her; and that your zeal on the occasion, will
entitle you to every favour it may be in the power
the merchants of
Philadelphia to confer upon you.
The Committee for Tarring and Feathering