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Authors: Harlow Giles Unger

American Tempest

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American Tempest
American
Tempest

H
OW THE
B
OSTON
T
EA
P
ARTY
S
PARKED A
R
EVOLUTION

HARLOW GILES UNGER

 

DA CAPO PRESS

A Member of the Perseus Books Group

 

 

Copyright © 2011 by Harlow Giles Unger

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information, address Da Capo Press, 11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142.

 

Designed by Trish Wilkinson

Set in 11.5 point Adobe Garamond Pro

 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

 

Unger, Harlow G., 1931–

American tempest : how the Boston Tea Party sparked a revolution / Harlow Giles Unger.—1st Da Capo Press ed.

      p.     cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-0-306-81962-9 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Boston Tea Party, 1773. 2. United States—History—Revolution, 1775–1783—Causes. I. Title.

E215.7.U64 2011

973.3—dc22

2010047734

 

First Da Capo Press edition 2011

 

Published by Da Capo Press

A Member of the Perseus Books Group

www.dacapopress.com

Da Capo Press books are available at special discounts for bulk purchases in the U.S. by corporations, institutions, and other organizations. For more information, please contact the Special Markets Department at the Perseus Books Group, 2300 Chestnut Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or call (800) 810-4145, ext. 5000, or e-mail
[email protected]
.

 

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

 

 

 

 

To Bob Pigeon and Lissa Warren

 

 

 

 

 

There is nothing so easy as to persuade people that they are badly governed.

—T
HOMAS
H
UTCHINSON
,
G
OVERNOR OF
M
ASSACHUSETTS

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

C
HAPTER
1

“Rally, Mohawks!”

C
HAPTER
2

The Saints of Boston

C
HAPTER
3

Mr. Cockle: The Governor's Creature

C
HAPTER
4

The Miserable State of Tributary Slaves

C
HAPTER
5

Flockwork from England

C
HAPTER
6

The Flame Is Spread

C
HAPTER
7

A Diabolical Scene

C
HAPTER
8

A Blackguard Town

C
HAPTER
9

Farewell the Tea-board

C
HAPTER
10

“Damn You! Fire!”

C
HAPTER
11

“Let Every Man Do What Is Right!”

C
HAPTER
12

“We Will Never Be Taxed!”

C
HAPTER
13

“We Must Fight!”

C
HAPTER
14

Savage Barbarities and Diabolical Cruelties

C
HAPTER
15

The Forgotten Patriots

Appendix A: The Declaration of Independence
and Its Signatories

Appendix B: The First Tea Party Patriots

Notes

Bibliography

Index

List of Illustrations

Maps

  
1. Town of Boston

  
2. Boston, its harbor and environs, 1775–1776

Illustrations

  
1. James Otis, Jr.

  
2. Thomas Hancock

  
3. Harvard College

  
4. Thomas Hutchinson, Jr.

  
5. Samuel Adams

  
6. Peter Oliver

  
7. Hancock House on Beacon Hill

  
8. Hancock House interior

  
9. Thomas Pownall

10. John Hancock

11. Patrick Henry speaks against the Stamp Act

12. Castle William

13. The Green Dragon Tavern

14. John Dickinson

15. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham

16. Thomas Cushing, Jr.

17. British troops drill on Boston Common

18. John Adams

19. Frederick Lord North

20. Bostonians paying the excise man

21. The Boston Massacre

22. The
Boston Gazette
's front page

23. Faneuil Hall

24. The Boston Tea Party

25. Customs Commissioner John Malcolm on the scaffold

26. Joseph Galloway

27. Old South Meeting House

28. Bostonians in distress

29. Edmund Burke

30. General Thomas Gage hears the pleas of Boston's boys

31. Patrick Henry

32. Major General Dr. Joseph Warren

33. Paul Revere

34. Thomas Jefferson

35. Commander in Chief George Washington

36. The Tory's Day of Judgment

37. King George III

38. Boston rebuilt, 1789

39. The Declaration of Independence

Acknowledgments

My deepest thanks to the wonderful staff at my publisher, Da Capo Press of the Perseus Books Group. All work incredibly hard behind the scenes and seldom receive the public acknowledgment they deserve for the beautiful books they produce and market. I owe a great debt of thanks to Publisher John Radziewicz, who has championed the publication of this and other books on American history. Special thanks, too, to Lissa Warren, the brilliant director of publicity, whose tireless efforts I believe do more to promote the study of American history than many schools and colleges. Among other essential contributors to this and other Da Capo books are Kevin Hanover, director of marketing, and the wonderful sales force of the Perseus Books Group; marketing executive Sean Maher, editor Jonathan Crowe; the incredibly skilled—and patient—Cisca L. Schreefel, associate director of editorial services and project editor for this book; copy editor Josephine Mariea; proofreader Anna Kaltenbach; and indexer Robie Grant.

Finally, my most sincere thanks to my wonderful editor Robert Pigeon, executive editor at Da Capo Press, for the time, energy, passion, and skills he contributed to this book, and to my literary agent Edward W. Knappman of New England Publishing Associates, for his enduring faith in my work.

Author's Note:
Spellings and grammar in the eighteenth-century letters and manuscripts cited in this book have, where appropriate, been modernized to clarify syntax without altering the intent of the original authors. The original spellings may be found in the works cited in the endnotes and bibliography.

Introduction

B
ostonians had just stepped out of their homes to go to work when they spotted the notices on fence posts and trees: “Friends! Brethren! Countrymen! That worst of plagues, the detestable tea is now arrived. . . . The hour of destruction or manly opposition to the machinations of tyranny stare you in the face.”
1

It was Monday morning at nine, November 29, 1773, when the first church bell tolled, then a second, and another—until every church tower in the city rocked in the fearful crescendo. All but paralyzed with fear by the din, neighbors glanced at each other, then began trotting down the narrow alleys to the waterfront. Shopkeepers who had just opened for business shuttered their doors and joined the flow of people—hundreds, at first, then thousands, from all directions swarming into the square in front of Faneuil Hall. All tried forcing their way in—rich, poor . . . merchants, craftsmen, farmers, shipfitters, seamen, laborers . . . beggars, thieves, thugs . . . men and boys . . . clubs, rifles, pistols, and a variety of missiles in hand, ready to shatter windows of the capitol or fire at the gods in heaven. They called for the blood of those they hated—British officials, those who supported British rule, those who deprived them of what they perceived as liberty. They called for the overthrow of a government that had fostered their prosperity for generations and protected them from enemy attacks by
hostile Indians, French troops, and Spanish conquistadores for a century and a half.

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