A Farewell to Tea

Index: Tea Leaves - A Collection of East India Co. Letters, 1773 

(From Thomas's "Massachusetts Spy.")


Farewell, the tea-board with its equipage

Of cups and saucers, cream-bucket and sugar-tongs,

The pretty tea-chest also lately stored

With Hyson, Congo, and best Double Fine.

Full many a joyous moment have I sat by you

Hearing the girls tattle, the old maids talk scandal,

And the spruce coxcomb laugh—at maybe nothing.

No more shall I dish out the once-loved liquor,

Though now detestable;

Because I'm taught—and I believe it true,

Its use will fasten slavish chains upon my country;

And Liberty's the goddess I would choose

To reign triumphant in America.




And the memorable Suffolk County Resolves of 1774.

The mansion where the famous Suffolk County Resolves were passed, September 9, 1774, is still standing. It is situated in Milton, Mass., a few doors from the Boston and Milton line, on the Quincy road. It is a low, two-story double house, 20 × 40 feet, with the main door in its centre, and a chimney on each end. In its front there is inserted a marble tablet, 14 × 28 inches, with the following inscription:


On the 9th day of Sept., 1774, at a meeting of the delegates of every town and district in the County of Suffolk, the memorable Suffolk Resolves were adopted.

They were reported by Maj.-Gen. Warren, who fell——in their defence in the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.

They were approved by the members of the Continental Congress at Carpenter's Hall, Phila., on the 17th Sept., 1774.

The Resolves to which the immortal patriot here first gave utterance, and the heroic deeds of that eventful day on which he fell, led the way to American Independence.

'Posterity will acknowledge that virtue which preserved them free and happy.'"

In Warren's oration, March 5, 1772, more than two years before these Resolves were passed, the spirit of liberty burned within his heart. Nine months after these Resolves the battle took place, which finally resulted in the birth of American freedom. 




Respecting Mr. Lovering's connection with the Tea Party, Mr. George W. Allan, of West Canton Street, Boston, now eighty-two years of age, relates that about the year 1835, he frequently conversed with that gentlemen, who told him that on the evening of December 16, 1773, when he was fifteen years of age, he held the light in Crane's carpenter's shop, while he and others, fifteen in number, disguised themselves preparatory to throwing the tea into Boston harbor. He also said that some two hundred persons joined them on their way to the wharf, where the tea-ships lay. Mr. George H. Allan, the son of George W. Allan, received a similar statement from Mr. Lovering, a short time before the latter's death, which occurred June 13, 1848, at the age of eighty-nine years and nine months.

Mr. Lovering appears to have been the youngest person connected with this affair, of whom we have any knowledge. His boyish curiosity led him to accompany the party to the scene of operations at Griffin's wharf, and on the following morning he was closely questioned and severely reprimanded by his parents, for being out after nine o'clock at night, as they were strict in their requirement that he should be in bed at that hour.

His son, Mr. N.P. Lovering, now seventy-seven years of age, resides in Boston, and is treasurer of the Connecticut and Passumpsic River Railroad Company. To this gentleman, and to his grand-daughter, Mrs. C.D. Bradlee, Boston, we are under obligation for the copy of a photograph from Mr. Lovering's oil-painting of his father.



Was born in Boston, 1706; died in Philadelphia, in 1790, and was buried in Christ Churchyard. A small marble slab, level with the ground, marks the spot. "No monumental display for me," was his request as expressed in his will.

Some years before his death he wrote his own epitaph. His usefulness to his country during the Revolutionary period will warrant us in giving it place in our "Tea Leaves:"


The body of
Like the cover of an old book,
its contents torn out,
And stript of its lettering and gilding,
Lies here, food for worms.
Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
For it will (as he believed) appear once more
in a new
and a more beautiful edition
corrected and amended
by the Author.

It is believed that Benjamin Franklin was made a Freemason in St. John's Lodge, of Philadelphia, early in the year 1731. In 1734 he printed and published the first Masonic book ever issued in America, being the work known as "Anderson's Constitution of 1723." Copies are now exceedingly rare, and readily sell for fifty dollars each. One is now in the library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in an excellent state of preservation.

Sereno D. Nickerson,
Recording Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Mass.

"As a philosopher he ranks high. In his speculations he seldom lost sight of common sense, or yielded up his understanding either to enthusiasm or authority."—Goodrich.