Biographical Notices of the Boston Tea Party
Major NATHANIEL BARBER,
A prominent merchant and patriot of Boston, was one of the famous "Whig Club" of ante-revolutionary days, in which were James Otis, Dr. Church, Dr. Warren and other leaders of the popular party. In it Civil Rights and the British Constitution were standing topics for discussion. He was one of the committee of correspondence, from its creation in 1772, and afterwards of the committee of safety, and was naval officer of the port of Boston in 1784. He joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1780, and died at his house, in Bear Lane, (Richmond Street,) October 13, 1787; aged 59. Before the Revolution he kept an insurance office in Fish (now North) Street.
A major in the Revolutionary army, was born in Watertown, Mass., June 19, 1737; died August 8, 1782.
A prominent "Son of Liberty," a merchant on Orange Street, residing in Rawson's Lane, (Bromfield Street,) died June 5, 1813; aged 74. He was the first volunteer on the roll of the guard of the tea-ship, November 29, 1773. Drake ("Old Landmarks of Boston,") says Samuel Adams and Major Melvill often passed a convivial evening, and ate a Sunday dinner, at his house.
Captain THOMAS BOLTER,
A housewright, residing on Nassau (now Tremont) Street, died in August, 1811; aged 76. Mary, his widow, died May 30, 1813; aged 76.
"Owe no man anything. Be true to thyself, to thy country, and to thy God."
—C.D. Bradlee, Blackstone Square, Boston.
DAVID, THOMAS, NATHANIEL, and JOSIAH BRADLEE,
Were brothers, who lived in the house yet standing, on the southerly corner of Hollis and Tremont Streets. Their sister, Sarah, assisted her husband, John Fulton, and her brothers, to disguise themselves, having made preparations for the emergency a day or two beforehand, and afterwards followed them to the wharf, and saw the tea thrown into the dock. Soon returning, she had hot water in readiness for them when they arrived, and assisted in removing the paint from their faces. As the story goes, before they could change their clothes, a British officer looked in to see if the young men were at home, having a suspicion that they were in the tea business. He found them in bed, and to all appearance asleep, they having slipped into bed without removing their "toggery," and feigning sleep. The officer departed satisfied. Mrs. Fulton helped to dress the wounds of the soldiers who were in the battle of Bunker Hill. She died in Medford, Mass., in 1836, and is the authority for the above statement. Of the brothers,—
David, was born November 24, 1742; died March 10, 1811.
Thomas, born December 4, 1744; died Oct. —, 1805.
Nathaniel, born February 16, 1746; died May 8, 1813.
Josiah, born March 24, 1754; died October 2, 1798.
The old house, built by Nathaniel, in 1771, is now the residence of his grandson, Nathaniel Bradlee Doggett, to whose son, Samuel Bradlee Doggett, I am indebted for the above facts.
Pump and blockmaker, in Summer Street, died in April, 1805. He took an active part in the early movements of the Revolution; was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," November 30, 1773, and prominent in the destruction of her cargo, and was also one of the young men who removed at noon-day, and while it was under guard, the cannon from the gun-house on West Street, which afterwards found its way to Washington's camp. Some of the tea party met at his house, and were assisted in preparing themselves by his wife and daughter, who blackened their faces with burnt cork. He was a confidential messenger between Governor Hancock and Washington, and was afterwards a prisoner of war, having been taken in a privateer, in 1781. He was an early member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, and was also a member of the Massachusetts Lodge of Freemasons in 1792. His son, Thomas, a member of the City Council of Boston in 1825-26, died June 4, 1859; aged 78.
SETH INGERSOLL BROWN
Was born in Cambridge, Mass., March 13, 1750. He was the son of William Brown, born in 1683. Mr. Brown's trade was that of a house carpenter. In the lower part of his shop, in Charlestown, was stored the ammunition afterwards used in the battle of Bunker Hill. He was in full sympathy with the cause of liberty; was one of the "Mohawks" on the memorable 16th of December, and on that occasion was masked and painted, and bore a club. He used to relate to his daughters, that on returning home from the scene of destruction, he had to fight his way through the excited crowd, with his back to the houses, to avoid discovery. They kept his connection with the affair a profound secret many years, and when it was spoken of in their old age, excused their silence regarding it on the ground that they thought it was a disgrace, like a riot or a mob, and ought not to be told. At Bunker Hill he was wounded in the leg, and also received an injury to his eye. He said he should never forget the cry that went up during the battle, of "No ammunition! no ammunition!" Mr. Brown served as an assistant commissary during the siege of Boston, and continued with the army until the war closed. He was paid off in worthless Continental money—there was no other—and it is related that his spunky little wife, indignant at the poor reward of such sacrifices as her husband had made, on receiving it from him, threw it all into the fire. She is described as short, stout and handsome, with long, straight, black hair, that fell almost to her feet.
After the war, Mr. Brown, with impaired health and eyesight, kept a tavern successively in Charlestown, Cambridge, Newton Corner, the Punch Bowl in Roxbury, and finally the Sun tavern, in Wing's Lane, (Elm Street,) Boston. He died in Charlestown, Mass., March 9, 1809, leaving several children by his second wife, Sarah Godding, of Cambridge. Three of his daughters, Cynthia, Harriet and Angeline—lived to be over eighty,—retained their memories and their mental faculties to the last, and preserved many interesting reminiscences of their father's revolutionary career. Mr. Brown was a good singer, and they recall this verse of a song, having reference to the battle of Bunker Hill:
The name of Seth Ingersoll Brown is recorded on the monument, in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Mass., erected in 1870, to the memory of Captain Peter Slater, and his associates of the Boston tea party. He is buried in the Granary burying-ground.
Of Mr. Brown's descendants, known in public life, may be mentioned Rev. John W. Hanson, D.D., of Chicago, Ill.; Rev. Warren H. Cudworth, D.D., formerly of East Boston; Harriet H. Robinson, who married William S. Robinson, ("Warrington,") journalist, and clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1862 to 1873, and their elder daughter, Harriet R. Shattuck.
"Though none of his descendants will continue to bear his name,—the male branch being extinct in the third generation," writes his grand-daughter, Mrs. H.H. Robinson, "some of them have inherited his spirit of resistance to laws that compel them—his only surviving representatives,—"to submit to taxation without representation." To this lady we are indebted for the materials from which this notice is derived.
Some lines, written in 1773, by Susannah Clarke, "Warrington's" great grandmother's sister, serve to manifest the spirit that pervaded the country when non-tea drinking was held to be a religious duty by American women:
Was a merchant, doing business at 28 State Street, and was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth." He was the first inspector of beef and pork, appointed by the State of Massachusetts, and was a man of sound judgment and inflexible integrity. He became a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew in 1779, and master in 1782. He died July 26, 1801.
Colonel BENJAMIN BURTON
Was born in the old Burton House, Thomaston, Maine, December 9, 1749, and died in Warren, Maine, May 23, 1835. Happening to be in Boston on a visit on the memorable 16th of December, 1773, he went with the crowd to the Old South Meeting House, and at the close of the meeting, heard the cry "Tea party! tea party!" Joining the party that boarded the tea-ships, he labored with all his might in throwing the tea into the water. It being about low tide, the tea rested on the bottom, and when the tide rose it floated, and was lodged by the surf along the shore. He was subsequently an officer in the Revolutionary army; was present at the surrender of Burgoyne, and himself fell into the hands of the enemy, in February, 1781, sharing in the imprisonment of General Peleg Wadsworth, at Castine, and in the daring escape of that officer. After the war, he was eight years a magistrate, and was often a member of the legislature.
A native of the Island of Malta, died in Warren, R.I., July 23, 1829; aged ninety-seven. He came to this country just previous to the Revolution, during a great part of which he was employed in the marine service, and by many deeds of noble daring, aided the cause of liberty, and evinced his attachment to his adopted country. He had been a resident of Warren fifty-four years.
One of the most active of the "Sons of Liberty," was a distiller, near the famous Liberty Tree, at the junction of Orange, Essex and Newbury Streets. In the office of Chase & Speakman the meetings of the committee of the "Sons" were held, of one of which John Adams has left an account. Chase was one of those who prepared and suspended the effigies of Bute and Oliver from Liberty Tree, on August 14, 1765. He was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, 1773; was a member of the "Anti-Stamp Fire Society," formed soon after the passage of the Stamp Act, in 1765, and joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1769.
Was a cooper, in Ship Street, and in 1807 resided in Prince Street. He became a member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association in 1801; of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1806, and died in 1840.
Born in East Boston, in 1750; died in Belfast, Maine, October 30, 1839. The monument there erected to his memory bears the following inscription: "He was one of the memorable tea party at Boston, December 16, 1773." His only surviving son, of the same name, now (1884) resides at Belfast, at the age of eighty-three.
Born in Boston, December 23, 1744, removed to Nantucket, Mass., and died there in 1818.
Of Chesterfield, Mass., died about the year 1825.
Was a leather dresser, near the "Great Trees," on Essex Street, as we learn by his advertisement soon after the passage of the Stamp Act, in which he says: "Understanding that many worthy tradesmen had agreed to wear nothing but leather for their working habits, 'he offers' to dress all sorts of skins suitable for that purpose." Collson was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth" on the night of November 30, 1773, and was said to be the person who, at the close of the meeting of December 16th, at the Old South, shouted from the gallery, "Boston harbor a tea-pot to-night!" He became a member of St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1763, and at the time of his death, February 16, 1798, aged sixty, resided at 59 Marlboro' (Washington) Street. He was a member of the "Long Room" Club.
JAMES FOSTER CONDY,
A bookseller in Boston before the Revolution, doing business in Union Street, "opposite the cornfields," died in Haverhill, Mass., July 12, 1809.
Was born in Boston, in 1755, and was living in Georgetown, D.C., in 1838. He was commissioned second lieutenant in Crane's artillery regiment, February 1, 1777; quartermaster 14th May, 1778; lieutenant and adjutant in 1783. He was inspector of pot and pearl ashes in New York city and county, from 1808 to 1830. Adjutant-General Samuel Cooper, of the United States army, afterwards a general in the Confederate army, who died in 1877, was his son.
Colonel of the Massachusetts regiment of artillery in the Continental line of the Revolutionary army, was born in Milton, Mass., 7th December, 1744, and died in Whiting, Maine, 21st August, 1805. His education was scanty. In 1759, when only fifteen years of age, his father, Abijah was drafted as a soldier in the French war. John offered to go in his father's stead, and was laughed at on account of his youth. Nevertheless, the boy went and proved himself a brave lad, saving the life of a lame fellow-soldier, who had fallen when pursued by a party of Indians, at St. John's. He came to Boston in early life, married, and established himself in business as a house carpenter,—his house and shop being in Tremont Street, opposite Hollis. He assisted Major Paddock in setting out the elm trees on the Tremont Street mall, about the year 1765. These trees were old acquaintances of Crane's, having, like him, been transplanted from Milton. Naturally enough, in one of his ardent temperament, he at once identified himself with the active Sons of Liberty. One of the famous tea party, his career came near being permanently ended by the fall of a derrick, used in hoisting out the tea, which, falling upon him, knocked him senseless. His comrades, supposing him killed, bore him to a neighboring carpenter's shop, and secreted the body under a pile of shavings. They afterwards took him to his home, where good nursing and a strong constitution, soon brought him round. The late Colonel Joseph Lovering, who lived opposite to Crane, used to relate that he held the light on that memorable evening, while Crane, and other young men, his neighbors, disguised themselves for the occasion. House building and other branches of industry having been paralyzed by the "Boston Port Bill," Crane, with his partner, Ebenezer Stevens, (also one of the tea party,) went to Providence, R.I., where they followed their business with success, until the war broke out. Both had been members of Paddock's artillery company, a corps famous for having furnished a large number of valuable officers to that arm of the service in the Revolutionary army, among whom may be named John Crane, Ebenezer Stevens, William Perkins, Henry Burbeck, John Lillie, and David Bryant. Crane had been commissioned by Governor Wanton, captain-lieutenant of the train of artillery of the colony of Rhode Island, December 12, 1774, (barely one year after the destruction of the tea,) and immediately after receiving the news of the battle of Lexington, he was made captain of the train attached to the Rhode Island "Army of Observation," commanded by General Nathaniel Greene. Crane's command, "all well accoutred, with four excellent field-pieces marched, in the latter part of May, to join the American army near Boston. They made a very military appearance, and are, without exception, as complete a body of men as any in the king's dominions." Stevens was a lieutenant in this company. Possessing a remarkably keen vision, Crane was exceedingly skilful as an artillerist, a talent he had frequent opportunities to display during the siege of Boston. Early in the morning of July 8, 1775, Majors Tupper and Crane, with a number of volunteers, attacked the British advance guard at Brown's House, on Boston Neck, (near the corner of Newton Street and Blackstone Square,) routed them, and burned two houses. This was regarded as a brave and well-executed affair, and is noteworthy as being the only hostile encounter that has ever taken place in the old limits of Boston. During the siege he was stationed at the Roxbury line, and was engaged in several skirmishes on the islands in the harbor. Commissioned major of Knox's regiment, January 1, 1776, he accompanied the army to New York, and while cannonading a British frigate which was passing his batteries at Corlaers Hook, was severely wounded by a cannon ball, which carried off a part of his foot, disabling him for several months, and finally causing his death—the wound having closed. He raised in Massachusetts, in 1777, the 3d regiment of Continental artillery, which he commanded till the war ended, when he was brevetted a brigadier-general, (October 10, 1783,) his commission as colonel dating from January 1, 1777. This corps, officered chiefly from those who had been trained under Paddock, Gridley and Knox, was not exceeded in discipline, valor, and usefulness by any in the service. It was principally employed with the main army, and was an essential auxiliary in the most important operations. Portions of it were also with Sullivan in the Rhode Island campaign, with Gates at Saratoga, and in the heroic defence of Red Bank, on the Delaware. After the peace, Crane formed a partnership with Colonel Lemuel Trescott, in the lumber business, in Passamaquoddy, Maine, in which they were unsuccessful. The connection was soon dissolved, and Crane finally settled in Whiting, Washington County, Maine, where he had a grant of two hundred acres of land, for his Revolutionary services, from the legislature of Massachusetts. Colonel Crane was five feet eight inches in height, stout and thick set. He possessed great energy, resolution and courage, and at critical moments was perfectly cool. In 1790, he was commissioned judge of the Court of Common Pleas, by Governor Hancock. While at the lines on Boston Neck, Crane aimed a ball at a house near his own, belonging to Rev. Dr. Byles, the Tory, but succeeded only in knocking the ridge pole from his own dwelling. He became a Freemason in 1781, joining an army lodge at West Point, and was also a member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. Colonel Crane, in 1767, married Mehitabel Wheeler, believed to have been a sister of Captain Josiah Wheeler, a member of the tea party. His three daughters married three sons of Colonel John Allan, who, with his Indian allies, rendered valuable service to the patriot cause in protecting throughout the Revolutionary war, the exposed north-eastern frontier. William Allan, who married Alice Crane, was the grandfather of George H. Allan, of Boston, from whom many of the above facts have been derived, and who has made extensive collections relative to the Allan and Crane families.
Major ROBERT DAVIS,
Merchant, importer of groceries, wines and liquors, did business at No. 1 Cornhill, and resided in Orange Street. He was the son of Joshua and Sarah (Pierpont) Davis, and was born 24th January, 1747. He was a Son of Liberty, and as an officer in Crafts's artillery regiment, took part in the expulsion of the British fleet from Boston harbor, ultimately attaining the rank of major. Member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1786. His brothers, Caleb and Amasa, were also prominent Revolutionary characters,—the latter having been forty years quartermaster-general of Massachusetts. Robert Davis became a member of St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1777, and died in November, 1798. His daughter, Clarissa, widow of William Ely, was living in Hartford in 1873, at the age of eighty-two.
Was a fellow-apprentice, and afterwards a partner with Henry Purkitt, in the business of a cooper, in South Street. His residence was near Dr. Eliot's Meeting House, where he died, in April, 1796.
Captain JOSEPH EATON
Was an eccentric and excitable, but patriotic citizen, a hatter by trade. He claimed to have hauled down the first British colors at the outset of the Revolution, and to have loaded a cannon in State Street to prevent the regulars from landing, in 1774. He was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company; was an ardent democrat, and late in life wore a cocked hat, and styled himself "general."
Was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth" on the night of November 30, 1773. He was a housewright in Essex Street, in 1789.
A barber, was informed against for his participation in the destruction of the tea, and committed to prison. The Sons of Liberty supported him while in confinement, and also provided for his family. He was finally liberated, and the person who informed against him was tarred and feathered, and paraded through the town with labels on his breast and back bearing his name, and the word "informer" in large letters.
Who was a mason, while engaged in throwing the tea overboard, was recognized by his apprentice, Samuel Sprague.
A housewright, was born in Boston, in 1745, and died in 1806. He lived in a large wooden house on Tremont Street, near Hollis Street, and was a near neighbor of Crane, Lovering and the Bradlees. He was a man of unusual reticence, but noted for courage and patriotism. From 1773 till his death, he kept a vow never to drink tea. In 1797 he married Mary, the sister of Joseph Hiller, the first collector of the port of Salem, and was the father of Captain John Fenno, a pioneer in the China trade.
Captain SAMUEL FOSTER,
Of Roxbury, was a sergeant in Captain Moses Whiting's minute company, at Lexington, and as a captain in Greaton's regiment, served at Ticonderoga, and in other campaigns of the Revolutionary war.
A coachmaker, at No. 5 West Street, died January 22, 1825; aged seventy-nine.
Was of Scotch descent, his father bearing the same name, having come to Boston about the year 1740. The son was born in Boston, in 1749, and died there in 1827. His trade was that of a carpenter, in which capacity he serve seven years in the construction department of the Revolutionary army. He was a participant in the Stamp Act riots, and in the destruction of the tea, and in his later years used to describe the latter affair, with great minuteness, in the presence of his family, and on the anniversary of the day would act over again the part he then performed. He married Margaret Urann, by whom he had fifteen children. As the initials J and T were in old times interchangeable, there is no doubt but this is the person mentioned in the list of 1835.
Communicated by Prof. Wm. Gammell, of Brown University, and Rev. Sereno Dwight Gammell, of Wellington, O., grandsons of John Gammell.
Born in Boston, February 6, 1751; died November 16, 1831. Captain John Gore, his father, a lieutenant in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, in 1753, had, by industry, acquired considerable wealth. Being a Tory, he left Boston with the British army in 1776, but afterwards returned. Samuel followed his father's trade, that of a painter, in Court Street, at the corner of Gore's Alley, (Brattle Street,) but, unlike him, was an ardent patriot. He was one of the party of young men who, at noon-day, and under the eyes of the British guard, carried off and secreted the cannon from the gun-house that stood opposite the mall at the corner of West Street. His companions in this daring feat were Nathaniel Balch, James Brewer, Moses Grant, Jeremiah Gridley and —— Whiston. Mr. Gore was one of those who established the glass-works in Essex Street, a speculation by which he unfortunately lost all the accumulations of many years of untiring industry. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, in 1778, and was the first treasurer of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. Governor Christopher Gore was a younger brother. He was a man of superior intelligence, kindness of heart, and courtesy of manner.
Son of Samuel, and father of Deacon Moses Grant, was born in Boston, March 13, 1743; died December 22, 1817. He was an upholsterer, on Union Street, and his son, Moses, was a partner with him until his death. He was an ardent patriot; was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, 1773; was one of those who seized and carried off the cannon from the gun-house, on West Street, and one of the renowned "tea party." Member of the company of cadets, and a deacon of Brattle Street church.
Was in 1789 register of deeds, at 42 Cornhill. He was an ardent Son of Liberty, and was present at the public celebration in Dorchester, where three hundred of them gathered, August 14, 1769.
One of the tea party, died at Wadsborough, Vt., January 4, 1842; aged ninety-three. In 1774, he began a settlement near Otter Creek, N.Y., but the hostility of the Indians drove him to Vermont, and he fixed his residence at Wadsborough. He was an industrious farmer, and an active patriot.
A Revolutionary pensioner, formerly of Roxbury, died at Waldoborough, Me., in February, 1830; aged eighty-two. He was a mason, on Newbury Street, Boston, in 1796.
GEORGE ROBERT TWELVES HEWES,
Born in Boston, September 5, 1742, died at Richfield, Otsego County, N.Y., November 5, 1840, at the great age of ninety-eight. His education was scanty; farming, fishing, and shoemaking being his chief occupations. Excitable and patriotic, he took part in numerous ante-Revolutionary disturbances in Boston, and engaged in the naval, and afterwards in the military, service of his country during the war. His residence was at the Bulls Head, an old house that stood on the north-east corner of Congress and Water Streets. The most detailed account we have of the destruction of the tea in Boston, was given by him, in "Traits of the Tea Party," by B.B. Thatcher, published in New York, in 1835. An oil portrait of Hewes is in the possession of his grandson, Mr. Henry Hewes, of West Medford, Mass.
Born in Cambridge, May 23, 1725, was one of the earliest martyrs to the cause of American liberty, having been killed by the British on their retreat from Lexington, April 19, 1775. John, his son, was a printer, and became in 1773, a partner with Nathaniel Mills, in the publication of the "Post Boy," a Tory sheet.
Born in Lincoln, Mass., in 1750, died at Sturbridge, Mass., in May, 1823. While in the employ of Simeon Pratt, a tanner, of Roxbury, he aided in throwing the tea overboard, and afterwards said that chests of Bohea, weighing three hundred and sixty pounds, were rather heavy to lift. He settled in Sturbridge, as a farmer, also carrying on his trade of tanner and currier. By his wife, Lucy Munroe, of Lexington, he had four children.
An apprentice, while at work on the tea, saw a person who looked like a countryman, coming up with a small boat to the ship's side, evidently intending to secure a cargo for his own use. He, and three or four other "North Enders," as full of spirit as himself, being directed to dislodge the interloper, jumped over and beat the canoe from under him "in the twinkling of an eye." Hooton was an oarmaker, at Hooton's wharf, Fish Street, in 1789. In 1806, he was a wood-wharfinger, on North Street, residing in Prince Street. In 1838, his residence was in Chelsea, Mass.
A Boston shipwright, resided at the "Mansion House," as it was called, which stood on the site of the Mariner's Church, North Square. He died here in January, 1797, at the age of forty-five, and was buried in Copp's Hill. His wife, Anna Lillie, the sister of Major John Lillie, of the Revolutionary army, died in North Andover, in 1804. Two of our well-known fellow citizens, Henry Lillie Pierce and Edward L. Pierce, are grandsons of Major Lillie. Theophilus Lillie, the Tory trader, who was mobbed during the tea excitement, was Major Lillie's uncle. Caroline, the youngest child of Samuel and Anna Lillie Howard, born October 3, 1794, married Rev. Samuel Gilman, D.D., of Charleston, S.C. She is still living, at the age of ninety, and resides at Tiverton, R.I., with a daughter Mrs. Bowen.
EDWARD C. HOWE,
Ropemaker, died in September, 1821, aged seventy-nine. E.C. Howe & Son (Joseph) dissolved partnership August 1, 1800. Howe's rope-walk was one of seven, on the west side of Pearl Street, all of which were burnt in July, 1794.
The son of Richard, followed his father's trade, of a mason. He was born in Boston, May 19, 1759; died in April, 1842. He was several times a selectman of Boston, and member of both branches of the legislature; was connected with many benevolent institutions, and was for nine years president of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. He was one of the principal agents in the establishment of the glass-works, in Boston and Chelmsford, and its failure, in 1822, made him a poor man. For many years he had a country residence at Newton, which was the seat of a generous hospitality. The latter part of his life was passed in seclusion, at Roxbury, where, in 1800, he married the widow Theoda Davis. Jonathan, his brother, and Richard, his father, were also in the tea party.
A mason, member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, died in October, 1805. He resided in Essex Street; was an active Son of Liberty, and was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 30, 1773. His two sons, fourteen and sixteen years of age, were with him at the throwing overboard of the tea.
Was born in 1753. He lived for many years on Brighton Street, and was a Freemason.
Colonel ABRAHAM HUNT,
Was born in Braintree, Mass., June 2, 1748; died December 5, 1793. He was apprenticed, in 1763, to Edmund Quincy, who kept a wine-store, and was afterwards connected with him in the trade. In 1789, his place of business was in Middle (Hanover) Street, and his residence on Federal Street. He served as lieutenant and adjutant at the siege of Boston; was in the Ticonderoga campaign, remaining some years in the service, which he quitted with the rank of captain. June 24, 1781, he was agent for the privateer "Buccaneer," Captain Hoysted Hacker. For a time he was inspector of the ports of Boston and Charlestown. In 1777, he became a member of St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons. October 15, 1771, he married Mary St. Leger. His orderly books for June and July, 1775, are in the possession of his grandson, —— Urann, Esq.
Housewright, formerly of Boston, died in Keene, N.H., October 17, 1829, aged seventy-nine. He was a member of St. Andrew's Lodge, in 1782.
The last of the tea party, born in Old Kingston, near Portsmouth, Maine, November 17, 1736; died in Chicago, February 24, 1852; aged one hundred and fifteen years. Up to the Revolution he was a farmer, at Lebanon, whence, with a few comrades, members of a political club, he went to Boston, with the express purpose of destroying the tea. He was in active service during the war, participating in many battles, and was a prisoner among the Indians at its close. He was a farmer, at Wells, Maine, when the war of 1812 broke out, and was in the battles at Sackett's Harbor and Williamsburg, and in the latter was badly wounded in the hand, by a grape-shot. He afterwards lived at Lyme, and at Sackett's Harbor, N.Y., and in July, 1845, went to Chicago. At Lyme, while felling a tree, he was struck down by a limb, which fractured his skull, broke his collar bone, and two of his ribs. While engaged in discharging a cannon, at a training at Sackett's Harbor, both legs were broken and badly shattered. Up to 1848 he had always made something by his labor, and was the father of twenty-two children. He learned to read when past sixty. A daughter, who survived in 1848, was made acquainted in that year with her father's existence, by the publication of Mr. Lossing's "Field Book of the Revolution." Hastening to him, she smoothed the patriarch's pillow in his passage to the grave.
Merchant, on Long Wharf, afterwards at 9 Doane Street, was a member of Massachusetts Lodge of Freemasons, in 1773, and died February 6, 1831; aged eighty-six.
Born in Hingham, Mass., March 17, 1753, died at Quincy, Mass., January 15, 1829. He was apprenticed to a Mr. Crafts, at the North End, who, on the evening of December 16, 1773, secretly procured for him an Indian disguise, dressed him in his own chamber,—darkening his face to the required tint,—and then, dropping on his knees, prayed most fervently that he might be protected in the enterprise in which he was engaged. Joining Stark's New Hampshire regiment, he was in the battle of Bunker Hill; was afterwards a captain in Craft's artillery regiment, and was at one time in charge of the castle, in Boston harbor. When Shays' insurrection broke out, he assisted in its suppression. He was a housewright of much skill. The wood-work of the State House was under his charge, and evinces the grace and beauty of his workmanship. He married a daughter of Paul Revere. His grandson, Frederick W. Lincoln, has been mayor of Boston. He joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons, in 1777. Governor Levi Lincoln, of Massachusetts, and Governor Enoch Lincoln, of Maine, were nephews of Captain Amos Lincoln.
Was a cordwainer, on Devonshire Street, residing on Brattle Street. He died November 7, 1829; aged seventy-nine.
Was born in Staffordshire, England, 20th March, 1744; was employed by Brindley in canal construction, and in 1772 came to America, and settled in Boston. He was wounded at Bunker Hill, while acting as lieutenant of artillery; 18th January, 1776, was commissioned second lieutenant in Col. Knox's artillery regiment, and was employed from April to June in that year in laying out the fortifications for the defence of the town and harbor of Boston; from July, 1776, to 1781, he was employed in constructing the fortifications which were to render the Hudson impassable to British vessels. In October, 1777, when Forts Montgomery and Clinton were taken by the British, Captain Machin was wounded by a musket-ball, which entered his breast and passed out under his right shoulder. In April, 1779, he accompanied Colonel Van Schaick's expedition against the Onondagas, of which he kept a journal, and in June joined Sullivan's expedition to the Genesee Valley, as engineer. A map of this expedition, executed by him, was in the possession of his son, Captain Thomas Machin. In the fall of 1781, he aided in laying out the works of the American army, then besieging Yorktown. In 1783, he began a settlement at New Grange, Ulster County, and in the following year erected several mills at the Great Pond, a few miles west of Newburgh. March 12, 1793, he was commissioned a captain, to take rank as such from 21st August, 1780. In January, 1797, he removed to Montgomery County, N.Y., where he practised surveying, and where he died, at his residence in Charleston, a part of the old town of Mohawk, 3d April, 1816; Member of Army Lodge, West Point, 1782.
Died in Scituate, Mass., February 1, 1840; aged ninety.
Was a tradesman of Boston, who acquired great prominence in the local disturbances of the town, prior to the outbreak of the Revolution, but who disappears from her history after that period. He first came into notice as the leader of the South End party, in the celebration of Pope Day, which took place on the 5th of November, in commemoration of the discovery of the gunpowder plot. In 1765, the two factions of the North and South Ends harmonized, and after a friendly meeting in King (now State) Street, marched together to Liberty Tree. The leaders,—Mackintosh of the South, and Swift of the North End,—appeared in military habits, with small canes resting on their left arms, having music in front and flank. All the property used on such occasions was afterwards burnt on Copp's Hill. Mackintosh was a ringleader in the riot of August 26, 1765, when Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson's house was destroyed, and was arrested in King Street next day, but was immediately released by the sheriff, on the demand of a number of merchants, and other persons of character and property.
From the Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson, we take the following passage:
"The Governor had summoned a council the day after the riot. The sheriff attended, and upon enquiring, it appeared that one Mackintosh, a shoemaker, was among the most active in destroying the Lieutenant-Governor's house and furniture. A warrant was given to the sheriff to apprehend him by name, with divers others. Mackintosh appeared in King Street, and the sheriff took him, but soon discharged him, and returned to the council chamber, where he gave an account of his taking him, and that Mr. Nathaniel Coffin, and several other gentlemen, came to him and told him that it had been agreed that the cadets, and many other persons, should appear in arms the next evening, as a guard and security against a fresh riot, which was feared, and said to have been threatened, but not a man would appear unless Mackintosh was discharged. The Lieutenant-Governor asked, 'And did you discharge him?' 'Yes.' 'Then you have not done your duty.' And this was all the notice taken of the discharge. The true reason of thus distinguishing Mackintosh was that he could discover who employed him, whereas the other persons apprehended were such as had collected together without knowing of any previous plan."
Mackintosh was styled the "First Captain-General of Liberty Tree," and had charge of the illuminations, hanging of effigies, etc. Long afterward, in speaking of the tea party, he said, "It was my chickens that did the job." My informant, Mr. Schuler Merrill, then a boy of ten, remarks that it was a mystery to him, at that time, "how chickens could have anything to do with a tea party!" Mackintosh is described by Merrill as "of slight build, sandy complexion, and nervous temperament." He died in extreme poverty, at North Haverhill, N.H., about the year 1812, at the age of seventy. His unmarked grave can be pointed out by Mr. Merrill, who still resides in North Haverhill, at the age of eighty-two.
Colonel JOHN MAY,
Born in Boston, November 24, 1748, died July 16, 1812. On the afternoon of December 16, 1773, he went in haste to his home, on North Square, and said to his young wife, "Nabby, let me have a beefsteak as quickly as possible." While he was eating it, a rap was heard on the window, and he rose at once from the unfinished meal and departed. He returned late, tired and uncommunicative. In the morning, there was found in his shoes, and scattered upon the floor, a quantity of tea. The inevitable inference from these circumstances is strengthened by evidence of a very different character. Near the close of Major Melvill's life, he gave, while dining with a few friends, some anecdotes of the tea party, and turning to Henry Knox May, the son of Colonel May, he said, "Harry, there was one John there." The son, who knew the family tradition, was eager to learn more. "Not now, Harry," said the major, "Come and see me, and I will tell you all about it." Mr. May called repeatedly upon him, but could never obtain any further satisfaction respecting the object of his inquiry. Colonel May was a man of great energy and courage, an ardent patriot, and one not likely to be overlooked in the making-up of a company of picked men for such an enterprise. He was at one time colonel of the Boston regiment, and was for many years a selectman, and a firewarden of the town. He made a journey of exploration to the Ohio region, in 1788 and 1789, an account of which has been published. Two sons, Frederick and George Washington May, were skilful physicians, in Washington, D.C. He has numerous grandchildren living, among them Prof. Edward Tuckerman, of Amherst College, and Samuel P. Tuckerman, Mus. Doc., resident in England.
I am indebted for the above facts to my friend, John Joseph May, Esq., of Mayfield, Dorchester.
The relic of the Tea, destroyed in Boston, Dec. 16th 1773. found on the following morning by Thomas Melville, in his shoes; and put into this phial, for preservation.
Major THOMAS MELVILL
Was born in Boston, January 16, 1751, and died there September 16, 1832. He was the grandson of Thomas, minister of Scoonie Parish, Fifeshire, a cadet of the Scottish family of the Earls of Leven and Melvill. Allan, his father, left Scotland, and established himself in business in Boston, in 1743. Left an orphan at the age of ten, the care of his education devolved upon his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mary Cargill, a relative of the celebrated surgeon, Dr. Abernethy. Young Melvill was graduated at Princeton College, in 1769, with a view to the ministry, but impaired health led him to make a visit to Scotland, in 1771. Returning to Boston, in 1773, he established himself in business in that town, just at the time when the tea excitement began, and being strongly in sympathy with the "Sons of Liberty," and a member of the Long Room Club, he took an active part in the event of December 16, 1773. Some of the tea taken from his shoes, after his return home, was preserved, and is now in the possession of Mrs. Thomas Melvill, of Galena, Illinois. The picture here given is a fac-simile of the venerable relic itself. In 1773, he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts, from Harvard College. In 1774, Melvill married Priscilla, daughter of John Scollay, a prominent Boston merchant. He had been selected by General Warren as one of his aids, just before the fall of the latter at Bunker's Hill, and was successively captain and major in Colonel Thomas Crafts's regiment of artillery, raised for the defence of the State. When, soon after the evacuation of the town, in March, 1776, the British fleet was driven from Boston harbor, Captain Melvill discharged the first guns at the hostile ships, from his battery, at Nantasket. He afterwards served in the Rhode Island campaigns of 1777 and 1779. After the war, he was naval officer of the port of Boston, in 1786-89, and through the influence of his friend, Samuel Adams, was, in the latter year, appointed inspector under the United States Government, a post which he held until made naval officer, in 1811. President Jackson removed him from this office in 1829, after which period he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. From 1779 to 1825, he was one of the firewards of Boston, and on retiring from his forty-seven years' service, was made the recipient of a silver pitcher as a testimonial of the appreciation of his services, by his associates. Major Melvill's long and honorable connection with the Boston Fire Department began in the good old times, when the firewards carried staves, tipped at the end with a brass flame, and marshalled the bystanders into lines for passing buckets of water to the scene of conflagration. One of the town engines was named "Melvill," in honor of the major, whose death was finally caused by over-fatigue at a fire near his house. He was a Democrat, and a firm friend of Samuel Adams, of whom he had a small portrait, by Copley, now at Harvard University. At the time of his death, he was president of the Massachusetts Charitable Society. Major Melvill was a man of sound judgment and strict integrity. He is still remembered by our older citizens as the last to wear, in Boston, a cocked hat and small clothes—the costume of the Revolution. Herman Melville, a grandson, has attained popularity as an author. The front door of Major Melvill's residence, which formerly stood near the easterly corner of Green and Staniford Streets, now does similar duty for the house at the corner of Bartlett and Lambert Streets, Roxbury. The accompanying portrait is from an oil painting in the possession of his grand-daughter, Mrs. Samuel Downer, of Dorchester. The beautiful garden at Downer Landing, Hingham, near which is her summer residence, perpetuates the name of this worthy and patriotic citizen of Boston. Admitted member Mass. Lodge, 1772.
This print shows the Major in his Continental hat, the last he wore: now carefully preserved and in possession of Mr. John L.D. Wolfe, Tremont Street, Boston, near Brookline and Boston line, who has kindly allowed us to sketch it for this work.
A distinguished and patriotic merchant of Boston, died there October 22, 1774; aged fifty-eight. Like Revere and Johonnot, he was of Huguenot ancestry. About the year 1760, he, with William Phillips and others, established the "Manufactory House," on the east side of what is now Hamilton Place. Here the people were taught spinning and weaving, free of cost, and soon many were clad in garments of their own manufacture. This building was put to other uses, in 1768. Molineux, from the very beginning of the dispute with the mother country, was an active and influential Whig. He was a member of the "Long Room Club," formed in 1762, and of the Sons of Liberty, in 1765; was one of the Boston committee of correspondence, from its origin, in 1772; one of the committee, and its spokesman, appointed by the Liberty Tree meeting, November 4, to request the consignees of the tea to resign, and took an active part in all the public meetings that followed. Molineux and Dr. Young were the only prominent leaders of the people who were known to have been actively present at the destruction of the tea. Molineux was a member of a committee, of which Samuel Adams was the chairman, to demand the removal of the British troops from Boston. John Adams relates that Molineux was obliged to march by the side of the troops, to protect them from the indignation of the people. With the exception of Samuel Adams, no name is oftener found, in connection with the public acts of the day, than that of William Molineux, and his death, a few months before the war broke out, was a great loss to the patriot cause. While the Boston Port Bill was under discussion in the British Cabinet, Governor Hutchinson was told by Lord Mansfield that the Lords of the Council had their pens ready to sign the warrant for the transportation to England and trial of Adams, Molineux and others, for high treason, but were prevented by the doubts of the Attorney and Solicitor-Generals as to the sufficiency of the evidence to convict them. Molineux resided at the corner of Beacon and Mount Vernon Streets, near John Hancock, where in 1760 he built a mansion-house that was considered as "quite splendid" for those days.
Son of Hugh Moore, wharfinger, on Fish Street, informs his father's "good customers," in the Gazette of November 24, 1773, that he "carries on the business as usual, and solicits their custom." Ben. Russell speaks of seeing Moore and his (Russell's) father blacking each other's faces on the 16th of December, 1773. He died in August, 1813; aged sixty.
"Anthony Morse, my father, afterwards a lieutenant during the Revolutionary war, and Mr. Joseph Roby, now (1819) of Hanover, N.H., were active in the destruction of the tea, December 16, 1773."
—Niles' Acts and Principles of the Revolution, p. 326.
A cooper, on Prince Street, died in Pepperill, Mass., May 11, 1838; aged eighty-eight.
Of Charlestown, repeatedly informed Dr. Joseph Bartlett, author of a historical sketch of that town, that he was one of the Indians who destroyed the tea in Boston harbor. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, in 1778.
JOSEPH PEARSE PALMER
Was the only son of General Joseph Palmer, a prominent actor in the Revolutionary drama in Massachusetts, and Mary, the sister of Judge Richard Cranch, who resided in that part of Braintree called Germantown. Before the war he dealt in West India goods and hardware, at the town dock. Of his share in the tea party his widow says: "One evening, about ten o'clock, hearing the gate and door open, I opened the parlor door, and there stood three stout-looking Indians. I screamed, and should have fainted, but recognized my husband's voice saying, 'Don't be frightened, Betty, it is I. We have only been making a little salt-water tea.' His two companions were Foster Condy and Stephen Bruce. Soon after this, Secretary Flucker called upon my husband, and said to him, 'Joe, you are so obnoxious to the British Government, that you had better leave town.' Accordingly we left town, and went to live in part of my father's house, in Watertown." During the war, Mr. Palmer served in Boston and in Rhode Island, first as brigade major, and next as quartermaster-general. Soon after his father's death, in 1788, he went to Vermont, with Colonel Keith, to examine the facilities for establishing themselves in some branch of the iron business. Shortly after he reached Windsor he lost his life, having accidentally fallen from a bridge, then erecting over the Connecticut. He left a numerous family. His daughter, Mary, married Royal Tyler, of Vt. Member Massachusetts Lodge, 1773.
Was a Roxbury farmer, a "high Son of Liberty," who safely brought through the British lines on the Neck, and secreted in Muddy Pond Woods, the two cannon which, by a clever stratagem, had been taken from the gun-house, on Boston common, at noon-day. Next day, a party of Red Coats were in Roxbury searching for them in every direction, but in vain. These are supposed to be the same pieces now in the chamber at the top of Bunker Hill Monument. Parker took the guns from the stable of the second house west from the court house, on the south side of Court Street. He brought a load of hay, and took home a load of stable manure, the guns being in the bottom of the wagon.
Was a housewright, on Foster's wharf, in 1789, and at 5 Bennet Street, in 1796. He was a descendant of Edward Payson, one of the first settlers of Roxbury, and his wife, Mary, a sister of the Apostle Eliot, and was born in 1743.
Was a cooper, and in 1789 did business at Hallowell's ship-yard, near the foot of Milk Street. He was a prominent Son of Liberty, also a leading and influential member of the North End Caucus. He was one of the guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 30, 1773, and on the morning following the destruction of the tea, his apprentices noticed traces of red paint behind his ears. He was thought to have been one of the leaders in the affair. He joined the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew in 1756.
A native of Lisbon, Portugal, died in Philadelphia, April 23, 1832, at the great age of one hundred years, five months and twenty-three days. He was able to attend to his business up to the close of 1831. He came to America soon after the earthquake of 1755, and settled in Boston. He was one of the tea party; was in the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill,—in which latter he lost a finger,—at Princeton, Monmouth and Trenton. He was also at the capture of Burgoyne and of Cornwallis, was again wounded, and after being discharged, in 1783, resided in Philadelphia, where he reared a numerous family.
Born in Boston, December 25, 1744, died October 10, 1840. He served his time with John Adams, a barber, in Dock Square, at the sign of the "Great Boot," and opened a shop for himself in Marshall Street, some years before the Revolution. His shop was a sort of exchange for the gossip current at the North End, and was frequented by many celebrated residents of that locality. He boasted of having shaved Franklin, and he stated that Franklin told him that he was born in the house on the corner of Union and Hanover Streets, at the sign of the "Blue Ball." Hewes relates that Pierce was one of those that boarded the ships on December 16, 1773. He continued actively engaged in his business until the year 1835, having followed his profession seventy-six years!
Youngest son of Hon. James Pitts, a merchant and an active patriot of Boston; born in 1747, died December 31, 1787, and being captain of a volunteer company, was buried with military honors. According to Hewes, Pitts commanded the division of the tea party that boarded the brig "Beaver," and after the affair was over, formed the party in military order, with the aid of Major Barber and Colonel Proctor, and marched them back into town. A solemn pledge, for the protection of those engaged in this affair, was entered into by the committee of correspondence,—of whom Lendall's brother, John Pitts, was one,—about a week afterwards, when it was currently supposed that those who had borne a part in that daring performance would be arrested, if discovered, and executed for treason. It was worded as follows:
"The subscribers do engage to exert our utmost influence to support and vindicate each other, and any person or persons who may be likely to suffer for any noble efforts they may have made to save their country, by defeating the operations of the British Parliament, expressly designed to extort a revenue from the Colonies against their consent."
The names of four members of this family are prominently associated with the tea episode at Boston. James Pitts, the father, (H.U., 1731,) an eminent and wealthy merchant, who, as member of the Governor's Council, thwarted the chief-magistrate, Hutchinson, in his efforts to have the tea landed, and who died in Dunstable, Mass., January 25, 1776; aged sixty-four. His sons,—John, born in 1737, (H.U., 1757,) a selectman, and on the committee to urge the consignees to resign; an active member of the committee of correspondence, of the Provincial Congress of 1775; Speaker of the House in 1778, and member of the senate in 1780-84, who died at Tyngsboro', Mass., in 1815; Samuel, born in 1745, an officer in the company of cadets, said also to have been one of the tea party, and Lendall, the leader of the party, noted above, who was clerk of the market in 1775-6, and an officer in Hancock's cadets. The sons all had Huguenot blood in their veins, their mother being a sister of James Bowdoin. All were merchants, and active Sons of Liberty, and prior to the Revolution, were in business together, engaged in extensive commercial transactions. Pitts's wharf was just north of Faneuil Hall Market. Pitts Street perpetuates the name and fame of this noted family; no one of their descendants bearing the name now surviving in Boston. The Pitts mansion, a favorite place of meeting for the Boston patriots, occupied the ground now covered by the Howard Atheneum. The accompanying portrait of Lendall Pitts is taken from a painting owned by his grandson, Lendall Pitts Cazeau, of Roxbury.
For many of the above facts I am indebted to the Pitts "Memorial," by Daniel Goodwin, Jr., of Chicago.
A merchant, formerly of Boston, died in Alexandria, Va., in June, 1800.
Captain HENRY PRENTISS,
Born in Holliston, Mass., March 27, 1749, died in Medfield, Mass., August 31, 1821; son of Rev. Joshua, forty-five years pastor of the Holliston church. Captain Prentiss served during the Revolutionary war, at Cambridge, at Long Island, and at Trenton. He was an Overseer of the Poor, in Boston, in 1784; a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1786; a sea captain in 1789, and was afterwards a merchant of Boston. He, with his brother Appleton, was one of the first to introduce into New England the art of printing calico,—producing a coarse blue and red article on India cotton. Their place of business was at the corner of Buttolph Street. Captain Prentiss' residence was in a stone house, near the head of Hanover Street, the former residence of Benjamin Hallowell, Comptroller of Customs, which was ransacked at the time Gov. Hutchinson's House was mobbed. Member Massachusetts Lodge, 1789.
Dr. JOHN PRINCE
Was pastor of the First Church, in Salem, from 1779 to his death, June 3, 1836. He was a native of Boston, and was a witness only of the destruction of the tea, as he informed Colonel Russell, of the "Centinel," long afterward. Admitted member Massachusetts Lodge, 11th January, 1780.
Colonel EDWARD PROCTOR,
A prominent citizen and military officer of Boston, died there in November, 1811; aged seventy-eight. He was an importer of West India goods, at the sign of the "Schooner," in Fish Street, at the North End, before the war, after which he was in the auction business, at No. 1 Union Street. He was an active patriot, and was placed on the committee to obtain the resignation of the consignees of the tea, and commanded the guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, 1773. In 1756, he joined the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, of which his grandfather, Edward Proctor, had been a member in 1699; was in the service during the Revolutionary war, and was a member of the committees of correspondence and of safety. He became a member of the Masonic fraternity in 1765, when he joined St. Andrew's Lodge; was master in 1774-76, and was junior grand warden of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in 1781. For some years previous to his death, he was one of the Overseers of the Poor, and was a fireward in 1784-89. Hannah, his widow, died October 31, 1832, aged 87.
Colonel HENRY PURKITT,
Born in Boston, March 18, 1755, died March 3, 1846. He was educated at the public schools of Boston; was afterwards apprenticed to Samuel Peck, the cooper, a zealous "Son of Liberty," and member of the tea party, and was himself active on that occasion, in disobedience to his master's orders. His reminiscences of the affair have been related on a previous page. Enlisting as a soldier in the Revolutionary army, he served through the war, and was present at Trenton and Brandywine, and was at one time a sergeant in Pulaski's Cavalry. After the war, he carried on his trade of cooper successfully, in connection with his former fellow-apprentice, Dolbear, in South Street. In 1803, appointed inspector-general of pickled fish, and performed the duty satisfactorily for thirty-five years. Joining a company of cavalry after the war, he passed through all the grades, and rose to that of colonel. He was many years a member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association; became a member of St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter of Freemasons, in 1798, and was master of St. Andrew's Lodge, in 1804-5. "Uprightness and exactness were prominent traits of his character, and universal love and charity for all mankind were sincerely exhibited in his social intercourse. He had troops of friends, but it is not known that he ever had an enemy." In 1834, a number of Polish refugees arrived here, after the final partition of their native country. A collection for their benefit was proposed. The call was nobly responded to, and among others, Purkitt sent his check, as follows:
"Pay to Count Pulaski, my commander at the battle of Brandywine, his brethren, or bearer, one hundred dollars."
There is in possession of the family a full-length silhouette likeness of Purkitt, and a daguerreotype. The accompanying portrait is from an oil painting, in the possession of Mr. Henry P. Kidder, of Boston.
Born in Watertown, Mass., October 2, 1750; married Sarah Barnard, 30th December, 1778.
"Uprightness and exactness were prominent attributes of his character, and universal love and charity for all mankind were sincerely exhibited in his social intercourse. He had troops of friends, but it is not known that he ever had an enemy."—Biographical Sketches St. Andrew's R.A.C.
Born in Boston, January 1, 1735; died at his residence, in Bennet Street, May 10, 1818. He was of Huguenot ancestry, and learned the goldsmith's trade of his father. Articles of silverware, with his engraving, are still extant in Boston. He also engraved on copper, an art in which he was self-instructed, producing a portrait of his friend, the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew; a picture emblematical of the Stamp Act; a caricature of the "Seventeen Rescinders," one of Lord North forcing the tea down the throat of America; a picture of the Massacre in King Street, and another representing the landing of the British troops in Boston, in 1774. There were then but three engravers, besides Revere, in America. In 1775, he engraved the plates, made the press, and printed the bills of the paper money, which was ordered by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. He was sent by this Congress to Philadelphia, to obtain information respecting the manufacture of gunpowder, and on his return was able, simply from having seen the process, to construct a mill, which was soon in successful operation. Revere was an active patriot during the whole of the struggle for Independence. He was one of those who executed, as well as planned, the daring scheme of destroying the tea in Boston harbor, and was one of a club of young men, chiefly mechanics, who watched the movements of the British troops in Boston. He acted an important part in rousing the country around Boston on the morning of the memorable nineteenth of April, 1775, an event worthily commemorated in Longfellow's poem,—"Paul Revere's Ride." Revere had served at Fort Edward, near Lake George, as a lieutenant of artillery, in 1756, and after the evacuation of Boston, was commissioned major in Crafts' artillery regiment, raised for the defence of the State, in which he attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and remained in service until the close of the war, after which he resumed his business as a goldsmith. He was in the unfortunate Penobscot expedition, in 1779. At a later period, he erected an air-furnace, in which he cast brass cannon and church bells. He also erected extensive works at Canton, for rolling copper and casting guns,—a business still carried on there by his successors. In 1795 he assisted in laying the corner stone of the State House, at Boston. At the time of his death he was actively connected with many benevolent and useful institutions, and was the first president of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association; member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew's, in 1761, and grand master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in 1794-96.
Resided in Prince Street, Boston, in 1807, but was living in Hanover, N.H., in 1817.
"Preserve union, and judge in all causes amicably and mildly, preferring peace."—Paul Revere, 1795.
Was by trade a mason, and died in Boston, in 1778. His son, the well-known journalist, Colonel Benjamin Russell, though only a school-boy at the time, remembered seeing, through the window of the wood-house, his father and Mr. Thomas Moore, his neighbor, besmearing each other's faces with lampblack and red ochre.
William, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Hacker Russell, was born in Boston, 24th May, 1748, and died 7th March, 1784, in Cambridge, Mass. He was sometime usher in Master Griffiths' school, on Hanover Street, below the Orange Tree. On returning to his home, on Temple Street, after the tea party, he took off his shoes, and carefully dusted them over the fire, in order that no tea should remain, and saw every particle consumed. He afterwards taught school in Newton. Joining Crafts' artillery regiment, he served as sergeant-major and adjutant in the Rhode Island campaign. He next joined a privateer, as captain's clerk, was captured, and kept in Mill Prison, Plymouth, England, from August, 1779, until January, 1782. Again in a privateer, he was again taken, and this time suffered confinement in the horrible prison-ship "Jersey," at New York. These privations and sufferings occasioned his early death. His son, Colonel John Russell, was a publisher and journalist in Boston. He joined St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons in 1778.
Whose interesting account of the tea party appears on page lxxix, was born in Pomfret, Conn., March 15, 1752, and died in Hampden, Mass., in 1836. His grandfather, Nathaniel, was one of the earliest settlers of Pomfret, in 1704. Darius Sessions, Lieutenant-Governor of Rhode Island at the opening of the Revolution, and an active patriot, was his uncle. Robert Sessions served in the Revolutionary army, attaining the rank of lieutenant. In 1778, he married Anna Ruggles, a descendant of the Roxbury family of that name; settled in Pomfret, and in 1781 removed to South Wilbraham, now Hampden, Mass. The high estimation in which he was held by his fellow citizens, is evident from the number of offices of trust and responsibility in which he was placed. He was for many years a justice of the peace; town clerk and treasurer twelve years; representative in the State Legislature for five years, (1814-19,) and was almost always chosen moderator of the town-meeting. His sons, William V. and Sumner Sessions, are yet living, at an advanced age.
The above facts, as well as the narrative on page lxxix, were furnished by my friends, Mr. John A. Lewis, of Boston, and Hon. William Robert Sessions, the well-known agriculturist, of Hampden County, and a member of the Massachusetts Senate of 1884, a grandson of Robert.
Was born in Boston, June 17, 1732, and died there October 18, 1812. He was the son of Joseph, (born October 26, 1698,) who was the son of Zachary, (born June 17, 1656,) who was the son of Daniel, the original settler of that name in Braintree, and afterwards at Billerica, Mass. The subject of this notice was a carpenter by trade, and worked upon Faneuil Hall during its rebuilding, or enlargement. He was associated with Samuel Adams, and other patriots, before and during the Revolutionary war, and later on was an ardent Jeffersonian Democrat,—hating the very name of Federalist. His residence was on Milk Street, on the spot now occupied by the Equitable Life Insurance building. At his residence a party of persons dressed, who were concerned in the destruction of the tea, he being one of the number. His friend, Samuel Adams, was often a visitor at his house, and his grandson has the china punch-bowl from which the old patriot drank, when Independence was declared. During the latter part of his life he kept a grocery store, on the spot where he lived so many years, on Milk Street. He was buried in the Granary burial ground, where many other patriotic citizens of Boston are also interred.
Communicated by his grandson, Mr. Joseph G. Shed, of Roxbury.
(Erroneously named Isaac in Thatcher's list of 1835,) whose story of the tea party is told on pages lxxvii-viii, was a bricklayer's apprentice. He served in the Revolutionary army; removed to Saco, Maine, about 1790, and died at Biddeford, Maine, March 23, 1849.
Captain PETER SLATER
Died in Worcester, Mass., October 13, 1831; aged seventy-two. He was apprenticed to a rope-maker, in Boston. His master, apprehensive that something would take place that evening relative to the tea, then in the harbor, shut Peter up in his chamber. He made his escape from the window; went to a blacksmith's shop, where he found a man disguised, who told him to tie a handkerchief round his frock, to black his face with charcoal, and to follow him. The party soon increased to twenty persons. Slater went on board the brig, with five others; two of them brought the tea upon deck, two broke open the chests, and threw them overboard, while he, with one other, stood with poles to push them under water. Not a word was exchanged between the parties from the time they left Griffins' wharf till the cargo was emptied into the harbor, and they returned to the wharf and dispersed. Slater served five years in the Revolutionary army. A monument in Hope Cemetery, New Worcester, erected by his daughter, Mrs. Howe, bears the names of Slater, and many of his companions of the "tea party."
Was one of the party, of whom we have no further information.
Lived on Orange Street, in 1789. He was one of those whom Peter Mackintosh remembered to have seen run into his master's blacksmith's shop, and blacken their faces with soot.
The father of the poet, Charles Sprague, was born in Hingham, Mass.,—the home of four generations of his ancestors,—December 22, 1753, and died in Boston, June 20, 1844. He was a mason by trade, and was athletic and tall of stature. His share in the tea party he thus related to his son: "That evening, while on my way to visit the young woman I afterwards married, I met some lads hurrying along towards Griffin's wharf, who told me there was something going on there. I joined them, and on reaching the wharf found the 'Indians' busy with the tea chests. Wishing to have my share of the fun, I looked about for the means of disguising myself. Spying a low building, with a stove-pipe by way of chimney, I climbed the roof and obtained a quantity of soot, with which I blackened my face. Joining the party, I recognized among them Mr. Etheridge, my master. We worked together, but neither of us ever afterwards alluded to each other's share in the proceedings." Sprague married Joanna Thayer, of Braintree, a woman of great decision of character. They lived in a two-story wooden house, at No. 38 Orange (now Washington) Street, directly opposite Pine Street.
Colonel JOHN SPURR,
Born in Dorchester, Mass., in 1748, died in Providence, R.I., November 1, 1822; after December 16, 1773, he went to Providence; joined the army in 1775; was commissioned a captain in a Rhode Island regiment, in 1776, major in 1777, and served throughout the Revolutionary war.
Born in New London, Conn., died in Jay, Maine, in January, 1831; aged ninety years and six months. He served in the old French war; afterwards settled and married in Boston, and removed thence to Bridgewater. During the Revolutionary war, he was taken prisoner, carried to Halifax, and detained fourteen months. Placed on board a transport for New York, and destined to the horrible Jersey prison-ship; after being two days at sea, the prisoners rose on the ship's company, captured the vessel, and took her into Marblehead.
Captain PHINEAS STEARNS,
A farmer and blacksmith of Watertown, born February 5, 1736, died March 27, 1798. He was a soldier at Lake George in 1756, and commanded a company at Dorchester Heights, when the British evacuated Boston. He, with Samuel Barnard and John Randall, all of Watertown, were among the famous Boston tea party. He was offered a colonel's commission in the army, but the care of his young motherless children, and of a family of apprentices and journeymen, prevented his continuing in the public service. He was distinguished for his benevolent and cheerful disposition, and for strong common sense and strict integrity.
General EBENEZER STEVENS,
A distinguished artillery officer in the Revolutionary war, son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth Weld Stevens, of Roxbury, was born in Boston, 11th August, 1751, and died at his residence, in Rockaway, now Astoria, N.Y., 22d September, 1823. He joined Paddock's artillery company, which was composed almost entirely of mechanics, many of whom were active members of the organization, which, under the name of Sons of Liberty, did effective service in opposing the machinations of the crown. Under its first lieutenant, Jabez Hatch, (Captain Paddock being a Tory,) this company volunteered as a watch on the "Dartmouth." The Boston Port Bill drove the mechanics out of the town, and Stevens went to Providence, where he became a partner with John Crane, in the business of carpentering. Commissioned first lieutenant of Crane's train of Rhode Island artillery, 8th May, 1775, he accompanied it to Boston, and served through the siege; made captain in Knox's artillery regiment, 1st January, 1776; took part in the expedition to Canada; made major 9th November, 1776; and in the campaign ending in the surrender of Burgoyne; appointed lieutenant-colonel 3d April, 1778, and soon after assigned to Colonel Lamb's regiment, with which he took part in Lafayette's operations in Virginia, and at Yorktown commanded the artillery alternately with Lamb and Carrington. After the war, he was a leading merchant of New York; member of the New York assembly in 1800, an alderman in 1802, and major-general of the State militia during the war of 1812. He was a founder of the Tammany and the New England Societies, and a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. General Stevens's connection with the tea party is related on a previous page.
Dr. ELISHA STORY,
Born in Boston, December 3, 1743, died in Marblehead, Mass., August 27, 1805. His father, William Story, was Register of the Court of Admiralty. His office, on the north-westerly corner of State and Devonshire Streets, was broken into at the time of the Stamp Act riots, on the supposition that the stamps had been deposited there for distribution, and all the books and papers carried into King (now State) Street, and burned. Elisha Story, fully sympathizing with the patriots of the day, joined the "Sons of Liberty;" was one of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth," on the night of November 29, and on the evening of December 16, convened, with other disguised Sons of Liberty, in an old distillery, preparatory to their "little operation" in tea. He was a pupil of Master Lovell, and studied medicine with Dr. Sprague. He was surgeon of Colonel Little's Essex regiment, and fought as a volunteer at Lexington, and at Bunker's Hill, until obliged to remove a wounded friend to Winter Hill, where he passed the night in caring for the wounded. He was with Washington at Long Island, White Plains and Trenton. In 1774, he removed from Boston to Malden, and in 1777, settled in Marblehead, where he practiced his profession, with success, until his death. In 1767, he married Ruth, daughter of Major John Ruddock, by whom he had ten children. By his second wife, Mehitabel, daughter of Major John Pedrick, he had eleven children, the eldest of whom was Joseph, afterwards Associate-Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Isaac, the second son, was the father of Judge Isaac, of Somerville, Mass. Dr. Story was a skilful physician, and a man of great benevolence. "It is said that he at one time led a party of men to the Boston common, near where is now the Park Street gate, where there was a sentinel guarding two brass field-pieces. While Story overawed the sentinel, by presenting a pistol at his head, and enjoined silence upon him, the others came from behind and dragged away the guns, one of which was afterwards placed in the Bunker Hill Monument."
Communicated by Hon. Isaac Story, of Somerville.
Colonel JAMES SWAN,
Merchant, politician, soldier and author before the age of twenty-two; born in Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1754, died in Paris, March 18, 1831. He came to Boston when very young, and in 1772, when a clerk in a counting-house, published "A Dissuasion to Great Britain and the Colonies from the Slave-Trade to Africa." At the time of the tea party, in which he was an actor, his place of business was next to Ellis Gray's, opposite the east end of Faneuil Hall, and he boarded in Hanover Street, where he and other young apprentices disguised themselves. Next morning, at breakfast, the tea in their shoes, and smooches on their faces, led to some mutual chaffing. He was a volunteer at Bunker's Hill; was a captain in Crafts's artillery regiment; afterwards secretary to the Massachusetts Board of War; member of the Legislature in 1778; Adjutant-General of the State, and at the close of the war was major of a cavalry corps. He acquired a fortune in France through government contracts, but afterwards became deeply involved, through the dishonesty of a partner, and was confined in St. Pelagie, a debtors' prison, in Paris, for many years, keeping up all the while an indefatigable litigation in the French courts. At the age of seventy he was, by French law, released. In 1777, he joined the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew. He was a man of large enterprise and benevolence, manly in person, and dignified in manner. He owned a fine estate in Dorchester, latterly the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Sargent.
One of the volunteer guard on the "Dartmouth;" became a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, in 1760, and was master of the Lodge, in 1771-72. He was a ship-joiner, in Batterymarch Street, near Hallowell's ship-yard. In 1784, he was surveyor of boards; and was sealer of woods, in 1787-90. By Mary, his wife, whom he married in 1750, he had thirteen children, nine of whom survived him. His will is dated May 7, 1791.
Captain JOSIAH WHEELER
Was a house-wright, who lived in half a double house, on Orange (now Washington) Street, west side, between Pleasant and Warrenton Streets. The other half was occupied by Sprague, also of the tea party. On the afternoon of December 16, 1773, Mrs. Wheeler became aware that there was something unusual on her husband's mind. It was late when he returned home that evening, but she sat up for him, and as he pulled off his long boots, a quantity of tea fell on the floor, revealing the cause of his absence. Seeing the tea, a female neighbor, who had sat up with Mrs. Wheeler to keep her company, in her husband's absence, exclaimed, "Save it; it will make a nice mess." Taking down her broom, this patriotic woman swept it all into the fire, saying, "Don't touch the cursed stuff." Wheeler commanded a company of minute-men at the opening of the Revolution, most of whom were skilled carpenters and joiners, and by Washington's order, he superintended the erection of the forts, on Dorchester Heights. He was also employed in building the State House, in Boston. He died in Boston, in August, 1817; aged seventy-four. His daughter, Mrs. Carney, was living in 1873, at Sheepscot, Maine, at the age of eighty-six. George W. Wheeler, a grandson, many years City Treasurer of Worcester, is now (1884) living in that city. Captain Wheeler was one of the volunteer guard on board the "Dartmouth."
Was a blacksmith, who resided in the old mansion, yet standing, near Hog Bridge, in Roxbury, known as the "John Curtis House." He was the brother of Colonel Joseph, a distinguished citizen, and the father of Major Edward Payson Williams, an officer of the Revolutionary army, who died in the service.
Also of Roxbury, was one of the minute-men in Captain Moses Whiting's company, at Lexington. He, with his brother-in-law, Thomas Dana, Jr., and other Roxbury men, rendezvoused at the house of his father, John Williams, preparatory to the tea party, and returning home, Williams and Dana refused to join in sacking the house of a Tory, regarding it as no part of their enterprise. In 1812, Williams settled in Cazenovia, N.Y., and died in Utica, N.Y., July 31, 1817; aged sixty-three.
Journalist, born in Boston, February 7, 1755, died near Chillicothe, O., April 1, 1831. After serving an apprenticeship in a printing-office, in Boston, he became one of the proprietors and publishers of the "Independent Chronicle," a leading political journal, from 1776 to 1784. He subsequently issued the first newspaper ever published in Ohio, the "Scioto Gazette," and was for several years State printer of Ohio. His son, Nathaniel, also a journalist, was the father of Nathaniel P. Willis, Richard Storrs Willis, and Sarah Payson Willis, ("Fanny Fern,") afterwards Mrs. Parton. Member of St. Andrew's Lodge in 1779.
Whose relation is given on a preceding page, was the son of Ebenezer Wyeth, of Cambridge, and was born there in October, 1758. He served in the Revolutionary army; afterwards removed to the west, and was residing in Cincinnati, in 1827.
Dr. THOMAS YOUNG,
A physician, was a conspicuous figure in the early Revolutionary movements in Boston. He was the first president of the North End Caucus, at which measures of importance to the town were initiated and discussed, and delivered the first oration commemorative of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1771, at the Manufactory House, on Tremont Street. He was an original member of the Boston committee of correspondence, whose work was so important in uniting the Colonies, and was a talented and vigorous contributor to the papers of the day, and to the Royal American Magazine, on medical, political and religious topics. He was a popular speaker in the public meetings of the day, and to him is attributed the first public suggestion of throwing the tea overboard. He was John Adams's family physician, and an army surgeon, in 1776, and was afterwards a resident of Philadelphia. Several spirited letters from his pen may be found in the "Life and Times of General John Lamb." "Tea," writes Young in the "Evening Post," "is really a slow poison, and has a corrosive effect upon those who handle it. I have left it off since it became a political poison, and have since gained in firmness of constitution. My substitute is camomile flowers."
It is not long, since an eminent Englishman, visiting Boston, asked the committee of the city government, who attended him, to point out the place where the tea was thrown overboard. He was taken to a distant wharf, known by its form as the T, and popularly associated with that event from the similarity of sound. Boston has appropriately marked many of her historical sites; surely the spot rendered forever memorable by the bold deed of the Sons of Liberty, on December 16, 1773, ought not longer to remain unmarked. No stranger, at all familiar with American history, would leave unvisited the scene of an event at once so unique in its character, and so important in its consequences. The precise locality is definitely known, and a tablet, suitably inscribed, or an enduring monument of some kind, should be placed there without further delay.
In this diagram the old boundaries are designated by dotted lines. The place where the tea-ships lay, at the foot of Griffin's wharf, is coincident with the lower end of the large coal-sheds of Messrs. Chapin & Co., the present owners of the wharf. They have extended and widened the wharf, and have built a three-story brick block at its head. A mural tablet might be set in the front of the central building, at a small expense. The wharf should be rechristened "Tea Party Wharf."