Description

    (American Revolution: Boston Tea Party) Important Manuscript Document Signed. Two pages, 8"x 13", Truro, Massachusetts, January 24, 1774 addressed on integral address leaf to "The committee of correspondence of Boston" to affirm the solidarity of Cape Cod town with Boston and other Massachusetts communities in their opposition to the importation of East India Tea. This company dumped cheap tea upon the American market, effectively undercutting both smuggler and legitimate merchant alike. In addition to this infuriation, the tea was still subject to a tax, considered illegal by the Whigs who were in control of Massachusetts politics. The Boston Tea party on December 16, 1773 enjoyed widespread support in the countryside, including Truro, who resolved: "In compliance with the Desires of our bretheren [sic] in Several parts of the Province; as well as from a Sense of it's being our indispensable Duty, We in the publick [sic] manner offer our sentiments respecting the late dangerous and detestable scheme of Administration in the introduction of Tea from Great Britain subject to the unrighteous American Duty: Which Scheme as we consider it designed to take in the inconsiderate and continue and establish the tribute they so unjustly extort from us we would manifest our utter abhorrence and detestation...And we are determined never to relinquish[sic] our dear-bought rights & privileges for the paltry satisfaction that a little warm sipping can afford. Therefore resolved That we will not by any way or means knowingly promote or encourage the sale of consumption of any Tea whatsoever while subject to an American Duty: but all persons whoever they may be that shall be concerned in a transaction so dangerous to the well being of this Country: shall be treated by us as the meanness and baseness of enemies to their country deserves...The late wise spirited & manly resolutions of our much respected bretheren[sic] of Boston, and other Towns, are fully approved of by us--afford us much pleasure and satisfaction--and they are desired to accept the hearty thanks of this Town therefore. They may rest assured that we will ever afford them our best assistance in every prudent measure, in defence[sic], or for the recovery of our rights & privileges and shall think not our lives & properties too much to be spent in so glorious a cause." The demonstration in Boston galvanized the countryside into action, violators of the boycott were harassed, "warned out" of town, and occasionally tarred and feathered. One such troublemaker was John Greenough, a Wellfleet schoolmaster, who collaborated with an associate to recover two chests of the East India tea from a wreck off Provincetown. The wrecked ship, the William, was one of four ships laden with tea that sailed for Boston -- the other three continued on towards Boston where they were attacked and their contents thrown overboard by the Sons of Liberty on the night of December 16, 1773. Greenough and his partner made an imprudent attempt to sell the tea from the wrecked boat. This attempt was greeted by a rather negative response. After the town's pledge of solidarity with Boston, the inhabitants singled out "some few persons in this Town have had the good of their country so little at heart, as to be guilty of so base an action as the purchasing some small quantities of the East India Company's detested Tea lately ashore at Province Town and thereby greatly incurred the displeasure of this Town not only as they have implicitly declared themselves enemies to America: but their superlative meanness endangers the bringing an odium on this Town in general...and be treated by us and enemies to American freedom and held in everlasting contempt..." This piece abounds with fine content and is truly remarkable piece that documents the popular reaction to the Boston Tea Party and the manner in which political opponents were regarded in this increasingly volatile political environment erupted into open warfare fifteen months later. Weak at folds (some repaired) with partial separation, light foxing, else very good. Ex. Henry E. Luhrs Collection

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