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An Important Boston Tea Party Broadside is Reprinted
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This issue of The Connecticut Journal contains a report from Boston that includes the text of a handbill distributed and posted there over the pseudonym “Joyce Junior.” In their choice of persona, the Boston Sons of Liberty paid tribute to Cornet George Joyce, an officer of the parliamentary New Model Army of the seventeenth century. Joyce was credited with having captured King Charles I in June 1647. The regicide “Joyce Junior” had made earlier appearances in Boston, including at the annual “Pope Night” in November when rival gangs of boys seek to capture one another’s carts displaying figures of the pope and the devil. Another version appeared during the controversies that preceded the Boston Massacre in 1770.

In 1774, “Joyce Junior” was John Winthrop Jr. (1747-1800), the son of Harvard professor John Wainwright Winthrop (1714-1779) and the great-great-great-grandson of Massachusetts Bay founder John Winthrop (1588-1649). More handbills appeared from “Joyce Junior” over the coming months, including one disavowing the tarring and feathering of John Malcom in Boston. In general, the “Joyce Junior” handbills tried to portray the Boston Tea Party and its aftermath as the result of principled resistance and not mob action.

[BOSTON TEA PARTY]. The Connecticut Journal, and the New-Haven Post-Boy, January 28, 1774. New Haven: Thomas Green and Samuel Green. 4 pp., 8½ x 13¼ in.

Inventory #27819       Price: $6,500

Boston, January 20.

Saturday morning the following was posted up in the most public parts of this town, viz.

‘Brethren, and fellow citizens;

‘You may depend, that those odious miscreants and detestable tools to ministry and governor, the Tea Consignees (those traitors to their country, butchers who have done, and are doing every thing to murder and destroy all that shall stand in the way of their private interest) are determined to come and reside again in the town of Boston.

‘I therefore give you this early notice, that you may hold yourselves in readiness, on the shortest notice, to give them such a reception, as such ingrates deserve.

                                                                        “JOYCE, jun.

(Chairman of the committee for taring and feathering.)

†*† If any person should be so hardy as to tear this down, they may expect my severest resentment.                                                       J. jun.’

The several committees of this town we hear never had so much business upon their hands as at present. Three of them in their several departments it is said, sat late last Friday evening; And the committee of correspondence the evening before.

The country road committees we are informed keep a very good look out, to prevent teas coming into town by land. While the night-look-out committees, are equally industrious in seeing none are landed in this and the neighbouring sea ports.

One of the tea commissioners it is said narrowly escaped a tarring and feathering one day last week—presumptious men to think of gaining a footing in this town again—so says every man high and low, rich and poor.” (p1/c3-p2/c1)

We are informed, that one John Cook, of Salem, skipper of a schooner belonging to Mr. George Bickford, of the same place, accepted of the infamous employment of transporting from Cape Cod to Castle William, the East India Company’s detestable tea, saved out of the wreck of Capt. Loring’s brig.

Mr. Bickford is now a patient at Essex hospital, and we are assured, that a company of natives, dressed in the Indian manner, armed with hatchets, axes, &c. have already paid him a visit; but he being under inoculation, they deferred proceeding to extremities. What punishment is to be inflicted on the Skipper is yet uncertain; but it is judged by the expressions of indignation at his conduct, that he will not escape with impunity.” (p2/c1)

Historical Background
Parliament passed the Tea Act to aid the East India Company with its excessive stock of tea for which it had no market. King George III gave his assent to the act on May 10, 1773. The act permitted the East India Company to export tea to the American colonies directly. The company could sell to consignees in the colonies, who would sell it for a commission. Importers would pay a tax when the cargo landed. The act gave the East India Company a monopoly on the sale of tea that was cheaper than smuggled Dutch tea. It also forced colonists to pay a tax of 3 pence on every pound of tea (a holdover from the Townsend duties repealed in 1770).

In September and October 1773, seven ships containing East India Tea set sail for the colonies, with four bound for Boston and one each to New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. They carried 2,000 chests containing nearly 600,000 pounds of tea. In New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, protests convinced tea consignees to resign. The ships bound for New York and Philadelphia returned to England with their cargoes of tea, and customs officials in Charleston seized the tea sent there.

In Boston, by contrast, Governor Thomas Hutchinson convinced the tea consignees, two of whom were his sons, not to resign. The tea ship Dartmouth arrived in Boston in late November, prompting a mass public meeting at Faneuil Hall on November 29, 1773. So many people attended that the meeting soon moved to the Old South Meeting House. The meeting passed a resolution to print an account of its proceedings to send to England and all seaports in Massachusetts. The meeting also appointed a committee including Samuel Adams and John Hancock to transmit a copy of the proceedings to New York and Philadelphia.

After the meeting, Governor Hutchinson refused to grant permission for Dartmouth to leave without paying the duty. Two more tea ships, Eleanor and Beaver, soon arrived and faced the same problem. On December 16, the last day that the crew of the Dartmouth had to unload the tea before customs officials could confiscate it, 5,000 to 7,000 people gathered around the Old South Meeting House. When Governor Hutchinson again sent word that he would not let the ships leave without paying the duty, Samuel Adams declared, “This meeting can do nothing further to save the country.”

A group of several dozen men left the meeting at the Old South Meeting House and donned elaborately prepared Mohawk costumes. That evening, from 30 to 130 men boarded the three tea ships and over the next three hours, dumped all 342 chests of tea (92,000 pounds) onboard into Boston Harbor.

The fourth tea ship, the William, had run around at Cape Cod in December 1773, and its tea was taxed and sold to private parties. In March 1774, the Sons of Liberty learned that much of it was held in a warehouse in Boston and destroyed what they could find there. Sons of Liberty, again dressed as Mohawks, later broke into a shop in Boston and dumped the last remaining tea from the William into the harbor.

Additional Content
This issue also includes a continuation of an essay by “Philemon” regarding slavery that appeared in weekly installments from January 7 to February 4 (p1/c1-2); news from New York of the arrival of 280 Scottish Highland emigrants after a horrible passage in which nearly one-third of the original number died (p1/c2-3); resolutions by the General Assembly against Connecticut settlers’ claiming land in northern Pennsylvania, that led to the Second Pennamite War later that year (p2/c2); news from London (p2/c3-p3/c1); a brief history of the East India Company (p3/c1-2); a report about a female forger in Norwich, Connecticut (p4/c2); a reprint of a letter from a New London newspaper advocating the domestic cultivation of tea in America (p4/c1); and a variety of notices and advertisements, including one for “Strong Beer,” as good as any made on the Continent (p4/c3).

The Connecticut Journal, and the New-Haven Post-Boy (1767-1775) was a weekly newspaper published on Fridays in New Haven by brothers Thomas Green (1735-1812) and Samuel Green (1743-1799) of a distinguished family of printers and editors. The Green family founded or had an early part in the first five newspapers published in Connecticut. It was continued by The Connecticut Journal (1775-1809), also published by the Greens. That newspaper strongly supported the Patriot cause in the American Revolution.

Condition: Very Good; several holes in the paper original to when the paper was made, costing several words of text.

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