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37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

The Boston Gazette: Accounts of August 14 and 15, 1765. August 26, 1765

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1. Boston, August 14 and 15, 1765. August 26, 1765.

The Boston Gazette, Supplement, August 19, 1765.

"Early on Wednesday Morning last the Effigy of a Gentleman sustaining a very unpopular office, viz. that of St--p Master, was found hanging on a Tree in the most public Part of the Town, together with a Boot, wherein was concealed a young Imp of the D---l represented as peeping out of the Top--- On the Breast of the Effigy was a Label in Praise of Liberty, and denouncing Vengeance on the Subvertors of it---and underneath was the following Words, HE THAT TAKES THIS DOWN IS AN ENEMY TO HIS COUNTRY---The Owner of the Tree finding a Crowd of People to assemble, tho at 5 oclock in the Morning, endeavoured to take it down, but being adviss to the contrary by the Populace, lest it should occasion the Demolition of his Windows, if nothing worse, desisted from the Attempt---The Diversion of it occasioned among a Multitude of Spectators, who continually assembled tht whole Day, is surprizing; not a Peasant was suffered to pass down to the Market, let him have what he would for Sale, til he had stopped and got his Articles stampd by the Effigy---Towards dark some Thousands repaired to the said Place of Rendezvous, and having taken down the Pageantry, they proceeded with it along the Main Street to the Town-House, thro which they carried it, and continued their Rout thro Kilby-Street to Olivers Dock, where there was a new Brick Building just finished, and they imagining it to be designed for a Stamp Office, instantly set about demolishing it, which they thoroughly effected in about half an Hour. In the mean Time the High Sheriff, &c. &c., being apprehensive that the Person of the then Stamp Master, and his Family, might be in Danger from the Tumult, went and advised them to evaculate the House; which they had scarcely done, making the Retreat across the Gardens, &c. before the Multitude approachd Fort-Hill, continguous thereto, in order to burn the Effigy, together with the Timber and other Wood work of the House they had demolished. After setting Fire to the Combustibles, they proceeded to break open the Stables, Coach-Houses, &c. But it seems not having yet compleated their Purpose, they set about pulling down a Range of Fence upwards of 15 Foot high, which inclosd the bottom of the Garden, into which having enterd, they stripped the Trees of Fruit, despoiled some of them by breaking off the Limbs, demolished the Summer House, broke the Windows in the Rear Part of the House, enterd the same, went downt the Cellars, and helpd themselves to the Liquor which they found there and the Silver Plate that the House afforded, none of which however was missing the next Day, altho scatterd over various Parts of the House---They then destroyed Part of the Furniture among which was a Looking Glass said to be the largest in North-America, with two others, &c.

The next Day the Transactions of the preceeding Night was of Course the general Topic of Conversation; when the St--p M----r, in order to appease the Sensations which seemed to posses the Breasts of every one, at the Prospect of a future Stamp-Duty, sent a Card to several Gentlemen, acquainting them that he had absolutely declined having any Concern in that Office; which being publickly read upon the Change, it was thot all Uneasiness would subside; but the Evening following they again assembled, erected a Number of Stages with Tar Barrels, &c. in the Form of a Pyramid, in the Centre of which was a Flag-Staff, and a Union-Flag hoisted; whereupon tis said the St--p M----r sent them a Letter with the aforementioned Resolution of Non-Acceptance, Assurance of Endeavors to Serve the Province, &c. Upon which they thought proper to demolish the Bonfire and retire---but did not disperse till they went down to his H---r the L---------t G------rs with whom they said they wanted to have a Talk; but not finding him at Home, they concluded the Business of the Night by loud Acclamations in every Quarter of the Town, on account of the Resignation of the Stamp Master; which, they were assured was forwarded by Express to New-York, to go in the Pacquet from thence.

We are told, that the Concourse on Wednesday Evening was far from consisting wholly of the Inhabitants of this Metropolis, many having come from Charlestown, Cambridge, and other adjacent Towns---The Truth of which may possibly be hereafter discovered by the Vigilance, Industry, and Zeal of the Attorney-General.

It is supposed by some people that the Effigies exhibited in this Town on Wednesday last (ACTUALLY or VIRTUALLY) originated in Cambridge, from this remarkable Circumstance, that the very Breeches sere seen upon a Gentleman of that Town on Commencement Day."


Author : The Boston Gazette

Reference : America: A Narrative History, 6th Edition, Chapter 5; Inventing America, Chapter 5; Give Me Liberty, Chapter 5

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