The Early Modern Commons

Search Results for "Customs service"

Showing 1 - 20 of 96

Your search for posts with tags containing Customs service found 96 posts

Tar, Feathers, and the Trevett Brothers

A couple of days ago, I quoted George Gailer’s court filing after he was assaulted with tar and feathers (and other things) on 28 Oct 1769.That legal document named seven individuals as having taken part in the attack. Those were the people Gailer...
From: Boston 1775 on 7 Nov 2019

“Grosly threatning to Hoist him up in the Cart”

The 28 Oct 1769 tarring and feathering of sailor George Gailer was a public event in Boston. The mob meant to humiliate Gailer for giving information to the Customs service and to intimidate anyone else who might consider becoming a whistleblower. Today...
From: Boston 1775 on 5 Nov 2019

“Carting the feather’d Informer thro’ the principal Streets in Town”

John Mein going under cover didn’t end the violence in Boston on Saturday, 28 Oct 1769. In fact, that date saw the town’s first tarring and feathering. Though Boston became notorious in the British Empire for tar-and-feathers attacks in the...
From: Boston 1775 on 31 Oct 2019

John Mein and the “Well Disposed”

Since 17 Aug 1769, John Mein had been publishing manifests of vessels arriving in the port of Boston in his Boston Chronicle newspaper.I’ve called those leaks from the Customs service, but it’s possible all Mein had to do was go to the office...
From: Boston 1775 on 28 Oct 2019

“Others struck with Cutlasses, Canes and other Weapons”

Boston newspapers published three detailed descriptions of the fight between Customs Commissioner John Robinson and Boston representative James Otis, Jr., on 5 Sept 1769. The first appeared on 11 September, as Edes and Gill’s Boston Gazette printed...
From: Boston 1775 on 11 Oct 2019

“Suddenly turned and attempted to take him by the Nose”

As quoted back here, in the 4 Sept 1769 Boston Gazette James Otis, Jr., made a novel natural-rights argument about John Robinson. He declared that if that Customs Commissioner “misrepresents me, I have a natural right if I can get no other...
From: Boston 1775 on 10 Oct 2019

“I have a natural right…to break his head”

As I described yesterday, in the 3 Sept 1769 Boston Gazette James Otis, Jr., rehashed a bunch of his grievances with the Customs office and even printed them at length. In particular, Otis was certain that Collector Joseph Harrison had described him as...
From: Boston 1775 on 7 Oct 2019

The Paragraphs James Otis Cooked Up

In his diary John Adams described how he spent the evening of Sunday, 3 Sept 1769, in the Edes and Gill print shop: “preparing for the Next Days Newspaper—a curious Employment. Cooking up Paragraphs, Articles, Occurences, &c.—working...
From: Boston 1775 on 6 Oct 2019

“Copies of which are lately come over here”

On 20 Jan 1769, William Bollan, the Massachusetts Council’s agent—i.e., lobbyist—in London, sent urgent copies of seven letters to the senior member of the Council, Samuel Danforth. Six of those letters were from Gov. Francis Bernard...
From: Boston 1775 on 1 Oct 2019

“He wanted a free conversation with us”

After his fight with James Otis, Jr., became a big deal, Customs Commissioner John Robinson published his version of what had led up to it. That account was dated 7 Sept 1769 and appeared in Green and Russell’s Boston Post-Boy four days later. According...
From: Boston 1775 on 30 Sep 2019

James Otis and John Robinson

Before the month ends, I must address the sestercentennial of a significant moment in Revolutionary politics. Digging into Harvard students’ misbehavior in a Cambridge tavern, fun as that was, put off the important task of examining top officeholders’...
From: Boston 1775 on 29 Sep 2019

“What an unparallel’d Stock of Assurance & Self-Confidence”

In the fall of 1769, Boston’s non-importation controversy heated up. The town’s merchants, supported and pushed by the radical Whigs, had agreed not to order anything but necessities from Britain until Parliament repealed the Townshend duties.Boston’s...
From: Boston 1775 on 25 Sep 2019

”Cheat them much as you can of ye Duties”

The Connecticut merchant Nathaniel Shaw, Jr., shipped a lot of molasses to merchants in New York and Philadelphia. Since there was very little sugar cane grown around New London, he was buying that commodity in the Caribbean—mostly from French and...
From: Boston 1775 on 31 Aug 2019

“I am as Inocent of Destroying the Sloop as Either of you”

In 1933, the New London County Historical Society published the second volume of its collections, titled Connecticut’s Naval Office at New London During the War of the American Revolution. The Continental agent in that port was Nathaniel Shaw, Jr....
From: Boston 1775 on 30 Aug 2019

“Having made Seizure of a Sloop named the Sally”

As I’ve been relating, July of 1769 was not a good month for the royal Customs service in New England. On 19 July, a Newport mob had ruined the Customs patrol ship Liberty after threatening its captain and crew. The next day, with no armed...
From: Boston 1775 on 29 Aug 2019

New London’s Liberty Riot

Newport, Rhode Island, wasn’t the only New England town that saw disturbances connected to the Customs sloop Liberty in July 1769. There was also violence in New London, Connecticut.In fact, the whole affair started with action off New London. Treasury...
From: Boston 1775 on 28 Aug 2019

Wanted by Governor Wanton

The official Rhode Island response to the destruction of the Customs sloop Liberty in Newport harbor started even before the ship went up in flames.  A mob attacked the ship on 19 July. Two days later, this proclamation appeared, as printed in the...
From: Boston 1775 on 22 Aug 2019

The Burnings of the Liberty

The Boston Gazette was the town’s staunchest Whig newspaper, quick to attack royal officials and to defend locals against charges of unrest. But printers Edes and Gill weren’t so protective about other communities.The Boston Gazette’s...
From: Boston 1775 on 20 Aug 2019

Captain Reid versus Captain Packwood

Yesterday I shared an official description of the confrontation in Newport, Rhode Island, over the Customs ship Liberty on 19 July 1769. By “official” I mean that the town’s Whig leadership supplied that text to the Newport Mercury....
From: Boston 1775 on 19 Aug 2019

The Second Liberty Riot

I’ve been focused on events 250 years ago this week in Boston, but it’s time to look in on other events in New England.You may recall how in June 1768 the Customs office in Boston confiscated John Hancock’s sloop Liberty on charges of...
From: Boston 1775 on 18 Aug 2019

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