The Early Modern Commons

Search Results for "Customs service"

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Your search for posts with tags containing Customs service found 109 posts

The Departure of Commissioner John Robinson

Although the Boston Whigs indicted the Customs officer for the port of Gaspé; a passing notary; and a couple of bottom-level Customs employees for the Boston Massacre, those men weren’t their real targets.The anonymous person reporting on...
From: Boston 1775 on 28 Mar 2020

“I then went up stairs into the lower west chamber”

As I described yesterday, in late March 1770 the Boston Whigs threw themselves behind Charles Bourgate’s story of shooters in the Customs House during the Boston Massacre.Though one of the most respected magistrates in Boston refused to proceed...
From: Boston 1775 on 24 Mar 2020

Robert Patterson’s Memory of the Massacre

On 20 Mar 1770, 250 years ago yesterday, a sailor named Robert Patterson testified to his memory of the Boston Massacre.Patterson was one of the men wounded in that shooting—badly wounded in one arm. Furthermore, he had also been at the Christopher...
From: Boston 1775 on 21 Mar 2020

“Not to trust the said boy out of his sight”

After young Charles Bourgate accused both his master, Edward Manwaring, and his master’s alibi witness, John Munro, of participating in the Boston Massacre, as I related here, Manwaring summoned “a third person who happened to be that Evening...
From: Boston 1775 on 16 Mar 2020

Michael Angelo Warwell, Bit Player in the Boston Massacre

In 1741, in the English market town of Totnes, a baby was baptized with the name Michael Angelo Warwell. The reason for such a baroque name was that the boy’s parents, John and Maria Warwell, were artists. According to the Rev. Samuel Reynolds,...
From: Boston 1775 on 16 Mar 2020

“The flashes of two guns fired from the Custom-house”

Soon after Charles Bourgate reaffirmed his earlier story of being made to shoot down at the crowd during the Boston Massacre, the Boston Whigs (William Molineux in particular) got the young servant in front of a magistrate.This time that magistrate was...
From: Boston 1775 on 15 Mar 2020

“As plenty in King-street as the paving stones”

On 14 March 1770, 250 years ago today, Josiah Collings went to magistrate Edmund Quincy to swear to this deposition, which he then had published in the 26 March Boston Gazette:To the Inhabitants of the Town of BOSTON,WHEREAS by some evil minded person...
From: Boston 1775 on 14 Mar 2020

Charles Bourgate’s Massacre

Today, 5 March, is the Sestercentennial anniversary of the Boston Massacre. I’ve written a lot about the Massacre over the years, including this post from 2007 about how the trouble started and how easily people could have avoided it.So today I’m...
From: Boston 1775 on 5 Mar 2020

A New Month in Boston, the Same Old Arguments

What did the Customs service’s anonymous informer report about Thursday, 1 Mar 1770, 250 years ago today? He (or she) wrote: “the weekley Exhibition at Jacksons as usual.” Boys were once again picketing William Jackson’s hardware...
From: Boston 1775 on 1 Mar 2020

Riot at the Richardson House

By 22 Feb 1770, 250 years ago today, the anonymous informant reporting events in Boston to Customs Collector Joseph Harrison judged that the Sons of Liberty had “seemed greatly to gain ground” over the previous week. One piece of evidence...
From: Boston 1775 on 22 Feb 2020

Naming and Shaming the Importers

Last month I related how the “Body of the Trade” in Boston met over several days in January 1770 and wound up reenergizing the non-importation movement. That meeting ended by naming certain merchants and shopkeepers as “importers”...
From: Boston 1775 on 15 Feb 2020

Mr. Shaw and Mr. Dumaresq

While Nathaniel Shaw, Jr., of New London, Connecticut, was speculating on the likelihood of war by buying gunpowder in the Caribbean in early 1775, as discussed here, he was still broadening his commercial network.In particular, he made a new contact...
From: Boston 1775 on 7 Feb 2020

Ships, Fire, and Boston’s George Mason

In January 1770, as I mentioned back here, two sea captains were in Boston from Glasgow, trying to commission four new ships.But because of the non-importation boycott against the Townshend duties, Boston’s business community wouldn’t let...
From: Boston 1775 on 29 Jan 2020

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

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