Chapter 13

    Proceedings on the Departure of Governor Hutchinson June 1774

    Governor hutchinson left boston early in June 1774 and before his departure, was addressed by many of the Merchants, and principal inhabitants of the town, to the number of 128 by the Episcopal Clergy, and Gentlemen of the Law, and he went away with a persuasion that the people would be brought to comply with the requisitions in the Boston Port Act,86 and that they would enable him in a short time, to put their conduct in so favourable a light, as that through his mediation the King’s Ministers might be induced to recommend to His Majesty, the opening the Port of Boston again.87 [235]

    However[,] he was scarcely gone, before great murmurs arose against the persons who had signed the Addresses. For some time the Addressors buoyed themselves up, and seemed to make head against the faction of the people. And they once endeavoured in a town meeting to call the Committee of Correspondence to account, and proposed, after having exposed the ill use they had made of the confidence of the people, to have moved for a dissolution of that Committee. But on the first vote they were greatly outnumbered by the ruling faction, and from that time no effort was made to withstand the Tyranny of the Committee of Correspondence.88

    Indeed the Addressors did not act from a principle of [236] obedience to the Laws of Great Britain; some signed from personal respect to the Governor; many, thinking he would endeavour to get the Port opened again, and would be glad to represent their conduct in a favourable light from this Address; but there was no bond of union, or firm principle of opposition to the ruling faction that they acted upon.

    The committee immediately marked the Addressors to Governor Hutchinson as objects of their resentment; and upon the report of the new act for regulating the Government of the Province,89 they spread throughout the Country the most unjust and groundless reports, as to the intentions of Government towards the Province, such as that their Lands were to be lotted out into Lordships, and to [237] be taxed. About this time the heads of the bill for the better Government of Quebec came over, and the indulgence thereby granted to the French inhabitants of that Country, to enjoy their religion, was interpreted as a prelude to changing the Religion of the other Colonies and that it was intended to compel them to become Roman Catholics.90

    Thus deluded by the Committees in the several towns of the province, and inflamed by the Ministers against Government who took advantage of the latter act to alarm them on the subject of their Religion; The people were wrought up to the highest degree of resentment against Great Britain, and talked of nothing but dying in defence of their religion, and liberties. [238]

    At this time the Boston Committee circulated a letter through the Country, urging the People to unite in a solemn League and Covenant, not to use any British Goods, or have dealings with any who did, till their grievances were addressed.91 Almost every town entered into some agreement, similar to what was proposed by the Boston Committee: From which time there was an open resistance to the operation of the new Acts, and the Addressors of Governour Hutchinson; and they who complyed with, or endeavoured to enforce the Laws of Great Britain, were declared objects of persecution.

    Mr. F[rancis] Green[,] a Merchant of Boston, and one of those [239] who signed the Address to Governor Hutchinson, having occasion to travel into Connecticut, on his private affairs, was no sooner arrived at a town called Windham in that Colony, than the people gathered about the Tavern where he lodged, in a tumultuous manner, and compelled him, with many threats, to leave the place. He went on to Norwich, but there the same spirit raged against him, and he was obliged to quit the Colony, without doing his business.

    One Colonel Fitch[,] high sheriff at Windham[,] having censured this behavior of the people, a large number of them assembled, and resolved to Tar and feather any person who should do any work for him, so that his Corn, and hay, remained in the fields uncut.92 [240]

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