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[476] at the Selectmen's Chamber in Faneuil Hall. Their
Chap. L.} 1773. Nov.
first question was: ‘Whether it be the mind of this Committee to use their joint influence to prevent the landing and sale of the teas exported from the East India Company?’ And it passed in the affirmative unanimously.

A motion next prevailed unanimously for a letter to be sent by a joint Committee of the five towns to all the other towns in the Province. ‘Brethren,’ they wrote, ‘we are reduced to this dilemma, either to sit down quiet under this and every other burden, that our enemies shall see fit to lay upon us, or to rise up and resist this and every plan laid for our destruction as becomes wise freemen. In this extremity we earnestly request your advice.’

The Governor in his alarm proposed to flee to ‘the Castle, where he might with safety to his person more freely give his sense of the criminality of the proceedings.’1 Dissuaded from so abject a display of pusillanimity, he yet never escaped the helpless irresolution of fear. ‘Nothing will satisfy the people, but reshipping the tea to London,’ said the Boston Selectmen to the consignees. ‘It is impracticable,’ they answered. ‘Nothing short of it,’ said the Selectmen, ‘will be satisfactory. Think, too, of the dreadful consequences that must in all probability ensue on its not being done.’ After much discussing they ‘absolutely promised that when the tea arrived, they would immediately hand in proposals to be laid before the town;’2 negotiating with dishonesty of purpose, only to gain time.

1 Hutchinson to a friend in Boston, 24 Nov. 1773.

2 Attested Copy from the Selectmen's Minute book, of their conversation with some of the consignees.

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