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[478] Brookline, Cambridge, and Charlestown, with their
Chap. L.} 1773. Nov.
own townsmen and those of Boston to hold a Mass Meeting the next morning. Faneuil Hall could not contain the people, that poured in on Monday. The concourse was the largest ever known. Adjourning to ‘the Old South’ Meeting-house, Jonathan Williams did not fear to act as Moderator, nor Samuel Adams, Hancock, Young, Molineux, and Warren1 to conduct the business of the meeting. On the motion of Samuel Adams, who entered fully into the question, the Assembly, composed of upwards of five thousand persons, resolved unanimously, that ‘the tea should be sent back to the place from whence it came at all events, and that no duty should be paid on it.’ ‘The only way to get rid of it’ said Young, ‘is to throw it overboard.’2 The consignees asked for time to prepare their answer; and ‘out of great tenderness’ the body postponed receiving it to the next morning. Meantime the owner and master of the ship were convented and forced to promise not to land the tea. A watch was also proposed. ‘I,’ said Hancock, ‘will be one of it, rather than that there should be none,’3 and a party of twenty-five persons under the orders of Edward Proctor as its Captain, was appointed to guard the tea-ship during the night.

On the same day, the Council who had been solicited by the Governor and the consignees to assume the guardianship of the tea, coupled their refusal with a reference to the declared opinion of both branches of the General Court, that the tax upon it

1 Francis Rotch's. Information.

2 Captain Hall's Information; Andrew Mackenzie's Information.

3 Frazier's Deposition.

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