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On Saturday the eleventh, Rotch, the owner of

Chap. L.} 1773. Dec.
the Dartmouth, is summoned before the Boston Committee with Samuel Adams in the Chair; and asked why he has not kept his engagement, to take his vessel and the tea back to London, within twenty days of its arrival. He pleaded that it was out of his power. ‘The ship must go,’ was the1 answer; ‘the people of Boston and the neighboring towns, absolutely require and expect it;’ and they bade him ask for a clearance and pass, with proper witnesses of his demand. ‘Were it mine,’ said a leading merchant, ‘I would certainly send it back.’ Hutchinson acquainted Admiral Montagu with what was passing; on which the Active and the Kingfisher, though they had been laid up for the winter, were sent to guard the passages out of the harbor. At the same time orders were given by the Governor to load guns at the Castle, so that no vessel, except coasters, might go to sea without a permit. He had no thought of what was to happen; the wealth of Hancock, Phillips, Rowe, Dennie, and so many other men of property, seemed to him a security against violence;2 and he flattered himself,3 that he had increased the perplexities of the Committee.

The decisive day draws nearer and nearer; on the morning of Monday, the thirteenth, the Committees of the five towns are at Faneuil Hall, with that of Boston. Now that danger was really at hand, the men of the little town of Malden offered their

1 Journal of the Committee of Correspondence, VI. 463. Rotch's Information before the Privy Council.

2 Hutchinson to Mauduit, Dec. 1773; to——, 30 Dec. 1773; to Sir F. Bernard, 1 Jan. 1774.

3 Hutchinson to Lord Dartmouth, 14 Dec. 1773; Boston Gazette, 13 Dec. 1773.

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