Protest Against Tea Tax, 1770

In 1770 citizens of Beverly issued a report after the town meeting which expressed their distress at the taxes on tea from foreign ports. Coastal towns were directly affected, as their businesses were tied up in trade with many nations. It is unclear as to whom this protest is addressed, but it stresses that the town is complying with the tax laws, but finds it a hardship.

We the Subscribers being chosen to consider of and report upon certain articles in the warrant1 for the last Town meeting and a vote then Passed do report as follows (viz2)

Whereas the Parliament of Great Britain lately passed an Act Imposing a Duty3 on Tea and other Articles Imported into America for the express Purpose of raising a revenue4 in America, which Articles the Americans are not allowed to Import5 from any other Part of the World and Where there has been but a Partial repeal6 of the Said Act the Duty on Tea Still Remaining which we esteem a Great Grievance and an infringement7 on our Charter Rights & Priveleges, wherefore we are of Opinion that the Inhabitants of this Town do all that is in their Power to Suppress8 the Importation of Goods from Great Britain agreeable to the Sentiments of the Merchants in America in General and that they do not Trade With any such Imposters and that they do all in their power to discourage the use of Foreign Tea in the Families and that the Subscription herewith Presented be shewn to the Inhabitants of this Town that they may shew their United Sentiments with a regard thereto and there be a Committee consisting of a Suitable number of Persons to shew the same to the inhabitants of this Town that they may have an opportunity of Subscribing the Same and also to Inspect the conduct of all Such as shall not fully comply therewith.

Beverly July 3rd 1770

James Lovett
Robt. Hale Jr.
Samuel Goodridge

1 Warrant = agenda or plan
2 Viz = therefore
3 Duty = tax
4 Revenue = money
5 Import = bring in
6 Repeal = taking back
7 “Grievance and infringement” = hardship
8 Suppress = hold in or back


Protest Against the Tea Tax (1770). Beverly Historical Society, Beverly, MA.*

*now Historic Beverly