“Resolves of the Town of Marblehead” from the Virginia Gazette, 1774

Colonial Williamsburg maintains a searchable website for selected issues of the Virgina Gazette. Contained in a January edition is news from the sister colony of Massachusetts. The town of Marblehead has issued a resolve concerning the tea tax. For educators looking at the influence of Committees of Correspondence this article, shows the widespread reach of local groups.

BOSTON, December 15

The following is a Copy of the Resolves of the Town of Marblehead, enclosed in a very respectful Letter from the Committee of Correspondence for that Town to the Committee for the Town of Boston.

At a meeting of the Freeholders1 and other inhabitants of Marblehead, qualified to vote in Town Affairs according to Law, duly warned and legally convened2, the 7th Day of December 1773, pursuant to the Adjournment, Deacon Stephen Phillips being Moderator the following Resolves were unanimously passed:
RESOLVED, as the Opinion of this Town, 1st, that Americans have a Right to be as free as any Inhabitants on the Earth, and to enjoy at all Times an uninterrupted Possession of their Property

2 That a Tax on Americans without their Consent is a Measure destructive of their Freedom, reflecting the highest Dishonor on their Resolutions to support it, tending to impoverish all who submit to it, and enabling to dragoon and enslave3 all who receive it.
3 That the late Measures of the East India Company, in sending their Tea to the Colonies, their Tea being loaded with a Duty4 for raising a Revenue in America, are, to all Intents and Purposes, so many Attempts in them, and all employed by them, to tax Americans; and said Company, as well as their Factors, for these daring Attacks upon the Liberties of America, so long and resolutely supported by the Colonies, are entitled to the highest Contempt, and severest Marks of Resentment from every American.

4. Therefore, resolved, that the Proceedings of the brave Citizens of Boston, and Inhabitants of other towns in the Province5, for opposing the landing this Tea are rational, generous, and just; that they are highly honored and respected, by this Town, for their noble Firmness in Support of American Liberty; and that we are ready, with our Lives and Interests, to assist them in opposing these and all other Measures tending to enslave our Country.

5. That Tea from Great Britain subject to a Duty, whether shipped by the East India Company or imported by Persons here, shall not be landed in this town while we have the means of opposing it; and that, on every Attempt of this kind, immediate Notice shall be given to our Brethren in the Province.

6. And whereas the Tea Consignees at Boston, who persist in refusing to reship the Tea lately consigned them by the East India Company, have openly trifled with the Forbearance of that respectable Community and thereby discovered themselves void of Decency, Virtue, or Honor, therefore resolved, that it is the Desire of this Town to be free of the Company of such unworthy Miscreants6 and it is our Determination to treat them, wherever to be found, with the Contempt which they merit; as well as to carry into Execution this Resolution against all such as may be any Ways concerned in landing Tea from Great Britain, thus rendered baneful7 by its Duty.

Voted, that the Committee of Correspondence of this Town be desired to obtain from the Town Clerk’s Office an attested Copy of the Day’s Resolves, and forward the same to the Committee of Correspondence at Boston.

1 Freeholders = free men who owned property
2 Duly warned & legally convened = notified of the meeting
3 Dragoon & enslave = force & make slaves of
4 Duty = tax
5 Province = colony
6 Miscreant = dishonest person
7 Baneful = destructive


“Boston, December 15,” Virginia Gazette (Purdie and Dixon, Williamsburg), January 13, 1774, pg 2. Colonial Williamsburg, Rockefeller Library Collections. Accessed August 8, 2020, https://research.colonialwilliamsburg.org/DigitalLibrary/va-gazettes/VGSinglePage.cfm?issueIDNo=74.PD.03&page=2&res=LO.