Primary tabs

Tea at Annapolis, in Maryland, imported in the Brig Peggy Stewart, from London


Annapolis, October 20, 1774.

The Brig Peggy Stewart, Capt˙ Jackson, from London, having on board seventeen packages, containing two thousand three hundred and twenty pounds of that detestable weed Tea, arrived here on Friday last. The Tea was consigned to Thomas Charles Williams, and Company, Merchants in this City. Those of the Committee for Anne Arundel County who were in Town, hearing of the arrival of said vessel, met in the afternoon, and were informed the said vessel had been entered in the forenoon of that day, and the duty on the Tea paid to the Collector by Mr˙ Anthony Stewart, one of the owners of said brig. Four only of the Committee being present, it was thought advisable to call a meeting of the people. Notice was thereupon immediately given — many of the inhabitants, together with a number of gentlemen from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and other Counties, who were attending the Provincial Court, met, and having called before them the Importers and the Captain of the ship, together with the Deputy Collector, the question was moved and seconded, whether the Tea should be landed in America or not? and the question being put, it was unanimously determined in the negative.

A Committee of twelve persons was thereupon appointed to attend landing the other goods on board said vessel, and to prevent landing the Tea; after which the meeting adjourned to Wednesday, the 19th, at eleven o' clock. At which time the Members of the Committee and other the inhabitants of the County, were requested to attend at this place.

In consequence of this adjournment a great number of very respectable gentlemen from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Prince George' s Counties, met here, and amongst others, eight of the Committee for Anne Arundel County. Those of the Committee proceeded to examine into the affair, calling before them Messrs˙ James and Joseph Williams, and Anthony Stewart, and also took into consideration an offer made by said Williams' s and Stewart to destroy the Tea, and make such concessions as might be satisfactory to the Committee and the people assembled. The Committee were of opinion, if the Tea was destroyed by the voluntary act of the owners, and proper concessions made, that nothing further ought to be required. This, their opinion, being reported to the assembly, was not satisfactory to all present, Mr˙ Stewart then voluntarily offered to burn the vessel and the Tea in her, and that proper acknowledgments should be made and published in the Maryland Gazette. Those acknowledgments were accordingly made, and are as follows:

"We, James Williams, Joseph Williams, and Anthony Stewart, do severally acknowledge that we have committed a most daring insult and act of the most pernicious tendency to the liberties of America; we, the said Williams' s in importing the Tea, and said Stewart in paying the duty thereon; and thereby deservedly incurred the displeasure of the people now convened, and all others interested in the preservation of the constitutional rights and liberties of North America — do ask pardon for the same; and we solemnly declare, for the future, that we never will infringe any Resolution by the people for the salvation of their rights, nor will we do any act that may be injurious to the liberties of the people; and to show our desire of living in amity with the friends to America, we do request this meeting, or as many as may choose to attend, to be present, at any place where the people shall appoint, and we will there commit to the flames, or otherwise destroy, as


the people may choose, the detestable article which has been the cause of this our misconduct.


After which Mr˙ Stewart, and Messrs˙ James and Joseph Williams, owners of the Tea, went on board said vessel, with her sails and colours flying, and voluntarily set fire to the Tea, and, in a few hours, the whole, together with the vessel, was consumed in the presence of a great number of spectators.