dise, and the old spirit of opposition to injustice and
oppression was again aroused in the province. The
tax on tea was especially obnoxious, as that was an
article of every day household use, and was felt by
every man and woman in every town alike. It is a
story of tradition, though not of definite history, that
the first destruction of tea took place in Newbury-
port, and that a considerable quantity was seized and
burned in Market Square under the direction of
Eleazer Johnson, a prominent ship-builder of the
But neither did the cupidity for the importation
of tea cease nor its continued destruction, as the
following protest from the Committee of Safety, pre-
sented to the town in 1775, will show :
" To the Inhabitants of Newburyport in Toicn-mei
" Gentlemen, â€” Your Committee of Safety, who are also appointed a
Committee of Inspection to see that the Resolves of the Continental
Congress are carried into execution, have, with constancy and cheerful-
ness, attended on the duties of their appointment, being sensible of the
importance of the Trust reposed in them, and they hope the Town in
general have approved of their conduct. They have met with only one
obstruction in their proceedings, which they think needful to lay before
you, as their future influence and determination depend on the senti-
ments of the Town thereon. Some time ago a small quantity of tea was
brought in here in violation of the Continental Association, which the
Committee took into their custody and had deposited in the Powder
House in order that it might be kept secure until the Town or the Com-
mittee should determine something further respecting it, but before
there was an opportunity therefor, some of our inhabitants, in a very
sudden and haÂ«ty manner, laid hands on it and destroyed it. Now, your
Committee apprehend that it will bo very unsafe for them to take into
their care any kind of goods that may in future be introduced in the
like disorderly manner, provided they must be exposed to the same fate.
\\Tierefore they desire the opinion of the Town upon the matter.
'â€¢By order of the Committee.
"Edw. Harbis, Clerk"
In response to the imposition of these new taxes
the Boston merchants proposed, in a circular sent to
the various seaport towns, a non-importation agree-
ment. An answer to this circular, written by
John Lowell, was adopted at a town-meeting held
March 10, 176S, of which the following is a copy:
" The Committee beg leave to report, that they are of opinion that
the subjects therein contained deserve tlie most serious attention of the
town in particular, as well as of the public in geuel^l. This town has
been in a great measure supported for many years past by the building
of ships, which have been purchased mostly by the inhabitants, and for
the use of Great Britain. The manner in which we have been paid for
our ships has been mainly by British manufactures. So that the
importation and purchase of these, and our staple business, if we may so
express it, have been almost inseparably united. It is with the greatest
difficulty that a number of people, who have for the most part of their
lives been used to a particular employment, can suddenly strike into a
new channel, and carry on a business to which they have always been
" Hence, though we highly respect the town of Boston for its zealous
attachment to the liberties of the country, and are ready to assist them
in all measures to which prudence may direct, we cannot think it can
consist with the prudence and policy of this town to join in their par-
ticular resolutions respecting the importation and purchase of he
enumerated articles of British manufacture. And not only from this
principle, but from one less selfish, wÂ© cannot wish that the frequent
and mutual intercourse which has hitherto subsisted between Great
Sritaiu and us should abate. 'Tis but of late that we regarded Great
Britain with all the respectful afTection of a child to its parent ; and
though by some late measures, which we conceive to be highly mis-
judged, there seems to have arisen a cloud, which obscures the true
interests of the nation from the eyes of those at the helm, we c<innot but
expect, as well as impatiently desire, that it will be soon removed, and
a mutual confidence be established on the firmest foundation.
" In the meantime, as jealousy, in a constitution like the British, is
the gre.t preserving principle, we think it necessary to be watchful
against any encroachments on our rights as Englishmen and freemen,
and to be uniformly and resolutely determined that these shall not be
infringed, while our fortunes, or even our lives continue."
The tone of both the instructions to Dudley Atkins
concerning the Stamp Act and the above answer to
the circular of the Boston merchants concerning non-
importation displays the cautious, conservative spirit
prevailing in Newburyport. This spirit no doubt
had its root in the large material interests whose
welfare or ruin depended on the solution of the
great question of the time. But the vital impor-
tance of those interests to the prosperity of the town
and the comfort of its people emphasizes the unsel-
fish patriotism which finally settled the question, by
the sacrifice of business and wealth to the great
principle of popular freedom.
As in every great crisis, there was a tide which
seemed to have a power and will of its own, and the
tide which was now at the flood was setting with re-
sistless force and breaking down all barriers which
prudence or conservatism might impose. The Home
Government, performing unconsciously its part in the
great movement which Providence was directing,
towards the establishment of a free popular govern-
ment, persisted in its policy, and in the autumn of 1768
non-importation was agreed on by. the merchants of
the province. At a meeting held on the 4th of Sep-
tember, 1769, the town approved of ihe agreement, and
voted to further and maintain the same and to consid-
er any person who should evade it an enemy to his
country. In March, 1770, it was voted by the town
not to buy or use any foreign tea ; in January, 1773,
Jonathan Greenleaf, the representative to the Gener-
al Court, was instructed " to us'e his utmost endeavors
to procure a full and complete redress of all our public
grievances ; " in December, 1775,a letter to the Boston
Committee of Correspondence was adopted in town
meeting, assuring them of assistance and support, and
finally in May, 1776, the town voted " That if the hon-
orable Congress should, for the safety of the United
Colonies, declare them independent of the Kingdom of
Great Britain, this town will with their lives and for-
tunes support them in the measure."
Thus Newbury port and its piople floated with the
tide. Along the seaboard of Massachusetts, notwith-
standing the great interests which needed to be sacrific-
ed, there was no town so free from Loyalistsor Tories, as
they were called. Indeed, Newburyport wasastriking
exception to the rule, so far as seaports were concerned.
Boston and Salem and Ipswich had their numferous
Loyalists, and it is said that in Plymouth, where the
business of its merchants was very similar to that of
those in Newburyport, James Warren was almost the
only man of social standing who was an outspoken
and active supporter of the Revolutionary movement.
In Marshfield the loyal feeling was sufliciently strong
at first to control the actions and votes of its town-
meetings, and on the 20th of February, 177-5, it was
voted " not to adhere to or be bound by the resolves
and recommendations of the Concord Provincial Con-
gress or any illegal assemblies whatever."
But in Newburyport it has never been claimed that
more than four persons were tainted with loyally, and
neither of these was a merchant. These were Daniel
Farnam, Bishop Edward Bass, Dr. Jones and a man
by the name of Frye. Frye left the country and went
to Scotland ; the bishop and Dr. Jones took the oath
of allegiance, or gave satisfaction to the C immittee of
Correspondence, and Col. Farnam remained the only
prominent and confessed Loyalist in the town. The
charge of loyalty against Bishop Edward Bass has
never been proved. Hon. Eben F. Stone has discov-
ered in a collection of old papers, which he has had an
opportunity to examine, evidence both for and against
the charge. In an old letter written by Henry Atkins,
an ofiicer of the Newburyport Custom-House, in the
service of the crown, his loyalty is strongly claimed ;
on the other hand, a letter dated May 24, 1783, from
Col. Peter Frye, a graduate of Harvard, and for many
years a resident of Ipswich, then living as a refugee
Loyalist at the Middlesex Hospital, Suffolk County,
England, states that it was said by thepeople of New-
buryport, after the death of Col. Farnam, that the
town was purified and had not a Loyalist in it. A let-
ter from Samuel Peters, dated June 19, 1783, says that
Messerve, collector of Portsmouth, and Samuel Porter,
a lawyer of Salem, " agree that there never was known
to be in Newburyport more than four loyal subjects,
one of whom went off" to Scotland, Col. Farnam was
killed by the rebels, Mr. Bass and Dr. Jones gave sat-
isfaction to the rebels and remained there.''
At any rate, Edward Bass, the bishop was, suspect-
ed. He was at that time, however, not a bishop, but
HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.
rector of St. Paul's Church. He was born in Dor-
chester, November 23, 172G, and graduated at Har-
vard in 1744. He taught school after his graduation
until 1747, and then pursued the study of theology
until 1751. In 1752 he became the associate of Rev.
Matthias Plant at St. Paul's, and went to London,
where he was ordained by Dr. Sherlock, then bishop
of London, and returned at once to begin his pastoral
work. In 1789 the University of Pennsylvania con-
ferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and
in 1796 he was unanimously chosen at a convention
of the Protestant Episcopal Churches of Massachusetts
to be their bishop. He was consecrated May 7, 1797,
by the bishops of Pennsylvania, New York and Mary-
land, and at a later date was chosen also bishop of
the Episcopal Churches of Rhode Island and New
Hampshire. He died in Newburyport September 10,
1803, having served as rector of St. Paul's fifty-one
Daniel Farnam or Farnham, the only unqualified
Loyalist in the town, was born in Y^ork, Maine, in
1719. He was a son of Daniel Farnham, a native of
Andover, Massachusetts, and was fitted for college by
Rev. Samuel Moody, of Y'^ork, who was a lineal de-
scendant of Caleb Moody, of Newburyport. Mr.
Farnham graduated at Harvard in 1739 and studied
law with Edmund Trowbridge, who was considered
the best lawyer of his time, and who held a seat on the
bench of the Superior Court of Judicature from 1767
until his resignation, in 1775. In July, 1740, soon
after his graduation, he married Sybil, daughter of
Rev. Samuel Angler, of Watertown, and granddaugh-
ter of Rev. Urian Oakes, president of Harvard College
from April 5, 1675, to July 2, 1681. After his admis-
sion to practice he removed to Newburyport, or, as it
then was, the " Port " of Newbury, and began his
professional life. It is believed that at that time
there was no lawyer east of Salem. He was a man of
great industry and boundless activity, both control-
ling a large professional business and taking a leading
part in the direction and management of public affairs.
About 1750 he bought a lot of land of Abiel Sonierby,
where the Kelley school-house now stands, and there
erected a large square dwelling-house in the style of
the colonial period. It stood a little back from the
street, with three fine elm-trees in front, and the gar-
den was inclosed by a solid brick wall, which gave a
substantial appearance to the whole estate.
Col. Farnham was a public-spirited man, and was
at the head of every important improvement in and
about his adopted town. He was one of the leading
signers to the petition for the incorporation of New-
buryport, the person to whom the warrant for its
first town-meeting was directed, the moderator of its
first annual meeting, and the chairman of its first
Board of Selectmen. Hon. Eben F. Stone, from
whose manuscript sketch of Col. Farnham the
writer has already freely drawn, says that,
" lu the ourly special meetiu^u of the town relating to tlie stamp act
and other measures of England to extort a revenue from the colonies,
before all hope of a peace:ible atUustment of the controvoray was aban-
doned, he took an active and important part. But when the opposition
of the Province to the policy of the Crown had passed the point consis-
tent with loyalty, and every citizen was compelled to choose between
two courses, neither of which was free from doubt and peril. Col.
Farnham, like the great majority of those who were well situated under
the subsisting relations between the Colonies and the Government of
England, and who could find in the alleged grievances no sufficient ex-
cuse for disloyalty or rebellion, remained true to his principles and
stood by the King. Ardent, high-spirited and impetuous, he disdained
to yield to the suggestions of prudence, which controlled the conduct of
some of his friends, and boldly denounced the leading whigs and liberty
men as law-breakers and rebels."
He died at his home in Miy, 1776. The
tion that he was killed by the rebels is sufiiciently
silenced by the following letter written by his son-in-
law, Dr. Micajah Sawyer, to another son-in-law, Rev.
Mr. Weld, of Braintree :
" Newburyport, 18 May, 1777.
'â€¢ Dear Sir, â€” By this I am to inform you of the dreadful news of the
death of your late honored father, Col. Farnham, after a short sickness,
in which the symptoms were violent and the progress irresistibly rapid ;
lint I must refer you to Dr. Smith.
" M. SiWTEE."
Before the exigencies of the Revolutionary period
had actually arisen, the town had gone on perfecting
the operations of its municipal machinery and was in
a good condition to meet the storm. A little dissatis-
faction, however, with the new state of things, had
occasionally existed and several feeble attempts were
made to bring about a re-union with Newbury. On
one of the trials of the question in town-meeting, fifty-
two were found to vote in the affirmativeout of a total
of three hundred and fourteen. It is a singular fact
that, at a town-meeting held in January, 1773, it was
voted to change the name of the town to " Portland,"
what is now " Portland " being then " Falmouth," and
that the vote has never been either taken any notice of
nor repealed. In 1774 the first stage-coach in the coun-
try, drawn by four horses, was established by Ezra
Lunt, connecting with Boston by the way of Salem
and making three trips per week.
On the 23d of September, 1774, a Committee of
Safety and Correspondence was appointed by the
town, consisting of the following gentlemen :
Hon. Benjamin Greenleaf.
Patrick Tracy, Esquire.
Dr. John Sprague.
William Atkins, Esquire.
Capt. James Hudson.
Mr. Edmund Bartlett.
Mr. Rjilph Cross, Jr.
Tristram Dalton, Esq.
Mr. Edward Harris.
Mr. Enoch Tilcomb, Jr.
Capt. Jacob Boardman.
Mr. William Teel.
Mr. Suniucl Tufts.
Capt. Moses Rogers.
Mr. Jonathan Man>h.
Capt. Jonathan Greeuleaf.
Dr. Micajah Sawyer.
Mr. David Moody.
Mr. John Bromfleld.
Mr. John Stone.
Major William Coffin.
Capt. Thomas Thomas.
Capt. Joseph Buse.
Capt. Samuel Batchelor.
Mr. Moses Nowell.
Mr. Jonathan Jackson.
Mr. Richard Titcomb.
Mr. John Herbert.
Mr. Moses Frazier.
Capt. Nicholas Tracy.
The seizure of the public stores at Concord by the
British troops and the battle of Lexington were
finally the sigoal for action. On the receipt of the
news at Ncwburyport
Capt. Moses Nowell at
to the adjoining towns, as it
hardly seems probable
mustered his company
of militia and started at e
that Newburyport could have sent in one company
o'clock at night to reader assistance. Their service
fifteen officers and one hui
dred and fifteen men.
was probably only for
a few days. The members of
They are called, however, on the rolls at the State-
this company were as
House, Newburvport men.
Moses NoiTell, capt.
Moses Pike, Corp.
On the 9th of May, 1775, a
volunteer company was
Benjainin Perkins, lieut.
Nathaniel Tilton, corp.
provided with accoutrements by the town and raarohed
Elias Davis, lieut.
to join Colonel Moses Little
s regiment in the Con-
Samuel Foster, corp.
tinental army, the members of which were as follow* :
Paul Lunt, 8ergt.
Benjamin Pearson, drum . and
Timutby Ford, sergt.
Ezra Lunt, capt.
W.llia.n .Vunr, sergt.
Richard Hale, drum, and
Paul Lunt, lieut.
Samuel Clark, se.gt.
Caleb Haskell, drum, and
Nathl. Montgomery, Ueut.
Robert Fowler, sergt.
Nathl. Mitchell, sergt.
John McLary, sergt.
Edmund Morse, sergt.
Timothy Palmer, corp.
Wm. Holladay, Corp.
Moses Kimball, corp.
Eliphalet Pilsbury, corp.
Benj. Pearson, drummer.
Benj. Newman, drummer.
Bishop Norton, 6fer.
John Ward Brown.
Caleb Haskell, fifer.
John C. Roberts.
Bart. L. Spooner.
Benjamin Backley, Jr.
Nathaniel Stevens Batson.
â– Wm. Holliday.
Another volunteer company marched for Cam-
bridge in the latter part of May to join the Continen-
tal army, and, with the company of Captain Lunt,
was at the battle of Bunker Hill. The members of
the company were as follows :
Joseph Soinerby, Jr.
Benj. Perkins, Capt.
Jos. Whittemore, Lieut.
Stephen Jenkins, Lieut.
Wm. Stickney, Ens.
Samuel Foster, Sergt.
Amos Pearson, Sergt.
Thom.-ui Frothingham, Sergt.
Joseph Somerby (2d).
Thomas Wescomb, Sergt.
â– Nicholas Titcomb.
John Brazier, Drummer.
Richard Hale, Drummer.
Isaac Howard, Fifer.
John VV. Folsom, Fifer.
James Forth .
Henry W. Tines.
Ben,j. E. Knapp.
It is possible that some of the above men belonged
HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.
DelU. U. Tol)pan.
Of this company at the battle of Bunker Hill,
Jonathan Norton, Amos Pearson and Joseph Whitte-
more were wounded, and Samuel Nelson was killed.
Another company was raised and marched to Cam-
bridge in 1775, of which the following were the New-
buryi)ort members : '
Samuel Gerrish, Capt
Silas Adams, Lieut.
Benj. Stickney, Lieut.
Paul Moody, Sergt.
Jiicob Low, Jr.
â– ft'm. Flood.
Members of the Newburyport company com-
manded by Captain Moses Nowell, stationed at New-
buryport from November, 1775, to January, 1776,â€”
Moses Nowell, Capt.
Elias Davis, Lieut.
Moses Greenleaf, Lieut.
George Gibbon, Sergt.
Other enlistments in 1775 were for the company
of Captain Jacob Gerrish, in Colonel Moses Little's
regiment, â€” â€¢
Benj. Newman. Druron
John Spinney, Fifer.
The following were
Enlistments in 1771"
for three years, â€”