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In 1835, a small volume appeared, entitled "Traits of the Tea Party," with a memoir of G.R.T. Hewes. From it we glean the following incidents.

Mr. Hewes thinks that among the speakers at the meeting on the afternoon of December 16, was John Hancock, who said that "the matter must be settled before twelve o'clock that night." Hewes positively affirms that he recognized Hancock, who worked by his side in the destruction of the tea, not only by his ruffles, which were accidentally exposed, and by his figure and gait, but by his voice and features, notwithstanding his paint, and the loosened club of hair behind. In this he was undoubtedly mistaken. Neither Hancock, Adams nor Warren were among the disguised Indians. There were enough who were competent for the business without them.

Just before the meeting dissolved, some one in the galleries (Mr. Pierce thinks it was Adam Collson) cried out with a loud voice, "Boston harbor a tea-pot to-night! Hurrah for Griffin's wharf!" This is probably the disorder checked by the chairman, and which was in response to the war-whoops outside. Three cheers were given by the meeting as it broke up.

The disguise of the Indians was hastily prepared. Many of them arrayed themselves in a store on Fort Hill. The original number of one of the parties was fifteen or twenty. Many others joined in the act of breaking up the boxes, who disguised themselves as best they could, and some, chiefly extempore volunteers, were not disguised at all. Hewes himself, while the crowd rushed down Milk Street, made his way to a blacksmith's shop, on Boylston's wharf, where he hastily begrimmed his face with a _soot_-able preparation, thence to the house of an acquaintance near Griffin's, where he got a blanket, which he wrapped around his person.

When he reached the wharf, there were many there, but no crowd. The moon shone brightly. From one hundred to one hundred and fifty were engaged. The whole were divided into three equal divisions, with a captain and boatswain for each. Hewes's whistling talent--a matter of public notoriety--procured him the position of boatswain in the party, under Captain Lendall Pitts, which boarded the brig. Many were fantastically arrayed in old frocks, red woolen caps or gowns, and all manner of like habiliments.

One of Pitts's first official acts was to send a message to the mate, who was in his cabin, for the use of a few lights and the brig's keys, so that as little damage as possible might be done to the vessel. The keys were handed over without a word, and he also provided candles. The three parties finished their separate tasks nearly at the same time, and without unnecessary delay. A number of sailors and others had joined them from time to time, and aided them in hoisting the chests from the hold.

Collecting on the wharf, which was now covered with spectators, a fresh inspection was instituted, and all the tea men were ordered to take off their shoes and empty them, which was supposed to be done. Pitts, who was a military man, and a prominent Son of Liberty, was appointed commander-in-chief; the company was formed in rank and file by his directions, with the aid of Barber, Proctor, and some others, and "shouldering arms,"--such as they had, tomahawks included,--they marched up the wharf, to what is now the east end of Pearl Street, back into town, and then separated and went quietly home.

All was done in plain sight of the British squadron, which lay less than a quarter of a mile distant. Admiral Montagu witnessed most of the affair from a more convenient point--the house of a Tory, named Coffin, on Atkinson Street, near the head of the wharf. Raising the window as they came along, he said, "Well, boys, you have had a fine, pleasant evening for your Indian caper, haven't you? But mind, you have got to pay the fiddler yet!"

"Oh, never mind!" shouted Pitts, "never mind, squire! Just come out here, if you please, and we'll settle the bill in two minutes." This caused a shout, the fife struck up a lively air, the admiral put the window down in a hurry, and the company marched on.

When Hewes reached home he told his wife the story. "Well, George," said she, "Did you bring me home a lot of it?" The only tea known to have been brought that night from the wharf was in the shoes of Thomas Melvill. A sample gathered on the Dorchester shore by Dr. Thaddeus M. Harris, is now preserved in the cabinet of the Antiquarian Society, at Worcester.


One O'Connor, an Irishman, formerly a fellow apprentice with Hewes, attempted to secrete some of the tea. Hewes noticed a suspicious movement of his hands along the lining of his coat, and informed Pitts. Catching him by the skirts of his coat, he pulled him back as he was trying to escape, and he was quickly relieved of his cargo, as well as the apparel which contained it, and a few kicks were applied to hasten his retreat.

Early on the morning of the 17th, a long windrow of tea, "about as big as you ever saw of hay," was seen extending from the wharves down to the castle. A party of volunteers soon turned out in boats, and stirred it up in the "pot" pretty effectually.