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The North End Caucus,[3] composed mostly of mechanics, met frequently to consider what should be done, and voted (October 23d,) that they would oppose with their lives and fortunes, the vending of any tea that might be sent to the town for sale by the East India Company. "We were so careful," says Paul Revere, "that our meetings should be kept secret, that every time we met, every person swore upon the Bible not to discover any of our transactions, but to Hancock, Warren or Church, and one or two more leaders."

The Caucus and the Long-Room Club were local organizations, and were all included in the larger and more important one, known as "The Sons of Liberty." This association pervaded nearly all the colonies. It was first known in Boston as the "Union Club," and gained its later name from the phrase employed in the British parliament by Col. Barré, in his famous speech. It was formed in 1765, soon after the passage of the stamp act, and had among its members most of the leading patriots of the day. Their organization was secret, with private pass-words, to protect them from Tory spies. On public occasions, each member wore, suspended from his neck, a medal, on one side of which was the figure of a stalwart arm, grasping in its hand a pole, surmounted with a cap of liberty, and surrounded by the words, "Sons of Liberty." On the reverse was a representation of Liberty Tree. It was under this tree, in the open space known as "Liberty Hall,"--at the junction of Newbury, Orange and Essex Streets,--that their public meetings in Boston were held.

The Sons of Liberty issued warrants for the arrest of suspected persons; arranged in secret caucus the preliminaries of elections, and the programme for public celebrations; and in fact were the mainspring, under the guidance of the popular leaders, of every public demonstration against the government. In Boston they probably numbered about three hundred. The 14th of August,--the anniversary of the repeal of the stamp act,--was celebrated by them for several years, with grand display and festivity.

Under date of January 15, 1766, John Adams says, in his diary: "I spent the evening with the Sons of Liberty, at their own apartment, in Hanover Square, near the Tree of Liberty. It is a counting-room, in Chase & Speakman's distillery; a very small room it is. There were present, John Avery, a distiller, of liberal education; John Smith, the brazier; Thomas Crafts,[4] the painter; Benjamin Edes,[5] the printer; Stephen Cleverly, brazier; Thomas Chase, distiller; Joseph Fields, master of a vessel; Henry Bass; George Trott, jeweller; and Henry Welles. I was very cordially and respectfully treated by all present. We had punch, wine, pipes and tobacco, biscuit and cheese, etc. They chose a committee to make preparations for grand rejoicings upon the arrival of the news of a repeal of the stamp act." The counting-room of which Adams speaks, could, from its small size, have been the committee-room of the body only.

Governor Bernard wished to send some of the leading Sons of Liberty to England, for trial, but did not dare do so. New York was the centre of the organization, to which all communications from the other colonies were sent. A correspondent in London kept them informed of the proceedings and designs of the British ministry.