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On Saturday, Faneuil Hall was again crowded. The committee reported that it could not find Elisha Hutchinson, either at Milton or Boston. Thomas Hutchinson, Jr., informed them, in a letter, that when he and his brother were appointed factors, and the tea arrived, they would be sufficiently informed to answer the request of the inhabitants.

This reply stirred up some of the hot blood in the assembly, and a cry of "to arms! to arms!" was received with applause and clapping of hands. Discretion, as usual, prevailed, and the meeting voted that the replies were "daringly affrontive" to the town, and then dissolved. The governor tried to collect evidence of the inflammatory speeches that had been made, but could find no person willing to give it.

A quiet week followed. The tea-ships were nearing the harbor, and the journals were filled with political essays generally, strong, well put, and elevating in tone. Locke, in the "Boston Gazette," said: "It will be considered by Americans whether the _dernier ressort_, and only asylum for their liberties, is not an American Commonwealth." It was evident to the leaders on both sides, that a crisis was at hand. Hutchinson foresaw that this "would prove a more difficult affair than any which had preceded it;" and in his letters admits that the mass of the people acted in the conviction that their rights were invaded. Believing the supremacy of parliament was in issue, he determined, though standing almost alone, and in opposition to the advice of his political friends, to make no concession. In a letter written at this period, to Lord Dartmouth, Secretary for the Colonies, he describes, with minuteness, the state of political affairs. He says:

    ... "At present, the spirits of the people in the town of Boston are in a great ferment. Everything that has been in my power, without the Council, I have done, and continue to do, for the preservation of the peace and good order of the town. If I had the aid, which I think the Council might give, my endeavors would be more effective. They profess to disapprove of the tumultuous, violent proceedings of the people, but they wish to see the professed end of the people in such proceedings attained in the regular way; and, instead of joining with me in proper measures to discourage an opposition to the landing of the teas expected, one and another of the gentlemen, of the greatest influence, intimate that the best thing that can be done to quiet the people, would be the refusal of the gentlemen to whom the teas are consigned, to execute the trust; and they declare they would do it if it was their case, and would advise all their connexions to do it. Nor will they ever countenance a measure which shall tend to carry into execution an act of parliament which lays taxes upon the colonies, for the purpose of a revenue. The same principle prevails with by far the greater part of the merchants who, though in general they declare against mobs and violence, yet they as generally wish the tea may not be imported. The persons to whom the teas are consigned, declare that whilst they can be protected from violence to their persons, they will not give way to the unreasonable demands which have been made of them. I wish the vessels bound to New York may arrive before those designed to this Province. Governor Tryon I know to be well disposed to do his duty, and the people there are less disposed to any violent proceedings, as I have reason to think, than they are here, and an example of peace and good order there may have its influence here."

Samuel Adams, Hancock, Warren, Molineux and Young, the most prominent of the popular leaders, apprehended fully the responsibilities of the hour. They had a great principle to maintain, and the courage to uphold it. They knew that, though the people were with them, the failure to obtain the resignation of the consignees had inspired doubt in other quarters, as to whether Boston would meet the expectations of the patriots of other colonies. To such as questioned whether it was not premature to push matters to extremities, they replied, that if fidelity to the common cause was likely to bring on a quarrel with Great Britain, this was the best time for it to come. "Our credit," they said, "is at stake; we must venture, and unless we do, we shall be discarded by the Sons of Liberty in the other colonies, whose assistance we may expect, upon emergencies, in case they find us steady, resolute and faithful." With men like these "to the fore," though independence was scarcely dreamed of, revolution was a foregone conclusion.

Thomas Mifflin, an active patriot of Philadelphia, subsequently a general, and governor of Pennsylvania, when in Boston, said to some of these men, "will you engage that the tea shall not be landed? if so, I will answer for Philadelphia." And they pledged their honor that its landing should be prevented.

On November 11, Hutchinson issued the following order:

    "Massachusetts Bay. By the Governor.

    To Colonel John Hancock, Captain of the Governor's Company of Cadets, &c.