APPENDIX TO PART III
A LETTER FROM GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON NARRATING THE DOINGS OF THE MOB. TO RICHARD JACKSON. BOSTON, Aug. 30, 1765.
MY DEAR SIR, I came from my house at Milton, the 26 in the morning. After dinner it was whispered in town there would be a mob at night, and that Paxton, Hallowell, the custom-house, and admiralty officers' houses would be attacked; but my friends assured me that the rabble were satisfied with the insult I had received and that I was become rather popular. In the evening, whilst I was at supper and my children round me, somebody ran in and said the mob were coming. I directed my children to fly to a secure place, and shut up my house as I had done before, intending not to quit it; but my eldest daughter repented her leaving me, hastened back, and protested she would not quit the house unless I did. I could n't stand against this, and withdrew with her to a neighboring house, where I had been but a few minutes before the hellish crew fell upon my house with the rage of devils, and in a moment with axes split down the doors and entered. My son being in the great entry heard them cry: "Damn him, he is upstairs, we'll have him." Some ran immediately as high as the top of the house, others filled the rooms below and cellars, and others remained without the house to be employed there.
Messages soon came one after another to the house where I was, to inform me the mob were coming in pursuit of me, and I was obliged to retire through yards and gardens to a house more remote, where I remained until
4 o'clock, by which time one of the best finished houses in the Province had nothing remaining but the bare walls and floors. Not contented with tearing off all the wainscot and hangings, and splitting the doors to pieces, they beat down the partition walls; and although that alone cost them near two hours, they cut down the cupola or lanthorn, and they began to take the slate and boards from the roof, and were prevented only by the approaching daylight from a total demolition of the building. The garden. house was 1ait flat, and all my trees, etc., broke down to the ground.
Such ruin was never seen in America. Besides my plate and family pictures, household furniture of every kind, my own, my children's, and servants' apparel, they carried off about £900 sterling in money, and emptied the house of everything whatsoever, except a part of the kitchen furniture, not leaving a single book or paper in it, and have scattered or destroyed all the manuscripts and other papers I had been collecting for thirty years together, besides a great number of public papers in my custody. The evening being warm, I had undressed me and put on a thin camlet surtout over my waistcoat. The next morning, the weather being changed, I had not clothes enough in my possession to defend me from the cold, and was obliged to borrow from my friends. Many articles of clothing and a good part of my plate have since been picked up in different quarters of the town, lint the furniture in general was cut to pieces before it was thrown out of the house, and most of the beds cut open, and the feathers thrown out of the windows. The next evening, I intended with my children to Milton, but meeting two or three small parties of the ruffians, who I suppose had concealed themselves in the country, and my coachman hearing one of them say, "There he is!" my daughters were terrified and said they should never be safe, and I was forced to shelter them that night at the Castle.
The encouragers of the first mob never intended matters should go this length, and the people in general expressed the utter detestation of this unparalleled outrage, and I wish they could be convinced what infinite hazard there is of the most terrible consequences from such demons, when they are let loose in a government where there is not constant authority at hand sufficient to suppress them. I am told the government here will make me a compensation for my own and my family's loss, which I think cannot be much less than £3,000 sterling. I am not sure that they will. If they should not, it will be too heavy for me, and I must humbly apply to his majesty in whose service I am a sufferer; but this, and a much greater sum would be an insufficient compensation for the constant distress and anxiety of mind I have felt for some time past, and must feel for months to come. You cannot conceive the wretched state we are in. Such is the resentment of the people against the Stamp- Duty, that there can be no dependence upon the General Court to take any steps to enforce, or rather advise, to the payment of it. On the other hand, such will be the effects of not submitting to it, that all trade must cease, all courts fall, and all authority be at an end. Must not the ministry be excessively embarrassed? On the one hand, it will be said, if concessions are made, the Parliament endanger the loss of their authority over the Colony: on the other hand, if external forces should be used, there seems to be danger of a total lasting alienation of affection. Is there no alternative? May the infinitely wise God direct you.