A letter written in 1765, following rioting in Boston protesting the Stamp Act
Dr. Elisha Story
To describe the actions of the mob and to express sympathy for those whose houses were ransacked.
Almay's letter provides a very detailed, eyewitness account of the rioting in Boston.
To Doctor Elisha Story, Boston
Newport Aug't. 29th 1765. Thursday
My Worthy friend, . . . I'll just inform you Concerning Mr. Martin Howard Junior and Doctor Moffat, who was just hung in Effigy with the Stamp Master. Mr. Howard and the Doctor you must know have made themselves very Busy with their Pen (By all accounts) In Writing Against the Colonies and in Favor of the Stamp Act etc.
In the Morning of the 27th Inst. Between five and six a Mob Assembles and Erected a Gallows near the Town House and then Dispersed, and about Ten A Clock Reassembled and took the Effigies of the Above Men and the Stamp Master and Carted them up Thames Street, then up King Street to the said Gallows where they was hung up by the Neck and suspended near 15 feet in the Air, And on the Breast of the Stamp Master' was this inscription THE STAMP MAN, and holding in his Right hand the Stamp Act, And upon the Breast of the Doctor was wrote, THAT INFAMOUS, MISCREATED, LEERING JACOBITE DOCTOR MURFY in Rhode Island, And on the Same Arm was Wrote, If I had but Rec'd this letter from Earl of Butte But One Week sooner. And upon a strip of peper hanging out of his Mouth was wrote It is too late Marinius to Retaract, for we are all Aground.
And upon Mr. Howard's Breast was wrote, THAT FAWNING, INSISIOUS, INFAMOUS MISCREANT AND PARACIDE MARTINIUS SCRIBLERIUS, and upon his Right Arm was wrote, THE ONLY FINIFAL PEN. Upon his left Arm was wrote, CURS'D AMBITION AND YOUR CURSED CLAN HAS RUIN'D INDEPENDENCE-POSTERITY WILL CURSE MY MEMORY….And about five A Clock in the Afternoon they made a Fire under the Gallows which Consumed the Effigy's Gallows and all, to Ashes. I forgot to tell you that a boot hung over the Doctor's Shoulder with the Devil Peeping out of it etc. . . . And after the Effigys were Burnt the Mob Dispersed and we thought it was all Over. But last Night about Dusk they all Mustered again and first they went to Martin Howard's and Broke Every Window in his House Frames and all, likewise Chairs Tables, Pictures and everything they could come across. They also sawed down two trees which Stood before his door . . . When they found they had Entirely Demolished all his furniture and done what damage they Could, they left the house and Proceeded to Doctor Moffatts where they Behaved much in the Manner. I Can't say which Came off the Worst, For all the Furniture of Both Houses were entirely Destroyed, Petitions of the houses broke down, Fences Leveled with the ground and all the Liquors which were in both Houses were Entirely Lost. Dear Doctor this Moment I've Received a peace of News which Effects me so Much the I Cant write and More, which is the Demolition of your Worthy Daddy's house and Furniture, etc. But I must Just let you know the Stamp Master has Resigned, the Copy of His Resignation and oath I now Send you. I hope, my Friend You'll send me the Particulars of your daddy's Misfortune.
Yours for Ever W. ALMY