The Colonial Tea Alarm of 1773

According to a November 1, 1773 letter from an officer in New York to his friend in London, seven weeks before the Boston Tea Party, :

All America is in a flame on account of Tea-Exportation. The New-Yorkers as well as the Bostonians and Philadelphians, are, it seems, determined that no Tea shall be landed. They have published a paper in numbers called the Alarm. It begins first with “Dear Countrymen,” and then goes on exhorting them to open their eyes, and like the Sons of Liberty throw off all connection with the tyrant their Mother Country. They have on this occasion raised a company of artillery, and every day almost are practicing at a target. Their independent companies are out at exercise every day. The minds of the lower people are inflamed by the examples of some of their principals. They swear that they will burn every ship that comes in; but I believe our six and twelve pounders, with the Royal Welsh Fuziliers, will prevent any thing of that kind.

The Alarm being referenced was a broadside authored by John Dickinson in which urged “Beware of the East-India Company.”

The exact excerpt from above, as published in the April 18, 1774 Dunlap’s Pennsylvania Packet, under the dateline London, January 25, appears below. Following are two more interesting letter extracts from the same newspaper that present excellent perspective and insight into the colonial (not just Boston) tension percolating in late 1773 and early 1774.

Also read Boston 1775’s “Boston Mobilizes Against the Tea“.


  1. gordonbelt (Gordon Belt)
    May 13, 2010

    Two excellent posts by @RagLinen 18th Century American Paper and The Colonial Tea Alarm of 1773

  2. woodpainter (William Allen)
    May 13, 2010

    RT @gordonbelt: Two excellent posts by @RagLinen 18th Century American Paper and The Colonial Tea Alarm of 1773

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