Burning of the Peggy Stewart
brig Peggy Stewart, Captain Jackson, from London, having on board seventeen
packages, containing 2320 lb. of that detestable weed tea, arrived here on Friday
last. The tea was consigned to Thomas Charles Williams and company, merchants in
this city. Those of the committee for Anne-Arundel county who were in town,
hearing of the arrival of said vessel, met in the afternoon, and were informed
the said vessel had been entered in the forenoon of that day and the duty on the
tea paid to the collector by Mr. Anthony Stewart, one of the owners of said
Four only of the committee being present, it was thought adviseable to call a
meeting of the people.-- Notice was thereupon immediately given.-- Many of the
inhabitants, together with a number of gentlemen from Anne-Arundel, Baltimore,
and other counties, who were attending the provincial court, met, and having
called before them the importers and the Captain of the ship, together with the
deputy collector -- the question was moved and seconded, whether the tea should
be landed in America or not; and the question being put, was unanimously
determined in the negative. A committee of twelve persons was thereupon
appointed to attend landing the other goods on board said vessel, and to prevent
landing the tea. After which the meeting adjourned to Wednesday the 19th, at a
11 o'clock. At which time the members of the committee, and other the
inhabitants of the county, were requested to attend at this place. In
consequence of this adjournment, a great number of very respectable gentlemen
from Anne-Arundel, Baltimore, and Prince George's counties met here, and amongst
others, eight of the committee for Anne-Arundel County. Those of the committee
proceeded to examine into the affair, calling before them Messrs. James and
Joseph Williams, and Anthony Stewart, and also took into consideration, an offer
made by said William's and Stewart, to destroy the tea, and make such
concessions as might be satisfactory to the committee and the people assembled.
The committee were of opinion, if the tea was destroyed by the voluntary act of
the owners, and proper concessions made, that nothing further ought to be
required. This their opinion being reported to the assembly, was not
satisfactory to all present. Mr. Stewart then voluntarily offered to burn the
vessel and the tea in her, and that proper acknowledgements should be made and
published in the Maryland Gazette. Those acknowledgements were accordingly
After which Mr. Stewart, and Messrs. James and Joseph Williams, owners of
the tea, went on board said vessel with her sails and colours flying, and
voluntarily set fire to the tea, and in a few hours, the whole, together with
the vessel, was consumed in the presence of a great number of spectators.
Source: Annapolis, (Maryland) Oct. 20. The
brig Peggy Stewart, Captain from London having on board seventeen packages
containing 2320 lb of that detestable weed tea arrived here on Friday last
...[After making public acknowledgement] owners of the tea went on board said
vessel with her sails and colours flying, and voluntarily set fire to the tea
…[Annapolis: Printed by Anne Catharine Green, 1774].
National History Standards
Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the
History Standards for Grades 5-12:
Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation
Standard 1: The causes of
the American Revolution, the ideas and interests involved in forging the
revolutionary movement, and the reasons for the American victory
Standard 1A: The student understands the causes of the
5-12: Compare the arguments advanced by defenders and
opponents of the new imperial policy on the traditional rights of English people
and the legitimacy of asking the colonies to pay a share of the costs of empire.
[Consider multiple perspectives]
5-12: Reconstruct the chronology of the critical events leading to the
outbreak of armed conflict between the American colonies and England. [Establish
The Burning of the Peggy Stuart
ARTIST: Francis Blackwell Mayer (1827-1899)
SOURCE: Maryland Commission on Artistic Property Collection, MSA SC
REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives
brig Peggy Stewart, Captain from London having on board seventeen
packages containing 2320 lb of that detestable weed tea arrived
here on Friday last ...[After making public acknowledgement]
owners of the tea went on board said vessel with her sails and
colours flying, and voluntarily set fire to the tea.
CREATED/PUBLISHED: Annapolis: Printed by Anne Catharine Green,
American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other
TITLE: [An account of the events surrounding the burning of the Peggy
CREATED/PUBLISHED: October 20, 1774 in the Maryland Gazette
Force, American Archives, 4th series, vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: St.
Clair Clarke & Peter Force, 1837, pp. 885-86
REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 2221-2-11
TITLE: [Reprint of an article from
the London Publick Ledger of January 4, 1775 concerning the
burning of the Peggy Stewart]
CREATED/PUBLISHED: April 10, 1775 in the Maryland Gazette
SOURCE: Peter Force, American
Archives, 4th series, vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: St. Clair Clarke
& Peter Force, 1839, pp. 809-12
REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 2221-2-12
TITLE: [Newspaper article,
detailing the destruction of tea in Elizabeth Town, later Hagerstown,
in western Maryland]
CREATED/PUBLISHED: November 28, 1774, datelined Baltimore
SOURCE: Peter Force, American Archives,
4th series, vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: St. Clair Clarke & Peter
Force, 1837, pp. 1009-10
REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 2221-2-14
Rutland House, 207 Hanover St., Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, MD
ALTERNATE TITLE: Peggy Stewart House
CREATED/PUBLISHED: Documentation compiled after 1933.
NOTES: Survey number HABS MD-278.
Building/structure dates: Completed ca. 1764.
Building/structure dates: Altered 1894
American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record
REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
TITLE: [Photograph] Peggy
Stuart's [i.e. Stewart] house, Annapolis, Md.
NOTES: Also known as the Thomas Rutland House. Detroit
Publishing Co. no. 018498. Gift; State Historical Society of Colorado;
Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing
REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Additional Media Resources
that Sparked a Revolution. From the Hammond-Harwood House, Annapolis.
Additional Instructional Resources
Tea Parties. From UMBC Center for History Education, Teaching American
History Lesson Plans.
Who Burned the Peggy
Stewart? From UMBC Center for History Education, Teaching American History
Indignant Protest to Hesitant Revolutionaries: Maryland and the
American Revolution, 1765-1776, MSA SC 2221-1-2: Includes
issues of the Maryland Gazette at the time of the Stamp Act
Crisis. Also includes the account of the burning of the Peggy
Stewart, the Olive Branch Petition signed by three of Maryland's
signers of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson's original
draft of the Declaration of Independence, and letters from a
Maryland soldier at the Battle of Long Island.
Baltz, Shirley V. The Quays of the City: an Account of the Bustling
Eighteenth Century Port of Annapolis. Annapolis: The Liberty Tree, Ltd.,
Jenson, Ann Dowsett. The Story of an Annapolis Family
During the Revolutionary War. Annapolis: Sands House, 1993.
Skaggs, David Curtis. "Maryland's Impulse Toward Social Revolution:
1750-1776." The Journal of American History, Vol. 54, No. 4. (Mar.,
Smith, Melbourne and Gilmer, Thomas C. "The Colonial Brig Peggy
Stewart" Nautical Research Journal 19(4): 211-221.
Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations
|Maryland State House
Annapolis, MD 21401
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American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.
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This document packet was researched and developed by Nancy Bramucci.