The Loyal Nine was a political organization formed in 1765 by nine Bostonians who were angered by the Stamp Act. This well-organized group would evolve into the Sons of Liberty and would play a large role in that organization.
The Loyal Nine would meet at Speakman’s Distillery on Boston’s Dock Square or the “Liberty Tree” in Hanover Square (the tree was cut down by the British Loyalist Nathaniel Coffin in 1775). From there, they would plan their protests and actions against the British Government.
While loyalists accused them of using intimidation and violence, the group claimed they had everything planned so the protests would not get out of hand. One of The Loyal Nine’s most famous acts was probably their hanging of an effigy of Andrew Oliver, the Stamp Act Commissioner, from an elm tree in Boston Common on August 14, 1765.
That same month, The Loyal Nine merged with the Sons of Liberty, which had been founded by Samuel Adams. The Sons of Liberty was a more radical organization and likely the Loyal Nine’s experience in planning and carrying out protests was a valuable asset to the Sons of Liberty.
The members of the Loyal Nine
The members of the Loyal Nine were; John Avery, Henry Bass, Thomas Crafts, Benjamin Edes, Thomas Chase, Stephen Cleverly, Joseph Field, John Smith, and George Trott. These men would go on to become an integral part of the American Revolution.
John Avery Jr. was a Boston distiller and politician who served as the first Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Henry Bass was a Boston jeweler and a cousin of Samuel Adams. It is said that he participated in the Boston Tea Party.
Thomas Crafts was a decorative painter “japanner” and Freemason and member of the Sons of Liberty. Even though he was accused of being a tory, he was instrumental in organizing and participating in the Boston Tea Party.
Benjamin Edes was a printer of the Boston Gazette as well as a political agitator. He was a Sons of Liberty member and published many of their pamphlets that were not only critical of the British government but helped garner support for the Patriot movement.
Thomas Chase was a Boston distiller, a Free Mason, and an organizer of the Boston Tea Party, Stephen Cleverly was a Boston brazier, Joseph Field was a Boston ship captain, John Smith was a Boston brazier, and George Trott was a jeweler.
Terms Used in the 18th Century:
In the 18th century; a distiller was someone who manufactured distilled beverages, a brazier was a worker who made or sold brass goods, a jeweler made or sold jewelry, a printer operated a printing press, a “japanner” was someone who copied or imitated Japanese lacquer work, and a ship captain was responsible for the safety of the vessel and its crew. He also oversaw the navigation and cargo of the ship.
The Stamp Act: a law passed by the British Parliament in 1765 that required all printed materials in the colonies to carry a tax stamp
The term “Loyalist” was used in the 18th century to describe someone who was supportive of the British government during the American Revolution.
The term “Patriot” was used in the 18th century to describe someone who supported the independence of the United States.
The term “Tory” was used in the 18th century to describe people who were loyal to the British Crown. These people were often seen as enemies of the Patriot cause.
The term “colonist” was used in the 18th century to describe someone who lived in one of the British colonies in North America.
The term “Political Agitator” was used in the 18th century to describe someone who stirred up public opinion on political issues. These people were often seen as a threat to the established government.
The term “Free Man” was used in the 18th century to describe a man who was not a slave. A Free Man had certain rights and privileges that were not afforded to slaves.
The term “Freemason” was used in the 18th century to describe a man who was a member of the Freemasons. The Freemasons were a secret society that was believed to have originated in the 16th century. Freemasons were often seen as a threat to the established government.
The term “Liberty Tree” was used in the 18th century to describe a tree that was used as a symbol of the Patriot cause. The Liberty Tree was often decorated with patriotic slogans and symbols. It was a place where speeches and rallies were held. The most famous Liberty Tree was an elm tree in Boston Common.
The flag of the Sons of Liberty was a simple design consisting of nine red and white stripes. The flag was often flown from the Liberty Tree.
Be sure to check out our other blog posts such as – The American Revolution: A Comprehensive History or The March To Independence – A Timeline of the American Revolution