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Lot 0080
Colonial America
1773 Colonial Boston Nathaniel Barber a Boston Tea Party Participant Document Signed by Loyalist John Erving, Jr.
January 18, 1773-Dated Colonial Era, Partly-Printed Fiscal Interest Bearing Insurance Document Payable unto Nathaniel Barber (Patriot & Boston Tea Party Participant), Signed, “John Erving, Jr.” (British Loyalist), Boston, Choice Very Fine.
An original Partly-Printed Document, 1 page, 5.5” x 4.75”, Boston, (MA). Being a previously not seen, this potential Interest bearing premium on an insurance policy printed form on laid period paper, completed and Signed, “John Erving, Jr.” A remarkable combination of two businessmen, one an American Patriot and the other a British Loyalist to the King. “Promise to pay to Nathaniel Barber, or Bearer” 1773 Premium of Insurance note. Likely to insure cargo of a ship. Regardless, this is the earliest American Insurance related piece we’ve had. This 1773 American, Boston issued private Insurance Document reads, in full:

“We Promise to pay unto Nathaniel Barber, or Bearer, Eighteen Pounds three Shillings Lawful Money on Demand, being for Value received by a Premium of Insurance on £. 600 underwrote in said Barber’s Office, on Policy No. 1669. And if said Sum is not paid in Sixty Days, We promise to allow and pay lawful Interst for the same from the Date hereof, until paid. - (Signed) John Erving Jr”.

Docket on its blank reverse reads, in full: “Note - £18.3 - John Erving Jr. prem insurance to Nathl. Barber - Jany 18, 1773”.

Nathaniel Barber was an active businessman in Boston at the time of the “Boston Massacre” of 1770, and an active “Tea Party” Participant. The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the “Sons of Liberty” in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773. In defiance of the British “Tea Act” of May 10, 1773, the demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company. They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution. The Tea Party became an iconic event of American history, and since then other political protests such as the Tea Party movement have referred to themselves as historical successors to the Boston protest of 1773.
Colonel John Erving, Jr. (1728-1816), Boston merchant, was the son of John (1697-1787) and Abigail (Phillips) Erving. A 1747 graduate of Harvard College, he married in 1754 Maria Catherina Shirley, daughter of Governor William and Frances (Baker) Shirley. Their sons were Shirley and John. For a while an active Whig, he served as a justice of the peace (1756) and in 1768 served with John Hancock on a committee to enforce the British Mandated Pre-Revolutionary War Embargo.

Later, however, he and his brother George were appointed to the "Mandamus Council," a Boston council charged with upholding the authority of the British monarch. He moved to Halifax and later to England. With his brother George, he was proscribed by an Act of 1778 and his property confiscated. He later died in England.

Nathaniel Barber, born in 1728, was a “Boston Tea Party” participant, a Mason, a Major at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in 1775, the Muster Master for Suffolk County, Commissary of Boston’s military stores until 1781, and State Naval Officer of Boston. Towards the end of the Revolutionary War, the Patriots were trying to decide what to do with all the Loyalists still residing in America. Samuel Adams and Barber had such a correspondence over this issue.

The two-part manuscript of their letters of correspondence is comprised of a 1783 Town of Boston “Resolve” and a corresponding cover letter from the Boston Committee of Correspondence. These letters are both signed by chairman Nathaniel Barber, who later died in 1787, and is buried in the Old Burial Ground in Boston.

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773.

In defiance of the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, the demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company. They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution. The Tea Party became an iconic event of American history, and since then other political protests such as the Tea Party movement have referred to themselves as historical successors to the Boston protest of 1773.

The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, which had been passed by the British Parliament in 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act because they believed that it violated their rights as Englishmen to "no taxation without representation", that is, to be taxed only by their own elected representatives and not by a British parliament in which they were not represented. In addition, the well-connected East India Company had been granted competitive advantages over colonial tea importers, who resented the move and feared additional infringement on their business.

Protesters had successfully prevented the unloading of taxed tea in three other colonies, but in Boston, embattled Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain.

The Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the growth of the American Revolution. Parliament responded in 1774 with the Coercive Acts, or Intolerable Acts, which, among other provisions, ended local self-government in Massachusetts and closed Boston's commerce.

Colonists up and down the Thirteen Colonies in turn responded to the Coercive Acts with additional acts of protest, and by convening the First Continental Congress, which petitioned the British monarch for repeal of the acts and coordinated colonial resistance to them. The crisis escalated, and the American Revolutionary War began near Boston in 1775.

Starting Bid

$600.00

Buyer's Premium

  • 25%

1773 Early American Premium of Insurance Note

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Estimate $1,000 - $2,000
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