Philadelphia Resolutions Against the Tea Act, Text

October 16, 1773 — Sons of Liberty

The Sons of Liberty in Philadelphia held a meeting on October 16. 1773, to discuss how to respond to the Tea Act. The group passed eight resolutions, which were printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette on October 20, 1773. It was the first public protest made against the provisions of the Tea Act.

Benjamin Rush, Illustration

Benjamin Rush was a member of the Philadelphia Sons of Liberty and helped organize a meeting to discuss how they should respond to the Tea Act. The Resolutions were published by Benjamin Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette on October 20, 1773. Image Source: New York Public Library.

1. That the disposal of their own property is the inherent right of freemen; that there can be no property in that which another can, of right, take from us without our consent; that the claim of Parliament to tax America is, in other words, a claim of right to levy contributions on us at pleasure.

2. That the duty imposed by Parliament upon tea landed in America is a tax on the Americans, or levying contributions on them without their consent.

3. That the express purpose for which the tax is levied on the Americans, namely for the support of government, administration of justice, and defence of his Majesty’, dominions in America, has a direct tendency to render assemblies useless and to introduce arbitrary government and slavery.

4. That a virtuous and steady opposition to this ministerial plan of governing America is absolutely necessary to preserve even the shadow of liberty and is a duty which every freeman in America owes to his country, to himself, and to his posterity.

5. That the resolutions lately entered into by the East India Company to send out their tea to America, subject to the payment of duties on its being landed here, is an open attempt to enforce this ministerial plan and a violent attack upon the liberties of America.

6. That it is the duty of every American to oppose this attempt.

7. That whoever shall, directly or indirectly, countenance this attempt or in any wise aid or abet in unloading, receiving, or vending the tea sent or to be sent out by the East India Company while it remains subject to the payment of a duty here, is an enemy to his country.

8. That a committee be immediately chosen to wait on those gentlemen who, it is reported, are appointed by the East India Company to receive and sell said tea and request them, from a regard to their own characters and the peace and good order of the city and province, immediately to resign their appointment.