To the Ladies

In the year 1768, the people of Boston resolved that they would not import any tea, glass, paper, or other commodities commonly brought from Great Britain, until the act imposing duties upon all such articles should be repealed. This poetical appeal to the ladies of the country, to lend a "helping hand" for the furtherance of that resolution, appeared in the Boston News Letter, anonymously.


YOUNG ladies in town, and those that live round,
Let a friend at this season advise you;
Since money's so scarce, and times growing worse,
Strange things may soon hap and surprise you.

First, then, throw aside your topknots of pride;
Wear none but your own country linen;
of economy boast, let your pride be the most
To show clothes of your own make and spinning. 1

What if homespun they say is not quite so gay
As brocades, yet be not in a passion,
For when once it is known this is much worn in town,
One and all will cry out - 'Tis the fashion!

And, as one, all agree, that you'll not married be
To such as will wear London factory,
But at first sight refuse, tell 'em such you will choose
As encourage our own manufactory.

No more ribbons wear, nor in rich silks appear;
Love your country much better than fine things
Begin without passion, 'twill soon be the fashion
To grace your smooth locks with a twine string,

Throw aside your Bohea, and your Green Hyson tea,
And all things with a new-fashion duty;
Procure a good store of the choice Labrador,
For there'll soon be enough here to suit you.

These do without fear, and to all you'll appear,
Fair, charming, true, lovely and clever;
Though the times remain darkish, young men may be sparkish,
And love you much stronger than ever.

Then make yourselves easy, for no one will teaze ye,
Nor tax you, if chancing to sneer,
At the sense-ridden tools, who think us all fools;
But they'll find the reverse far and near.

1 "To show clothes of your own make and spinning." About this time a party of young ladies, calling themselves "Daughters of Liberty," met at the house of "a distinguished minister, in Boston, where they amused themselves with spinning two hundred and thirty-two skeins of yarn, some very fine, which were given to the worthy pastor, several of the party being members of his congregation. The party was concluded with many agreeable tunes, anthems and liberty songs, with great judgment; fine voices performing, which were animated, in all their several parts, by a number of the Sons of Liberty." The following quotation, from Murray's United States, shows the effect such resolutions and actions had upon the trade of England with the Colonies. The exports from England, which, "in 1768 amounted to $11,890,000, declined, in 1769, to $8,170,000."