1768Citizens looking for customs official Samuel Fellows marched on the house of Jesse Saville.Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry

To help enforce the Townshend Acts, customs commissioners were put in place by the British to ensure that taxes were paid and goods were not smuggled into the colonies. Smuggling was common among colonists in remote areas like sparsely settled Cape Ann who resented the colonial government’s attempts at rigorous customs enforcement. Gloucester’s first customs official was Captain Samuel Fellows. Fellows had previously reported that the schooner Earl of Gloucester, owned by David Plummer, had smuggled molasses from the West Indies. When the ship returned to Gloucester, the Salem customs official seized the smuggled goods. Two days later, a large mob searched the home of Jesse Saville, looking for customs officer Samuel Fellows, who resided with Saville, but he had escaped the house.

Garland, Joseph E. Guns off Gloucester. 1st ed, Essex County Newspapers, 1975. Hawes, Charles Boardman. Gloucester, by Land and Sea the Story of a New England Seacoast Town. Little, Brown and Company, 1923. Tagney, Ronald N. A County in Revolution: Essex County at the Dawning of Independence. Cricket Press, 1976.
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