Songs & Ballads Of the American Revolution

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20                                    LIBERTY TREE.
From the east to the west blow the trumpet to arms.
Thro' the land let the sound of it flee, Let the far and the near, all unite with a cheer,
In defence of our Liberty Tree.
1 Liberty Tree. During the Stamp Act excitement there arose a practice of signifying public sentiment in a very effectual way; though without any responsible agent, unless the inanimate Liberty Tree may be so considered. This tree was a majestic elm that stood in front of a house opposite the Boylston market, on the edge of the "High street," in the town of Boston. On the 14th of August, 1765, an effigy representing Andrew Oliver, a gentleman ap­pointed to distribute the stamps, was found hanging vipon this tree, with a paper before it, on which was written in large characters,
" Fair freedom's glorious cause I've meanly quitted,
For the sake of pelf; But ah ! the Devil has me outwitted, And instead of stamping others, I've hang'd myself.
" P. S. Whoever takes this down is an enemy to his country." On the right arm was written "A. 0." and on the left,
" What greater pleasure can there he, Than to see a stump man hanging on a tree! "
On another part of the tree a boot was suspended : the emblem of the Earl of Bute, first Lord of the Treasury, from which the devil, with the Stamp Act in his hand, was looking out. Chief Justice (afterwards governor) Hutchinson, directed the sheriff to remove this exhibition, but his deputies, from a fear of the popidar feeling, declined. In the evening the figures were taken down by the people and carried in procession through the streets. After demolishing the stamp-office, in State street, they proceeded to Fort

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III