Some Account of the Proceedings of the People of New England from the Establishment of a Board of Customs in America to the Breaking out of the Rebellion in 1775 ... Ending with an Account of the Sufferings of the Commissioners of Customs : 1767 - 1776

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR H8H4A3
Category: Family
Creator: Hulton, Henry, 1732-1791.
Description: 1 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            Henry Hulton was born in 1732, the son of John Hulton, a merchant of Chester, England. As a young man he served as a comptroller in the British customs service in Antigua before being appointed in 1760 to the commission of inquiry to settle the accounts of contractor's in Germany.  In 1763, he was appointed Plantations Clerk to the Commissioners of the Board of Customs, and he served in London until 1767 when he was named principal commissioner to the new Board of Customs in America stationed in Boston. On 5 November 1767, Henry Hulton and two other commissioners arrived in Boston where they were joined by two commissioners already in America. A few weeks later Hulton's sister, Ann, along with his wife, the former Elizabeth Preston whom he had married in 1766, and his infant son Thomas, arrived from England. They settled first in Boston, but later purchased a house and eighteen acres in Brookline, Massachusetts. For nine years Henry Hulton served in America with the Board of Customs. During this time resentment against the Board and abuse of the members for the revenue policies they were required to enforce grew in intensity. Three times the Hulton family and other commissioners were forced to flee from the mobs for the safety of Castle William, a fortified island in Boston Harbour. As the crisis deepened, the Hultons witnessed the opening stages of the American Revolution, and after Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill they were evacuated to Halifax on 17 March 1776 with General Howe and the British forces. Ann Hulton had returned to England in 1775, but Elizabeth and the children remained until the evacuation. On 18 July 1776, the family sailed from Halifax on board the Aston Hall. For a time they lived in London but eventually settled on a farm near Andover, Hampshire, where Henry enjoyed the life of a gentleman farmer until his death on 14 February 1791.            
            Some Account of the Proceedings of the People of New England... was written by Henry Hulton and recounts his experiences in America from the time he left England in 1767 until his evacuation from Boston with the British forces in 1776. The Account is in book form and has seventeen chapters with a summary at the end. Each chapter deals with a specific subject or describes a particular situation. The Account begins with the establishment of the Board of Customs, and in the chapters that follow Hulton recounts the opposition to the revenue laws, the exertions of the government in support of its authority, the obstructions to the collecting of revenue, and the modes of resistence. There is a chapter on the departure of Governor Hutchinson in June of 1774, and another on the Proceedings of the People of Massachusetts Bay after the arrival of General Gage... 

One chapter is devoted to the Proceedings of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts Bay and the Continental Congress of Philadelphia, 1774. Instances of persecution in New England while the Country was in a State of Anarchy, 1774 are described in another chapter. The chronological summary of events which follows the last chapter is an eyewitness account of the situation in Massachusetts, and in Boston in particular, including the persecution faced by Henry Hulton, his family, and the other commissioners in the years leading up to the American Revolution and during the early stages of the conflict. The title of the section speaks for itself: A summary of the Persecutions and Distresses Undergone by the Commissioners of Customs in American from 1767 until 1776.
Originals: The original record is held by the Princeton University Library and is part of the Andre de Coppet Collection.
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Finding Aids:
            A hand written table of contents is located at the beginning of the reel. It lists the chapters by number, the page on which each chapter begins, and the titles of the chapters. Because the microfilm reproduction is so faint and difficult to read, the author of the Loyalist Collection Inventory has transcribed the list of contents and made it available in print with the Loyalist Collection Finding Aids.            
Electronic Finding Aid Record: Hulton, Henry 1732-1791 Document List.pdf
Notes: The title page at the beginning of the microfilm contains inaccurate information. The Account of the Proceedings... was written by Henry Hulton, not by Thomas Hulton.

Researchers may wish to read an article about Henry Hulton by Dr. Wallace Brown, Professor of History at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. The article is entitled An Englishman Views the American Revolution: The Letters of Henry Hulton, 1769-1776. Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol.36, November 1972-February 1973, pp. 1-12, 139-151.

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