WILLIAMSBURG, November 24, 1774.
It gives me much concern to find that I have incurred the displeasure of the York and Gloucester committees, and thereby of the public in general, for my omission in not countermanding the order which I sent to Mr. Norton for two half chests of tea; and do with truth declare, that I had not the least intention to give offence, nor did I mean an opposition to any measure for the public good. My countrymen, therefore, it is earnestly hoped, will readily forgive me for an act which may be interpreted so much to my discredit; but I again make this public declaration, that I had not the least design to act contrary to those principles which ought to govern every individual who has a just regard for the rights and liberties of America. JOHN PRENTIS.
Virginia Gazette (Pinkney) November 24, 1774
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About this entry:
John Prentis, a respected merchant, public servant and patriot was the victim of over-zealous patriots who destroyed the two chests of tea after their arrival in Virginia. The tea had been ordered before the non-importation agreements went into effect. Prentis was later cleared of any charges of disloyalty. This incident is an example of the length of time between placing an order with a supplier in London and the actual time of arrival of the goods in Virginia, and how an innocent merchant was villified for circumstances beyond his control.