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This Day in Boston History

January 31st, 1817

Massachusetts Peace Society

On this day the Massachusetts Peace Society called for the establishment of an international body to settle controversies between nations.

Founded by minister and writer Noah Worcester who held the group's meetings in his home, the Mass. Peace Society grew to include the most respected ministers, judges and other community leaders throughout the state. Similar societies were formed throughout New England and further west.

He is remembered beneath a memorial in the Mt. Auburn Cemetery which reads: "To Noah Worcester, D.D., erected by his friends, in commemoration of zealous labors in the cause of peace: and of the meekness, benignity and consistency of his character, as a Christian philanthropist and divine: "Speaking the Truth in Love."


England's Prime Minister never expected this tea tax to cause an outcry, let alone revolution. In 1767, England reduced its property taxes at home. To balance the national budget they needed to find a mechanism for the American colonies to pay for the expense of stationing officials in them. The officials would generate their own revenue by collecting taxes on all imported goods, and once paid affixing stamps on them. This Stamp Tax generated more in the way of protests and smuggling than added revenue.

Religion. Politics. Rebellion. Boston’s pedigree was forged back in England in the midst of religious dissension, where Puritans and Pilgrims sought religious reform, and Cavaliers and Roundheads vied for political power. The question isn't where did Boston get its name – but how.

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