A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere

By Jayne E. Triber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
A TRUE REPUBLICAN

THE UNITY OF BOSTON'S artisans in support of the Constitution in 1788 dissolved little more than a year later. In the lieutenant governor's election of 1789, artisans divided their votes between Benjamin Lincoln, the Federalist candidate, and Samuel Adams, the victorious candidate, who ran as a moderate "friend of the people." In December, Fisher Ames, "a firm decided FEDERALIST," carried Boston by a narrow margin in his congressional victory over Samuel Adams. Followers of both candidates sought the backing of Boston's artisans, who once again split their vote. In the spring of 1789 the Federalist Paul Revere and the Anti-Federalist Benjamin Austin Jr. joined forces in the revived Association of Trademen and Manufacturers in hopes of organizing artisans throughout the country to gain congressional protection for domestic manufactures, but their alliance was brief On May 6 the association voted to petition Congress for protective tariff legislation, but Paul Revere never signed the petition, and the association seems to have broken up soon after.1

To discuss the "artisan community" or a "mechanic ideology" obscures the differences in status, wealth, occupation, and ideology among artisans in Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary America. Dr. Joseph Warren and Samuel Adams knew that Ebenezer Mclntosh and the mob of artisans and mariners who demolished Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson's mansion in 1765 or the rowdy journeymen ropemakers and apprentices involved in the Boston Massacre were a different breed from Paul Revere and the master artisans of the North End Caucus. In 1788 Boston artisans were momentarily united by pride in their identity as producers of useful goods for their fellow citizens, remembrance of their "attachment to the principles of the Revolution," and faith in the proposed na

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