The Cause of the Revolution
By "The Old Burgess"
From the Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald
Friday Morning, July 3, 1818

"It so happened then, you must know, that my Lord and Lady Dunmore, and their family, came to pay a visit to Norfolk; (some time in the year 1774, I think, tho' I won't be sure) and our people turned out to receive 'em in style. Indeed you never saw such a fuss as we made. Our parade on the late visit of our good President, was nothing to it. For then, you know, we were all royalists, all the King's subjects, (tho' we were beginning to feel a little mannish about our rights) and we thought we couldn't do too much to honor our guests. So among other things, we made 'em a grand ball at the old Masons Hall, (which stood where Col Sharp now lives) and all the gentry of our town were there of course. And besides, we had sent off an express to Princess Anne for Col. Moseley, who was reckoned the finest gentleman we had, to come to town with his famous wig and shining buckles, to dance the minuet with my lady--for our poor Mayor, Captain Abyvon, was afraid to venture upon such a thing. And there too we had all the British navy officers, Capt. Montague, and the rest, with their heads powdered as white as they could be. What was best of all, all our pretty girls, far and near, came out to grace the scene. So, by and by, the fiddles struck up; and there went my Lady Dunmore in the minuet, sailing about the room in her great, fine, hoop-petticoat, (her new fashioned air balloon as I called it) and Col Moseley after her, wig and all. Indeed he did his best to overtake her I believe; but little puss was too cunning for him this time, and kept turning and doubling upon him so often, that she flung him out several times, (at least by his looks, he was on a wrong scent more than once) and he couldn't come near her to save him. Bless her heart, how cleverly she managed her hoop--now this way, now that-- every body was delighted. Indeed, we all agreed that she was a lady sure enough, and that we had never seen dancing before--After this our Lord Mayor was obliged to take out Lady Catherine for another minuet. But the poor Captain was laboring hard in a heavy sea all the time, and, I dare say, was glad enough when he got safe moored in his seat. Then Capt Montague took out Lady Susan--and I remember the little jade made a mighty pretty cheese with her hoop. Then came the reels; and here our Norfolk lads and lasses turned in with all their hearts and heels. This was my cue, and I led out my sweetheart, Nancy Wimble, in my best style, resolved to show all the sprigs of nobility what we Buckskins could do. In fact I believe I cut some wonderful capers sure enough--for I heard the young British dogs tittering on one side; and I suppose they were laughing at me. However I didn't care a button for them myself, and as for Nancy, I am sure she might have danced before the Queen. It is true, she hadn't a hoop then; but she didn't want one to set her off. At least, more besides me thought her quite charming; and even the British gentry allowed that she was pretty enough. Indeed she pleased some of 'em a little too well, as I found to my cost. Among the rest, a young Cockney, a marine officer, who was there in his red coat, (of flannel or some such thing) got quite smit with her, and had the impudence to clap the court upon her before my eyes--and there he laughed and talked with her about London, the King, and all such nonsense: danced with her every time, and even managed to get her for the country dance, tho' I thought I had engaged her long before. To say the truth, I believe the poor girl hardly knew what she did, she was so flattered and wheedled, and made a fool of by her red coat gallant. Indeed I soon learned that she thought him worth two of me: and when she saw my Lady Dunmore call him to her, and tap him on the shoulder with her fan, it was really too much for her heart. In short, I was cut out, and cut down--and stole away from the ball with a flea in my ear. From this time, I saw plainly there was no chance for me. In deed I could never get near her again: for the dashing officer was with her all weathers, and there was very little room between 'em, you see. Then she took to reading novels, and got a new hoop petticoat to make her a Lady, and began to study what she could say when she came to stand before the king."

Some years ago the Editor crossed the Atlantic, and the doctor of the ship, a Nova Scotian, asked him if he did not think that the Boston girls caring more for the British officers than they did for the Boston gallants brought on the Revolution. He said he had always read that it was the tax on tea, but that he had seen enough in Halifax to convince him that the officers and the girls and not the tax on the tea were the cause.