Capt. Peleg Clarke (1734-1803) of Newport spent the better part of 1773 on the ship Fletcher sailing from Newport to Africa, then to Jamaica, then to London, and was on the final leg of his triangular voyage back to New England.
Loaded with a cargo of molasses, hemp, canvas and a few crates of tea, Clarke innocently sailed into Boston Harbor on 27 November 1773 during the riots that preceded the Boston Tea Party. His letter to his London agent John Fletcher vividly describes the sacking of East India Company agent Richard Clarke’s house and the promise of additional bloodshed if his cargos of tea were allowed to land. Peleg Clarke did manage to unload his own tea, at a loss, and sailed to Newport on 16 December.