The Massachusetts Circular Letter was a statement written by Samuel Adams and James Otis Jr., and passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives on February 11, 1768 in response to the Townshend Acts. In the course of a year, the letter was received by assemblies throughout the Colonies. The letter greatly disturbed Parliament, and Governor Bernard was ordered to demand that the vote of the House should be rescinded, under penalty of his dissolving the General Court.
Dr. John Calef represented the town of Ipswich in the General Court, but was among only seventeen members of the Massachusetts Assembly who voted to retract the Circular Letter. Paul Revere responded with a print entitled “A Warm Place Hell,” showing the devil with a pitchfork pushing the 17 men into the mouth of Hell. Dr. John Calef is represented in the engraving with a calf’s head. Anger by Ipswich citizens at Calef’s vote resulted in his replacement in the assembly by General Michael Farley. During the Revolution, Calef fled to Ft. George at Penobscot.
- Engraving of Faneuil-Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, March 1789
- Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Library
- Robertson, William: The History of America … A New Edition
- Tracy, Cyrus Mason: Standard History of Essex County, Massachusetts
- Colonial Society of Massachusetts
- Boston 1775