Queen Anne Chair: The Adam Collson Chair: The Chair of Liberty For Sale
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Queen Anne Chair: The Adam Collson Chair: The Chair of Liberty:
The Collson Chair: The Chair of Liberty
“The harbor willbe a teapot tonight!” Adam Collson, oneof the principal patriots involved in the Boston Tea Party, is credited withshouting this proclamation to the rooftops on December 16, 1773 as theparticipants in the open rebellion, dressed as Mohawk Indians, took over the threeships in Boston Harbor in protest of the encroaching taxation policies of theBritish Government.
This act of defiance to the British rule wasconsidered treason, and those who were found guilty would be quicklyhanged. The band of patriots were knownas the “Sons of Liberty,” and they were sworn to secrecy as they often met inthe small leather shop on King Street (now known as Washington Street) owned byAdam Collson. One of Adam Collson’s mostprized possessions was this hand-carved Queen Anne chair, and this beautifulchair was a silent-witnesses to history as plans were made to overcome thetyranny and oppression of British rule.
When Adam Collson returned from his escapades in the BostonTea Party, his shoes were filled with tea, and the excitement on his faceproclaimed the whole story, but it was a story whose participants were nevermentioned, because if their names got out, they would be killed. So great was the secret that even 70 years later,long after Adam Collson had died, his widow, Christian, at the age of 97 wouldonly mention what happened during the Boston Tea Party to her closest friend,and even then she would admonish him: “Back in those days we didn’t tell youngboys about this!”
Adam Collson left this Queen Anne chair to his sisterHannah, who was married to Lt. Timothy Lyman, an active participant in theRevolutionary War. Upon her death in1818, Hannah left the Collson chair to her daughter, Abigail Lyman, who died in1868. The Collson chair was passedthrough the family, from Abigail to her daughter, Rosamond H. Pierce, who diedin 1911, leaving the chair to her daughter, Flora Rosemond Parish (mother ofCatherine Lee Clark Tobin, first wife of Frank Lloyd Wright). When Flora died in 1916, she left the Collsonchair to her son, Arthur Collson Tobin.Arthur died in 1940, and his widow, Helen Roche Tobin (daughter of JohnA. Roche, 30th Mayor of Chicago) who presented the chair to herdaughter, Helen Martha Tobin Hoke. Upon herdeath in 1971, Martha willed the chair to her son, Thad Collson Hoke.
If the Collson chair could talk, how many wonderfulstories it might tell! How many of theSons of Liberty enjoyed the comfort and ambiance of this fine chair as theycreated the spark to ignite the flames of revolution, resulting in the UnitedStates of America?
Rebuilt in Chicago in 1918 by a Frenchman, restorer,Jean B. Hassewer, the Collson chair remains a priceless witness to the creationof our country, and without a doubt it can be called: “The Chair of Liberty” and it is not just another chair any more than the Statue of Liberty is justanother statue. Instead it is a vividreminder of Adam Collson, a patriot wholoved his country so much he was willing to die for the right to be free.