February 10, 1770 – A group of patriotic ladies arrived at the City Hall at the intersection of Wall and Broad Streets with a saddle (loin) of venison stamped with the number 45 and presented it to an inmate in the basement jail.
The prisoner was Captain Alexander McDougal, leader of the NY Sons of Liberty, who, the previous December, was arrested for writing a broadside that exposed corruption in the NY colonial assembly. McDougal’s arrest warrant was #45, which had other significance for the Sons of Liberty, (https://patriottoursnyc.com/wilkes-liberty-and-45/).
In total, McDougal spent four months in jail, with supporters cheering for him daily. They often brought rum and toasted 45 times, or cheered 45 times, or, on one occasion, brought 45 virgins dressed in white to sing the 45th Psalm. He emerged a hero when the only witness to his authorship of the broadside died in his sleep causing all charged to be dropped.
Hip Hip Huzzah!
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