John Malcolm's Chunk of Skin
"{I wish to be made} a single Knight of the Tar . . . for I like the smell of it." -John Malcolm to King George III


John Malcolm's Tar and Feathering


Tarred and Feathered Chunk of Skin


Instigates fighting among a small group of people


Crowds will target the initial instigator of the fighting and tar and feather the person, then parade him around


Proximity to crowds of people, at least thirty

Collected by

J. Scott and F. Gary


Sun Tzu-28D





Date of Collection

September 2, 1932


A chunk of charred tarred and feathered skin from the Loyalist John Malcolm, kept in the original wooden box he placed it in.

Origin[edit | edit source]

John Malcolm (???-1788) was a customs agent for the British Empire in Boston during the time just before the American Revolution. Known for his hotheadedness, he often got into trouble during his time as a sea captain and army officer as well as his time as a customs agent. He had been tarred and feathered once before when he was a customs agent in Falmouth, Maine, though it wasn't as severe as usual, as they allowed him to keep his clothing on. The incident on the day and night of January 25, 1774 is the most famous public tarring and feathering incident to have occurred in the American colonies around the time of the American Revolution. The incident occurred because of an argument he had with a young boy and a man who tried to break them up, who was knocked unconscious by Malcolm. As word went around Boston during the afternoon, angry crowds arrived at his house in the evening, broke into his house and forcibly tarred and feathered him before parading him around the city.An excerpt of the Boston incident can be read here.

Effects[edit | edit source]

The chunk of skin, which peeled off the night of the incident, absorbed the feelings of the crowd and Malcolm's own stubbornness. The artifact, when in proximity to a group of at least thirty people, will trigger three of them to become involved in a fight. The remaining crowd will target the instigator of the fight and tar and feather the victim. They will then proceed to parade him around the town or city the incident takes place in for all to see.

Collection[edit | edit source]

Collected from Portsmouth, Maine after reports of a fight leading to the tarring and feathering of the instigator of the fight.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This artifact appears to have some relation to John Malcolm's Skin Wallet, though whether they were both born from the Boston incident or whether the wallet came from the Falmouth incident is still unclear. Regardless, the artifacts appear to remain calmer when placed near each other, most likely due to their shared origin of the same person.
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