Before Longman could respond to Hancock and furnish him the power of attorney, Mein had his run-in with the Boston mob and had to flee Boston for London. Longman then executed a power of attorney, had Wright &Gill execute one too and forwarded the documents to Hancock in Boston. They arrived on 1 March 1770 and, that very day, John Adams, acting as attorney for Hancock in this matter, filled out the appropriate writs and had the Deputy Sheriff seize Mein's property, which included his stock of books and, most importantly, "Seven frames on which are sixty-five cases with the types &c. Two Printing Presses with all the Materials thereto, and "One Composing Stone."
|John Adams - 1766|
Mein was later confined to a debtors prison in London and assisted the British government in writing propaganda against his old enemies in Boston. He then fades from history. Fleeming attempted to keep the Chronicle going but finally had to cease publication with the edition of June 25, 1770, for a lack of patronage.
That the Boston Chronicle was the best newspaper technically in New England and the most ambitious endeavor in newspaper printing that the colonies had yet seen, there is little doubt. It was the best printed and cheapest paper in the colonies. It often printed 1500 copies each week and was frequently oversold. It was only when Mein decided to attack the Boston merchants that its troubles started. Mein's motivations will never be certain. Some writers have recently stated that the Chronicle was started as a government propaganda tool, but I doubt that. Fleeming was a gifted printer and the partners had a technically superior product that was unrivalled in its typographical appearance. Mein, perhaps out of conviction or personality or both, decided to take on the Boston merchants and he soon found himself riding a tiger he could not control.