In 1796 the Stamp Tax wreaked havoc with the businesses in Salem. In "Salem in the Eighteenth Century" by Phillips he outlines this
time period in Salem.
In September of 1796, during the run-up to the Revolution, Tomas Row told the custom officers that a vessel in the harbor
was preparing to evade payment of duties. He was taken from one of the wharves to the Common, covered with warm tar and plastered with
feathers. He was seated on a cart with placards inscribed "Informer" on back an chest while dragged through town.
At upper Essex Street he was allowed to get down, the mob opened right and left and he walked through while a live goose was constantly
hurled at him.
On Sept. 7th one Robert Wood was charge with an informer. He was also tarred and feathered and driven through the streets.
Salem in the Eighteenth Century by Phillips, p. 296-7