The name of this bar & ordinary, The Brotherhood of Thieves, is taken from the
title of an 1844 pamphlet written on Nantucket by Stephen S. Foster. The pamphlet
vigorously attacked those who continued to support the institution of slavery, even
as the tide of abolition rose. Diversity and strong opinion have always found a
tolerant home on this island. During the Revolutionary War, Patriots, Tories,
and Quaker pacifists co-existed here and pleaded, unsuccessfully, for neutrality.
A unique spirit developed here, one based on uncompromising independence
and strength of character; a potent distillation of the early American genius
defined, as much as anyone, by Benjamin Franklin-Folger, the son of Abiah
Folger, and Maria Mitchell, a groundbreaker for women in American science.
Today, on Nantucket, the idea, rugged individualism, personal liberty, and the
fostering of eccentricity still exist and continues to thrive.