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 on Nantucket, one based on uncompromising independence and strength of character. It's a potent distillation of the early American genius defined, as much as anyone, by Benjamin Franklin-Folger, Nantucket's first genealogist, and Maria Mitchell, a groundbreaker for women in American science and astronomy. Today, on Nantucket, the ideas of rugged individualism, personal liberty, and the fostering of eccentricity still exist and continue to thrive. The name of this restaurant, The Brotherhood of Thieves, honors these Nantucket traditions and ideals.