PEARL LEONA STURGIS·FRIDAY, Febuary 19, 2016
The Patriots Daily Bites of American History Series # 8
Parliament closes the Boston Port and places a Military Governor over the people:
From US History teacher Gregory Dixon’s manuscript 1956 The first Continental Congress: Action of Massachusetts:
When Parliament heard of the destruction of the tea the wrath of the king’s party rose to white heat! They passed a law (1774) which closed the port of Boston to all trade until the people should pay for the tea and make humble submission to the king.
A second law took the government entirely out of the hands of the people and put the colony under the rule of General Gage who was sent from England to Boston with several regiments of soldiers. Two other arbitrary measures enacted by Parliament compelled the “Intolerable Acts” as the Americans called them. Patrick Henry of Virginia was so indignant of the treatment of Massachusetts that he said in the Virginia Convention: “There is no longer anymore room for hope! We must fight! I repeat sir! We must fight!
The Committee of Correspondence had prepared the colonies for united action and a Continental of General Congress, the first ever held in America, met in Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to consider what course the colonies should take. The spirit of that congress was unmistakable. It was perfectly calm, perfectly respectable but perfectly determined! the delegates who met there, of whom George Washington was one, did not demand representation in Parliament.
They were beyond that! They demanded the right to levy all taxes and make all laws in their own colonial assemblies, except those respecting foreign commerce. This same congress in 1774 sent a petition to the king imploring him to do what our loving Father God of all the people would do and redress these wrongs. They might as well have petitioned the Great Stone Face in the mountains of New Hampshire! Not long after this Massachusetts sets up a government quite independent of the military rule of General Gage and made John Hancock head.
He was an influential merchant of Boston. massachusetts had possessed an independent government ever since 1773 when Governor Hutchinson had refused to convene a legislature to settle the question of how the judges’ salaries should be paid. Then Samuel Adams organized a committee of correspondence by means of which the towns could consult on all public matters by letter.
This method had been extended by Virginia in 1773 to other colonies and they prepared the way for calling a Continental Congress. The colonies next raised 12000 volunteers of which one third were minute men. (ready to march or fight in a minute’s notice.) The spirit of liberty was universal, as a South Carolina newspaper said: “ONE SOUL ANIMATES ONE MILLION BRAVE AMERICANS EXTENDED OVER A LONG TRACT OF THREE THOUSAND MILES!”
(to be continued)
The War Begins:
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