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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2

This note contained in document ADMS-05-02-02-0009-0001-0003
16. The so-called Continental Association was “a non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement” bridging the gap between the earlier colonial nonimportation agreements and the Declaration of Independence, and seeking to force British redress of colonial grievances through economic sanctions. See Miller, Origins of the American Revolution 385–392. It was signed in Congress on 20 Oct. 1774. After a recital of grievances reminiscent of the Declaration, the Association stated the pledge of its signers “That from and after the first day of December next, we will not import into British America, from Great-Britain or Ireland, any goods, wares, or merchandise whatsoever, or from any other place, any such goods, wares, or merchandise as shall have been exported from Great-Britain or Ireland.” 1 JCC 76. Also banned were the importation of dutied articles and slaves, the consumption of all banned articles, and the exportation of all goods to Great Britain, Ireland and the West Indies after 10 Sept. 1775. Id. at 77. Goods imported before 1 Feb. 1775 were to be reshipped, stored for the duration, or sold with the profits going to relieve Boston; goods received thereafter were to be reshipped. Id. at 78–79. Violations were to be checked by locally chosen committees,
“whose business it shall be attentively to observe the conduct of all persons touching this association; and when it shall be made to appear, to the satisfaction of a majority of any such committee, that any person within the limits of their appointment has violated this association, that such majority do forthwith cause the truth of the case to be published in the gazette; to the end, that all such foes to the rights of British-America may be publicly known, and universally contemned as the enemies of American liberty; and thenceforth we respectively will break off all dealings with him or her.” Id. at 79.
See also an annotated text of the Association in 1 Jefferson, Papers, ed. Boyd, 149–150.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.