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Letter from Henry Bass to Samuel P. Savage, 19 December 1765

Letter from Henry Bass to Samuel P. Savage, 19 December 1765

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"Conducted to the General Satisfaction of the Publick"
The Sons of Liberty must have the support of the population at large if they are to prevent the Stamp Act from being implemented in November 1765. Hoping to recruit new supporters and activists, the Sons turn to newspapers to inform and engage the public through reports of their activities. Fortunately, several towns--including Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia--boast printers who are also members of the Sons of Liberty. To stir the populace, sympathetic printers use their newspapers to publish stories demonstrating the dangers of the Stamp Act. The stories encourage action in many ways, including printing the exploits of other colonies or colonists deemed courageous. (Virginia's Stamp Act Resolves are one such example.) In this letter to Boston merchant Samuel Savage, Henry Bass, a member of the Boston Sons of Liberty, expounds upon the group's symbiotic relationship with the press, as well as the Sons' involvement in recent local events.

Questions to Consider

1. What recent event is Henry Bass describing in his letter? What steps did the Sons take to organize this event?

2. According to Bass, who "has the Credit" for this event? Is this good or bad for the Sons of Liberty?

Further Exploration

3. Click here to read the Virginia Resolves printed in the Boston-Gazette and Country Journal, 1 July 1765. Why do the Sons of Liberty consider this to be a good piece of propaganda? Identify at least three words or phrases from the document to support your argument.