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At a Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, legally assembled at Faneuil-Hall, on Wednesday the 28th of October 1767

At a Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, legally assembled at Faneuil-Hall, on Wednesday the 28th of October 1767 Broadside

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"the excessive use of foreign superfluities"
This broadside, reporting on a town meeting held in Boston four months after the passage of the Townshend Acts, outlines why the colonists' dependence on imported goods is a problem and what can be done. A petition is presented, a plan is laid out, it is unanimously endorsed and there is a way to ensure commitment from all those who endorse it, and communication with those who did not attend.

Questions to Consider

1. What does this petition seek to prevent? What does it seek to promote?

2. What is the relationship between the burdens imposed by the Townshend duties and the desires of the colonists for luxury goods? How can this be resolved?

3. What measures do the townspeople decide to take?

4. How will the colonists become more self-sufficient? How will that help the present economic and political situation?

5. What activities are being discouraged here? What activities are being encouraged?

6. Why do the Selectmen of Boston have this broadside published?

7. What is a subscription? How will people who did not attend the meeting get word of this move?

8. Can you find any evidence in this document that the individuals meeting were compromising in any way? Would a compromise have been necessary at a meeting like this? Explain.

Further Exploration

9. Why was it so important to state the fact that the meeting participants were "legally assembled"? What does that tell us about the colonists? regard for the law? Give examples of two other documents in which this legal language is used and explain its significance.

10. Do you think merchants were present at this meeting? Why or why not? Imagine you were a merchant and write a brief narrative of this event, what was said, what your opinions are, and how you think the measures decided upon will impact you.

11. What is the purpose of a town meeting? Are they effective? What makes a town meeting effective and successful? Research and find out if the proposals set forth by the Bostonians in these meeting notes were carried out.

12. How might this meeting have differed from a meeting held exclusively by local manufacturers versus a meeting held with only merchants present? Explain your reasoning.