Back to The Committees of Correspondence
In consequence of a conference with the committees of correspondence in the vicinity of Boston, November 23, 1773 ...
By the summer of 1773, a new challenge is looming on the colonial horizon. In May, Parliament passes the Tea Act, a bill intended to assist the failing East India Company, raise revenue, and reiterate Parliament's authority over the colonies. As news of the act reaches America in the fall, patriots spring into action. Tea agents are selected in four colonial ports, including Boston, where members of the Sons of Liberty and the committee of correspondence endeavor to force the selected agents to resign. In November, an incoming vessel brings news that ships bearing East India Company tea will soon be arriving in Boston. On the afternoon of 22 November, the committee of correspondence meets at Faneuil Hall with its counterparts from the neighboring towns of Roxbury, Dorchester, Brookline, and Cambridge. Together they draft a circular letter that makes clear their thoughts on Parliament's latest scheme.
1. Who are the "remorseless enemies" accused of invading colonists' rights?
2. Why would the arrival of tea to be sold by the East India Company be "most fatal" to colonists' "liberties?"
3. What might be the consequence (according to the authors) if the colonies acknowledge Parliament's right to tax them?
4. Why was a postscript added to the letter? Who authored the postscript?
5. How are colonists expected to pay for the tea? Why might this be a problem?
6. Investigate the history of the East India Company. What part did they play in Parliament’s decision to pass the Tea Act?