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
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[ This description is from the project: Coming of the American Revolution ]
On 28 October 1767, many inhabitants of Boston took part in a town meeting about the Townshend Acts and the detrimental effects of the duties on imported goods. This broadside conveys the outcomes of the meeting--several petitions, votes, and resolutions conveying the town's vows to rely on domestic goods wherever possible. Many prominent merchants of Boston, including John Rowe, William Greenleafe, and Thomas Cushing, agreed to encourage local manufacturing lessen the use of specific imported goods.
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.
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.