Boston, April 9, 1773: Sir, The Committee of Correspondence of this Town have received the following intelligence ...

Boston, April 9, 1773: Sir, The Committee of Correspondence of this Town have received the following intelligence ...


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    • Main description

    [ This description is from the project: Coming of the American Revolution ]

    This circular letter, printed by Boston's Committe of Correspondence, shares the proposal by Virginia's legislative assembly to expand the committee of correspondence network among the colonies, as a way of sharing information about "acts and resolutions of the British may relate to, or affect the British colonies in America, and to keep up and maintain a correspondence and communication with our sister colonies."

    "Patriotic Province of Virginia"

    Throughout the spring and summer of 1773, town meetings are convened across Massachusetts to consider the arguments put forth in the "Boston Pamphlet" issued by that town's Committee of Correspondence. By April, at least 119 (out of 260) towns and districts have taken some action in response to the document, with several communities forming their own committees of correspondence. In April 1773, Bostonians receive some encouraging news from their sister colony, Virginia. The House of Burgesses—the colony's legislative assembly—proposes an expansion of the committee of correspondence network.

    Questions to Consider

    1. Review the introductory paragraphs written by the Boston Committee of Correspondence. Why was the broadside created? Who is to receive copies of it? What are they instructed to do with the copy?

    2. Why is the Boston Committee of Correspondence so pleased that the Virginia House of Burgesses has offered its support?

    3. Review the first paragraph of the "extract of a letter from a Gentleman of distinction in Virginia." Notice that some of the words are printed entirely in CAPITAL letters -- which ones? Why do you think the author or printer chose to capitalize those particular words?

    4. According to the first resolve how many men are to be appointed to the committee of correspondence and inquiry? The committee has at least two main tasks; can you list them?

    5. According to the second resolve, a court of inquiry has been established in which colony? Why are colonists concerned about this development?

    6. According to the third resolve, what is the Virginia House of Burgesses asking each colony to do?

    Further Exploration

    7. Review the list of men appointed to the committee of correspondence (in the first resolve). Do any of these names sound familiar? Why? Select one of the unfamiliar names and learn more about that individual in your textbook or another reference source.