On MARCH 7, 1774, the British passed the Boston Port Act, closing the harbor to all commerce to punish the colonists for the Boston Tea Party.
Surrounding towns rallied by sending food. William Prescott, who later commanded at Bunker Hill, wrote:
Providence has placed you where you must stand the first shock…If we submit to these regulations, all is gone.
William Prescott continued:
Our forefathers passed the vast Atlantic, spent their blood and treasure, that they might enjoy their liberties, both civil and religious, and transmit them to their posterity…Now if we should give them up, can our children rise up and call us blessed?
Upon hearing of the Boston Port Act, Thomas Jefferson led the Virginia House of Burgesses, May 24, 1774, to declare a Day of Fasting.
The Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, retaliated by dissolving the House of Burgesses two days later. Jefferson’s Virginia Proclamation stated:
This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension…from the hostile invasion of the city of Boston in our Sister Colony of Massachusetts Bay, whose commerce and harbor are, on the first day of June next, to be stopped by an armed force, deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the members of this House, as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.