Fighting Back with Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer

American Minute with Bill Federer

The King punished the colonists for the Boston Tea Party.

He passed the Boston Port Act, MARCH 7, 1774, effectively closing the harbor to all commerce, intentionally ruining their economy.

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 drafted a Day of Fasting & Prayer resolution, which was introduced in the Virginia House of Burgesses by Robert Carter Nicholas, May 24, 1774, being supported by Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and George Mason.

It passed unanimously:

“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.”

On the day of the appointed fast, June 1, 1774, George Washington wrote in his diary:

“Went to church, fasted all day.”

The King’s appointed Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, was so upset by this Day of Fasting & Prayer resolution that two days later he dissolved Virginia’s House of Burgesses.

Virginia’s colonial leaders went down the street and gathered in Raleigh Tavern, where they decided to form a Continental Congress, which two years later would vote for independence from the King.


Bill FedererSelf-Educated American 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.