Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

An Association, signed by 89 members of the late House of Burgesses


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An Association, signed by 89 members of the late House of Burgesses



Following the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed the Boston Port Act which authorized the closing of that town’s port on June 1, 1774. When news of the Boston Port Act reached Virginia, the General Assembly was sitting in Williamsburg. It responded to the news by passing a resolution setting aside June 1st as a “Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer …” The resolution demonstrated the Burgesses support for the people of Boston linking their cause with the rights of all Americans. Governor Dunmore responded to the resolution by dissolving the Burgesses on May 26. The following day, the former Burgesses met in the Apollo Room of the Raleigh Tavern where they adopted an Association calling for a Boycott of East India Company goods and the meeting of a general congress.

The Association is signed in print by eighty-nine of the former Burgesses known to have attended that body's most recent session. The document also bears the names of twenty-one men from the Williamsburg area who joined the Association following its adoption by the former Burgesses.

The broadside was most likely printed by Clementina Rind.



Text Item Type Metadata



An ASSOCIATION, signed by 89 members of
the late House of Burgesses.

We his Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the late representatives of the
good people of this country, having been deprived by the sudden interposition of
the executive part of this government from giving our countrymen the advice we wished
to convey to them in a legislative capacity, find ourselves under the hard necessity of
adopting this, the only method we have left, of pointing out to our countrymen such
measures as in our opinion are best fitted to secure our dearest rights and liberty from
destruction, by the heavy hand of power now lifted against North America: With
much grief we find that our dutiful applications to Great Britain for security of our
just, antient, and constitutional rights, have been not only disregarded, but that a de-
termined system is formed and pressed for reducing the inhabitants of British America
to slavery, by subjecting them to the payment of taxes, imposed without the consent
of the people or their representatives ; and that in pursuit of this system, we find an
act of the British parliament, lately passed, for stopping the harbour and commerce of
the town of Boston, in our sister colony of Massachusetts Bay, until the people
there submit to the payment of such unconstitutional taxes, and which act most violently
and arbitrarily deprives them of their property, in wharfs erected by private persons,
at their own great and proper expence, which act is, in our opinion, a most dangerous
attempt to destroy the constitutional liberty and rights of all North America. It is
further our opinion, that as TEA, on its importation into America, is charged with
a duty, imposed by parliament for the purpose of raising a revenue, without the con-
sent of the people, it ought not to be used by any person who wishes well to the con-
stitutional rights and liberty of British America. And whereas the India company
have ungenerously attempted the ruin of America, by sending many ships loaded with
tea into the colonies, thereby intending to fix a precedent in favour of arbitrary
taxation, we deem it highly proper and do accordingly recommend it strongly to our
countrymen, not to purchase or use any kind of East India commodity whatsoever,
except saltpetre and spices, until the grievances of America are redressed. We are fur-
ther clearly of opinion, that an attack, made on one of our sister colonies, to compel
submission to arbitrary taxes, is an attack made on all British America, and threatens
ruin to the rights of all, unless the united wisdom of the whole be applied. And for
this purpose it is recommended to the committee of correspondence, that they com-
municate, with their several corresponding committees, on the expediency of appoint-
ing deputies from the several colonies of British America, to meet in general congress,
at such place annually as shall be thought most convenient ; there to deliberate on those
general measures which the united interests of America may from time to time require.

A tender regard for the interest of our fellow subjects, the merchants, and manu-
facturers of Great Britain, prevents us from going further at this time ; most earnestly
hoping, that the unconstitutional principle of taxing the colonies without their consent
will not be persisted in, thereby to compel us against our will, to avoid all commercial
intercourse with Britain. Wishing them and our people free and happy, we are their
affectionate friends, the late representatives of Virginia.

The 27th day of May, 1774.

Peyton Randolph, Ro. C. Nicholas, Richard Bland, Edmund Pendleton, Richard Henry
Lee, Archibald Cary, Benjamin Harrison, George Washington, William Harwood, Robert
Wormeley Carter, Robert Munford, Thomas Jefferson, John West, Mann Page, junior, John
Syme, Peter Le Grand, Joseph Hutchings, Francis Peyton, Richard Adams, B. Dandridge,
Henry Pendleton, Patrick Henry, junior, Richard Mitchell, James Holt, Charles Carter,
James Scott, Burwell Bassett, Henry Lee, John Burton, Thomas Whiting, Peter Poythress,
John Winn, James Wood, William Cabell, David Mason, Joseph Cabell, John Bowyer,
Charles Linch, William Aylett, Isaac Zane, Francis Slaughter, William Langhorne, Henry
Taylor, James Montague, William Fleming, Rodham Kenner, William Acril, Charles Carter,
of Stafford, John Woodson, Nathaniel Terry, Richard Lee, Henry Field, Matthew Marable,
Thomas Pettus, Robert Rutherford, Samuel M’Dowell, John Bowdoin, James Edmondson,


Southy Simpson, John Walker, Hugh Innes, Henry Bell, Nicholas Faulcon, junior, James
Taylor, junior, Lewis Burwell, of Gloucester, W. Roane, Joseph Nevil, Richard Hardy,
Edwin Gray, H. King, Samuel Du Val, John Hite, junior, John Banister, Worlich West-
wood, John Donelson, Thomas Newton, junior, P. Carrington, James Speed, James Henry,
Champion Travis, Isaac Coles, Edmund Berkeley, Charles May, Thomas Johnson, Benjamin
Watkins, Francis Lightfoot Lee, John Talbot, Thomas Nelson, junior, Lewis Burwell.

WE the subscribers, clergymen and other inhabitants
of the colony and dominion of Virgnia, having maturely
considered the contents of the above association, do most
cordially approve and accede thereto.

William Harrison, William Hubard, Benjamin Blagrove, William Bland, H. J. Burges,
Samuel Smith M’Croskey, Joseph Davenport, Thomas Price, David Griffith, William Leigh,
Robert Andrews, Samuel Klug, Ichabod Camp, William Clayton, Richard Cary, Thomas
Adams, Hinde Russell, William Holt, Arthur Dickenson, Thomas Stuart, James Innes.

Original Format

Ink on paper


“An Association, signed by 89 members of the late House of Burgesses,” Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed April 23, 2024, https://cwfjdrlsc.omeka.net/items/show/177.