Colonial Communication: Committees of Correspondence

The power of communication as a tool of democracy is clear as MassMoments tells us today that in response to a rash of changes foisted on the colonies by the those representing the Crown, a network was formed to express a litany of grievences and keep colonial communities linked and informed. The Boston “Committee of Correspondence” created a message urging other communities to form their own committees and express their sentiments about the British power grab. This so-called Boston Pamphlet was heard and it stirred action in the various Massachusetts towns. At a meeting in the town of Bedford on March 1, 1773 – seven men were elected to form a response and they found among other grievances that  “the Crown Taking the Payment of our Governors out of our hands is a very Great Grievance…” The neighboring  town of Lexington had already formed a committee a few months prior. Dozens of towns joined the action creating what one historian called “the beginnings of a revolutionary infrastructure.”

On This Day...

      …in 1773, the town of Bedford held its annual meeting. Along with the routine matters to be addressed, there was one unusual item of business. The Town Meeting was asked to decide if it agreed with Boston’s “sentiments related to the state of the Colonists as to their Rights and Liberties.” A pamphlet detailing these sentiments—a mixture of outrage, exaggeration, and alarm—had been sent to selectmen in every Massachusetts town. Britain was tightening its control on its American colonies, and the colonists believed that their rights as English citizens were threatened. The response to the Boston Pamphlet made it clear that, in Bedford and many other Massachusetts towns, people were prepared to resist British authority.
Read the full MassMoments article here.  Comments about committees of correspondence, pamphlets and the like as compared to our 21st century social networking?