Manuscript, Virginia's May 27, 1774 Association and Call for a "General Congress"

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  • Members of the Late House of Burgesses, 1774
  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • 1774
  • Ink on Paper
  • SCMS1929.2

After being dissolved by Virginia's governor, the Earl of Dunmore, the day before, 90 of 126 former burgesses and 21 others, such as local Williamsburg clergymen and merchants, agreed on this strongly worded statement of support for Boston and condemnation of the "heavy hand of power now lifted against North America." Likely the work of Richard Henry Lee, it also established an association to not import or use any East India Company product, except for saltpetre and spices, and called for a meeting of a "general congress" to discuss "the united interests of America." Among the signers were Lee, Peyton Randolph, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. Notable absences are John Randolph and John Tayloe Corbin, burgesses who later choose to remain loyal to Britain.

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