Boston Port Act

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Colonists throwing tea into Boston harbor.

The Boston Port Act was one of five legislative acts encompassing what came to be known as the Intolerable Acts. Passed by Parliament in March 7, 1774, the act ordered that Boston Harbor be closed in order to punish the Colony of Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party.


After the destruction of the tea, there was a significant cost incurred against the British East India Company. The condition laid by Parliament was that the colonists needed to pay the cost of the tea destroyed during the Tea Party. In response, residents the surrounding towns sent food to Boston to help prevent them from giving in.[1]

The Commander at Bunker Hill, William Prescott, wrote that "Providence has placed you where you must stand the first shock ... If we submit to these regulations, all is gone."

Prescott added:

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?

The Virginia House of Burgesses, in sympathy for its fellow Colony, declared on May 24, 1774:

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 topped 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.