Massachusetts Circular Letter
After the Massachusetts General Court received the text of the Townshend Acts, the assembly put together a committee for a response which was the circular letter. Being "circular" means that it should be circulated or distributed. Other colonies reviewed the letter with positive responses, including Connecticut, Virginia, and New Jersey.
In the letter, it was argued that the new duties were unconstitutional, it also argued that the salary payments to governors and judges undermined local popular control of government.
In Britain, Lord Hillsborough, who was at the time the Secretary of State for the Colonies, was incensed and outraged over the circular. He immediately demanded that the assembly recall the letter. The assembly overwhelmingly refused the royal command, by a vote of 92 to 17. In response, Lord Hillsborough ordered Governor Francis Bernard to dissolve the legislature.
These acts of protest and defiance were answered by the British government, who ordered a fleet of ships to sail into Boston harbor, with two regiments of Regulars and cannons. Paul Revere, who was a witness to the events, made an engraving of the event which he called an "insolent parade". The presence of British soldiers remained, and tensions continued to increase until the Boston Massacre in 1770.
- American Passages: A History of the United States, Brief
- No Taxation without Representation
- Revolution Downeast: The War for American Independence in Maine
- The Storm Gathering: The Penn Family and the American Revolution
- A People and a Nation, Volume I: to 1877
- Grandpa’s Us Colonial History to 1800
- Colonial American History Stories - 1770 – 1774: Prelude to Revolution
- Jefferson's America, 1760-1815
- Paul Revere's Ride