American Minute with Bill Federer
Boston Harbor blockaded -Jefferson drafted a Day of Fasting for Virginia 
The Boston Tea Party took place on December 16, 1773.

Samuel Adams led a band of patriots, the Sons of Liberty, disguised as Mohawk Indians, from the South Meeting House toward Griffin's Wharf, where they threw 342 chests of British East India Company tea into Boston's harbor.

Furious at the Tea Party, the King punished Boston.

The King approved the Boston Port Act, MARCH 7, 1774, effectively closing the harbor to all commerce and ruining the city's economy.

Thousands were out of work.

In enforcing the Boston Port Act, British General Gage effectively ruled through martial law. He prevented citizens of Massachusetts from electing their own leaders.

He dissolved Massachusetts' Provincial Congress and forbade town hall meetings:

"Calling such meetings ... the inhabitants ... pass many dangerous and unwarrantable resolves: for remedy whereof, be it enacted ... no meeting shall be called ... without the leave (permission) of the governor."

Britain's Lord North told to Parliament the Act was "to take the executive power from the hands of the democratic part of government."

Massachusetts' citizens refused to stop their town hall meetings, and passed more resolves against the King.

Surrounding colonists rallied by sending food to Boston.

William Prescott, who later commanded at Bunker Hill, wrote:

"If we submit to these regulations, all is gone ...

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?"

Upon hearing of the Boston Port Act, Thomas Jefferson drafted a Day of Fasting & Prayer resolution, to be observed the same day the blockade was to commence.

It was introduced in the Virginia House of Burgesses by Robert Carter Nicholas, May 24, 1774.

It passed unanimously, being supported by Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and George Mason:

"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 stopped 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 ...

... Ordered, therefore that the Members of this House do attend ... with the Speaker, and the mace, to the Church in this City, for the purposes aforesaid;

and that the Reverend Mr. Price be appointed to read prayers, and the Reverend Mr. Gwatkin, to preach a sermon."

On the appointed Day of Fasting, June 1, 1774, George Washington wrote in his diary:

"Went to church, fasted all day."

The King's appointed Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, was so upset by this Day of Fasting and Prayer resolution that two days later he dissolved Virginia's House of Burgesses.

Virginia's colonial leaders went down the street and gathered in Raleigh Tavern, where they decided to form a Continental Congress which met in Philadelphia a little over three months later.

Miracles in American History-32 Amazing Stories of Answered Prayers

Continuing to tighten his grip, General Gage decided to remove the gunpowder from the storage magazine near Somerville, Massachusetts in September of 1774.

Thousands of American militiamen rapidly confronted them in what was referred to as the Powder Alarm.

Shocked by the colonists' quick and firm response, Gage wrote:

"If force is to be used at length, it must be a considerable one, and foreign troops must be hired, for to begin with small numbers will encourage resistance, and not terrify; and will in the end cost more blood and treasure."

Criticizing Gage, British Parliament Member Edmund Burke stated:

"An Englishman is the unfittest person on Earth to argue another Englishman into slavery."

The next Spring, April of 1775, General Gage sent troops to confiscate the arms and gunpowder at Lexington and Concord.

Warned ahead of time by Paul Revere and other riders, American militiamen were armed and waiting for the British at the Lexington Green, led by Pastor Jonas Clark, who stated:

"I have trained them for this very hour!"

That day, April 19, 1775, British Major Pitcairn shouted, "Disperse, ye villains! Ye rebels, disperse! Lay down your arms! Why don't you lay down your arms and disperse?"

Then the shot was fired that was heard round the world, and the war of Independence officially began.

Driven back, colonists regrouped at the Concord Bridge. This time they did not retreat.

The colonists fought back, joined by more militiamen, and the British fled back to Boston, suffering 273 casualties.

Pastor Jonas Clark stated:

"From this day will be dated the liberty of the world!"

General Gage offered a pardon to anyone who would abandon the patriot cause, except John Hancock and Samuel Adams.

The British escalated the situation by bringing thousands of additional troops into Boston, led by Admiral Samuel Graves, and Generals William Howe, John Burgoyne and Henry Clinton.

Within two months, after the Battle of Bunker Hill, General Thomas Gage was removed from his position as Commander-in-Chief and recalled to Britain, being replaced by General William Howe.

On May 31, 1775, citizens of Charlotte Town, North Carolina, passed the Mecklenburg Resolves, which stated:

"Whereas by an Address presented to his Majesty by both Houses of Parliament in February last, the American Colonies are declared to be in a State of actual Rebellion, we conceive that all Laws ... derived from the Authority of the King or Parliament, are annulled and vacated ... 
... All Commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted by the Crown, to be exercised in these Colonies, are null and void,

... That whatever Person shall hereafter receive a Commission from the Crown, or attempt to exercise any such Commission heretofore received, shall be deemed an Enemy to his Country ...
That these Resolves be in full Force and Virtue, until Instructions from the General Congress of this Province ... shall provide otherwise, or the legislative Body of Great-Britain resign its unjust and arbitrary Pretentions with Respect to America ...
... That the several Militia Companies in this county do provide themselves with proper Arms and Accoutrements, and hold themselves in Readiness to execute the commands and Directions of the Provincial Congress."

Miracles in American History-32 Amazing Stories of Answered Prayer

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