Text of a Letter from the Boston Committee of Correspondence Letter to the Portsmouth Committee of Correspondence Regarding Boston Port Act

May 12, 1774

In 1774, Parliament passed the Boston Port Act as punishment for the Boston Tea Party. The Act closed the Port of Boston. When the news of the Act reached Boston, the Committee of Correspondence sent letters to Committees in other towns and cities. Samuel Adams wrote this letter on May 12, 1774 to the Committee of Correspondence in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and asked for their support.

Samuel Adams, Painting

Samuel Adams is the author of this letter to the Portsmouth Committee of Correspondence.


Boston 12th May 1774.


I am Desired by the freeholders and other Inhabitants of this Town to enclose you an attested copy of their Vote passed in Town meeting Legally Assembled this day — The Occasion of this meeting is most Alarming: we have received a Copy of an Act of the British Parliament — which is inclosed, wherein it appears that the Inhabitants of this Town have been Tried condemned and are to be punished by shutting up the Harbour and otherways, without their having been called to Answer for, nay, for ought that appears without their having been accused of any crime committed by them, for no such crime is alleged in the Act — the town of Boston is now Suffering the stroke of Vengeance in the Common cause of America, I hope they will sustain the Blow with Becoming Fortitude, and that the Effect of this cruel act Intended to intimidate and subdue the Spirits of all America will by the joint efforts of all be frustrated.

The people receive this Edict with indignation; it is expected by their Enemies, and feared by some of their Friends, that this town singly will not be able to support the cause under so severe a Trial — as the very Being of every Colony considered as a free people depends upon the event a thought so Dishonorable to our Brethren cannot be entertained as that this town will be left to struggle alone.

Your Humble Servant

This version of the letter, written by Samual Adams, is from the “Writings of Samuel Adams, Volume III, 1773–1777” by Henry Alonzo Cushing, page 106, published in 1904.

NOTE: For clarity, we have expanded abbreviations and modernized the spelling of some words.