Committees of Correspondence Facts

Committees of Correspondence Facts
As colonial resistance to the British government gained momentum after the passage of the Stamp Act, the men who would form the Patriot movement and the first Continental Congress began their activism in various manners. The repeal of the Stamp Act, though, had the effect of dampening some of the resistance, but the Boston Massacre of 1770 brought back colonial resentments to the surface once more, which led leaders such as Samuel Adams to form the first Committees of Correspondence in 1772. The following year Committees were established in more colonies and by May 1774 all of the original thirteen colonies had established Committees of Correspondence. The Committees worked together to boycott British produced goods, to organize protests against laws and taxes, such as the Tea Act, and to address British officials when need be. Although the Committees of Correspondence were unsuccessful in their efforts to get the British government to change its course in regards to the American colonies, they provided the logistical basis for the Continental Congress, which was essentially the first American government.
Interesting Committees of Correspondence Facts:
One of Adams' primary goals of the Committees of Correspondence was to provide a line of communication between rural and urban colonial protesters.
The Committees also acted as intelligence agencies, collecting information on British activities in the colonies and then disseminating that information to other Committees.
The Committees served as the early propaganda arm of the Patriot movement, creating underground papers and tracts that warned of growing British tyranny.
Samuel Adams and the Committees were instrumental in organizing colonial boycotts of British tea after the Tea Act of 1773.
Up to 8,000 men served on the Committees.
The predecessor to the Committees of Congress was the Stamp Act Congress, of which many Committee members also served.
Thomas Jefferson served on the Virginia Committee.
One of the more humorous propaganda elements to come out of the Committees was the claim that tea made men weak and effeminate.
During the American Revolution, Committees of Correspondence formed in Ireland.
Although some Committee of Correspondence members were also members of the Sons of Liberty - most notably Samuel Adams - most Committee members viewed the Sons as too radical, at least until the start of the Revolution.
Committee members tended to be educated and came from well-connected families in the upper rungs of colonial society.
Although Pennsylvania was home to the Continental Congress and the first U.S. capital, it was one of the last two colonies to form a Committee of Correspondence. There were numerous disagreements between conservative and radical Patriots that slowed the process.
Closely related to and often working with the Committees of Correspondence were the Committees of Safety and the Committees of Inspection. The latter two type of committees formed after the Committees of Correspondence.
There was no limit on how many Committees a colony could have; urban areas often had their own Committees separate from rural committees in the same colony.

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