previous next


When the Congress of 1774 assembled, nobody in it entertained the idea of separation from Great Britain. The members of it met as a consulting and advisory body, to deliberate on the political status of British America, and to devise some practicable measures whereby to induce redress of their grievances by the British government. Among those measures, and the most important of all of them, was the project to persuade the people of the several Colonies to form, as individuals, not as political communities, associations in which each subscribing member pledged himself to the other members not to hold any commercial intercourse with the people of Great Britain until a redress of grievances could be obtained.

On the 22nd of September, 1774, Congress

Resolved unanimously, That the Congress request the merchants and others in the several Colonies not to send to Great Britain any orders for goods,” &c., &c,. until a redress of grievances could be had. [American Archives--p. 904, vol. i, 4th series, edition of 1843.]1 And the members of this Congress, as private individuals, but of course with the hope that the prestige of their position as public delegates, would exert great influence on the people at large, signed on 20th of October, 1774, certain articles of association termed by them the “Non-Importation, Non-Consumption, and Non-Exportation agreement” or association.

I append some extracts from this agreement which contained fourteen articles. It commences--

“ We, his Majesty's most loyal subjects, the delegates of the several colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, [naming all except Georgia, who sent no delegates,] deputed to represent them in a Continental Congress, held in the city of Philadelphia on the 5th day of September, 1774, avowing our allegiance to his Majesty,” &c., &c. They then go on to say, among other things, that in order to obtain “a redress of grievances,” “we are of opinion that a non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement, faithfully adhered to, will prove the most speedy, effectual and peaceable2 measure, and we therefore do for ourselves and the inhabitants of the several colonies whom we represent, firmly agree and associate under the sacred ties of virtue, honor, and love of our country as follows,” &c., until certain

1 The reader will find ample details of the objects and proceedings of this Congress in vol. i. of “American Archives, 4th series, 1774, 1775,” published by authority of an act of Congress.

2 Italicized by C. H.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1774 AD (2)
1843 AD (1)
1775 AD (1)
October 20th, 1774 AD (1)
September 22nd, 1774 AD (1)
September 5th, 1774 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: