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American Association, the.

On Oct. 20, 1774, the first Continental Congress adopted a “non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement,” applied to Great Britain, Ireland, the West Indies, and Madeira, by which the inhabitants of all the colonies were bound to act in good faith as those of certain cities and towns had already done, under the penalty of the displeasure of faithful ones. The agreement was embodied in fourteen articles, and was to go into effect on the 1st of December next ensuing. In the second article, the Congress struck a blow at slavery, in the name of their constituents, declaring that, after the 1st day of December next ensuing, they would neither import nor purchase any slave imported after that date, and they would in no way be concerned in or abet the slavetrade. Committees were to be appointed in every county, city, and town to enforce compliance with the terms of the association. They also resolved that they would hold no commercial intercourse with any colony in North America that did not accede to these terms, or that should thereafter violate them, but hold such recusants as enemies to their common country. The several articles of the association were adopted unanimously, except the one concerning exporations. The South Carolinians objected to it, because it would operate unequally, and insisted upon rice being exempted from the requirement concerning non-exportation. When the article was adopted, all but two of the South Carolina delegation seceded. Gadsden and another, in the spirit of Henry, declared that they were not “South Carolinians,” but “Americans.” The seceders were brought back, and signed the articles of association after a compromise was agreed to, which allowed their colony to bear no part of the burden of sacrifice imposed by the association. Short letters were addressed to the colonies of St. John (now Prince Edward's), Nova Scotia, Georgia, and the two Floridas, asking them to join the association. Immediately after the adjournment of the Congress measures were taken in various colonies for enforcing the observance of the American Association, by the appointment of committees of inspection. Philadelphia set the example (Nov. 22). New York followed, by appointing (Nov. 23) a Committee of Sixty, with full powers. Other provinces took measures to the same effect.

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