Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Boston Port Act – 1774 - The 1st Intolerable Act

“Whereas dangerous commotions and insurrections have been fomented and raised in the town of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts Bay in New England, by divers ill-affected persons, to the subversion of his Majesty's government and to the utter, destruction of the public peace and good order of the said town; in which commotions and insurrections certain valuable cargoes of teas, being the property of the East India Company and on board certain vessels lying within the bay of harbour of Boston, were seized and destroyed; and whereas, in the present condition of the said town and harbour the commerce of his Majesty's subjects cannot be safely carried on there, nor the customs payable to his Majesty duly collected; and it is therefore expedient that the officers of his Majesty's customs should be forthwith removed from the said town...nothing in this Act contained shall extend, or be construed to extend to any military or other stores for his Majesty's use, or to the ships or vessels whereon the same shall be laden...nor to any fuel of victual brought coastwise from any part of the continent of America, for the necessary use and sustenance of the inhabitants of the said town of Boston, provided the vessels wherein the same are to be carried shall be duly be furnished with a cocket and let-pass, after having been duly searched by the proper officers of his Majesty's customs at Marblehead, in the port of Salem in the said province of Massachusetts Bay; and that some officer of his Majesty's customs be also there put on board said vessel, who is hereby authorized to go on board and proceed with the said vessel, together with a sufficient number of persons, properly armed, for his defense, to the said town or harbour of Boston; nor to any ships or vessels which may happen to be within the said harbour of Boston on or before the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four, and may have either laden or taken on board, or be there with intent to load or take on board, or to land or discharge any goods, wares, and merchandise, provided the said ships and vessels do depart the said harbour within fourteen days after the said first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four...Provided also, and it is hereby declared and enacted, that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed, to enable his Majesty to appoint such port, harbour, creeks, quays, wharfs, places, or officers, in the said town of Boston, or in the said bay or islands, until it shall sufficiently appear to his Majesty that full satisfaction has been made by or on behalf of the inhabitants of the said town of Boston to the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, for damage sustained by the said company by the destruction of their goods sent to the said town of Boston...” 

George III, March 31, 1774

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