DAY OF FASTING & PRAYER DECLARED

The King punished the colonists for the Boston Tea Party. He passed the Boston Port Act, MARCH 7, 1774, effectively closing the harbor to all commerce, intentionally ruining their economy.

"The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor", lithograph depicting the Boston Tea Party, 1846, Nathaniel Currier

Surrounding towns rallied by sending food. William Prescott, who later commanded at Bunker Hill, wrote: “Providence has placed you where you must stand the first shock…If we submit to these regulations, all is gone…” William Prescott continued: “Our forefathers passed the vast Atlantic, spent their blood and treasure, that they might enjoy their liberties, both civil and religious, and transmit them to their posterity…Now if we should give them up, can our children rise up and call us blessed?”

Upon hearing of the Boston Port Act, Thomas Jefferson led the Virginia House of Burgesses, May 24, 1774, to proclaim a Day of Fasting & Prayer, stating:

“This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension…from the hostile invasion of the city of Boston in our Sister Colony of Massachusetts Bay, whose commerce and harbor are, on the first day of June next, to be stopped by an armed force, deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the members of this House, as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights.”

The King appointed Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, was so upset by this Day of Fasting & Prayer resolution that two days later he dissolved Virginia’s House of Burgesses. Virginia’s colonial leaders went down the street and gathered in Raleigh Tavern, where they decided to form a Continental Congress, which two years later would vote for independence from the King.

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