Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 25, 1774

Association Signed by Ladies of Edenton, North Carolina, October 24, 1774, signed by 51 ladies:

"As we cannot be indifferent on any occasion that appears to affect the peace and happiness of our country; and as it has been thought necessary for the publick good to enter into several particular Resolves by a meeting of Members of Deputies from the whole Province, it is a duty that we owe not only to our near and dear relations and connexions, but to ourselves, who are essentially interested in their welfare, to do every thing as far as lies in our power to testify our sincere adherence to the same; and we do therefore accordingly subscribe this paper as a witness of our fixed intention and solemn determination to do so."

The fifty-one members of the Ladies' Patriotic Guild met at the Edenton home of Mrs. Elizabeth King. See Cokie Roberts, Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation (New York: William Morrow, 2004), page 42 and Carol Berkin, First Generations: Women in Colonial America (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000 [1996]), page 175.

On Aug. 25, 1774, the Convention of Deputies from the "whole province" of North Carolina resolved solidarity with the people of Boston and Massachusetts. If Britain did not relieve American grievances by Oct. 1, 1774, North Carolina resolved to end its export of such vital goods as naval stores to Great Britain. See the Pennsylvania Packet, Sept. 19, 1774.

American loyalists and newspapers in London ridiculed the "female congress" at Edenton, but Tories did not get the last laugh. The support of American women for boycotts of British goods were vital to the American cause and damaging to the British economy. Similarly, before the US entered World War Two, many American women boycotted Japanese silk after learning of the Empire of Japan's atrocities in China.
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