The ASSOCIATION entered into last Friday, the 22d instant, by the Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, and the Body of Merchants, assembled in this city.

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The ASSOCIATION entered into last Friday, the 22d instant, by the Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, and the Body of Merchants, assembled in this city.


Non-importation agreements, 1768-1769


The Association of 1770 was the response of Virginia merchants and members of the House of Burgesses to the Townshend duties. It called upon subscribers to refrain from importing and purchasing a list of enumerated British goods until the Townshend duties on glass, lead, paint, paper and tea were repealed. An Association had been entered into in 1769 but lacking a means of enforcement proved largely ineffectual. The 1770 Association sought to rectify this situation by creating committees in each of the counties which would publicize the transgressions of its' subscribers. However, before the Burgesses and merchants agreed to the new Association, Governor Botetourt presented the Burgesses with the text of an act to repeal all the Townshend duties excepting that on tea. The repeal by Parliament caused the collapse of the non-importation movement by the summer of 1771.

The Association was printed in Williamsburg by William Rind. A large blank was left following the names of the merchants and Burgesses for the signatures of men throughout Virginia. Some Burgesses took copies to their home counties where they were signed by their constituents. The copy seen here remained unsigned because it was sent by Norfolk merchants Balfour and Barraud to the firm of C. and Osgood Hanbury in London.


Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, and the Body of Merchants


Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation




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MS 2013.14

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The ASSOCIATION entered into last Friday, the 22d instant, by the Gentlemen
of the House of Burgesses, and the Body of Merchants, assembled in this city.

We his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects of
Virginia, declaring our inviolable and unshaken
fidelity and attachment to our gracious sovereign,
our affection for all our fellow subjects of Great
Britain, and our firm determination to support,
at the hazard of our lives and fortunes, the laws, the peace, and
good order of government in this colony ; but at the same time
affected with great and just apprehensions of the fatal consequences
certainly to follow from the arbitrary imposition of taxes on the
people of America, for the purpose of raising a revenue from them,
without the consent of their representatives ; and as we consider it
to be the indispensable duty of every virtuous member of society to
prevent the ruin, and promote the happiness of his country, by
every lawful means, although in the prosecution of such a laudable
and necessary design some unhappy consequences may be derived
to many innocent fellow subjects, whom we wish not to injure, and
who we hope will impute our conduct to the real necessity of our
affairs : Influenced by these reasons, we do most earnestly recom-
mend this our association to the serious attention of all Gentlemen
merchants, traders, and other inhabitants of this colony, not
doubting but they will readily and cordially accede thereto. And
at the same time we, and every of us, do most solemnly oblige
ourselves, upon our word and honour, to promote the welfare and
commercial interests of all those truly worthy merchants, traders,
and others, inhabitants of this colony, who shall hereafter conform
to the spirit of this association ; but that we will upon all occasions,
and at all times hereafter, avoid purchasing any commodity or
article of goods whatsoever from any importer or seller of British
merchandise or European goods, whom we may know or believe,
in violation of the essential interests of this colony, to have preferred
their own private emolument, by importing or selling articles
prohibited by this association, to the destruction of the dearest
rights of the people of this colony. And for the more effectual
discovery of such defaulters, it is resolved,

That a committee of five be chosen in every county, by the
majority of associators in each county, who, or any three of them,
are hereby authorized to publish the names of such signers of the
association as shall violate their agreement ; and when there shall
be an importation of goods into any county, such committee, or
any three of them, are empowered to convene themselves, and in
a civil manner apply to the merchant or importers concerned and
desire to see the invoices and papers respecting such importation,
and if they find any goods therein contrary to the association to let
the importers know that it is the opinion and request of the country
that such goods shall not be opened or stored, but reshipped to the
place from whence they came : And in case of refusal, without
any manner of violence, inform them of the consequences, and
proceed to publish an account of their conduct.

Secondly. That we the subscribers, as well by our own example
as all other legal ways and means in our power, will promote and
encourage industry and frugality, and discourage all manner of
luxury and extravagance.

Thirdly. That we will not hereafter, directly or indirectly,
import, or cause to be imported, from Great Britain, any of the
goods hereafter enumerated, either for sale or for our own use ; to
wit, spirits, cider, perry, beer, ale, porter, malt, pease, beef,
fish, butter, cheese, tallow, candles, fruit, pickles, confectionary,
chairs, tables, looking glasses, carriages, joiners work, and
cabinet work of all sorts, riband, India goods of all sorts (except
spices) calico of more than 3s. sterling per yard, upholstery
(by which is meant paper hangings, beds ready made, furniture
for beds, and carpetting) watches, clocks, silversmiths work of
all sorts, silks of all sorts (except womens bonnets and hats,
sewing silk, and netting silk) cotton stuffs of more than 3s. sterling
per yard, linens of more than 2s. sterling per yard (except Irish
linens) gauze, lawns, cambrick of more than 6s. sterling per yard,
woollen and worsted stuffs of all sorts of more than 2s. sterling per
yard, broadcloths of more than 8s. sterling per yard, narrow
cloths of all kinds of more than 4s. sterling per yard, not less
than 7-8ths yard wide, hats of greater value than 10s. sterling,
stockings of more than 36s. sterling per dozen, shoes of more than
5s. sterling per pair, boots, saddles, mens exceeding 25s. and
womens exceeding 40s. sterling, exclusive of bridles, which are
allowed, portmanteaus, saddle bags, and all other manufactured
leather, neither oil or painters colours, if both, or either of them
be subject to any duty after the 1st of December next. And that
we will not import, or cause to be imported, any horses, nor
purchase those which may be imported by others after the 1st of
November next.

Fourthly. That we will not import or bring into the colony,
or cause to be imported or brought into the colony, either by sea
or land, any slaves, or make sale of any upon commission, or pur-
hase any slave or slaves that may be imported by others after the
1st day of November next, unless the same have been twelve months
upon the continent.

Fifthly. That we will not import any wines, on which a duty
is laid by act of Parliament for the purpose of raising a revenue in
America, or purchase such as may be imported by others, after the
1st day of September next.

Sixthly. That no wine be imported by any of the subscribers,
or other person, from any of the colonies on this continent, or
any other place, from the time of signing this association, contrary
to the terms thereof.

Seventhly. That all such goods as may or shall be imported
into this colony, in consequence of their having been rejected by
the association committees in any of our sister colonies, shall not
be purchased by any associator ; but that we will exert every law-
ful means in our power absolutely to prevent the sale of all such
goods, and to cause the same to be exported as quickly as possible.

Eighthly. That we will not receive from Great Britain, or
make sale of, upon commission, any of the articles above excepted
to, after the first day of September next, nor any of those articles
which may have been really and bona fide ordered by us, after the
25th December next.

Ninthly. That we will not receive into our custody, make
sale of, or become chargeable with, any of the articles afore-
mentioned, that may be ordered after the 15th June instant, nor
give orders for any from this time ; and that in all orders which
any of us may hereafter send to Great Britain we will expressly
direct and request our correspondents not to ship us any of the
articles before excepted, and if any such goods are shipped contrary
to the tenour of this agreement we will refuse to take the same,
or make ourselves chargeable therewith.

Provided nevertheless, that such goods as are already on hand,
or may be imported according to the true intent and meaning of
this association, may be continued for sale.

Tenthly. That a committee of merchants, to be named by their
own body, when called together by their chairman, be appointed
to take under their consideration the general state of the trade in
this colony, and report to the association, at their next meeting,
a list of such other manufactures of Great Britain, or commodi-
ties of any kind whatever, now imported, as may reasonably, and
with benefit to the colony, by excepted to.

Eleventhly. That we do hereby engage ourselves, by those
most sacred ties of honour and love to our country, that we will
not, either upon the goods which we have already upon hand or
may hereafter import within the true meaning of this association,
make any advance in price, with a view to profit by the restrictions
hereby laid on the trade of this colony.

Twelfthly. That we will not at any time hereafter, directly
or indirectly, import, or cause to be imported, or purchase from
any person who shall import, any merchandise or manufactures
exported from Great Britain, which are, or hereafter shall be,
taxed by act of Parliament for the purposes of raising a revenue
in America.

Resolved, that a meeting of the associators shall be called at the
discretion of the Moderator, or at the request of twenty members
of the association, signified to him in writing ; and in case of the
death of the present Moderator, the next person subscribing hereto
be considered as Moderator, and act as such until the next general

Lastly. That these resolves shall be binding on all and each of
the subscribers, who do hereby, each and every person for himself,
agree that he will strictly and firmly adhere to and abide by every
article of this association from the time of his signing the same
until the act of Parliament which imposes a duty on tea, paper,
glass, and painters colours, be totally repealed, or until a general
meeting of one hundred associators, after one month's publick
notice, shall determine otherwise, the twelfth article of this agree-
ment still and for ever continuing in force, until the contrary be
declared by a general meeting of the members of this association.

Signed in Williamsburg, this 22d of June, 1770.

Peyton Randolph, Moderator. John Alexander. James Balfour. John Blair. John Hutchings. Alexander Banks. John Fisher. Archibald Buchanan.
Andrew Sprowle, Chairman of John Burton. W. Cabell, jun. James Wallace. W. Lyne. John Johnson. Hartwell Cocke. Andrew Mackie.
the Trade. William Clayton. Daniel Barraud. Richard Mitchell. Edward Ker. Archibald Govan. Edwin Gray. Thomas Everard.
Ro. C. Nicholas. Richard Randolph. James Mills. Cornelius Thomas. Alexander Trent. Hugh M'Mekin. Daniel M'Callum. George Purdie.
Richard Bland. Benjamin Harrison. David Jameson. James Dennistone. John Talbott. Foushee Tebbs. James Donald. Patrick Ramsay.
Edmund Pendleton. P. Carrington. Charles Duncan. William Snodgrass. Joseph Cabell. Archibald M'Call. Thomas Nelson, jun. Walter Boyd.
Archibald Cary. James Pride. John Wayles. Benjamin Baker. Gardner Fleming. Daniel Hutchings. Robert Gilmour. John Tabb.
Richard Henry Lee. William Acrill. John Bell. Patrick Coutts. Samuel Harwood. Henry Morse. George Riddell. Richard Booker.
Henry Lee. Peter Poythress. Thomas Adams. Neill Campbell. Humphrey Roberts. Nathaniel Terry. John Bland. John Page, jun.
Charles Carter, Corotoman. James Mercer. Henry Taylor. John Donelson. Thomas M. Randolph. Isaac Read. Robert Miller. Robert Andrews.
Thomas Jefferson. N. Edwards, jun. Alexander Shaw. Neil M'Coull. Robert Wormeley Carter. William Rind. Francis Lightfoot Lee. John Tayloe Corbin.
Severn Eyre. Richard Adams. John Banister. Thomas Jett. Jerman Baker. Benjamin Harrison, jun. Meriwether Smith. John Tazewell.
Thomas Whiting. Thomas Newton, jun. Thomas Bailey. Samuel Kerr. John Gilchrist. Josiah Granbery. Ro. Munford, Mecklenburg. John Prentis.
Edward Hack Mosely, jun. Francis Peyton. William Robinson. James Robinson. James Archdeacon. James Robb. Roger Atkinson. William Holt.
George Washingon. Thomas Barber. James Wood. Archibald Ritchie. Robert Donald. Neil Jamieson. J. H. Norton. John Greenhow.
Burwell Bassett. Lewis Burwell. Bolling Stark. Samuel Eskredge. James M'Dowall. Walter Peter. Lewis Burwell, of Gloucster. Haldenby Dixon.
Spencer M. Ball. James Cocke. Thomas Pettus. Thomas Stith. Alexander Baine. Robert Crooks. Abraham Hite. William Russel.
James Walker. Richard Baker. John Woodson. James Edmondson. John Smith. John Winn. James Parker. Thomas Hornsby.
Edward Osborn. Benjamin Howard. Henry Feild, jun. Anthony Walke. Purdie & Dixon. John Esdale. Edward Brisbane.
Southy Simpson. R. Rutherford. William Roane. John Wilson, of Augusta. James Buchanan. Nathaniel Lyttleton Savage. James Baird.
Richard Lee. Archibald Campbell. Wilson Miles Cary. George Logan. Thomas Scott. Jacob Wray. Neill Buchanan.

Page 2

To Mesrs. C & Osgood Hanbury
via whitehaven
by C Younghusband

Virga: June 1770
Balfour & Barraud
The Association
Rd Augt 6
p Post

Original Format

Ink on paper.


Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, and the Body of Merchants, “The ASSOCIATION entered into last Friday, the 22d instant, by the Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, and the Body of Merchants, assembled in this city.,” John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed August 7, 2022,