Using previously unreported archival information from town records, newspapers and letters, Raphael writes that in the summer of 1774, common citizens throughout Massachusetts seized political power by forcing every Crown-appointed official in rural areas to resign.
The uprisings began, Raphael writes, after the British Crown revoked the power of the colonists' votes, outlawed town meetings and replaced officials previously selected by the people with appointed officials.
“The citizens of Massachusetts refused to go along with any of this,” Raphael said…..
In Worcester, 4,622 militiamen from 37 surrounding communities lined Main Street as Crown-appointed officials walked the gauntlet, reciting their resignations 30 times each, “so all could hear,” according to Raphael.
Similar movements took place in Taunton, Salem, Barnstable, Plymouth and Springfield, he said.
“The functionaries of British rule cowered and collapsed, no match for the collective force of patriotic farmers,” Raphael writes in the book's introduction.”