Boca Grande talks Boston: an overlooked past of an autonomous ‘city-state’
April 1, 2022
By Guest Columnist
In September 1774, John Adams attended the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia and wrote to Abigail about his encounters with the delegates from 12 of the other 13 colonies for the first time. Adams wrote: “I flatter myself, however, that we shall conduct our embassy in such a manner as to merit the approbation of our country.” In this letter, Adams was quite rightly describing himself and the other Massachusetts delegates to the Continental Congress as if they were ambassadors to a foreign power, explains Peterson. “And when Adams says ‘our country,’ he is referring to Massachusetts,” not the United States, notes Peterson, who adds that up until the Civil War, both nationally and internationally, Boston and its New England hinterland was thought of as a separate country with its own “national” identity.