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Pre-Revolutionary War intelligence report acquired

A rare Boston newspaper that pre-dates the Revolutionary War is now part of the Institute of World Politics’ special collection.

The newspaper provides a look at the political warfare and underground activities of the nation’s Founding Fathers, and at the country’s very first intelligence operations.

The September 26, 1774 issue of the Boston Evening Post contains what it calls “important intelligence” that Paul Revere brought back from the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

The paper reported that the Continental Congress voted unanimously to support the Suffolk Resolves, which Boston patriots had adopted to declare economic warfare against Great Britain and to authorize the formation of armed self-defense units – the Minutemen who became the nucleus of the United States Army.

Revere rode on horseback from Boston to Philadelphia to get the support of the Continental Congress, and to bring the news back so the Boston patriots could begin organizing to fight the British. Continental Congress members in attendance included John Adams, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Jay and George Washington.

Eight months later, on April 18, 1775, Revere made his famous midnight ride to warn that “the British are coming!” The British advanced inland to disarm and subdue the citizen militias, and the following day on Lexington Common, the war for American independence began.