Massachusetts: Polity Style: 1692-2023 - Archontology

Massachusetts: Polity Style: 1692-2023

7/17 Oct 1691 Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, Colony of (New) Plymouth, Province of Maine, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and parts of Nova Scotia are united as a crown colony by the Charter granted by King William III and Queen Mary II [Massachusetts Acts and Resolves, 1:1-20]
16/26 May 1692 - 17 Mar 1776 Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England
16/26 May 1692 Province of the Massachusetts Bay is organised upon the installation of the first provincial Governor in Boston in accordance with the Royal Charter of 7/17 Oct 1691 [Notes on the Massachusetts Royal Commissions, 44-46]
5 May 1775 Provincial Congress, in session at Watertown, passes a resolve withdrawing recognition of the provincial Governor [Journals of Each Provincial Congress, 192-193]
20 Jun 1775 Provincial Congress, in session at Watertown, accepts the recommendations of the Continental Congress (resolve of 9 Jun 1775) on recognising the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor vacant [Journals of Each Provincial Congress, 358-360] [1]
17 Mar 1776 British administration leaves Boston
17 Mar 1776 - 18 Jul 1776 Colony of the Massachusetts Bay [2]
1 Jun 1776 the exercise of authority in the name of the King of Great Britain ceased, government is to be carried out in the name of the "Government and People of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England", in accordance with an act passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly (passed by the House of Represenatatives 1 May 1776, concurred in by the Council 1 May 1776, effective 1 Jun 1776) [Massachusetts Acts and Resolves, 5:484-485; Massachusetts Session Laws, 1775-1776, c. XII, pp. 49-50; American Archives, ser. 4, 5:1301; Massachusetts House Journal (1776), 229 (error for 209)] [3]
4 Jul 1776 the British colonies represented in the Continental Congress are proclaimed "free and independent states" in accordance with a declaration approved by the Congress on 4 Jul 1776, session of the Continental Congress, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Journals of the Continental Congress, 5:510-515)
18 Jul 1776 independence as one of the "free and independent states" is proclaimed on the orders of the Council, public ceremony, State House, Boston [The Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal, Monday, July 22, 1776, No. 1105, p. 3; Massachusetts Acts and Resolves, 5:651-653]
18 Jul 1776 - 25 Oct 1780 State of the Massachusetts Bay [4]
10 Mar 1778 resolution of the General Court or Assembly approves the Instructions authorising the delegates of Massachusetts Bay in the Continental Congress "to subscribe said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union as they were recommended by Congress" (passed by the House of Representatives 10 Mar 1778, concurred in by the Council 10 Mar 1778) [Massachusetts House Journal (1778), 63; Journals of the Continental Congress, 11:663]
25 Oct 1780 Constitution or Frame of Government takes effect in accordance with the resolution passed by the Constitutional Convention of 16 Jun 1780 [Massachusetts Constitutional Convention Journal, 186]
25 Oct 1780 - Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Mar 1781 formed part of the United States upon the taking effect of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (Journals of the Continental Congress, 19:213-223)

[1] Continental Congress passed this resolve in response to the application of the Provincial Congress (approved 16 May 1775) asking advice on "the taking up and exercising the powers of civil government" [Journals of Each Provincial Congress, 229-231; Journals of the Continental Congress, 2:79, 81, 83]
[2] In official use by the Provincial Congress and Council before 17 Mar 1776 (the earliest evidence found in Journals of Each Provincial Congress dates back to 1 May 1775 when the Congress approved the form of military commissions).
[3] Full title: An Act for establishing the Stile of Commissions which shall hereafter be issued, and for altering the Stile of Writs, Processes, and all Law Proceedings within this Colony; and for directing how Recognizances to the Use of this Government, shall for the future be taken and prosecuted.
[4] After the public proclamation of independence (18 Jul 1776), the word "state" in the polity style was substituted for "colony", although no formal act was passed to that effect. A motion to determine which word should be used in the proceedings failed 10 Sep 1776. In the session of 7 Dec 1776, the House of Representatives "Ordered, That the words "State of Massachusetts-Bay," be inserted on the top of all acts and resolves that shall hereafter pass this Court." [Massachusetts House Journal (1777), 189; Massachusetts Acts and Resolves, 5:653]
Last updated on: 21 Sep 2023 21:27:26; URL: