Home to the oldest craft guild in the United States, Carpenter's Hall was the meeting place of the First Continental Congress. In response to the passage of the Coercive Acts by the British government, 56 Representative from 12 of the 13 American colonies met in this building between September 5th and October 26, 1774, The delegates issued a protest against the British government but stopped far short of declaring independence, requesting instead that the colonists be able to enjoy a measure of local autonomy within the British Empire. The colonists acknowledged London's authority over matters of trade and diplomacy, but insisted that they, like all other Englishmen, could only be taxed by their elected representatives. Britain ignored the delegates, pushing the colonists further towards independence.
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