Eventually, they came to accept him and his successor, William Emerson, in 1764, but some families did not and founded their own West Church. In the 1760s and early 1770s, the town was rocked by an uproar over the unsuccessful efforts of Dr. Joseph Lee, a large landholder and opponent of Emerson, to gain church membership. In 1771 Lee engaged in divisive factional strife, another losing battle, to defeat Captain Joseph Barrett in an election for the House of Representatives. Gross said that these divisions, "the failure of community, at its height in the early 1770s, would playa large role in shaping the town's response to revolution."
At first, the remonstrances by leading citizens of Boston, such as James Otis, against efforts by the British to raise additional revenues by enforcing laws enacted by Parliament in Westminster seemed remote to the concerns of Concordians. However, during the Stamp Act crisis of 1765, the town meeting instructed its representative on the General Council, Charles Prescott, a Tory, to vote in favor of repeal. Moderate in its opposition, Concord was far from ready for a break with Britain, but opposed in principle taxation without representation. Gross said "the town took little part in the protests against the Townshend Acts in 1767 and 1768." When, however, the General Council opposed Concord's campaign to locate the Middlesex County Courthouse there, Concord in May 1768 dropped Prescott in favor of the more militant Captain James Barrett.
Opinion in Concord, however, hardened against the British who undertook a series of actions in the early 1770s which Concordians regarded as infringements upon their liberties: (a) the decision to pay senior Justices by the Crown rather than through the Council which Barrett was instructed to oppose; (b) the Coercive Acts of 1774 which had resulted in the closing of the Port of Boston (after the Boston Tea Party), the arrival of British troops, the proroguing of ...
Robert Gross's book. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 12:57, March 31, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304183072.html