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Boston Port Act

The Boston Port Act was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which became law on March 31, 1774, took effect on June 1, 1774. It was one of five measures that were enacted during the spring of 1774 to punish Boston for the Boston Tea Party; the Act was a response to the Boston Tea Party. King George III's speech of 7 March 1774 charged the colonists with attempting to injure British commerce and subvert the Constitution, on the 18th Lord North brought in the Port Bill, it outlawed the use of the Port of Boston for "landing and discharging, loading or shipping, of goods and merchandise" until such time as restitution was made to the King's treasury and to the East India Company for damages suffered. In other words, it closed Boston Port to all ships, no matter, it provided that Massachusetts Colony's seat of government should be moved to Salem and Marblehead made a port of entry. The Act was to take effect on June 1; some of the strongest allies of America in Parliament at first approved the Act as moderate and reasonable, arguing that the town could end the punishment at any time by paying for the merchandise destroyed in the riot and allowing law and order to have their course.

But the Whig opposition soon collected itself, the bill was fought in its various stages by Edmund Burke, Isaac Barré, Thomas Pownall and others. In spite of them, the Act became a law the 31 of March, without a division in the Commons and by unanimous vote in the Lords. Royal Navy warships subsequently began patrols at the mouth of Boston Harbor to enforce the acts; the British Army joined in enforcing the blockade, Boston was filled with troops, Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief. Colonists protested that the Port Act penalized thousands of residents and violated their rights as subjects of George III; as the Port of Boston was a major source of supplies for the citizens of Massachusetts, sympathetic colonies as far away as South Carolina sent relief supplies to the settlers of Massachusetts Bay. So great was the response, that the Boston leaders boasted that the town would become the chief grain port of America if the act were not repealed. June 1 was observed as a day of fasting and prayer, bells being tolled, flags placed at half-mast, houses draped in mourning.

This was the first step in the unification of the thirteen colonies, which now had a cause for which to work together. The First Continental Congress was convened in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774, to coordinate a colonial response to the Port Act and the other Coercive Acts. Frothingham, Richard; the Rise of the Republic of the United States. Boston: Little, Brown and Co. Halsey, R. T. H.. The Boston Port Bill. Grolier Club. Full text of the Boston Port Act Observations on the act of Parliament called the Boston port-bill: with thoughts on civil society and standing armies Boston, N. E..

Coolidge Corner Theatre

Coolidge Corner Theatre is an independent cinema in the Coolidge Corner section of Brookline, Massachusetts specializing in international, documentary and independent film selections and series. Coolidge Corner Theatre was built as a Universalist church in 1906 and was redesigned as an Art Deco movie palace in 1933 as the community's first movie theatre; the theatre opened on December 1933 with its first film being a Disney short film. The theatre only had one screen but was divided into two and four. In the 1980s, owner and operator Justin Freed thought that he could no longer compete with rising video sales and competition from other art houses. In 1986, the theatre was sold to a developer due to financial trouble and planned to be torn down or converted to commercial business. Harold Brown, a Boston real estate magnate living in Brookline, bought the whole building and leased the theatre to the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation in November 1989 for 99 years; the Coolidge Award annually recognizes a film artist who “advances the spirit of original and challenging cinema.’’ Among recipients of this venue's annual Coolidge Award are include: Vittorio Storaro Meryl Streep Jonathan Demme Viggo Mortensen Thelma Schoonmaker Jane Fonda Werner Herzog Michael Douglas Julianne Moore

Little Boquillas Ranch

The Little Boquillas Ranch is an historic ranch property located in western Cochise County, near the Fairbank Historic Townsite in what is now part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. The Little Boquillas Ranch gets its name from the San Juan de las Boquillas y Nogales land grant, granted to the family of Rafael Elias Gonzales by the Mexican government in 1833; the grant ran from a point near what is now the ghost town of Charleston, north to a point just to the south of Fairbank, along the San Pedro River. The San Rafael del Valle grant, owned by Rafael's cousin, Captain Ignacio Elias Gonzales, was to the south of the Boquillas grant and ran from what is now the community of Hereford north to Charleston. Both were four "sitios", or 18,000 acres, in size; the early years were prosperous for the Mexican settlers. The local Apaches soon started raiding again, leading to the abandonment of the area for the next few decades. By the late 1840s, the only remnant of the Mexican settlement were thousands of wild cattle left behind to roam on the open range.

Following the end of the Mexican–American War and the Gadsden Purchase in 1853, most of the San Pedro Valley became part of the United States, which agreed to acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of the old Spanish and Mexican land gants in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Apache raids continued, postponing the development of the area until the final quarter of the century, when silver and copper were discovered in the Tombstone and Bisbee areas, leading to a rush of incoming American settlers. Being the only land with a reliable source of water for miles around, the old Mexican land grants along the San Pedro River filled up with American homesteaders and other settlers, many of whom made a living producing food and other necessities for the people in the nearby boomtowns and the soldiers at Fort Huachuca. In 1880, the San Francisco businessman George Hearst and his partner, George Hill Howard, purchased the Boquillas land grant from the Elias family in Sonora. Hearst, who became the sole owner of the property, began selling off parcels of land for townsites, ranches, farms and a railroad soon after, making him responsible for much of the early development of the region.

In 1891, the United States government established the Court of Private Land Claims to validate land grant claims and attempt to sort out the problems caused by the Surveyor Office, which had validated claims. The same year George Hearst died and his son, William Randolph Hearst, his widow, Phoebe Hearst, filed papers to have their exclusive claim to the Boquillas land grant recognized. In 1899, the Land Claim Court ruled that only the Hearst family had valid title to the land grant, but not everyone was in agreement. A group of some thirty residents of the land grant soon filed a lawsuit to dispute the ruling, although the case made it to the highest court in the nation, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Land Claims Court in 1906. In 1901, while their case was still pending in the Supreme Court, the Hearst family sold the Boquillas land grant to the Kern County Land and Cattle Company, a large mining and ranching conglomerate based in California. Kerns formed the Boquillas Land and Cattle Company in 1901 and began raising cattle from a new headquarters established two miles south of Fairbank, called the Little Boquillas Ranch.

The Boquillas Land and Cattle Company moved to clear out their rangeland for cattle by evicting all of the "squatting" homesteaders. The Supreme Court's ruling in 1906 further served to depopulate the San Pedro Valley by triggering an exodus from the area. Boquillas allowed only a handful of favored families and their businesses to remain in Fairbank, along with a few other families living on land, sold by George Hearst; the Little Boquillas Ranch continued raising livestock along the San Pedro River all the way up until 1971, when the Tenneco Oil Company gained title to the Del Valle and Boquillas land grants through the acquisition of the parent Kern County Land and Cattle Company. In 1986, the Boquillas and Del Valle grants were acquired by the Bureau of Land Management in a land exchange to form what is now the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, a large nature preserve that focuses on protecting and restoring the riparian corridor along the San Pedro River. Several historic buildings and other structures associated with the early history of the Little Boquillas Ranch remain in the San Pedro National Conservation Area, including the Little Boquillas Ranch headquarters, the Fairbank Historic Townsite and the San Pedro House near Sierra Vista.

The latter was built by the Boquillas Land and Cattle Company in the 1930s and is now used as a visitor center and trailhead for accessing the San Pedro River. The following historic buildings and structures are maintained by the BLM, which believes that most of the ranch development was in place by 1910: Ranch House: Red brick building Foreman's House: White wooden frame building Smokehouse: Red frame building next to the ranch house Blacksmith's shop: Adobe building next to barn Barn: Large red frame building attached to one of the corrals Corrals: Wooden fencing Brown Canyon Ranch Faraway Ranch Historic District San Bernardino Ranch Empire Ranch