Cape Cod to Mark Its Early British Rebellion

Olde Colonial Courthouse in Barnstable Village

BARNSTABLE – On July 4th, 1776, the colonies in the New World broke away from the British Empire with a declaration of independence.

But what many don’t know, is that Cape Cod was really first in throwing off the yoke of the British rule.

In the summer of 1774, a reported 1,500 people gathered in Barnstable County to sign a document that they would no longer consider themselves under the control of the king.

By September, Cape Cod was in every respect rid of British control, and by the end of that year, British control had ended in all of Massachusetts except Boston.

On September 27th, local and county officials plan to re-enact that early act of rebellion to commemorate Cape Cod’s streak of independence.

Tale of Cape Cod, a local group that celebrates the history of the region, will help host the event.

“This was not a single, local event that occurred with a protest at the courthouse in 1774. It wiped out British control completely of Cape Cod,” said Phineas Fiske, a member of the group’s board of directors.

“This happened way before independence was declared two years later,” he said.

They plan on signing a replica document when the county commissioners hold a special meeting on the Old Colonial Courthouse on Route 6A in Barnstable.

That’s the same courthouse where British judges once ruled from before the insurrection on Cape Cod in 1774.

“The British enacted something called the ‘Massachusetts Government Act’ in response to the tea party, which yanked away all our rights. And Cape Codders basically said ‘no,’” said Fiske.

With trouble brewing across the colonies, the British apparently let the Cape residents enjoy their self-declared freedom without retribution.

The September 27 event is free and open to the public.

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