One of the two major secret groups involved in the American Revolution, the Committees of Correspondence came into being in the 1760s among leading citizens of the American colonies who favoured reforms in the colonies’ relationship with Great Britain. The Committees circulated news and helped coordinate political activities across the 13 colonies. Many of their members were also involved in Freemasonry; no evidence shows a direct link between colonial Masonic lodges and the Committees, but Masonic connections likely formed a major channel by which the Committees expanded and recruited new members.
The Committees in New York and Boston played an important role in founding the other major secret society of the Revolution, the terrorist Sons of Liberty, and Committee members Samuel Adams and Paul Revere led the Sons of Liberty in many of their most famous actions. In 1773, as relations with Britain soured, the Committees were absorbed into colonial legislatures, and the first Continental Congress in 1776 rendered the Committees obsolete by establishing a more formal structure for cooperation between the colonies.
The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies : the ultimate a-z of ancient mysteries, lost civilizations and forgotten wisdom written by John Michael Greer – © John Michael Greer 2006