This day in history
In 1776, the Society for the Protection of Loyal Colonists (SPLC) issued a report warning of the rise of the so-called "Patriot Movement" in the American colonies. As reported in the Boston General Advertiser, SPLC spokesman Marcus Potok announced his organization had been monitoring the takeover of royal legislatures, militias, and town councils by anti-government extremists. "Dangerous men such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin have stoked the fires of sedition and radicalism among the King's subjects," Potok wrote in his report. "As a result, illegal militias have seen explosive growth, fueled by a furious reaction to much-needed revenue laws duly enacted under the authority of the King." Potok promised that his organization, in close coordination with King George III's government, would work to end extremist activity in the colonies. "Our aim is sometimes described as just monitoring these hate groups. I want to say that our aim is to destroy these groups." Then he added, "After all, we're talking about the mightiest empire in the world, one that a vast majority of its subjects will remain loyal to, despite the heated rhetoric of a few rabble-rousers." Loyalists were assured the "Patriot Movement," while boisterous and potentially violent, had little chance of success. Said Potok, "As long as the enlightened merchants of New York and Boston continue to donate to our organization, the SPLC will expose these self-styled 'Patriots' for what they are, dangerous, hateful radicals."