It’s a quote I love from a group I hate. The Continental Association was more totalitarian than British rule as far as civil liberties go. Here’s the passage from Taylor’s book that surrounds the quote.
“Going door-to-door, committeemen [of the Continental Association] urged every man and woman to sign the association or suffer the consequences. Inviting everyone to spy on their neighbors, the committees ferreted out, seized, and burned stashes of [British] tea and conservative books while a crowd gathered at the county courthouse to hoot at the culprits. After confessing, the suspects had to ignite the condemned items in festive bonfires that rallied public support for the new committees and intimidated the wavering.
“Shaming and shunning usually sufficed in intimate communities of colonial America, so only the most persistent and vocal conservatives suffered violence. In Connecticut, Dr Abner Beebe continued to deride Congress, so a mob seized him. According to a friend, Beebe was ‘stripped naked, and hot Pitch was poured upon him, which blistered his skin. He was then carried to a Hog Sty and rubbed over with Hog’s Dung. They threw the Hog’s Dung in his Face and rammed some of it down his Throat… His house was attacked, his Windows broke.’
“Acting in the name of liberty, the committees suppressed speech by their critics. The Philadelphia Committee insisted that ‘no person has the right to the protection of a community or society which he wishes to destroy… by speeches and writings’ which ‘aid and assist our enemies.’ Patriots broke open mail to read letters from suspected critics of Congress. A merchant begged his correspondents to censor their words because ‘the temper of the people is such that misconstructions are put on the most innocent expressions’ by ‘those who call themselves the Assertors of American Freedom.’”