The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XV. Colonial and Revolutionary Literature; Early National Literature, Part I.

II. The Early Drama, 1756–1860

§ 3. The Closing of the Theatres

On 20 October, 1774, the Continental Congress convened and passed a recommendation in its Articles of Association—that the colonists “discountenance and discourage all horse racing and all kinds of gaming, cock fighting, exhibitions of shows, play and other expensive diversions and entertainments.” Douglass and his “American Company,” which had occupied the theatres in the colonies for almost a quarter century, left for the West Indies and the first period in the history of the American drama was closed.