Boston Massacre- 1770 Five colonists were killed by British Troops in Boston on March 5th 1770. The event was precipitated by taunts against British soldiers in Boston. The British responded with force and fired their muskets at the Americans, killing 3 instantly and wounding 11. Two of the wounded soon died. The death of the colonists, in what became known as the Boston Massacre, inflamed American opinion against the British and was one of the most significant events leading up to the Revolution. From the moment the British decided to send troops to Boston it was only a matter of time before British troops were likely to clash with the colonists. That day came on March 5th 1770. In that early evening a British sentry was guarding the custom house on King Street, (what is today "State Street" in downtown Boston.) Colonists began to taunt the sentry. Soon a crowd grew. With the crowd growing, the Officer of the Day, Captain Thomas Preston, ordered seven or eight soldiers under his command to support the sentry. Preston soon followed. By the time the additional troops arrived the crowd had grown to between 300 and 400 hundred men. The evergrowing crowd continued to taunt the British soldiers whose muskets were loaded. The crowd then began pelting the sentries with snowballs. A colonist knocked one of the soldiers down. As the soldier got up, he fired his musket, and then yelled "Damm you, fire". There was a pause and then the British soldiers fired on the colonists. Three Americans-- rope maker Samuel Gray, mariner James Caldwell, and an African American sailor named Crispus Attucks died instantly. Samuel Maverick, struck by a ricocheting musket ball at the back of the crowd, died a few hours later in the early morning of the next day. Thirty-yearold Irish immigrant Patrick Carr died two weeks later. This event quickly became known as "the Boston Massacre". Thanks to the efforts of Boston engraver, Paul Revere, who copied a drawing made by Henry Pelham, the illustration of the above events soon made its way throughout the colonies. The illustration stirred the anger of Americans towards the British. Captain Preston and four of his men were arrested and charged with manslaughter. The soldiers were tried in open court, with John Adams acting as one of the Defense Attorneys. Preston was found "not guilty", as it became clear it was unlikely that he gave the order to fire. The other soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter and punished by having their thumbs branded. From: http://www.historycentral.com/revolt/Massacre.html Stamp Act In order to help cover the cost of the war between Great Britain and France, British officials began to establish new taxes in the Colonies. In 1765 a tax was passed by Great Britain known as the stamp act. This law required all colonists to pay a tax to Great Britain on all of the printed materials that they used, newspapers, magazines, and even playing cards. All of these materials were required to have a stamp placed on them, in order to show that the tax had been paid. Colonist were outraged, and responded by boycotting all British goods. They also attacked officials who were sent by Great Britain to enforce the stamp act, and burned the stamps in the street. Many of the colonies sent representatives to a special meeting in New York, which they called The Stamp Act Congress, where the colonies voted and declared that Parliament did not have the right to pass taxes on the colonies because they did not have any representation in parliament. Many of the colonists began crying ‘No taxation without representation. As a result, the British Parliament repealed the stamp act just one year later in 1766. From: http://www.kidspast.com/world-history/0359-the-stamp-act.php Quartering Act In 1765, Parliament passed a quartering act that stated that British troops in America would be housed in barracks and in public houses unless and until the number of troops overwhelmed the facilities, at which time, the troops could be housed in private commercial property, such as inns and stables, and in uninhabited homes and barns. The quartering would be without compensation and, in fact, owners would be required to provide soldiers with certain necessities such as food, liquor, salt, and bedding, also without compensation. As tensions rose in late 1773 and early 1774, the old quartering act was supplemented with the Quartering Act of 1774. This act, passed on June 2, 1774, required colonists to house troops not only as previously required, but also in private homes. From: http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/quartering-act-june-2-1774.html Boston Tea Party Events Leading to the Tea Party Top of Page The British East India Company had controlled all tea trading between India and the British colonies. As a result of the tea tax, the colonies refused to buy the British tea. Instead, they smuggled tea in from Holland. This left the British East India Company with warehouses full of unsold tea, and the company was in danger of going out of business. The British government was determined to prevent the British East India Company from going out of business. It was going to force the colonists to buy their tea. In May 1773, Prime Minister North and the British parliament passed the Tea Act. The Tea Act allowed the British East India Company to sell tea directly to the colonists, bypassing the colonial wholesale merchants. This allowed the company to sell their tea cheaper than the colonial merchants who were selling smuggled tea from Holland. This act revived the colonial issue of taxation without representation. The colonies once again demanded that the British government remove the tax on tea. In addition, the dockworkers began refusing to unload the tea from ships. The Governor of Massachusetts demanded that the tea be unloaded. He also demanded that the people pay the taxes and duty on tea. The "Boston Tea Party" Top of Page The Boston Tea Party (Source: Library of Congress) On the evening of December 16, 1773, a group of men calling themselves the "Sons of Liberty" went to the Boston Harbor. The men were dressed as Mohawk Indians. They boarded three British ships, the Beaver, the Eleanor and the Dartmouth, and dumped forty-five tons of tea into the Boston Harbor. From: http://www.kidport.com/reflib/usahistory/americanrevolution/teaparty.htm Lexington and Concord The first shots starting the revolution were fired at Lexington, Massachusetts. On April 18, 1775, British Gen Gage sent 700 soldiers to destroy guns and ammunition the colonists had stored in the town of Concord, just Boston. They also planned to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, two of the key leaders of the patriot m The Battle of Lexington and Concord Church Steeple where Paul Revere hung lanterns warning colonists the British were coming (Source: Library of Congress) Dr. Joseph Warren learned of the British plans and sent Paul Revere to alert John Hancock and Samuel Adam Revere promised to warn them when the British soldiers started to march. Since he wasn't sure that he would out of Boston with the message, he made plans to alert people by putting lanterns in the Old North Church st would light one lantern if the British were coming by land, and two lanterns if the British were coming by se On the evening of April 18th, the British troops were ferried across the Boston Harbor to start their march on Paul Revere hung two lanterns in the church steeple. Then Paul Revere, William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Pres warn the colonists that the British were coming. Paul Revere rode to Lexington and alerted Samual Adams and John Hancock. By the time the British soldier Lexington, Samual Adams and John Hancock had escaped. Minute Man Memorial, Concord, Massachusetts (Source: Library of Congress) The colonists had been expecting a fight with the British. They had organized a group of militia, called the M They were called Minutemen because they needed to be prepared to fight on a minutes notice. When the British soldiers reached Lexington, Captain Jonas Parker and 75 armed Minutemen were there to m The Minutemen were greatly outnumbered. The British soldiers fired, killing 8 Minutemen and injuring 10 o Although Paul Revere was captured by British scouts before reaching Concord, other messengers managed t and warn the people. While the British soldiers continued on their way to Concord, the men and women of C busy moving the arms and ammunition to new hiding places in surrounding towns. When the soldiers arrived only able to destroy part of the supplies. The British Retreat to Boston Battle of Lexington and Concord (Source: Library of Congress) Minutemen from nearby towns were now responding to the messengers' warnings. The smoke from the burn was also attracting local farmers and townspeople. A large force of patriots was now gathered in response to troops. As the British soldiers headed back to Boston, they were attacked by the Minutemen. All along the route, Mi local farmers and townspeople continued the attack against the British. By the time the soldiers reached Bost solders were dead and 174 more were wounded. In the days fighting, 49 patriots were killed, and 39 more were wounded.