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hensive of the Lieutenant-Governor's danger from the general confusion called out “The town-house, the town-house !" when, with irresistible violence, he was forced up by the crowd into the council chamber. There demand was immediately made of him, to order the troops to withdraw from the town-house to their barracks. He refused; but calling from the balcony to the great body of people who remained in the street, he expressed his great concern at the unhappy event; assured them he would do every thing in his power to obtain a full and impartial inquiry, that the law might have its course; and advised them to go peaceably to their homes. Upon this there was a cry—“ Home, home!” and a great part separated, and went home. He then signified his opinion to Lieutenant-Colonel Carr, that if the companies in arms were ordered to their barracks, the streets would be cleared and the town in quiet for that night. Upon their retiring, the rest of the inhabitants, except those in the council chamber, retired also.
Lieutenant-Colonel Dalrymple, at the desire of the Lieutenant-Governor, came to the council chamber, while several justices were examining persons who were present at the transactions of the evening. From the evidence it was apparent that the justices would commit Captain Preston, if taken. Several hours passed before he could be found, and the people suspected that he would not run the hazard of a trial; but at length he surrendered himself to a warrant for apprehending him, and, having been examined, was committed to prison. The next morning the soldiers who were upon guard surrendered also, and were committed. This was not sufficient to satisfy the people, and early in the forenoon they were in motion again. The Lieutenant-Governor caused his council to be summoned, and desired the two Lieutenant-Colonels of the regiments to be present. The selectmen of Boston were waiting the Lieutenant-Governor's coming to council, and, being admitted, made their representation, that, from the contentions arising from the troops quartered in Boston, and, above all, from the tragedy of the last night, the minds of the inhabitants were exceedingly disturbed; that they would presently be assembled in a town-meeting; and that, unless the troops should be remov. ed, the most terrible consequences were to be expected. The justices also of Boston and several of the neighboring towns had assembled, and desired to signify their opinion, that it would not be possible to keep the people under restraint, if the troops remained in town. The Lieutenant-Governor acquainted both the selectmen and the justices, that he had no authority to alter the place of destination of the King's troops ; but that he expected the commanding officers of the two regiments, and would let them know the applications which had been made. Presently after their coming, a large committee from the town-meeting presented an address to the Lieutenant-Governor, declaring it to be the unanimous opinion of the meeting, that nothing could rationally te expected to restore the peace of the town, “and prevent blood and carnage,” but the immediate removal of the troops. The committee withdrew into another room to wait for an answer. Some of the council urged the necessity of com. plying with the people's demand; but the Lieutenant-Governor declared that he would, upon no consideration whatever, give orders for their
removal. Lieutenant-Colonel Dalrymple then signified, that, as the twenty-ninth regiment had originally been designed to be placed at the castle, and was now peculiarly obnoxious to the town, he was content that it should be removed to the castle, until the General's pleasure should be known. The committee was informed of this offer, and the Lieutenant-Governor rose from council, intending to receive no further application upon the subject; but the council prayed that he would meet them again in the afternoon, and Colonel Dalrymple desiring it also, he complied. Before the council met again, it had been intimated to them that the "desire” of the Governor and council to the commanding officer to remove the troops, would cause him to do it, though he should receive no authoritative "order.” As soon as they met, a committee from the townmeeting attended with a second message, to acquaint the LieutenantGovernor, that it was the unanimous voice of the people assembled, consisting, as they said, of near three thousand persons, that nothing less than a total and immediate removal of the troops would satisfy them. Ultimately the scruples of the Lieutenant-Governor were overcome, and he expressed a desire that the troops should be wholly withdrawn from the town to the castle, which was accordingly done. The funeral of the victims was attended with extraordinary pomp. Most of the shops were closed, all the bells of the town tolled on the occasion, and the corpses were followed to the grave by an immense concourse of people arranged six abreast, the procession being closed by a long train of carriages belonging to the principal gentry of the town. Captain Preston and the party of soldiers were afterwards tried. The Captain and six of the men were acquitted, and two were brought in guilty of manslaughter; a result which reflected great honor on John Adams and Josiah Quincy, the counsel for the prisoners, and on the jury.
THE STAMP ACT.
The Stamp Act was not passed in Parliament until March, 1765. Before that time, and while the law was under consideration, all the Colonies protested against it, and most of them sent agents to London to reason with the English Ministers; but in vain. The act passed in the House of Commons, by a vote of two hundred and fifty members against fifty. Doctor Franklin, then in London, wrote, the same evening, to Charles Thomson, afterwards Secretary of the American Congress, as follows :—"The sun of liberty is set; the Americans must light the lamps of industry and economy.” The gentleman answered, "Be assured we shall light torches of quite another kind."
The people of Virginia and Massachusetts were among the first to oppose the Stamp Act. But the same feeling was soon spread over the whole country: The newspapers were still published on paper not stamped, and these were filled with warm discussions upon this subject. The lawyers also agreed to use no stamped paper; a great many public officers gave up their commissions, and vast numbers of the people, calling themselves sons of liberty, agreed to oppose the Stamp Act, and to assist each other, at all hazards.
In Boston, early in the morning of August 14th, two effigies were found hanging on the branch of an old elm, near the southern entrance of the city. One represented a stamp officer. There was a great jack
boot also, out of which rose a horned head. The people collected in crowds from the city and country. About dusk, the images were taken down, placed on a bier, and carried about in solemn procession, the people following, stamping and shouting, “Liberty and property forever-no stamps.” They passed through the town-house, down Kingstreet, into Kilby-street, halted at the house of one Oliver, which they supposed to be meant for a stamp office, and demolished it from top to bottom; they carried off the wood, marched through the streets, with a tremendous noise, to the dwelling of Oliver himself; and there, having gone through the ceremony of chopping off that gentleman's head, in effigy, broke in his windows in an instant.
They then marched up Fort Hill, still following the two figures, jackboot, horns and all
. Here they kindled a bonfire with them, returned to Oliver's house with clubs and staves, and destroyed every part of his gardens, fences and out-houses. Oliver left a few friends in his house, and fled with all possible speed. His friends offended the multitude, and they broke open the doors, and destroyed all the furniture in the lower story. Mr. Oliver gave notice the next day, that he had concluded not to serve as a stamp officer. The people went to his house in the evening again, gave him three cheers of encouragement, and left him without further damage to himself, his house, or his effigy.
The people had now another person to attend to. Having heard that Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson had written to England in favor of the stamp duties, they visited his house in greal numbers. As he assured them, however, that he had written no such thing, they applauded him with skouts, kindled a bonfire, and went home. On the 26th of August, the disorders began again. Some boys were playing round a fire in King-street. The fireward coming to extinguish it, some one whispered him to keep back. The advice was followed by a few blows and kicks, and he soon withdrew.
Meanwhile, a particular whistle was heard from several quarters, followed by cries of “Sirrah! Sirrah!" A long train of persons then came up, disguised, and armed with clubs and bludgeons. They proceeded to surround the house of one Paxton, harbor-master. He thought it well to absent himself; but the crowd followed him to a tavern, where he persuaded them not to destroy his house. They broke open the office and house of Story, another crown officer, opposite the court-house; burned the files and records in the first, and destroyed the furniture in the other.
They afterwards paid some attentions of the same kind to Mr. Hallowell, collector of the duties, drank up the wine in his cellar, and carried off some hundred dollars of his money. They visited Mr. Hutchinson once more about ten o'clock in the evening, and carried off his plate, pictures, furniture, clothing, manuscripts, and about three thousand dollars in cash. Some of the ringleaders of these riots were imprisoned, though soon released. The Governor offered rewards for the discovery of others : a nightly watch was appointed, and, at a numerous town. meeting, the selectmen of the town were desired to use every effort to prevent these disorders for the future.
But the Stamp Act was received every where in a similar manner. At Newport and Providence, in Rhode Island, vast multitudes got together, and dragged about the effigies of several of the crown officers in carts, with halters on their necks; then they hung them up, and cut them down to be burned. Some houses, also, were pillaged. So it was, too, in Connecticut, at New Haven, Lebanon, and other towns; in New Hampshire, Maryland, New York, and as far south as the Carolinas.
When the intelligence of the battle of Lexington, which took place on the 19th of April, 1775, reached General Putnam, he was engaged in ploughing on his farm, at Brooklyn, in Connecticut. He instantly unyoked his cattle, left his plough standing in the unfinished furrow, in the midst of the field, and without stopping to change his dress, immediately set off for the scene of military transactions, in the vicinity of Boston Upon entering the army, he was appointed to the rank of Major-General. On the conclusion of the war, General Washington wrote a letter to General Putnam, in which he warmly expressed the sense he entertained of his services. " The name of Putnam,” says he, “is not forgotten; nor will it be, but with that stroke of time which shall obliterate from my mind the remembrance of all those toils and fatigues through which we have struggled, for the preservation and establishment of the rights, liberties, and independence of our country."
When General Putnam was pursued by General Tyron at the head of fifteen hundred men, his only method of escape was precipitating his horse down the steep declivity of the rock, called Horseneck; and as none of his pursuers dared to follow, he escaped. An act of still more
uarıng intrepidity, was his clearing in a boat the tremendous waterfalls of Hudson's river. This was in the year 1756, when Putnam was enraged in a war with the French and their allies, the Indians. He was ccidentally with a boat and five men on the eastern side of the river, when the men on the opposite side informed him, by signal, that a large body of savages were advancing to surround him, and that there was not a moment to lose. Three modes of conduct were at his option to remain, fight, and be sacrificed; to attempt to pass on the other side, ex.