Preliminaries of the Revolution, 1763-1775

By George Elliott Howard | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XI
FIRST FRUITS OF THE TOWNSHEND ACTS ( 1768-1770)

IN response to the complaints of Bernard and the commissioners, the ministry had resolved on the despatch of a military force. June 8, 1768, Gage was commanded to send troops to Boston; the admiralty was directed to station several armed vessels in the harbor; and orders were given that Castle William should be occupied by the king's troops. Before this the Romney, a fifty-gun ship, had been anchored in the harbor. The captain began to impress American seamen into his service, and one of the impressed men was rescued by the people. On the same day, June 10, John Hancock's sloop Liberty arrived in Boston laden with wines from Madeira. Attempting to inspect the cargo, the collector was seized by the crew and locked on board while contraband goods were landed and a false entry made at the custom-house. After his release the vessel was seized for the fraudulent entry, and, to prevent a rescue, moored under the guns of the Romney.

These events led to a riot in which the houses of

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