“I don’t think the Bostonians set out to destroy property. See, Benjamin H. Irvin, "Tar, feathers, and the enemies of American liberties, 1768-1776. Even after he resigned, they almost destroyed the whole house of his close associate Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson. The organization spread hour by hour, after independent starts in several different colonies. There was no single leader of the Son's of Liberty. The Boston Tea Party, as the act would become known, was one of the key events that pushed the colonies and the British government toward war. According to Adams biographer Dennis Fradin, the Sons enforced the boycott by sending boys to smash the windows and smear excrement on the walls of local shops that didn’t comply. “Their first preference would have been to send the tea back. As that group grew, it came to be known as the Sons of Liberty. [10], In December 1773, a new group calling itself the Sons of Liberty issued and distributed a declaration in New York City called the Association of the Sons of Liberty in New York," which formally stated that they were opposed to the Tea Act and that anyone who assisted in the execution of the act was "an enemy to the liberties of America" and that "whoever shall transgress any of these resolutions, we will not deal with, or employ, or have any connection with him."[11]. The Sons of Liberty were a grassroots group of instigators and provocateurs in colonial America who used an extreme form of civil disobedience—threats, and in some cases actual violence—to intimidate loyalists and outrage the British government. After Parliament passed the Townshend Acts in 1767, which imposed import duties on goods such as china and glass, Adams organized a boycott to keep British goods out of Massachusetts altogether. They both came under federal prosecution in 1864 for treason, especially in Indiana. The group may have taken its name from a speech given in Parliament by Isaac Barre, an Irish member sympathetic to the colonists, who warned that the British government’s behavior “has caused the blood of these sons of liberty to recoil within them.”. In Boston, the Sons of Liberty invited hundreds of citizens to dine with them each August 14 to commemorate the first Stamp Act uprising. The Son likely formed from a secretive group of nine Boston-based patriots who called themselves the Loyal Nine. The law threatened the livelihood of the American merchants who had been importing tea from Dutch traders. After the end of the American Revolutionary War, Isaac Sears, Marinus Willet, and John Lamb in New York City revived the Sons of Liberty. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! The Sons of Liberty also opposed the Townshend Acts, the Tea Tax, and any form of "Taxation without Representation". The Sons couldn’t let that stand. • Samuel Adams – political writer, tax collector, cousin of John Adams, fire warden. They grew by your neglect of them. Another key member was John Hancock, who later was immortalized by his flamboyant signature on the Declaration of Independence. All Rights Reserved. were started in Boston, Massachusetts in protest of the Stamp Act of 1765. ", Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, A flag having 13 horizontal red and white stripes, "Colonial and Revolutionary War Flags (U.S.)", Association of the Sons of Liberty in New York, December 15, 1773, Washington calls off invasion of New York, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, African Americans in the Revolutionary War, Clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1766—1774, Probable author, 1768–1769 "Journal of Occurrences", Arranged Christopher Seider funeral, 1770, Co-inspired and publicized, Boston Tea Party, Co-author, 1775 "Letter to the inhabitants of Canada", Signed, United States Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere time capsule, 1st and 3rd Governor of Massachusetts, 1780–1785, 1787–1793, President, 2nd Continential Congress, 1775–1777, President, Massachusetts Provincial Congress, Chairman, Massachusetts Committee of Safety, Presided over, signed, United States Declaration of Independence, Co-founder, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, United States presidential election, 1788–89, Secretary, Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Dunlap broadside, Declaration of Independence, Seal of the President of the United States, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sons_of_Liberty&oldid=991232675, 1765 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies, New York (state) in the American Revolution, Tarring and feathering in the United States, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia pending changes protected pages, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Carson, Clayborne, Jake Miller, and James Miller. John Adams. Samuel Adams (left) and John Hancock were prominent members of the Sons of Liberty. "Liberty, conscription, and a party divided-The Sons of Liberty conspiracy, 1863-1864. After forming in the summer of 1765, the Boston Sons chapter marched through the streets and burned stamp officer Oliver’s effigy, and then broke into and looted his house. George Washington. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. More likely, the name was an underground term for any men resisting new Crown taxes and laws. Some of the more famous Sons of Liberty included it's leader, the "Father of American Independence", Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, … The Sons didn’t stop there. James Otis, Paul Revere, Benedict Arnold, and Dr. Benjamin Rush, among others, were also involved in the group. Ebenezer McIntosh, a leader of the Sons of Liberty, named his son Paschal Paoli McIntosh in honour of him. A flag having 13 horizontal red and white stripes was used by Commodore Esek Hopkins (Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy) and by American merchant ships during the war. The Sons’ defiance of the British not only helped spur the Revolutionary War, it also fostered an American tradition of grassroots activism that various activist groups have applied over the centuries to push for change. It is believed that the Sons of Liberty did this to excite the lower classes and get them actively involved in rebelling against the authorities. The American Sons of Liberty movement were inspired by Paoli. These were not the leading men of Boston, but rather workers and tradesmen. [2], In popular thought, the Sons of Liberty was a formal underground organization with recognized members and leaders. Most of all, they argued the British government could not compel Americans to pay taxes. [13][14][15], At various times, small secret organizations took the name "Sons of Liberty.” They generally left very few records. [Were] they nourished by your indulgence? [1] The group disbanded after the Stamp Act was repealed. “At the outset, most Sons of Liberty only wanted something limited—for Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act,” Carp explains. He represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress meetings. John Adams was the cousin to the leader of the Sons of Liberty. In Boston in early summer of 1765 a group of shopkeepers and artisans who called themselves The Loyal Nine, began preparing for agitation against the Stamp Act. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. The Sons’ most prominent leader was Samuel Adams, the son of a wealthy brewer who was more interested in radical rabble-rousing than commerce. 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