Educator’s Timeline of Historical Events Before, During, and After Mission 1: “For Crown or Colony”PDF DOC
June 29, 1767—Parliament enacts the Townshend Acts (or Townshend Duties), which impose taxes on paper, paints, glass, and tea. Colonists angry at “taxation without representation” boycott these British goods and harass the customs officials charged with enforcement of the duties.
October 1, 1768—a troop of British soldiers arrive in Boston to maintain public peace and order, as well as enforce British tax laws. Many colonists in Boston treat the solders as though they are an invading army, and regularly harass them.
February 22, 1770—When a group of colonists protests at the home of Loyalist Ebenezer Richardson, a small riot breaks out and Richardson fires into the crowd, wounding an eleven year-old boy named Christopher Seider. Seider dies later that evening.
February 26, 1770—Christopher Seider’s funeral. Seider is proclaimed a martyr for liberty and a victim of tyranny. Seider’s long funeral procession increased tensions with the British soldiers stationed in Boston.
March 2, 1770—Colonists and British soldiers get into a brawl at John Gray’s ropewalk (a ropemaking facility) in Boston.
March 5, 1770—A wigmaker’s apprentice insults a British officer, and in retaliation, a soldier named Hugh White smacks the apprentice on the side of the head with his musket butt. Several hours later, a crowd of colonists gather around white near the Boston Customs House, throwing snowballs, ice, and oyster shells. More soldiers are sent to help White, the crowd continues to throw snowball and wave sticks, someone yells “Fire!” and the soldiers shoot into the crowd. Five colonists are killed. Although the soldiers plead self-defense, the incident becomes known as “The Boston Massacre” and becomes a major rallying point for Patriotic colonists.
March 6, 1770—Captain Thomas Preston arrested and sent to jail. Citizens of Boston gather in Faneuil Hall, to call for the immediate removal of all British troops from the city. John Adams and Josiah Quincy agree to defend Captain Preston and the soldiers.
March 8, 1770—Four victims of the massacre are buried. All shops in Boston are closed. Over 10,000 mourners participated in the funeral procession.
March 12, 1770—Captain Preston gives a deposition to a Boston court on the events of March 5.
March 14, 1770—Captain Preston and eight British soldiers are indicted for murder for their roles in the Massacre.
September 7, 1770—Captain Preston and the soldiers are formally arraigned on charges of murder. Both Preston and the soldiers plead “not guilty.”
October 24-30, 1770—Captain Preston’s trial. Preston is acquitted from all charges after the evidence fails to establish he ordered the soldiers to fire.
November 27-December 5, 1770—Six of the soldiers are acquitted on all charges. Two of the soldiers are convicted of manslaughter.
December 14, 1770—The two convicted soldiers have their thumbs branded as punishment for their roles in the Massacre.
December 16, 1773–Protesting Parliament’s recently enacted Tea Act, which gives the British East India Company a virtual monopoly on tea in the colonies, Boston Patriot merchants disguised as Indians throw crates of tea into Boston Harbor in what comes to be known as “The Boston Tea Party.”
June 2, 1774 – The British declare martial law in Massachusetts.
October 26, 1774–In preparation for possible confrontation with the British, colonists form local militias known as Minutemen. They are called this for their ability to be ready for battle “at a minute’s notice.”
April 19, 1775—The Revolutionary War officially begins when Massachusetts Minutemen confront British troops at the Battles of Lexington and Concord.