Skip to main content

tv   Boston the Road to Revolution 1770-1775  CSPAN  October 19, 2019 7:15pm-8:01pm EDT

7:15 pm
c-span3. next is an: illustrated talk on boston's role in the origins of the revolutionary war. mr. greenwald organizes his event -- his talk around three events. the boston massacre, the boston tea party and the battles of lexington and concorde. the emerging revolutionary war blog, gatsby's tavern museum and the lyceum of virginia cohosted. afternoon, the please welcome philip greenwald. philip is a cofounder of emerging revolutionary war and a full-time contributor to emerging civil war. he is the author or co-author of two volumes in the emerging revolutionary war series in three volumes in the emerging civil war series. one of his books is downstairs.
7:16 pm
he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from wheeling jesuit and has a graduate degree in history from george mason. he has a supervisory park ranger with the park service in florida. you can ask him about fun things he might have seen recently. why that, let's learn about someone would want to burn down boston. [laughter] [applause] >> there is a microphone. i am a park ranger in the everglades, so i did not bring any snakes, so everyone can stay in the first and second rows. today's talk is centered on something farther north. fan, a baltimore orioles there are a number of reasons i
7:17 pm
want to see boston burn, especially fenway. today is the road to revolution and boston at the center of that , i figured isition would sum it up in three days. march 5 17 70, december 16, 1773, april 19th 1775. so thanks for coming. we will take questions. [applause] there -- [laughter] they are important dates. they disrupted the colonies. in as do not happen vacuum. centralmic events are to the history of revolutionary war, but so are the smaller breadcrumbs, or should we say the paving stones on the road to revolution. these are the ones that lead up to the big meal, that build a
7:18 pm
cause. boston -- i figure there is no more iconic photo and the trail in boston. sites to encourage your visit. we will try to get through four of these points. the colonial perspective, the british perspective, may be to change your mind a little bit on general gates. and from words to war. boston, this is a map from the book downstairs. 15,520in 1765 had withitants in 1670 houses less than 3000 white males 16 years or older. that is the legal age to serve in the militia.
7:19 pm
there were 800 slaves. see whathoto, you can was boston at the time of the revolution. and was boston now. , you can visit leach we are point, ready british land on april 19. the reason that it seems so far in land today -- they did not land in the middle of a business district. boston did fluctuate, the reason 1765 is picked is the last real sense we have of the city prior to 1770. before we get to that part, we need to go back in time. this is one of the most famous images. you can put them up in multiple images, they attack the first martyr of the revolution there. have what is amazing is
7:20 pm
what we think of today having social media, information at your fingertips. the colonists were great about building pamphlets or spreading the word. 18th century social media, getting information out. the images and the wording here, i did cut it off for some of the highlighted names there. the initials down here on the grave really bringing the iconic image out. the other image, the boston tea party, where they dump a bunch of tea bags and they flow up. cases. just like americans, they do respect property. they're only going to break open the casks that hold tea. and put into the harbor.
7:21 pm
i like that image there on the right. shaded, but it is showing that. let's go back further. question how the did the road to revolution start. how did george washington switch from being a member of the british empire to being a revolutionary. where does one like samual adams start. asmight has started as early 1740. a lot of these people had land. they had resources, they had goods to sell, but they were not rich in hard currency. this idea populated that you could use the land as a form of currency. you can see here and you can use it for barter and trade. this was an effort of landowners
7:22 pm
and artisans to use work products as currency. ideawas a very popular except for the merchants who had money in access to coins and currency. this was a threat to their livelihood. furthermore, there were 5000 supporters of the land act -- land bank. this caused even more consternation for the members of high society. as quickly as letters could reach 3000 miles, he got to the british parliament, the proverbial kiss of death for the land bank happened when the supporters land bank returned by the british parliament. those investors lost headway. some lost more than they could bear. others became impoverished. one of the latter was samuel adams. that was the fruit planted for
7:23 pm
this massachusetts son to come under the most vocal supporters of independence. with the ruling and even after adams's death, the younger adams had to defend seizure by the government. this served as a constant reminder that britain's power over the colonies could be exercised in arbitrary and destructive ways. those destructive ways led to another breadcrumb, who is credited with coining the phrase taxation without representation. this gentleman right there. taxation without representation is tyranny was his thing. we usually drop off the last words and i think if you went across the potomac, you would see that on license plates. is kind of left off. we believe that there before we get into a current political
7:24 pm
conversation. hails from a family that will produce and would become a president of the u.s. senate afterwards. as daughter would marry gentleman named benjamin lincoln , second in command at georgetown. other initially he has appointed resignsate general, he when a chief justice did not go to his father but a longtime opponent of the family. he would become a staunch loyalist. he represented merchants arguing against the legality of assistance and started a lifelong political thinker including lighting pamphlets. if you want to be a revolutionary, write a pamphlet. that was used by revolutionaries to build interest. john adams, way to the left
7:25 pm
one whosewas never service was so essential as tose mr. otis from 1760 1770. furthermore, in february 1761, he gave a five hour oratory, which is about as long as my talk today. in the statehouse in boston. otis bys would remember saying that the child was then -- the child of independence was then in their born. everyone in the audience appeared to go away as i did, ready to take the rate of assistance and promote the cause of colonial independence. otis did suffer from mental illness. it probably happened prior to any incident at a boston coffeehouse in 1769 when he was struck over the head and he would deteriorate.
7:26 pm
he had moments of lucidity but most of his public life was over by the end of the 1770's. he passed away suddenly, standing in the door of his house and was quoted saying that when it was time for him to , hern, to heaven or above would go by being struck by lightning and later on, it seemed like he died being struck by lightning. luminary largely forgotten is this gentleman. a great recent biography came parthe is such an integral that you can't do anything leading up to the revolution without having him somewhere in that conversation. whether it is the night of april 18 when he and other gentlemen when all of the rest, sam adams, john adams are down at continental congress, he
7:27 pm
is left in boston. he is serving as president of committee of safety, given a generalship. resolves,the suffolk submitted by the congress approved. unfortunately, he can't stay out of any action and end up fighting at the batter of bunker where he meets his untimely death, which deprives the nation of one of the great gentlemen not only a medical genius, but a practical thinker that could move between different echelons of society. thats so immensely felt general gage said his death would equally 500 men equivalent. there by hise sworn enemy. gentlemen, for every
7:28 pm
revolutionary you need the guy that can walk the streets, the rabble-rousers to get people protesting. william is one of them. he is the gentleman that could get people up in arms. he was a radical. some believe he was poisoned by the british. 1774.ld die in october he was one of the sons of liberty, not at the meeting house but on the wharf. probably organizing part of the boston tea party. he was popular with the working classes, fomenting public resentment since the townsend act. this gentleman brewing beer, samuel adams, we don't need to talk about him. from gout. it would've been such a great story to bring out a few years ago, the history channel did a documentary sons of liberty and
7:29 pm
he could be a gq model running across roofs. i think you are missing the point of this gentleman. that, just watch keep in mind, that samuel adams is not a 25-year-old gq model. the one guy i did not put a pair , i figured he would be later in hancock.ns, john in future symposiums, we will talk more about him. on the others of the coin, you have gentlemen such as these. frederick north. as the doctor was saying, sometimes the grammar or writing would not adhere to certain rules, so you can see he spelled a little differently there. don't quitemen
7:30 pm
understand what is going on. 1774, he believes the present madness of people in boston is not for answering events. george germane, interesting character. orders andto defy inn society, but takes over november 1775. minister eventually during the war tries to subdue the american colonies. to step tol trying the sky. you read the first history books. this guy surprisingly has horns on his head how bad a gentleman he was. he does asad more, much as he can being in a
7:31 pm
has anyone been at work where the superiors don't know the situation on the ground and you are witnessing what's going on in the field and trying to communicate between the two and you realize they are 3000 miles away than it takes six months to get a letter to them then you have your wife who is an american and might be a spy, he got to send her away. and then you got communicating with the church. that he had ang good nights sleep the whole time he was in boston. supporthave some of the of isaac from the house of commons. they sent general gage, a man of great abilities in that country, which i'm sure they would never do unless you give him a sword in one hand and the olive branch in another. i think that sums up his efforts. he tried to defy the colonists and he is supposed to give and
7:32 pm
olive branch. the colonistsme, are hit with the acts that move the government out of boston. you have to close the port of boston. we have the back act and the quartering act. next thing you know, he is dealing with a lot of unemployed people in the ports, soldiers in the town. we removed governments chance to elect leaders and if any of the british get in trouble, we don't have to try them in the colonies. we can send them 3000 miles away. obviously, everything is peachy in boston. time, he is trying to figure out what to do with limited manpower. cost of british colonial policy. has let the colonies go by themselves. haven't taxed them.
7:33 pm
now they need to pay for things like the french and indian war, soldiers on the border, massive debt and need to incorporate the land they have gained. gage is the guy in the wrong place at the right time to replace jeffrey amherst. gage has been in the colonies for years. his body makes what is often a , after lordent north's administration takes over. anyone want this job? exactly. he is in a tough situation, but as he is doing it, he does try different methods. trying to meet with the public there. all of these images are on copyrighted from the new york public library, library of
7:34 pm
congress, so if you search austin, it comes up. i do invite you to look through if you have a free moment. youhows you the history of of how we remember from newspapers to painted images to primary sources. it is interesting to see how we study one subject and why we continue to. piece, he tries to get the british soldiers out. i chose this image for now purpose because it does not show a british flag. it is showing a north view of the harbor of boston. at no time did castle william fire a shot in anger, but it is where the troops where the house to get them out of boston.
7:35 pm
another piece gage tries to commit with the colonists. we are on the road to revolution, and another has been a lot of social topics, military history is still important. these are two places ready revolution might have started. these are other breadcrumbs on the path to revolution. for once we will talk about salem without which trials. that is where some believe the first shots of the war happened in new hampshire. a is a very hard word for baltimore to say. hamp-shire, but i'm told that is from lord of the rings and not the revolutionary war. 1775, as he sends
7:36 pm
lieutenant colonel alexander leslie with the 64th regiment. i shift to marblehead with instructions to mark with troops, sees cannons and munitions. cannons are going to come back up. by his leslie was known officers as a genteel little man who lives well. happyuld be great to be a hour with him. marblehead for one hour of worship expecting not to be discovered then sent men by boat with redcoats and hopefully they are not discovered. if that sounds familiar, once again. hope the soldiers cross in boats and hope they are not seen. he ran to the door of the church and beat his drum and alarm signal. by this time, troops marched to
7:37 pm
salem. if they are trying not to be discovered, playing music is probably not the way to do it. approached, this would have been behind that photo there, they can hear the church bells ringing and discover that people had already pulled planks from the bridge. this was repaired and they began the march into the public square. expecting to be a victorious army entering a conquered city. soon after, leslie learned the location of the cannons and proceed with troops to the north bridge. time, the term the regulars are coming is heard as he leaves his house. that is the same thing paul revere would say, obviously saying the british are coming would be like me running to the streets yelling the americans would coming.
7:38 pm
that's what they believed they were still, so it was the regulars. the congregation immediately dispersed. mason road in the direction of the cannons to secure them. at this time, the salem militia is under the general. i love titles of 18th-century books because they tell you exactly what is in the book. that saying you can't judge a book by a cover, in 18th-century america, you can. this is an easy plan for the militia. kind of the spark notes book of the 18th century. it would later be used as the continental army drill book. why make something even harder. first time in american government tort military history that we actually made something simple. men from the south side rushed to the river and any an effort to calm the situation, mr.
7:39 pm
get people too bring it down but people said we don't know you in this business. when we have orders, it will be done. now, they have a situation. leslie has to cross the bridge and look for the cannons and munitions. the bridge is out, there are people on both sides. the colonel, with no fear for his own life, standing next to colonel leslie and heard him give orders to fire on the people. this is obviously coming to a person sympathetic to the patriots and responded, you had to be dead. you have no right to fire and if you do, you will be all dead men. apparently, the order was not repeated. had the command been enforced, sale might have been the first the revolution. leslie was a military man.
7:40 pm
he has to cross the bridge to look for the cannons. that is his order. leslie tells the captain i'm determined to pass this bridge before i returned to boston. if i return here until next autumn. answers, nobody would care for that. they don't want british soldiers staying there. leslie responded, i will not be defeated. imagine having to officers basically yell at each other while 240 british soldiers and militia are hanging out just wondering what the conversation is going on. responded, you must acknowledge that you have already been baffled. leslie responded it is the kings highway and i would not be prevented from passing. another gentleman enters and says, it is a road filled by the
7:41 pm
owners on either side and no king, country or town has any control. ,t is getting late in the day the tide was not low, and where that leslie might start sending troops, the people of salem commenced with axes and whatever they could find. now, how did the british get across the river? no cashel tease yet until he gentleman is pricked as to draw blood, so we have the first wound. this gentleman would proudly display this wound and was fine exhibiting it. i'm not sure how long you can exhibit a small bayonet wound, but leave it to a gentleman to nurse a wound for the rest of his life. now, you have this conversation going on.
7:42 pm
now there is negotiation. they believe the discussion went something like this. you came all this way to cross the bridge. yes, and to get the guns. we have hidden them for you can't find them. how can i tell the governor i found no guns? you want to tell the governor you cross that bridge but discovered no guns? considering the circumstances, this sounds like a nice little play, they are having a conversation. is that the troops march across the bridge and go so many yards behind it, stop, turn around and march back. apparently, the band supposedly played the world is turned upside down. [laughter] the sole casualty of the whole day was mr. joe who was nicked by the tip of a sword and show that the rest of his life. [laughter]
7:43 pm
psych, in the commemoration of the first victory, now it is just like the andrew jackson story. andrew jackson's ancestors were apparently kicked out of three colonies for being scotch irish. they ended up in the carolinas. firstn becomes one of the popular presidents by the grassroots movement and now he is born in three states. just like the first shots of the revolution that supposedly happened somewhere in new maryhire, port william and , and the hardest part is standing out of view. ofyou can read, in memory the patriots who capture this fort. another interesting engagement that happened at the time, we will look at what happened at william and mary with john sullivan, who later would become in the u.s.ral
7:44 pm
army. we won't talk about his record. tops george washington for taking defeat from the jaws of victory. looking --re, we are 14, over 200 militia will gather in the town. of british have a garrison six soldiers. as the men marched toward the fort, another 150 will join. now, you have at least 350-400 men going after six british soldiers. captain john cochran is in command. they get a chance to fire some cannons before the americans enter the fort. british will, the
7:45 pm
strike their colors. the americans will accept a surrender. and does not take it by formal surrender. him to try tor defend the old flag and come rushing at the troops. in altercation ensues. pistol andls out a decides to hit him over the head. otherwise, that would've been the first shot of the revolution. you have two incidents on this road to the revolution, both at hampshire to go visit today. the fort is open. you can see all the different locations for that. grassroots movements in boston, unemployed dockworkers, the big three major ,vents like the land bank
7:46 pm
potential actions here. you have got the sons of liberty. until when theon first shots. 1975, theand concord, british come marching on the field. they are sent out once again. fakehistorians believe cannons were captured and escorted out of town discreetly to bring them back. at first, they think maybe they're going after john hancock .nd samuel adams whatever the case is, the british come out and it is a foiled effort from the beginning. we have another myth of the british that they are the best military in the world. it is like watching the super bowl champs of last year with no players on that team.
7:47 pm
yes, they are the super bowl champs still. the british had not been any major war since 1763. it is now 1765. that is a lifetime in the military. another mesh -- another myth is the british are well trained. of each the best troops regiment and the marines and put them together. they are now working with people they don't know, don't understand. it is like an all-star game. fun to watch, but not practical. thereey will come out and is a town that everyone knows what is going on that they are marching through. through arlington today, it is very here he. , junior to lexington officers upfront, he orders the men to take one road when they should've taken the opposite road.
7:48 pm
somebody fires the first shot. we can sit here until happy hour and talk about whether it was the british, and american colonist, someone cleaning a gun 10 miles down the road. , britishts are fired go to concorde and come marching back. they come marching back down the , where asto boston thomas gage would say, i wish this current place was burned down. believing a lot of the british soldiers that marched out of lexington, concorde and returned would probably agree with the general that they wish they had never set foot in the town of boston. nearing the end here. this picture really
7:49 pm
understands some of the underlying story. the road to revolution, especially boston, we always pick the highlights. party, boston mexico, lexington and concorde. ,e did talk about that a little but it is the paving stones that built that road. the land bank in the 1740's, the , the coercives acts. the military presence in the warren,ople like dr. adams, hancock, who continue the revolution. the full story is still being discovered and it is still being uncovered and that is why events like this before they were american were very important. i am now at the end of the conclusion. before i take questions, i want
7:50 pm
to say i do not want boston to be burnt. i know this is being filmed by c-span. [laughter] there were a lot of british in 1775 that would have wished they were anywhere else, even in the islands of the caribbean, the dealing with the road to revolution and the first major american victory, the siege of boston. with that, i would like to take any questions, comments, concerns. >> [applause] >> [indiscernible] -- this idea that the colonies had been left alone for some
7:51 pm
time after the french and indian war. it is this intervention that that theh the taxes british want to collect or the protection, and that that .riggers this negative reaction formed --f colonies boston dates back to the 16 50's , jamestown 1607. years of the british not taxing the colonies, saying baird taxing the citizens of great britain. the average colonist has less than 1% tax while in britain, it is up to 22%. war, the french and indian something has to happen. you can't keep taxing the same people in great britain. a lot of the war is fought in north america, to they should pay for it.
7:52 pm
at the same time, the british are now the world power. when you have another one to compete with, it is one story but now, you have a vast amount of territory. you have native americans, french nationals living in these captioning -- these captured provinces. now you have smaller disturbances that show what britain now has to control. a lot of it is parliament. most of the people of great britain are not as represented in the parliament, so what is the difference? it is a difference of agreement, not understanding. power taken by the failure of the land bank and so forth that leads to this boiling point.
7:53 pm
>> we heard this morning about tensions with the loyalists in virginia. what was going on in boston and the surrounding areas with regard to loyalists versus patriots and how did that play out? >> i will summon up in one word -- bad. -- i will sum it up in one word -- bad. you have them coming into boston, tarring and feathering, you see instances like otis in the coffeehouse, altercations with british soldiers. ransacked.s house is he had been writing the history of the colony and a lot of work is going up in flames. it was just as bad as the burning of norfolk and whatnot
7:54 pm
of patriots to remove the loyalist agents. there was a lot of great work being done. there is a friend who does ofton -- he puts up a lot high merit sources of boston. primaryts up a lot of sources of boston. i don't have an exact number, but there was a high degree -- multiple ships would bring them out of the city with them. --ot of leading families hutchinson would leave to go to great britain. 's familyx's wife leaves. one historian said after the revolutionary war, the biggest exodus of people during the 18th century were people leaving
7:55 pm
because of conflict or a change in government. havet it in how we refugees leaving countries that are war-torn in the 20th century , that is the loyalists of the countries who are now refugees. a lot will settle in the caribbean or canada or somewhere else. a lot of work is looking at what moves -- what happens after the war for those who picked the side that didn't win. >> [indiscernible] philip mentioned something about the state of the british people at this time. perhaps i could fill in some gaps. britain is period, in a democratic vacuum. stuarts, james the
7:56 pm
first, charles the first, they believed in absolute right of kings, absolute monarchy. also made thend mistake of being an avowed catholic and in the end, the stuarts were kicked out. vacuum. britain looked around and found charles the second's daughter, mary, married to some foreigner over the way, so we had a very odd monarchy. it is william and mary. toy were invited to come in be the monarch. not in absolute monarch. they had to sign a contract. the contract was that parliament would be supreme. i had no choice. they had to sign it. what is that parliament? it is not that place of quiet decision-making that you see
7:57 pm
today. [laughter] it was a parliament that was filled with people by the 1% elite. people could pay to become members of parliament. they were put in by their sponsors. economics was a big thing. of the rottenime boroughs. driving force was to make money. it was not until the people really rebelled, the riots of 1821, or doing away with the run boroughs, that parliament transformed itself into a place of democracy. power waseck on their the french revolution. the elite were terrified that the people of britain would rise up in the same way as the french. all of these decisions that you have seen made this morning and
7:58 pm
is the 1%noon, that that had the power. the second thing i will add is the peak yulia -- is the peak peculiar way of the british to be disparaging about everyone else. anywhere north of the m1 is someone to be treated with suspicion and furthermore, scotland had the audacity to have a rebellion. palerish are beyond the and nobody takes much notice of the welsh. i won't even mention the french. anyway, this exists today. the bbc has recently been forced to try andnchester
7:59 pm
take more respect out of london into the provinces. it is going on still today. you have got a bunch of people who are always bleating for help but not paying it and 3000 miles away, i don't think the british people really wanted to consider the british people on the other cited the atlantic with that much respect. uliar trait, but i am sure it is there. >> great point. thank you. [laughter] >> -- [applause] >> thank you. watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. on lectures in history.
8:00 pm
pace university professor durahn a class onhes american cartoons in world war ii, and the ways they supported and influenced the war effort. he shows superhero comics that urged kids to do their part by recycling paper and buying savings bonds and stamps. we are going to look at today, a place where the so-called real world comes together with the cartoon and comic world. that is why the title of today's taxes:s "bonds and american cartoons in comics during world war ii." i can remember from my days in chapel school

30 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on