Another week, another historical trend to share. I’m going to assume that most of you are familiar with the stuff that was happening 235 years ago (the Continental Congress, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, etc.) but there was also some interesting stuff going on around this time of year 246 years ago, in the summer of 1765.
In March of that year, the English Parliament had passed what came to be known as the Stamp Act, a revenue bill that placed a tax on all printed matter in the colonies. Colonial subjects of the Crown responded to the bill with outrage, and nowhere was that response more explosive than in Boston. During the summer of 1765, all through the thirteen colonies, loose groups of political leaders, all of them opposed to the Stamp Act, began to coalesce into organizations that called themselves the Sons of Liberty.
In Boston, this group came to be led by a number of men whose activism in the face of what they viewed as colonial tyranny would eventually make them famous throughout the American colonies. The original opposition, however, was made up of a group of nine men who called themselves the Loyal Nine. They were lesser known — the Nine’s most prominent members were Benjamin Edes and John Avery. As the group continued to expand and took on the more familiar moniker, Sons of Liberty, these nine were joined by the likes of Paul Revere, James Otis, and Samuel Adams.
Thieftaker, the first volume in the Thieftaker Chronicles, is set against the backdrop of the Stamp Act riots of August 1765. James Otis and Samuel Adams figure prominently in the story, as do men, like the controversial Ebenezer Mackintosh, a street leader who figured centrally in the riots. But that is a topic for another post.