Battle of Golden Hill

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This is a print, from 1884, commemorating the Battle of Golden Hill

The Battle of Golden Hill was a clash between British soldiers and the Sons of Liberty in the American colonies that occurred on January 19, 1770 in New York City. Along with the Boston Massacre and the Gaspée Affair, the event was one of the early violent incidents in what would become the American Revolution.

During the imperial crisis with Britain in the 1760s, the Sons of Liberty (or "Liberty Boys") in New York City sometimes erected "Liberty poles" to symbolize their displeasure with British authorities. The first such pole was put up in City Hall Park on May 21, 1766, in celebration of the repeal of the 1765 Stamp Act. After the New York Assembly finally voted to comply with the Quartering Act in December 1769, Alexander McDougall issued an anonymous broadside entitled "To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York". In response, on January 17, 1770, British soldiers sawed down a Liberty pole. The "red coats" also posted their own handbills which attacked the Sons of Liberty as "the real enemies of society" who "thought their freedom depended on a piece of wood".

On January 19, 1770, six weeks before the Boston Massacre, Isaac Sears and others tried to stop some soldiers from posting handbills. Sears captured some of the soldiers and marched his captives towards the mayor's office, while the rest of the British soldiers ran to the barracks to sound the alarm. A crowd of townsfolk arrived along with a score of soldiers. The soldiers were surrounded and badly outnumbered. Another squad of soldiers arrived and the officer gave the order "Soldiers, draw your bayonets and cut your way through them." More soldiers arrived and a group of officers arrived to disperse the soldiers before the situation got totally out of hand. Several of the soldiers were badly bruised and one a had a serious wound. Some of the townsfolk were wounded and one had been fatally stabbed.

References[edit]

  • Ketchum, Richard, Divided Loyalties: How the American Revolution came to New York, 2002, ISBN 0-8050-6120-7

External links[edit]