Boston, so the long sea voyage had been necessary
The Boston of the 18th century looked very different from the Boston he had known. He stood on deck when the ship passed Castle Island. where Castle William stood. the British garrison in Massachusetts Bay. The Union Jack flew high over the fort. Sea gulls rode the wind currents over the ship, hoping for some scraps of garbage to be thrown overboard. The city of Boston was almost an island, attached to the mainland by a narrow, mile-long neck of land. The docks were crowded with a mass of piers and wharves and shipyards. stages for drying fish, distilleries and warehouses. All manner of sailing vessels crowded the harbor.
There were merchant ships and schooners. sloops. whalers, ferries, fishing ketches and ship's lighters, and even a British man o' war, the
. with its seventy-four guns. They had passed her on the starboard side and just beyond her. Drakov had seen another British naval vessel, the schooner
. He smiled as he saw the Royal Navy ships. He bad timed his arrival perfectly. Boston seemed a lovely, graceful. tranquil city as they sailed into the harbor, but it was a hotbed of rebellion, a powder keg just waiting for someone to ignite the fuse.
"Americans are the sons. not the bastards of England!" The words were William Pitt's, spoken in the House of Commons, and widely quoted three thousand miles away in Boston. Readers of the
hung anxiously on every word spoken in Parliament by men like William Pitt and Col. Isaac Barre, who had fought gallantly in the French and Indian War and was a good friend to the colonists.
Drakov had seen Col. Barre take the floor in Parliament and reply to Charles Townshend in the debate over Lord Grenville's Stamp Act.
"Will these Americans," Townshend had said indignantly. "children planted by our care, nourished up by our indulgence until they are grown to a degree of strength and opulence, and protected by our arms, will they grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from the heavy burdens which we lie under?"
To which Col. Butt had replied, "They planted by
care? No, your oppressions planted them in America! They fled from your tyranny to a then uncultivated and inhospitable country, where they exposed themselves to almost all the hardships of which human nature is liable, and among others, to the cruelty of a savage foe, and yet actuated by the principles of true English liberty, they met all hardships with pleasure. compared with those they suffered in their own country from the hands of those who should have been their friends! They
by your indulgence? They grew by your neglect of them! As soon as you began to care about them, that care was exercised in sending persons to rule over them in one department and another, men whose behavior on many occasions has caused the blood of those sons of liberty to recoil within them!"
Sons of Liberty! It had a ring to it. A small group of patriots in Boston known as the Loyal Nine had read that speech in the
and from that moment on. they became the Sons of Liberty, an organization that would grow with each new outrage visited upon the thirteen colonies.
A large percentage of the colonists were still loyal to the Crown. but more and more were having second thoughts. They recalled the words of William Pitt. who had said in Parliament, "When trade is at stake, you must defend it or perish!"
Nor was Pitt the only one in England sympathetic to the colonists. King George.
however, was determined to be firm. If America successfully asserted its right to reject British taxation, might Ireland not be next? But as stubborn as King George was, the Sons of Liberty were equally determined.
At the urging of the Boston patriots, the Stamp Act Congress had been convened in New York City. It was the first real united assembly of the colonies.
The representatives met to discuss a course of action and there was much talk about the Virginia