This paper is going to be a continuation of the historical character essay written about James Gray, a young Caucasian male in his early thirties who lived during the latter half of the 18th century in Boston. Boston at that time was one of the freest, most populous and most productive (and therefore most profitable) British colonies in the present day United States of America.
It is also important to note that James lived at a time when Boston and the rest of the colonies were set to start a civil war that would later on lead to the abolishment of the colonies and free America from the long history of colonization perpetrated by Great Britain which started during their discovery of the New World. One important point to remember about James Gray is that he was a firm believer of the idea that the colonies must be liberated and abolished. He was a loyal subordinate of the would-be leader of the continental army, George Washington. James is a skilled sword fighter and horseback rider himself.
One of the most important turning points in James’ life was when he witnessed the events that happened during the Boston Massacre. It was an otherwise peaceful day in Boston in March 5, 1770. James was about to meet with his friends for a brief but meaningful day of training on how to improve their horseback riding and sword fighting skills, perhaps in preparation for the much anticipated American War of Independence.
Now, it is important to note that although the economic situation in Boston during that time was not really problematic, the socio political situation was not correspondingly healthy, at least from the perspective of the British Crown which was the colonial master of Boston and of the other American states at that time. Public demonstrations supporting the liberation and formal separation of the American Colonies from the British Crown were starting to become more and more common. There were already reports suggesting that some colonies, including Boston where James was staying at the time of the incident (i.e. Boston Massacre) have already been starting to prepare for the worst by recruiting militarily skilled individuals should a large scale rebellion get started.
On March 5th 1770, a patriot mob started throwing stones, snowballs, sticks, and other debris towards a small squad of British guards stationed in Boston. Now, the intention of the patriot mob when he started to engage himself in a physical conflict against a small group of British soldiers was quite unclear but it makes sense to presume that it was to serve as a public demonstration of the Boston citizens’ perception on the British crown and the idea of being a colony of Great Britain. It is worth noting that this happened roughly five years prior to the outset of the American War of Independence.
James, our historical character, was one of the prime witnesses of the event. He was on his way to the location where he and his horseback riding and sword fighter friends agreed to meet on that day when he saw the patriot mob starting a commotion. He saw how the patriot mob and other people who were trying to stop the conflict were killed by the squad of British soldiers. Seeing how serious the event was and how the British soldiers were willing to engage and actually pull the trigger of their guns, he decided not to intervene, at least on that day. The following moments, a campaign led by speech writers and other patriots from Boston aimed at rousing the ire of the citizenry was started.
For James, that campaign was essentially a form of public demonstration that signified how unwelcome the presence of the British troops in Boston was. After a short while, a group of some fifty citizens attacked one of the British sentinels guarding his post. James then saw a British military officer named Thomas Preston call for a backup. The backup soon arrived and everything fell into chaos when the backup platoon that the British officer requested was also trashed and attacked by the angry citizens. James saw how the British soldiers were injured at that time. At that point, James decided to calm the citizens down because he knew that some people were practically risking their lives just by engaging in an already physical conflict with the British sentinels.
Unfortunately, the citizens did not listen to James’ pleas to calm down and retreat. James decided to stay on the sidelines. A few moments later, he started to hear gunfire. He immediately looked into the street where the gunfire came from and there he saw roughly a dozen people, all of whom were apparently citizens, bloodied, lying on the ground. He immediately stayed out of the sight of the British soldiers knowing that there would be no one in there who would do such aside from the British soldiers. James later on emerged as one of the witnesses to the incident. He later on appeared in a town meeting where he, together with patriots from the city of Boston demanded that the British soldiers be removed from the city. James also participated during the trial of the British soldiers.
After the lengthy legal procedures, only two British soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter. James saw how the incident before, during, and after the Boston Massacre dramatically changed the perceptions of the Boston city residents and that of other colonies about the British Crown and the idea of starting an armed rebellion against their oppressive colonial occupation.
James was also able to witness the incidents that happened during the Boston Tea Party. James was on his way to one of the town meetings regarding the things that the city could do in order to discourage the British government from taxing tea and other basic commodities in Boston and other colonies in American. It was an otherwise peaceful day on December 16, 1773 when James witnessed a group of public demonstrators, majority of which disguised themselves as American Indians, dumped huge shipments of tea from numerous ships owned by the British East India Company.
Some of the teas were burned while some were thrown into the ocean. The British soldiers could not do anything at that moment because of the chaos. James, once again, was one of the people who tried to stop the patriots from doing such a harsh thing because he knew that the British government’s response to the incident would be harsh again, perhaps even harsher than their response to the Boston Massacre that occurred some three years earlier.
It is important to note, however, that James’ political ideologies were directly aligned towards the path of armed revolution against British colonial rule. He was, however, sympathetic to the outcome that some of the helpless civilians would face once the British government decides to retaliate. His efforts to appease the raging emotions and despise of the public demonstrators about the new forms of taxes that the British government decided to impose on the colonies (specifically on some of the most important commodities) did not really work and he was once again forced to stay on the sidelines.
The public demonstrators boarded ships owned by the British East India Company. James saw how the people specifically targeted tea shipments and threw them into the Boston city’s harbor. James knew that the incident was a result of the unjustified taxation policies of the British Crown, specifically, the Tea Act of 1773 which was ratified on May 10th of that year. James was one of the many citizens in the city who opposed such policy but it was implemented nonetheless.
Evidently, it took only a few months before people from Boston and even from other colonies got fed up and started to publicly defy the implantation of the Tea Act . As James had expected, the British responded to the Boston Tea Party incident harshly by introducing harsher policies and even authorizing the use of force against public demonstrators. James continued to participate in the town meetings, some of which were even held secretly because they were essentially preparing for an all-out armed revolution against the British Crown already. James knew that there was no stopping the people from staging a full-blown civil war after so many people have already been killed and abused since the Boston Massacre and next, the Boston Tea Party incident. He decided to finally become a part of the revolution by signing himself as one of the members of the Continental Army led by George Washington.
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