Road to Revolution (1761 - 1774)

1761-02-24 00:00:00

James Otis, Jr. argues against the Writs of Assistance

The "Writs of Assistance" were general warrants allowing officials to search for smuggled material within any suspected premises. James Otis was Advocate-General when the legality of these warrants was attacked, but promptly resigned his office when called upon to defend that legality. The Boston merchants then retained him as their counsel to oppose the writs before the Superior Court of Massachusetts. Otis refused the fee they offered, saying that in such a cause he despised all fees. In a five-hour speech, which was witnessed by a young John Adams, Otis argued that the writs were unconstitutional. He based his case on the rights guaranteed in English common law. The ultimate response to this abuse was the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution for the United States.

1761-12-13 00:00:00

Death of General Edward Whitmore

From the Journal of Occurrences - Capt. Church arrived here in 13 days from Louisbourg informs, That his Excellency, Brigadier General Whitmore, Govr. Of that Place, and Col. of the 22d Regt of Foot, who was Passenger on board his vessel, fell overboard yesterday and was drowned, his body was taken up by Capt. Church near Plymouth Gurnet and brought here for burial.

1761-12-16 00:00:00

Funeral of General Edward Whitmore

The corpse of General Whitmore was interred in the vault under the Kings Chapel, with all the honors that this Town could give. The Procession went from the Town-House, as follows – A Party of the Troop of Horse Guards, the Company of Cadets, the Officers of the Regt. Of Militia, The Ministers, the Corps, the Pall supported by 6 Regular Officers, the Governor, Lieut. Govr., Council, Judges, Justices, Principal Gentlemen of the Town and a great number of Coaches and Chariots. The command of HM 22d Regiment of Foot would eventually devolve onto General Thomas Gage.

1762-06-11 06:30:21

New Artillery Company Formed

A new Artillery Company under the command of Capt. David Mason, is just formed, which makes a very fine appearance. Adino Paddock is first Lieut. Saml. Sellon 2d, ditto, Christopher Clark, 3d & Thomas Crafts 4th.

1762-06-12 06:02:03

General Court Issues Instructions to Jasper Mauduit

William Bollan, the previous Colonial Agent, and who was son-in-law to former Governor William Shirley, did not satisfy the Massachusetts General Court and they chose Jasper Mauduit to act as their agent in 1762. He had been offered the position several years before, but begged off because of illness. This is the reason for the instruction that he may consult Richard Jackson, of the Inner Temple, if he found it necessary.

1762-09-16 12:03:40

Celebrations for the Reduction of Havana

Public Rejoicings on Acct. of the Reduction of the Havannah, Sermon preach’d by Dr. Sewall, Cadets mustered, Bells Rung, Batteries fired, Concert of Musick, the Town illuminated, Bonfires, &c. Many loyal Healths drunk, a vast quantity of Liquor consumed, and General Winslow of Plymouth so intoxicated as to jump up on a table and break a great number of bowls, glasses &c.

1763-07-20 12:03:40

Benjamin Franklin Returns to Boston

Arrived in Town from Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin and Francis Foxcroft, Esq., Post-Masters General for North America. The above Gentlemen are lately come from England.

1764-01-13 12:03:40

Dedication of Harvard's Hollis Hall

A New College built at Cambridge at the expence of the Province, and was this day named by his Excellency Governor Bernard, Hollis-Hall in memory of Thomas Hollis, Esq., late of London, deceased, who had been a great Benefactor to the College. An elegant dinner was provided for the Governor’s Council and Representatives who were present.

1764-01-24 12:03:40

Destruction of Harvard College

Harvard College consumed by Fire, together with a most valuable Library and Apparatus, which Apparatus is supposed to be worth L300 Sterling. The Library, which consisted of so many valuable pieces of Antiquity, cannot be repaired. It is conjectured to have begun in a beam under the hearth, in the Library, where a Fire had been kept for the use of the General Court now setting at Cambridge on account of the small-pox in Boston. The Assembly have unanimously voted to rebuild it.

1764-03-30 06:02:03

Parliament Passes the Sugar Act

This act modified the act of 1733 that was set to expire in 1765. In an effort to combat the smuggling of foreign molasses, which hurt the British West Indies sugar plantations, the duty on Molasses was dropped from 6 pence to 3 pence per gallon. However, the duty was to be more stringently enforced, resulting in a greater Ministerial bureaucracy. The act also added taxes to other foreign goods, including sugar, wine, calicoes, cambric and it also regulated the trade of lumber and iron.

Road to Revolution (1761 - 1774)

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