Shot Heard Around the World
I got this from a history coordinator for the Appleseed Project. Please go here for more information about this great organization.
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The Historical Perspective-Part 1
In September of 1774, a company of British troops crossed the back bay by boat from Boston to Cambridge in the middle of night. By early morning they had arrived at the Massachusetts Provisional Powder house. The powder house was a stone silo type structure used as a powder magazine to house the black powder used by the surrounding communities. They were let in by the local sheriff and subsequently confiscated 250 half barrels of powder belonging to the Massachusetts colony.
The redcoats marched back through Cambridge drawing the attention of the locals who spread the word "the powder raids have begun." The locals were so outraged at this raid that nearly four thousand assembled. They took the sheriff hostage and made him write notice that he would never help the red coats again. They rampaged through the Tory/loyalist section of town and ran the most prominent of them out of town, never to return.
It was only the intervention of local patriot leaders who kept the mob from marching to Boston and confronting the army stationed there.
This raid did two things. It confirmed the fear of the colonists that the Regulars (what they called the army) could and would raid and confiscate arms. The second thing it did was motivate colonial leaders such as Paul Revere and Dr. Joseph Warren to set up a network of citizens to keep an eye on the troops in Boston for any indication of them mobilizing for future raids.
The early warning system and subsequent alert notification system developed by Revere and Warren would be tested in the coming months.
End of Part One.