Episode 053: Paul Revere Rides

July 15, 2018

As Gen. Gage prepares to deploy a brigade of regulars to Concord, the Patriots activate their warning system.  Joseph Warren deploys William Dawes and Paul Revere to alert countryside.  The riders alert the militia and reach Lexington, while avoiding British patrols.  They warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock at Lexington before continuing their ride.

On the road to Concord, a British patrol captures Revere.  Dawes gets thrown from his horse during his escape.  But a third rider, Samuel Prescott, completes the mission to warn Concord.  The British detain Revere for a while.  They release him near Lexington after hearing gunfire.  Revere returns to Lexington on foot where he helps a dawdling Hancock and Adams get out of town.  Once they are gone, Revere returns again to Lexington where he attempts to secure some of Hancock's secret papers.  While doing so, the British arrive at Lexington Green.  Revere at a distance, hears the first shots of the American Revolution.

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Episode 052: Salem Alarm & Hearts and Minds

July 8, 2018

In February 1775, Gage attempts to grab a cache of Patriot cannon in Salem. Col. Alexander Leslie leads a regiment of regulars on what is supposed to be a surprise sail up the coast and a fast dash to Salem to grab the guns.  Alert patriots run ahead of the soldiers and remove the weapons before the regulars arrive.  After a brief standoff, the regulars return to Boston empty handed.

A few weeks later, Boston commemorates the 5th anniversary of the Boston Massacre.  Interaction with soldiers leads to panic and fear of arrest.  As spring approaches, everyone awaits the beginning of the fighting season.  On the eve of war, a majority of the colonies have begun governing themselves under illegal Provincial Congresses.  The separation from Britain widens as London prepares to intervene.

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Episode 051: The Portsmouth Alarm

July 1, 2018

By the end of 1774 Britain had banned all munitions imports to the colonies.  After fearing that the British Navy might seize munitions at Fort William and Mary in New Hampshire.  Paul Revere rides from Boston to alert the local militia.  The militia attack the fort the following day.  There is an exchange of gunfire, but no one is killed. The militia quickly capture the small garrison, remove the gunpowder, and then release their prisoners to take control of the fort again.

The following day, more militia arrive and decide to take the fort a second time, this time to remove cannon.  The garrison surrenders, under an agreement to release colonial property only.  Once they take the fort, the militia take the cannon and just about anything else of military value that they can carry.  

Although the royal goverment knows the who led the attack on the King's fort, they are unable to make any arrests.  Patriots have effectively taken control of the colony.

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Episode 050: Britain Prepares for War

June 24, 2018
In late 1774, Prime Minister North calls for early elections. This results in a solid majority in favor of getting tough on the colonies. In reaction to the First Continental Congress' call for economic boycotts, Parliament bans all colonial trade with any country other the Britain. It also passes the "Conciliatory Proposition," allowing colonies to raise taxes in whatever form they like, as long as they come up with as much money as Parliament wants.
 
The Ministry informs Gen. Gage that he is not getting reinforcements. He has nearly 4000 regulars, which should be plenty to handle civilian mobs. He needs to go on the offensive and begin taking decisive action against protestors engaged in treasonous activity.
 
 

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Episode 049: The Provinicial Congress of Massachusetts

June 17, 2018
Gen. Gage retreats with his regulars into Boston in the summer of 1774. Patriots take control of all of the rest of Massachusetts. They form their own government, independent of royal authority. The Provincial Congress organizes a militia army, develops minutemen as a rapid reaction force, and names generals, led by Artemas Ward, for its independent army.
 
The Congress also organizes logistics and creates a civilian Committee of Safety to run its military. One of the Committee members, Benjamin Church turns out to be a spy for General Gage, giving Gage an open window into all the Patriot planning and preparation for war.
 

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Episode 048: The First Continental Congress

June 10, 2018
Parliament closed the Port of Boston following the Boston Tea Party. In response, colonial leaders met in Philadelphia in a "Grand Congress." Tories supported the Congress as a way of putting off local talk of boycotts. They hoped emotions would cool after a few months. The Patriots hoped to use the Congress to enact a continent-wide boycott and present a united front in opposition to Parliament.
 
The summer of 1774, brought news of more of London's Coercive Acts. When Congress convened in September, public opinion favored the radicals. Congress issued the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, petitioned the King for repeal of the Coercive Acts, and agreed to a boycott of almost all trade until London met colonial demands.
 
 

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Episode 047: The Suffolk Resolves

June 3, 2018

Gov. Gage decides he does not have a large enough army to control the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  The armed colonists who confronted his regulars in the summer of 1774 are too numerous.  Gage barricades his army in Boston and sends frantic letters to London calling for reinforcements.

With that, royal authority over the colony is limited to Boston itself.  Patriots control everything else.  The Suffolk Meeting under Joseph Warren produces a series of resolves on how to handle the current crisis.  The Resolves essentially announce that the Patriots have taken control of the colony and would only return control to London after repeal of the Coercive Acts.

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Episode 046: The Powder Alarm

May 27, 2018

On September 1, 1774, Gen. Gage sends a regiment to secure gunpowder stored at a powder house several miles from Boston.  The regulars also seize several cannons, returning to Boston with the guns and ammunition.

Rumors spread that the regulars had shot and killed several colonists during the raid.  By the following day, thousands of armed militiamen have gathered outside Boston demanding answers.  The militia eventually go home after learning that no one was killed.  But the event reinforces Gen. Gage's belief that the colonists are ready to start a war at a moment's notice.  The colonists learn they needed a better early warning system to get militia into the field faster.  Both sides continue efforts to secure more arms and ammunition for the coming fight.

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Episode 045: Governing from Salem

May 20, 2018

Governor Gage moves the colonial government to Salem and begins enforcing his policy of firmness, ignoring colonial protests and implementing the Coercive Acts.  When the colonists refuse to obey, he attempts to use regulars to shut down a town meeting Salem.   He arrests several leaders who held an illegal town meeting anyway.  When the militia takes up arms to release those arrested, Gage realizes his soldiers could be overwhelmed by the shear numbers of armed militia.  He is shocked by the colonists' refusal to back down in the face of armed regulars.

Gage decides he cannot enforce the law unless London sends him a larger army.  He retreats to Boston and begins writing letters calling for reinforcements.  Meanwhile, patriots shut down the courts and force government officials to resign.  Royal authority in Massachusetts is limited to the isolated town of Boston.

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Episode 044: Lord Dunmore’s War

May 13, 2018

In late 1774 Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore leads militia into Western Virginia.  He hopes to stop local tribes who are attacking colonists.  Tribes are upset that colonists are moving into their lands in violation of the King's Proclamation of 1763.

After the Battle of Point Pleasant, Gov. Dunmore forces Chief Cornstalk to sign the Treaty of Camp Charlotte, giving up all claims to land east of the Ohio River.

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