Samuel Adams played a key role in the defense of Colonial rights. He had been a leader of the Sons of Liberty, and suggested the formation of the committees of correspondence. Adams played a crucial role in spreading the principle of colonial rights throughout New England.
An influential political leader from Pennsylvania, Dickinson published Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer in response to the Townshend duties, and provoked much colonial response thereby.
Hutchinson was a British official who played many roles in the years leading up to the American Revolution. He served as chief justice of the Massachusetts supreme court that heard James Otis' case against the writs of assistance; as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts during the Stamp Act crisis; and finally, as the royal governor. In 1773, Samuel Adams published a number of Hutchinson's letters, in which Hutchinson advocated "an abridgement of what are called British liberties," and "a great restraint of natural liberty" in the colonies.
King George III
The king of England during this period, King George III exercised a greater hand in the government of the nation than many of his predecessors had. Colonists were torn between loyalty to the king and resistance to acts carried out in his name.
MacIntosh, a shoemaker from the South End of Boston, was chosen by the Loyal Nine to lead the coalition of the North End and South End factions in Boston against the stamp distributor, Andrew Oliver. He oversaw the mob that drove Oliver out of town before he could collect stamp taxes.
James Otis was an influential Bostonian heavily involved in the fight for colonial rights. Most notably, he argued the case against the writs of assistance in front of the Massachusetts supreme court. Though unsuccessful in his case, Otis succeeded in illuminating the core of the colonists' opposition to Parliamentary actions in the colonies.
Pontiac was an Ottawa Indian leader, who led a series of attacks against the British forts near the Great Lakes, eight of which he successfully sacked. He was a great proponent of driving the British out of Indian territory, fearing the British presence there would encourage the colonists to move west and overrun the tribal lands.
Townshend was the chancellor of the exchequer under Prime Minister William Pitt. However, when Pitt fell ill, Townshend took effective control of the government. His most notable action was the passage of the Revenue Act of 1767, popularly called the Townshend duties. The act enraged the colonists and provoked widespread resistance.
Wilkes was a political dissident who had fled Britain to evade arrest. During the outcry against the Townshend duties, he returned to London to run for Parliament in 1768. He was elected, but denied his seat and jailed. A mass movement grew up in Britain and the colonies in support of Wilkes, and when he was finally released in 1770, he was hailed by one Boston celebration as "the illustrious martyr of liberty."