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
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
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."