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The American Revolution Timeline, Digital History ID 2930

1765 March 22: Parliament passes the Stamp Act, which imposes a tax on all newspapers, legal documents, playing cards, dice, almanacs, and pamphlets, raising the issue of taxation without representation.

March 24: The Quartering Act, which requires the colonies to provide housing and food for British troops stationed in the colonies, goes into effect.

May 29: When Patrick Henry is accused of treason for denouncing the Stamp Act in the Virginia House of Burgesses, he replies: "If this be treason, make the most of it."

October 7-25: The Stamp Act Congress, consisting of delegates from nine colonies, meets in New York to organize united resistance to the Stamp Act. It calls on the colonies to protest the act by refusing to import goods that require purchase of a stamp.

1766 The phrase "Sons of Liberty" refers to opponents of the Stamp Act.

March 17: Under pressure for London merchants, Parliament repeals the Stamp Act.

March 18: Parliament passes the Declaratory Act, asserting its power to pass laws affecting the colonies.

1767 June 29: The Townsend Acts require the colonists to pay an import duty on tea, glass, oil, lead, paper, and paint.

1768 June 9: Customs officials in Boston seize John Hancock's sloop Liberty on the (probably false) charge that it was used for smuggling.

October 1: Two regiments of British troops land in Boston.

1769 Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan friar, establishes the first California mission.

June 7: Daniel Boone reaches Kentucky for the first time.

1770 Population: 2,205,000

March 5: Boston Massacre. Around 9 p.m., British troops fire on a crowd of men and boys who are throwing snowballs and chunks of ice at them. Three members of the crowd--Crispus Attucks, James Caldwell, and Samuel Gray--are killed and two others--Patrick Carr and Samuel Maverick--died later of their wounds. John Adams, assisted by Josiah Quincy, defended the soldiers, arguing that the crowd had rushed the soldiers, taunting them and striking at their muskets with sticks and clubs. Preston and six other defendants were acquitted. Two soldiers, found guilty of manslaughter, were branded on the thumb and dismissed from the army.

April 12: Parliament repeals the all the Townsend duties except the one on tea.

1772 June 10: Colonists near Providence, R.I., burn the British customs schooner Gaspee after it runs aground.

1773 Harvard College announces that it will no longer rank students in order of social prominence.

Phyllis Wheatley, the slave of a Boston merchant, publishes Poems on Various Subjects.

May 10: Tea Act. To save the East Indian Company from bankruptcy, the British Parliament authorizes it to sell a huge tea surplus without payment of duty directly to the public, outraging established tea merchants, since the East India Company could undersell them.

December 16: Boston Tea Party. Disguised as Mohawk Indians, a group of approximately 150 protesters boarded three tea ships in Boston harbor and emptied 342 chests of tea worth 18,000 pounds sterling into the water.

1774 March 31: Intolerable Acts. In reprisal for the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament enacts the first of the "Intolerable Acts," closing Boston harbor to all shipping until payment for the destroyed tea was made.

May 20: Two additional "Intolerable Acts" forbid public meetings in Massachusetts unless sanctioned by the royal governor and transfer any trial of a British official accused of a capital offense to England or another colony.

June 2: The Quartering Act, another of the "Intolerable Acts," requires Massachusetts residents to house and feed British troops in private homes.

June 22: The Quebec Act extends the boundaries of Quebec to the Ohio River and guarantees the rights of Catholics and Indians in the region.

August 6: "Mother" Ann Lee, the founder of the Shakers, arrives in New York.

September 5: The First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia; all 13 colonies except Georgia are represented.

September 17: The First Continental Congress approves the Suffolk Resolves, calling for organized opposition to the Intolerable Acts.

1775 March 3: At a convention held in Richmond, Va.'s St. Johns Episcopal Church, Patrick Henry reportedly denounced arbitrary British rule with the stirring words: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

April 14: The first antislavery society in the colonies is organized in Philadelphia.

April 19: At the battles of Lexington and Concord, 73 British troops are killed and 200 are wounded or missing in action. The patriot losses were 49 dead and 46 wounded or missing.

May: The Second Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia.

June 15: Congress selects George Washington to be commander in chief of the Continental Army.

June 17: Battle of Bunker Hill. British forces attacked Patriots on Breed's Hill, which overlooks the sea approach to Boston Harbor. Almost half of the British troops--1,054 out of 2,400--are killed or wounded. American colonel William Prescott is credited with telling his troops: "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes!"

June 22: The Second Continental Congress issues its first paper money.

1776 January: Thomas Paine arrives in the United States bearing a letter of recommendation by Benjamin Franklin. His pamphlet Common Sense, published on Jan. 10, sold over 100,000 copies in three months.

June 6: At the Second Continental Congress, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduces a resolution that "these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and indpendent states."

July 2: New Jersey gives "all inhabitants" of adult age with a net worth of 50 pounds the right to vote. Women property holders have the vote until 1807, when the state limited the vote to "free, white males."

July 4: Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence. Virginia Richard Henry Lee formally moved for independence on June 6. On June 11, a five-member committee--consisting of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman--was named to produce a draft of a declaration.

September 22: Before being executed by the British for spying, Capt. Nathan Hale says, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

December 19: To bolster the patriots' morale, Thomas Paine publishes The Crisis, which begins: "These are the times that try men's souls."

1777 June 14: The Continental Congress authorizes a flag with 13 red and white stripes and 13 white stars on a field of blue.

July 2: Vermont becomes the first political unit in the world to abolish slavery.

1778 According to Thomas Jefferson, "30,000 slaves escaped from Virginia in the year of 1778."

February 6: France signs a treaty with the United States.

December 29: The British invade the deep South, capturing Savannah, Ga.

1779 June: Spain declares war on England.

September 23: When British forces on the Serapis demand that John Paul Jones surrender the sinking Bon Homme Richard, Jones replies: "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight."

1780 U.S. population: 2,781,000.

September 21: Benedict Arnold offers to exchange West Point for 20,000 pounds and a commission as major general in the British army.

1781 Quork Walker, a slave, successfully petitions for his freedom, basing his plea on the State constitution's declaration that "All men are born free and equal."

January 30: The Articles of Confederation are adopted.

October 19: General Cornwallis's encircled 8000-man army surrenders at Yorktown, Va.

1782 J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur publishes his Letters from an American Farmer, which asks: "What is an American, this new man?"

Massachusetts no longer identifies adulterers with a scarlet "A" branded on the skin or sewn on a garment.

1783 100,000 Loyalists have fled the United States, mainly to Nova Scotia.

March 12-15: The Newburgh Conspiracy. Continental officers threaten to revolt against a "country that tramples on your rights." Washington convinces military leaders to resist sedition.

May 13: Revolutionary Army officers form the Society of Cincinnati.

September 3: The Paris Peace Treaty gives the United States all land east of the Mississippi River, south of Canada, and north of the Floridas.