Nathaniel Philbrick on Bunker Hill

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Nathaniel Philbrick tells the story of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists. In his book Bunker Hill: A City, a Seige, a Revolution, Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story of the battle that led to the Revolution.


Nathaniel Philbrick

Comments [5]

ShaggydogLI from NYC

I agree with KittyKite....Great interview Leonard!

May. 07 2013 01:37 PM
KittyKite from Long Island City

Interesting interview! I appreciate that Leonard didn't ask the typical questions you'd think would be discussed on this topic.

May. 07 2013 01:26 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, Gary. Let's not forget the profit motive of the landed, moneyed colonists.

May. 07 2013 01:21 PM

The war of independence was about the line of proclamation when the americans wanted to move west into to the native held lands, and the brit stopped it. something we like to forget. genocidal from the start

May. 07 2013 01:20 PM
Gary from Port Washington

Further detail concerning the Boston Tea Party and John Hancock.

John Hancock - Smuggling Powerhouse

John Hancock did not directly participate in the Boston tea party. But he stood to lose the most from the East India Company imports of English tea to Boston. On the other hand Samuel Adams who led the Mohawks aboard the British ships was so close to John Hancock that Bostonians even joked that "Sam Adams writes the letters [to newspapers] and John Hancock pays the postage". You do the math.

John Hancock was a wealthy shipping magnate, who made the bulk of his money illegally by smuggling. Many colonials were smugglers, Hancock just happened to have a flair for it. Because the ever-tightening British policies that came about after the French and Indian War were aimed at his sort, he wholeheartedly took part in the call for Revolution.

It was a well known fact that John Hancock had made his fortune through smuggling Dutch tea, which was cheaper than East Indian tea. A commonly forgotten fact is that East Indian prices were cut before the introduction of the three pence tax, in effect making its price, even with the tax, cheaper than Hancock’s tea. Presented with this information, many loyalists did not wonder at Hancock’s involvement in the boycotting of East Indian tea and indeed, the entire war.

After he inherited a fortune in his mid-20s, this elegant dandy nearly single-handedly bankrolled the early protests in Boston.

Hancock smuggled glass, lead, paper, French molasses and tea. In 1768, upon arriving from England, his sloop Liberty was impounded by British customs officials for violation of revenue laws. This caused a riot among some infuriated Bostonians, depending as they did on the supplies on board. In the late 1760s, he was formally charge with smuggling and although certainly guilty, his attorney was able to get Hancock relieved of all charges. The lawyer was Sam's cousin, John Adams.

May. 07 2013 01:18 PM

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