Category: American Revolution

British cartoons during the American Revolution

This fine electronic collection of historical British political cartoons has just come to my attention. The cartoons and sketches parody and otherwise skewer the American Revolution and its allies. This file contains more than 150 British political cartoons concerning the American Revolution. Each is accompanied by an archivist’s description. The two sample cartoons are representative: One shows American savages hanging...

A re-enactment of Boston mob action against the crown

Pay close attention to this dramatization of the tarring and feathering of a tax official on the Boston waterfront in the early days of revolutionary ferment, in December 1773. The 3 1/2-minute scene is from Episode 1 of the excellent HBO series, John Adams. In this scene, Samuel Adams (the tall one at left, played by Danny Huston) is taking...

First ‘official’ report of the Boston Massacre

Domination of the narrative requires being the first to distribute a credible report. (Note that “credible” means “believable,” not “accurate” or “true.”) Reports are generally more credible if issued in the name of an organization or autoritative committee. Samuel Adams knew the propaganda value of committees, especially ones made up of elected officials, because they purported to represent the views of...