3 September 2014
The Shoemaker and the Tea Party
In the colonies during the Revolutionary Era, “where one ended up in life depended very much on where one started out”(Young 15). George Robert Twelves Hewes proved this wrong. His experiences growing up and being involved in this era changed the way he felt about himself and the humble social class he was a part of. These experiences led him to not defer his social betters. “We have evidence to take stock of Hewe’s role in three major events of the decade: the Massacre (1770), the Tea Party (1773), and the tarring and feathering of John Malcolm (1774)”(Young 33). Hewes never agreed with being submissive to his social betters, but the massacre transformed his mindset to being an active citizen. Days before the Boston Massacre a British soldier personally cheated Hewes. This connection encouraged Hewes to play a role the night of the massacre. “Hewes viewed the civilians as essentially defensive”(Young 38) that night and the soldiers as being extremely aggressive. Although, “Hewes believed they had a legal basis to refuse”(Young 38) orders from the soldiers, resulting in five men being killed. This event led to a need for justice throughout Boston and initiated a sense of patriotism to the townspeople. “Hewes was remembering the town meeting the next day, so huge that it had to adjourn from Faneuil Hall, the traditional meeting place that held only twelve hundred, to Old South Church, which had room for five to six thousand”(Young 37). For Hewes personally, he aimed to defend himself and his class more so after the Boston Massacre. He felt the need to be armed when he went about his day. “The Massacre had stirred Hewes to political action” and “he had become involved because of a sense of kinship with his townsmen in danger”(Young 40). This was the first event that lit a fire in Hewes for him to stand up for the people of his social class and look down upon the idea of deference. The second, and probably the...
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