|A Perspective of Soul
|A short time before this, I lived during the colonial period of America. I was born prior to her independence, and helped to play a role in this achievement. As a patriot I fought in the French-Indo war, and became a tradesman, providing for my family - brothers and sisters after my father had died.
People came to this country to escape from what was inescapable - rule by King without freedom of worship. The people were educated and believed in self-rule. Some of this unrest was fueled by Paine's writing, "Common Sense," which strongly suggested the colonies depart from English rule. In addition, he produced, "The Crisis," which helped to inspire the Army. Although both were produced in 1776 after some key initiating events had already transpired, these writings helped to kick things into high gear. The Crisis pamphlet (1776-83), became so popular that as a percentage of the population, it can be said that it was read by more people than today watch the Super Bowl.
Prior to these events, laws were passed that made it illegal for the colonies to produce their own currency (1764). Further, the fact that this growing nation needed to be "watched over" by English troops stationed in towns was an outrage to the people who believed very strongly in self-governing rule - not only of themselves, but by the same token, of whatever was in their care, namely the country they participated in.
Another outrage was the fact that the people were taxed without representatives in the state house in England - in other words, they had no say as to where their money was going, or for what public purposes it was being directed towards. Many felt that it was probably going into the hands of the English land-lords, to use at their whim. "No taxation without representation" became a popular saying in the colonies. It was because of this unrest, the Sons of Liberty was born.
Many are not very aware of the fact that the Sons of Liberty was numbered among a brotherhood of secret societies that were considered generally normal at that time. Many if not most of the Founding Fathers were Masons and Deists and it was out of this foundation, like the Sons of Liberty, that the framework of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence sprung up. In fact, men like Jefferson, Washington, Hancock and Adams were all Masons, as me.
The colonists considered themselves English citizens of equal rights, but the Crown played them as somehow incapable of representing themselves, which the colonists said then that they were not required to pay any taxes. Initially England repealed the law on taxation, while efforts had been made among colonists to refuse to use English goods. Later England created a tax on a few select goods which included tea that was again repealed, except for the tea.
With the advent and repeal of laws, as the monarchy tried to figure out a way to profit from the labors of the colonies, armed men were sent to the towns to fortify them. All of these outrages - that a people could not govern, nor regulate themselves - as if they needed to be baby-sat - led up to the events of the Boston Massacre. However, had the troops not withdrawn, there would have been an uprising.
It has been stated that history is written by the winners... their way. As I
myself played a part with the Sons of Liberty I was located within the core of
these initial events, as they transpired. These men would be considered
extremists by today's standards. It was their life mission to give birth to a
country that would provide the foundation for spiritual freedom. The only way
that this could effectively be accomplished was for some people to die for that
gift. But as I am writing to you now, death is not the end of the journey - it
is only another path along the roads that must be traveled through the cycles.
A few years after the Boston Massacre, again tensions were heightened due to tax laws. Again, as previously mentioned, all tax laws had been repealed saved one - the tea tax. Colonists had organized embargoes to not support the tax by refusing to purchase the goods that were under the tax. However, when the tax prices were fixed changing the cost of what a merchant sold as British teas verses other teas, there was an uprising of minds who felt that this gave the British unfair advantage over the colonists. The colonists wanted all British imported teas to be sent back to England.
A new shipment of tea and other goods arrived in port, and several colonists sought out the governor in order to hear what he would say about the matter - should the tea be turned away? In the end, the governor refused to have the papers of the ships signed allowing them to leave port without first unloading their cargo.
The upset colonists, and myself among them, called for a meeting of action. While the ships were essentially stuck in part, they were vulnerable. Several ideas were discussed. I recognized that we were treading on dangerous ground. Many people did not want to personally feel the repercussions of the British, but they did not want to stand for tyrannical rule either. In fact because there had been no separation of church and state, this became one of the central issues that brought people out and against the Imperial monarchy. If England was able to dictate to the colonies which laws they were required to keep, without any say in the matter in parliament, what was the difference between this and going one step further, telling people how they had to worship?
As stated previously, history is recorded from the vantage of the survivor - but history does not always mention why things occur - many times because it is a blind vantage. It was decided that we would disguise ourselves as Natives and get rid of the tea ourselves. Choosing to dress up as Natives was killing two birds with one stone. I remember participating in the Tea Party, but also I was somewhat reluctant to do so, because of the threat of violence, should the militia be called in, after all, it was just a few years prior that the militia had opened fire on a small crowd of people, and had they (the militia) not retreated there would have been an uprising. Dressing up as "Indians," was a statement to the Crown, not only did it conceal the identity - like was common among the secret societies of the time, but it also made the remark that if England was going to treat its citizens as savages, then its citizens would play the part. In addition, it was symbolic of the fact that the colonials had taken the initial steps to considering themselves a "Native" population, rather than English citizens, and as Natives, they no longer needed to be told what to do, but were in command of their own destiny. Later this could be seen in Congress sending out letters of invitation to the Native Americans, in an effort to secure their support against English rule, and instead maintain self-governing rule.
When the tea party took place, there were no deaths, and perhaps only a few minor injuries, not particularly worthy of mention. The Captains of the three ships were secured and the cargos of the teas only were removed, leaving everything else intact. After it was all over, while there was the tendency to look over one's shoulder, that evening was very solemn and unusually quiet- it appeared the next day that the party had gone over without a trace of bloodshed.