In Boston, the people were angry. The King of England had sent over his red-coated soldiers to see that his rules were carried out. The Americans didn’t want the soldiers there in the first place. And then they heard they would have to pay for the soldiers’ expenses.
Although most Americans loved to drink tea, they said they would not buy all their tea from England. They wanted to be free to buy tea from any country they chose.
But England sent over ships loaded with tea anyway. One night in Boston, some Americans dressed up as Indians. They went aboard the three English ships in the harbor and they dumped all that tea into the water.
Deborah heard about the Boston Tea Party, and laughed. But when the English King heard about it, he was furious. He went over more red-coated soldiers.
The King punished the people of Boston. He said no ships could sail in or out of Boston until the tea was paid for. Everyone worried that the people of Boston would starve. They thought of ways to help them. Some people planted extra corn to send to the hungry people of Boston. Deborah helped plant the corn on the Thomas farm.
The trouble was getting worse. In many villages, people were getting ready for war. Groups of men and young boys began training to be soldiers. They were called minutemen because they were ready to fight at a minute’s notice.
Deborah watched them drill in her village.
People in many villages began to collect guns and barrels of powder. They hid them in secret places.
One night, the British soldiers were sent to the town of Concord, near Boston, to seize the hidden guns and powder.
But some colonists found out where the British soldiers were going. The people had to be warned! The minutemen had to be called out!
That night Paul Revere and William Dawes rode their horses on the roads to Lexington and Concord, warning the people, “The British are coming”.
So by the time the British soldiers reached the town of Lexington, near Concord, they found more than 50 minutemen ready for them.
The fight that followed was the first of the Revolutionary War.
Deborah heard the bells of Middleborough ringing, marking that first battle of the long war ahead.
A brave farmer from Virginia had been chosen to lead the American army. His name was George Washington.
In the city of Philadelphia, an important paper was being read before the first Congress. That paper was the Declaration of Independence. It sad that all men were created equal. And it said that they have the right to form their own government, to be a free country – from England’s rule.
On July 4, 1776, the people in Congress voted for the Declaration of Independence – they voted to be the United States of America. News of the new government reached across the land. Deborah heard the bells of Middleborough ring out again.
But not everyone in the colonies wanted the new United States. Some people still wanted to belong to England, They were still loyal to the English king. These people were called Tories.
It was one thing for America to say it was free. But it was another thing to win freedom!
The war was long. The news was sad. So many times it seemed that the United States was losing the war.
Then help came from France. Ships and soldiers came from France to help the weary American Soldiers.
France helped America win some of the important battles that would put an end to the long, long war.
The Thomas children were growing up. Deborah said good-bye to the oldest boy who left home and went to war.