Battle of Golden Hill – Spark of American Revolution – January 19, 1770

The Battle of Golden Hill was a clash that took place between the British Soldiers and Colonists in New York on January 19, 1770. It is regarded as one of the first violent clashes that acted as a catalyst and ignited the American Revolution.  It was followed by major clash like Boston Massacre, Gaspée Affair.

Battle of Golden Hill January 17, 1770 - Igniting the Spark of American Revolution

Background of the Battle of Golden Hill

Sons of Liberty was an organization of American Patriots. Their main aim was to protect the rights of the colonist and to fight against the injustice done by the British Government. As a sign of protest this organization use to plant a Liberty Pole. ‘It was a tall wooden pole which was surmounted by liberty cap.

They first planted the liberty pole in City Hall Park on May 21, 1766. It was planted because on 17 March 1766 British government repealed the 1765 Stamp Act.

Situation that led to the Battle of Golden Hill

British government passed the Quartering Act. Under the act American colonies must provide housing and provisions for British Soldiers. In December 1769, the New York Government accepted the will of British Government. Many colonist in New York viewed it as a sign of betrayal. Among them was Alexander McDougall who issued an anonymous broadside entitled “To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York”.

Alexander McDougall - Issued "To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York" and Ignited a Spark for American Revolution

Events of the Battle of Golden Hill

On January 17, 1770 British soldiers removed Liberty Pole and posted their own handbills claiming that all the Sons of Liberty are “real enemies of society” who “thought their freedom depended on a piece of wood”.  One of the Colonist, Isaac Sears tried to stop some soldiers from posting handbills. He also captured some of the soldiers who were marching toward the office of mayor.

This resulted in a long clash took place between the British soldiers and Colonists. Several of the soldiers were badly wounded. Some of the townsfolk were wounded and one had been fatally stabbed who later died.

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