The Devil and the Crown, Boston 1767

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BOSTON, MA. Two hundred fifty years ago, the winds of change began to blow.  The French and Indian War was over and now the Crown looked for sources to help pay the bill.  The Stamp Act, a new tax directly applied to the colonies on legal documents, newspapers and more, would meet stiff resistance in the colonies, causing protest and eventual repeal.  Two years later, an alternative series of acts were created in the form of the Townshend Duties.  Like the Stamp Act before, urban communities in places like Boston would quickly coalesce and voice their opposition and protest Royal authority.  

Protest often took different forms. Those with property, the “better sorts,” would meet, discuss and draft petitions and organize boycotts.  Meanwhile, those of the laboring class, the “lower sorts,” who did not own enough property to vote, would voice their disapproval in the street and sometimes engage in mob violence. Each group had their own particular grievances with the Crown and ways to protest.

On Saturday, November 4, experience revolutionary politics “indoors” and “out-of-doors” as it would have happened 250 years ago. Participate in a live reenactment at Faneuil Hall of a Boston town meeting which took place in October 1767. Join in the discussion as local citizens argue over whether or not to stop importing British goods. Following the town meeting, join a rowdy procession of laboring-class Bostonians of 1767 from Faneuil Hall to the Old State House, as they express their disapproval of British trade policies in a rather colorful and intimidating way.

Schedule of events: 11:00 am to 5:30 pm: Saturday, November 4, 2017.  Free to all.

11:00 am-2:00 pm. “Goods for Your Master, Taxes for Your King”
Come try your luck as a young apprentice in this colonial marketplace game.  Whether you buy, barter, or smuggle, the goal's the same: bring all your goods back to your employer and get promoted! This drop in program is best for ages 6-10, Faneuil Hall, Education Space, basement.

1:00 - 4:30 pm: “Talk of the Town” - meet reenactors portraying Bostonians of different social classes in Samuel Adams Park, directly in front of Faneuil Hall, and learn about why they are protesting the new laws.

2:30 and 4:00 pm:Revolutionary Town Meeting: 1767 Townshend Acts” Stand up! Speak Out! Join a lively meeting to debate Boston’s response to the hated Townshend Acts. Character cards are available. Free, 30 minutes, Faneuil Hall, Great Hall, second floor.

5:00 pm: Procession from Faneuil Hall to Old State House, State Street, Boston, MA.

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Dive into Boston’s Revolutionary past and explore the galleries inside the Old State House. Admission is free to all.

The Devil and the Crow program is being offered as a joint program of Boston National Historical Park, Minute Man National Historical Park, The Bostonian Society and Revolution 250.  For more information about this event please contact Jim Hollister at 978-318-7829 or

About Revolution 250

Revolution 250 is a consortium of organizations working together to commemorate the 250th anniversaries of the events that led to American Revolution.

About the National Park Service

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. To learn more about the National Park Service visit

About the Bostonian Society

Established in 1881, the nonprofit Bostonian Society is dedicated to studying and preserving Boston’s uniquely important history, embodied in materials, records, and structures such as the Old State House, and in sharing an understanding of the revolutionary ideas born here. The Society’s staff interprets the Revolutionary-era history of Boston for future generations every day in the Old State House Museum.