If the New York Times had been around to report on the American Revolution, its coverage might have looked something like this…
* Dec. 16, 1773: Sons of Liberty to raid East India Company ships
BOSTON — Members of the undergound organization called the Sons of Liberty are plotting to raid three East India Company ships tonight and dump the cargo — thousands of pounds worth of Darjeeling tea — into Boston Harbor, the Times has learned. Contacted at his headquarters, Gov. Thomas Hutchinson said, “We’ll be ready and waiting for them. Thanks, New York Times!”
The plot called for members of the shadowy group to dress as Mohawk Indians, board the ship, and dump the tea into the harbor. The move is portrayed as a protest of the Stamp Act, but some analysts say it might be nothing but a racist plot to turn the public against Indians.
* April 18, 1775: Hancock, Adams hiding in Lexington
BOSTON — Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, sought by British authorities for fomenting rebellion, are hiding in the Lexington home of the Rev. Jonas Clark, a Patriot sympathizer. The two are protected by a secretive web of spies and messengers, including well-known silversmith Paul Revere and physician Joseph Warren.
Warren, in charge of dispatching messengers, intends to send riders Revere and William Dawes to Lexington should Gov. Thomas Gage make any move to arrest Hancock and Adams or seize the arms Patriots have hidden in their homes and plowed under their fields in Lexington and neighboring Concord, according to sources. Some families have stored munitions in barrels on their farms, and at least one set of cannons is buried in a field to prevent the authorities from finding them.
* July 1, 1776: Continental Congress prepares divisive, religiously based “declaration”
PHILADELPHIA — The all white, all male and all landed members of the 2nd Continental Congress have written a document declaring that “all men are created equal,” though it is unclear whether the phrase includes women, minorities and people who don’t own property.
“There is no mention in this document of women, indentured servants, slaves, renters, or people of color,” according to College of New Jersey professor Cornell East. “Nor does it include any reference to affordable health care. That is appalling when an estimated 100 percent of colonials lack health insurance.”
In what is sure to be offensive to many, the document contains religious references and claims that God is the source of citizens’ rights. It also asserts that the colonies are independent of Great Britain.
* Oct. 18, 1777: Generals call for Washington to resign
SARATOGA, N.Y. — Confidence in Gen. George Washington is collapsing at the most senior government levels and some top Army brass as well as New Englanders in Congress want the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army replaced with the more successful Gen. Horatio Gates, government sources say.
Gen. Washington has yet to win a single major battle against British forces. His defeats at Long Island and Kip’s Bay allowed the British to capture New York City, and during his retreat Gen. Washington was again defeated at White Plains. The British routed Gen. Washington’s forces at Fort Washington, leading to the capture of 2,800 American soldiers.
Gen. Washington won two minor battles at Trenton and Princeton, N.J., but in October suffered more setbacks at Brandywine and Germantown. In the wake of yesterday’s stunning defeat here of British Gen. John Burgoyne by American Gen. Horatio Gates, some in the Army and in Congress are calling for Washington to be replaced by the more militarily successful Gates.