When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few.
The Battle of Golden Hill was a clash between British soldiers and the Sons of Liberty in the American colonies that occurred on January 19, 1770, in New York City. Along with the Boston Massacre and the Gaspée Affair, the event was one of the early violent incidents in what would become the American Revolution.
On January 19, 1770, six weeks before the Boston Massacre, Isaac Sears and others tried to stop some soldiers from posting handbills. Sears captured some of the soldiers and marched his captives towards the mayor’s office, while the rest of the British soldiers ran to the barracks to sound the alarm. A crowd of townsfolk arrived along with a score of soldiers. The soldiers were surrounded and badly outnumbered. Fellow soldiers tried to rescue them but were ordered to their barracks. As they were being escorted to their barracks, they reached Golden Hill, where an officer said, “Soldiers, draw your bayonets and cut your way through them.” More soldiers arrived and a group of officers arrived to disperse the soldiers before the situation got totally out of hand. Several of the soldiers were badly bruised and one had a serious wound. Some of the townsfolk were wounded and according to some sources, there was one death, though this is disputed.