As in the case the Stamp Act two years earlier, colonists protested and resisted:
♦ John Dickinson, a Philadelphia lawyer, published his “Letters From a Farmer," a popular series of 12 essays that denied Parliament’s right to tax the colonies and purported that such taxation amounted to slavery.
♦ The Sons of LIberty picketed and protested British customs officials.
♦ American merchants agreed to boycott British goods.
♦ The Massachusetts legislature circulated a letter to the rest of the colonial legislatures urging united resistance. When British officials dissolved the Massachusetts legislature for refusing to withdraw the circular letter, the other colonial assemblies defiantly signed the letter.
♦ June 21, 1768: British customs officials seized John Hancock’s merchant sloop “Liberty" for alleged violations of British revenue laws. Thousands of Boston citizens rioted, and British customs officials fled the city in fear for their lives. (British customs officials had a reputation for corruption and extortion of money from American merchants, and would seize American vessels without warrant and for any reason.)
♦ When news of the “Liberty" riot reached London,Britain moved 4,000 troops to Boston to protect the commissioners. The increased presence of British soldiers in the streets of Boston was a continuing source of irritation and friction. British soldiers were contemptuous of the rustic colonials, who, in turn, resented the competition for work as British soldiers moonlighted during their off-duty hours. All this set the scene for the "Boston Massacre" of 1770.