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Sons of Liberty Statue, New York City, 1776

American Revolution. Sons of Liberty in 1776 Pulling Down the Equestrian Statue of George III
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_661
 
Document Description
The Sons of Liberty pull down an equestrian statue of King George III, New York City, 1776.
 
Questions
Are these people Loyalists or Patriots?
Why do you think these people tore down the statue of the English King?
If you were a secret Loyalist, how would you feel about the actions depicted here?
If you were a merchant and your shipments from England were burned because they violated the boycotts, how would you feel?
What do you think happened to the merchants' businesses during this period?
 
Historical Challenges
The Sons of Liberty were sometimes seen as a violent mob. Research this organization and create a list of the positives and negatives of their actions.
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: If the statue of King George weighed 1.76 tons, how many pounds is that? If one bullet used 16 ounces of lead, how many bullets could be produced from the statue?
Science: How would the Patriots have created cannon balls and bullets from this statue and fence?
English Language Arts: Write a letter to the newspaper denouncing or praising these events.
 
Resources
Moore, Kay and Dan O'Leary. If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution. Scholastic, Inc., May 1998. ISBN: 0590674447.
 
Egger-Bovet, Howard, Marlene Smith-Baranzini, and Bill Sanchez. US Kids History: American Revolution. Little, Brown & Company, May 1994. ISBN:0316222046.
 
Murray, Aaron. American Revolution: DK Battles and Leaders Series. Dorling Kindersley Publishing, January 2004. ISBN: 0789498898.
 
 

Historical Context
The entire era of the American Revolution was a time of danger and uncertainty for both Americans and Englishmen. Angry mobs often overtook Loyalists and besieged Patriot merchants who failed to adhere to the organized boycotts. Drastic measures on both sides were undertaken. In Philadelphia, the Council of Safety recommended that the city be vacated by anyone not prepared to fight in battle. Another indicator of unrest is this engraving of the Sons of Liberty pulling down the statue of King George III. The angry mob later used the metal from the statue and rail to make cannon balls and bullets.
 
Essential Question
Why are individuals honored and recognized for their contribution to society?
 
Check for Understanding
Describe the object in the photograph and explain the significance of this statue to American society.