Liberty poles were often erected in town squares in the years before and during the American Revolution. The poles were periodically destroyed by the royal authorities, only to be replaced by the Sons with new ones. During the imperial crisis with Britain in the 1760s, an often violent struggle over liberty poles erected by the Sons of Liberty (or "Liberty Boys") in New York City to symbolize their displeasure with British authorities raged for 10 years. The first such pole was put up by Governor Moore in City Hall Park on May 21, 1766, in celebration of the repeal of the 1765 Stamp Act and to strengthen loyalty of citizens, it rather became central to the story of the protests leading up to the Revolution. The British hated this pole and chopped it down in August in protest of the fact that the New York government had refused to enforce the Stamp Act. Another pole was put up which was quickly cut down. A third pole was put up which stayed up until 1767 when British soldiers cut it down after seeing colonists celebrating the anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act. A fourth was put up this time secured with iron bands. In 1767, the Quartering Act was passed which the New York government mostly left unenforced. Parliament reacted to this by dissolving the assembly and replacing it with one that did agree. The Sons of Liberty posted a broadside called “To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York” in response. The British blew up this liberty pole on January 16 because of the broadside and as a result of the fact, soldiers were given 1800 pounds for supporting the act. They left the remains of the pole on the door of a tavern owner named Mr. Montanye. The "red coats" also posted their own handbills which attacked the Sons of Liberty as "the real enemies of society" who "thought their freedom depended on a piece of wood".The conflict lasted from the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766 until the revolutionary New York Provincial Congress came to power in 1775.Here the Declaration of Independence was read to Washington's Army July 9, 1776.
Installed, May 21, 1766
Related People & Organizations
Henry Collins Brown,was very active in the effort to restore the Liberty Pole to City Hall Park