Barbara Clark Smith

Food rioters and the American Revolution - Barbara Clark Smith

The Boston Massacre during the American Revolution

On more than thirty occasions between 1776 and 1779, American men and women gathered in crowds to confront hoarding merchants, intimidate "unreasonable" storekeepers, and seize scarce commodities ranging from sugar to tea to bread. A good-sized minority of the crowds we know about consisted largely of women; a few others may have included men and women alike. Each crowd voiced specific local grievances, but it is clear that their participants sometimes knew of actions elsewhere and viewed each episode as part of a wider drama.